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Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade is a voluntary coastal rescue service based in the Tynemouth Watch House at the mouth of the River Tyne.
The Brigade was begun in 1864 to help HM Coastguard save lives from shipwrecks.
Now the Brigade is called out for cliff rescue, breeches buoy rescue and coastal search and rescue.
They work closely with the local RNLI lifeboats, but do not have a boat.
The Brigade was formed after the wreck of the Steam Ship Stanley. An army officer called Captain John Morrison helped at the rescue. He thought that many lives could have been saved if more people had been trained.
He met two important brothers, John Foster Spence and Joseph Spence and they called a public meeting in North Shields Town Hall on 5th December 1864. The meeting was crowded and the result was the founding of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade.
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20-Dec-2007 © North Tyneside Libraries 2007-8