A nautical charity that operates from Berwick to Hartlepool has received a new boat to assist in training its members and helping the community from Northumberland Freemasons
The Northumbria Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) received a new rigid inflatable boat aptly named 'Northumberland Freemason' at Newcastle’s Quayside after a £15,000 donation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland.
A delegation of Freemasons came to watch the naming ceremony which included the Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland Ian Craigs, who christened the vessel with an appropriate bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale; right in sight of the iconic Tyne Bridge.
The organisation aims are to keep the UK’s maritime tradition alive by training and delivering practical seamanship and engineering skills.
Angela Carrington, Head of Unit for the Maritime Volunteer Service, said: 'This is a very generous gift to our charity from the Freemasons that will benefit our members and the community too. We will be using the boat on all of the region’s rivers so she will be a common sight from the Tweed to the Tees.
'She’s a very manoeuvrable craft making her ideal to train people in seamanship and boat handling skills. In turn, we will pass on these skills to help at community events all across the region. We are very grateful and will sail her with pride.'
Provincial Grand Master Ian Craigs said: 'All of our trustees agreed that this was a very worthwhile donation as the vessel is being used on the region’s waterways doing sterling community work. We are proud to be associated with MVS Northumbria and look forward to hearing more about the 'Northumberland Freemasons' good work.'