Historic fishing boat gets a facelift at 94 years of age

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AN HISTORIC Hastings fishing boat is being given a fresh coat of paint.

The 94-year-old Edward and Mary RX 74 was the first Hastings boat to be built with an engine installed, and is now permanently on view on the beach next to the Fishermen’s Museum.

The 28-feet-long lugger is being repainted by museum manager Jan Sellers and honorary curator Steve Peak.

New lettering is by local craftsman Peter Thompsett and boat-builder Steve Barrow has repaired her hull.

The Edward and Mary was built in 1919 on the beach opposite the London Trader pub for its landlord, Edward ‘Tiny’ Breeds, who named it after his two children.

In May 1940 she was sailed to Dover to help with the Dunkirk evacuation if necessary, but in the end was not used. She left Hastings in 1957 and was last used for fishing in 1982, at Eastbourne.

Steve saved the Edward and Mary from being broken up in 1983, and brought her back to Hastings.

He said: “Although much of the hull’s planking has been replaced during her long life, most of the internal timbers seem to be original and are in good condition, which is remarkable for such an old vessel.

“Rainwater can be very damaging to wooden boats, so it is important to keep them well-painted and to remove any rot.

“We hope she will now live till her 100th birthday.”