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The employees at South Shields based specialist roller blind manufacturer Solar Solve and its chairman were honoured to be given an outstanding achievement award from the Tyne Lifeboat Society.

The framed Testament was handed over by the Society’s chairman, Captain Stephen Healy and Secretary, Dr. Christopher May during their recent visit to the marine equipment manufacturer’s Tyne Dock based facility. The certificate states that ‘The Tyne Lifeboat Society recognises the support it has received from Solar Solve Marine and in particular the services rendered by Mr. John Lightfoot, MBE who was Chairman of the Society’s Trustees between the years of 2008 to 2012.’

Chairman Lightfoot commented, “Solar Solve tries to support local good causes and of course I have had a personal interest in this one since 2004 when I was first elected onto the Board of Trustees. I am very proud of the fact that the two men credited with the construction of the world’s first purpose-designed lifeboat, William Wouldhave and Henry Greathead both lived in South Shields and that the Gentlemen of the Lawe, who formed the Lifeboat Committee, forerunner of the present Tyne Lifeboat Society, were also based in our home town.”

“That all began in 1789, two hundred and twenty three years ago and it is a magnificent achievement that the Society still exists today but minus the lifeboats, which were overtaken by the RNLI many years ago. The Trustees now concentrate on recognising acts of bravery associated with the saving of lives on the River Tyne and the surrounding coastline and on supporting the local good causes that specialise in this objective.”

If any readers would like to know more about the story of the South Shields lifeboats, local author Stephen Landells has written a brilliant book on the subject entitled ‘Rescues in the Surf’. It is available locally in South Shields and through Amazon on the world wide web and would make a great Christmas present.

Top Image – Capt. Stephen Healy, Chairman of the Tyne Lifeboat Society and Secretary Dr. Chris May present John Lightfoot, Chairman of Solar Solve Ltd. with a commemorative citation in recognition of the support given to the Society by John and his company.