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Parkers Product News

Parkers provide materials
for Hastings Lifeboat dry-dock

THE GHOST OF DUNKIRK
COMES BACK HOME

Parker Building Supplies' Hastings branch have joined with other local businesses to create an impressive new dry-dock for the permanent display of an historic lifeboat now restored to its former glory.

The old Hastings lifeboat, The Cyril and Lillian Bishop, once used to rescue hundreds of soldiers from Dunkirk, was recently recovered from storage in France after being sunk during the war.

Hastings branch manager Steve Jones and his team have supplied the building materials for the-dry dock which is situated at Market Cross on the corner of Old London Road and Harold Road.

On Thursday 15th June, the boat was joined by the present Hastings Lifeboat for a Blessing of the Sea ceremony at the Stade, the shingle beach in Hastings Old Town.

On the following Saturday, Hastings locals, including a number of Dunkirk veterans, turned out in their hundreds in the bright sunshine to witness the historic occasion as volunteers pulled the boat up All Saints Street with ropes, in the traditional way on greased boards to the sound of shanty singers... with an essential stop en route for refreshments at all three pubs (another Hastings tradition).

Pictured below: The ‘Lily Bish’ lifeboat in its 1930s heyday, pulled towards dockside by its crew; and June 2017 - recovered from France and now fully restored, being transported in the traditional manner by local volunteers



MAYOR PRAISES PARKERS

Parkers were praised by the Mayor of Hastings, Judy Rogers, for our generosity in providing the materials required for the dry-dock. And Dee Day White (that really is her name!) of the Lifeboat Trust added “We could not have done this without Parkers’ generosity and the hard work of other local businesses”.

The lifeboat, which came under heavy fire on its wartime mission, was dubbed The Ghost Of Dunkirk by the hundreds of soldiers it was involved in rescuing.

It was a special day for local man Kevin Boorman, a member of Hastings Borough Council, who helped pull the boat. His Great Uncle George Moon was once a member of the lifeboat crew.

Work on the site surrounding the dry-dock will continue until the end of July, but anyone who wants to see the boat can do so by making their way to Market Cross opposite All Saints Church.

Pictured below: The Cyril and Lillian Bishop with it’s original crew: now fully restored (right), ready for the Blessing of the Sea ceremony at the Stade; and the site of the new dry-dock

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