The North East Maritime Trust (NEMT) was established in 2005 to preserve the traditional vessels that helped to create the maritime heritage of North East England. But equally if not more importantly, the motivation for setting up the Trust was not only to preserve the boats, but to preserve interest in them, for they were essential to the livelihood of the region and their significance is as much about what they meant to people as what they were used for. The number of traditional vessels has declined in the last 50 years, and so has personal experience of them.
The skills required to build, maintain and sail them, especially the iconic coble, celebrated by artists such as Winslow Homer, are on the brink of being lost altogether. Some skills may already have to be relearned as the opportunity to pass on knowledge, literally from hand to hand, has all but gone. Where other societies and trusts exist with very specific subject or geographical aims, North East Maritime Trust has the geographical and thematic compass to be unique to the region. It does not duplicate the valuable work of others but can act both as a resourceful demonstrator by practical example, and as a rallying co-ordinator in supporting and representing the sector.
The Trust has a workshop on the Corporation Quay in South Shields and has most of its collection of vessels at locations on the River Tyne. Most restoration and training takes place in the workshop, and the vessels sail or motor to a number of events on the east coast of the UK.
To contact the Trust you may use the “Contact Us” facility on the website: http://www.nemaritimetrust.co.uk or write to: NEMT, Fisherman’s Workshops 2/3, Wapping Street, South Shields, NE33 1LQ, UK.