Just over a year after the first part of the frame was craned into position, the new boathouse is starting to look finished outside with cladding and signage in place and the scaffolding around it being taken down. There are still some groundworks to take place with steps and ramps up to the public entrance door. external lighting and finishing off and landscaping to the south of the building.
Inside, there is still some fitting out work to do such as building benches for the crew room but the major tasks have been completed and indeed items such as public information displays, signs and chairs are starting to be delivered and put in place. It looks a little less tidy than it might because the builders have temporarily moved into the building while completing their work, their site offices behind the beach cafe having been vacated and removed.
It is now anticipated that the building wil be ready to be handed over to the RNLI by the end of July and the shop and public areas opened in August with, ideally, the inshore lifeboat also moving across and operating from the new building during the summer holidays. The station's Mersey class all-weather lifeboat will continue to operate from the old boathouse for the time being.
The station's new Shannon class RNLB 13-46 'Duke of Edinburgh' is also nearing completion. The boat will be leaving her build slot inside the All-Weather Lifeboat Centre and lifted into the water soon for the final stages of fitting out, sea trials and snagging. It is expected she will set sail for Wells towards the end of September and she will take over as Wells' lifeboat some weeks after that once crew training has been completed. We still do not have firm dates for when the boat will be formally named or available to view but will publicise these as soon as we can.
In the meantime, training for all the crew on the Shannon has started and will continue over the summer both for those who will take the boat to sea, those who will maintain and look after her and those who will help to launch and recover her, both on station in Wells or at courses at the Lifeboat College in Poole. As part of this, it is expected that a relief SLARS launching carriage and a relief Shannon class lifeboat will arrive in Wells over the summer and will probably stay here until the new boat arrives and takes over.
Thursday 30 Jun 2022
Emerging from the scaffolding