Up-cycled vintage life-ring from a WW2 Rescue Motor Launch.
Now a lovely piece of 1940’s History up-cycled into a piece of Art.
Cork life ring from Pride of the Dart
Around six years ago I was fortunate enough to be offered (and subsequently purchased) a number of the original life rings off one of the old “Western Ladies”, (most visitors to Brixham will have fond memories of these old Rescue Motor Launches given a new lease of life as ferry boats in Torbay and on the River Dart). Over the last few years and with the help of a very talented sign writer I’ve restored these life rings many are on display in the Chart Room First Class Restaurant and Coffee Lounge. One however was beyond repair, and has been hanging in my workshop and had me scratching my head for some time wondering what to do with it. These 1940’s life rings being painted canvas over cork, were decommissioned in the 1970s, as they no longer conformed to SOLAS regulations. Finally it came to me to simply strip it back to it’s bear form and treat it with a few coats of a mix of Danish oil, PVA and varnish, this has given it a wet look whilst at the same time giving it the strength to last another 80 years.
This will be put on the website tomorrow, but I would love for it to stay in Devon and maybe with someone who appreciates the history of these “Little ships” who’s role in the war was immeasurable.
“Pride of the Dart” along with the other Western Ladies lived up to her name for many years, many more than the designers originally planned.
Sadly no longer with us but she lives on in our hearts.
Special thanks go to the owner operators who managed to keep these old girls going as long as they did.
My memories as a child holidaying in Brixham always feature one of these beautiful boats in their blue livery.
A certificate of authenticity will accompany this piece of Torbay’s maritime history.