The Isle of Wight Historic Lifeboat Trust


Built 1887 - Restored 1998
Stationed at Bembridge, Isle of Wight 1887 - 1902

The first of the Isle of Wight Historic Lifeboats to be rescued for restoration was the 1887 pulling and sailing lifeboat "Queen Victoria", which was stationed at Bembridge from 1887 to 1902. On completion of her operational life, she was sold in 1902 to one of the lifeboat crew, and eventually became the first houseboat in Bembridge Harbour. Abandoned, and in a derelict condition, she was purchased in 1989 by Martin Woodward, (Coxswain of the Bembridge Lifeboat until 2003), but it took a further nine years of fund raising and searching before a willing restorer was found to return her to her original condition.

This was the Classic Boat Museum on Newport Quay, where it was agreed to undertake restoration using skilled local shipwrights and their own volunteers. After almost a year of hard work, the "Queen Victoria" emerged in June 1998 looking absolutely superb, lovingly restored to her original condition. An excellent job was done, but as with all restoration projects, it cost a considerable amount, and the Trust is still fundraising to meet these and other costs associated with "Langham" & "Selina".

"Queen Victoria" has since been used extensively at events and re-enactments around the country and abroad. Pulled on a carriage by Shire horses she makes a really impressive sight. The Lifeboat now has many regular bookings, but the Trust is actively seeking new opportunities to extend her programme.

Organisations wishing to hire "Queen Victoria" for an event or re-enactment should contact the Isle of Wight Historic Lifeboat Trust using the address at the bottom of this (and every) page.

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