Cyril & Lilian Bishop Preparing for departure Cyril & Lilian Bishop Leaving for UK Cyril & Lilian Bishop Back in Hastings Cyril & Lilian Bishop Earlier Visit Cyril & Lilian Bishop In Scotland Cyril & Lilian BishopPreparing the dock

Cyril & Lilian Bishop
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Cyril & Lilian Bishop
Found in Scotland
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Cyril & Lilian Bishop

Cyril & Lilian Bishop
Photos: Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust www.DLSRT.org.uk
Cyril & Lilian Bishop

 

The Cyril and Lilian Bishop was sold by the RNLI and could easily have disappeared without trace if it had not been for an odd coincidence in 1962. That August a former Hastings man, who had witnessed the arrival at Hastings of the Cyril and Lilian Bishop in 1931 and her return from Dunkirk in 1940, was travelling in Scotland when he came across the old lifeboat. The Cyril and Lilian Bishop had been converted into a pleasure craft, he believed, and the boat was lying alongside a stone quay in the Sound of Mull, a ‘lonely and sorry sight'. She had broken down and been towed to the quay, where the owner had left her and not returned.
In 1993 the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust was founded to save ‘little ships’ in danger of destruction, and the Cyril and Lilian Bishop was the first boat it aimed at rescuing. The trust said she had been sold in 1950 as a fishing vessel and went to the west coast of Scotland, where Mr Arra Fletcher bought in 1976. ‘He renamed her Lindy Lou after his daughter, and brought her to the free port of Askaig on the Isle of Islay. There, she earned fame when her owner fought a battle against authority in 1980.
‘The Duke of Kent was due to visit the island, and the powers-that-be wanted the old boat removed from the harbour because of complaints that her time and weather-worn appearance might offend the royal eye. Arra Fletcher, who had painted her and dressed her overall, and whose ancestors arrived in Islay centuries ago, occupied his ship to defend the islanders’ right to free of the harbour. He won the day when his case was taken up by press and TV after letters of protest to 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, and a flood of sympathetic messages from all over Britain.’
Mr Ernest Spray, of Parker Road, Hastings, told the Hastings Observer that ‘Some time later, while she was in harbour and tied up to another fishing boat, the fishing boat sank and took our old lifeboat down with her! During this time on the bottom, the tides filled her with mud and sediment a very sad state of affairs.
‘Happily, in 1993 the boat was rescued by an arrangement between the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust, a Mr Simon Evans - who has his own boatyard in France - and who agreed to take immediate charge of the boat. The Landing Craft Division of the Army sent a landing craft to Askaig and, after three attempts, finally managed to extract her from the beach. The Army then brought her to their base at Marchwood, near Southampton, where she was loaded on to Mr Evans’ transporter and brought directly to his boatyard near Sens, France

Steve Peak

Cyril & Lilian Bishop

Cyril & Lilian Bishop

Cyril & Lilian Bishop

Cyril & Lilian Bishop

Cyril & Lilian Bishop

 

Funding is now required,

If you’d like to help us, cheques can be made payable to ‘The Macbean & Bishop Trust” and sent to the treasurer at:

4, All Saints Crescent,
Hastings TN35 5PD
or paid in at any Santander Bank or through internet banking to
Sort Code 090128, A/c 49444310

all photos on this page courtesy Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust,
XL(2000)Ltd operates www.the-boat.co.uk and Hastings' favourite web sites
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