Introduction to the Project
The James & Mary Lifeboat started service in Anstruther on the 30th July 1904 and with the age of electricity and engines being used on boats she became obsolescent and was replaced in March 1933. She launched in service 15 times and her crew saved 46 lives.
It was then that Anstruther third Lifeboat embarked on a more sedentary career as a motor yacht vessel and in 2010 she was discovered in a boatyard at Beaumaris in Anglesey, North Wales. Her name was now ‘Ishbarra’ and she was about to be scrapped. The boat was offered to Anstruther RNLI enthusiasts as a restoration project and on the 26th June 2010 with the help of the RNLI, she returned to her ‘home’ for restoration.
A group of Trustees were quickly formed by Roger Grundy (Administration and Visits Officer at Anstruther Lifeboat Station) and Michael Bruce (Coxswain at Anstruther Lifeboat Station), and the aim of this committee is to see her restored to her former glory and on display to the public close to the lifeboat station. Toby Anstruther from the Balcaskie Estate has been very supportive and offered a barn for the initial restoration and stabilisation of the boat.
The J&MW CRP committee have formulated a programme and work packages against an estimate of the work content and cost to restore the old Lifeboat and a professional hull survey has been undertaken which confirmed that the vessel is in very good condition for its age. The next part of the project will see further collaboration with the Scottish Fisheries Museum (SFM) for more in depth restoration to take place. The boat will be restored to a showcase standard, but it won’t be restored to a standard where it can be placed in the water.