Rotary Club of Tynemouth
Rotary Club of Tynemouth

TVLB Breeches Buoy Celebration

For over 30-years the Club has supported the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and in recognition we were invited attend a Breeches Buoy Demonstration on Saturday 23rd August 2014, which was held as part of the Brigade’s on-going celebrations to mark its 150th anniversary, following the forming of the organisation on 5th December 1864.


Back in 1864, the organisations primary rescue role was to provide a group of trained volunteers capable of carrying out Breeches Buoy rescues. This method of rescue involves firing a rocket, which has a line attached to it, at a stricken ship. The crew of the ship then use this line to pull out a number of ropes which are attached to a strong part of the boat and, as they are also anchored to the shore, they are used to create a pulley system. Attached to the ropes is a pair of Breeches with a Buoy (or life-ring) attached to them. The Breeches Buoy is then hauled from the shore to the ship – the casualty climbs in – and they are then pulled to safety!


On the day there was five ‘casualties’ brought ashore – one of which was our very own volunteer, past-president Godfrey Weir and also taking part was a presenter from the television program ‘Coast’ who came along to film this truly unique and once-in-a-lifetime event. The Commander and wife Maureen stood in as official V.I.P. guests on behalf of the President who had taken his breeches off to sunny Portugal!


The following video of the day includes the BBC Look North news item on the day followed by a photographic record provided by Godfrey Weir and Bryan Rayner with musical accompaniment by Johnny Handle. I’m sure you will enjoy watching the Club’s first effort at producing its own video, which lasts for just over 5 minutes.

Visitor number

Meets each Thursday

6.30 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. at

The Village Hotel, Newcastle

Cobalt Business Park,
West Allotment,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE27 0BY


Telephone: 0191 2706491

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