View from a drone of the Sheringham lifeboat hoisted into Mo Museum
PUBLISHED: 17:37 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 08:00 25 February 2016
In its heyday, it tore across the waters of the North Norfolk coast at top throttle.
Its return on Wednesday was rather more sedate.
As crowds gathered to watch the spectacle, lifeboat B702 - an Atlantic 75 craft - was hoisted into its final berth at the Mo Museum by crane.
The craft, which was based in Sheringham for decades, was carefully raised 50ft before being lowered to its new rooftop home at the Sheringham museum.
Contractors have been working throughout the winter on a new £1.1m extension to the site which will allow the Atlantic 75 to be displayed alongside three sister former Sheringham lifeboats, and provide a new education and archive centre.
The arrival of the boat - named The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows after the organisation which raised its funds - on a flatbed truck was heralded by the town crier, Tony Nelson, walking ahead of the vehicle.
He encouraged the crowd to give three cheers for the boat as it was being moved.
He said: “As the years go by it will create a focus for tourists to the town, and not just because of the life boat, but the extension too.
“If you have more visitors then you need more volunteers and they have been crucial at getting this all ready.”
Mo manager Philip Miles said: “It’s a big relief to finally see it in, we’ve been waiting three years for it and the boat has been stored in a barn all that time. We were desperate to get her in safe.”
He added: “The museum has been given the unique opportunity to preserve and display a significant piece of maritime history.
“Our current premises couldn’t support this essential growth to our collection as the original Mo building was never designed to be a museum and was at capacity.
“With the support given by the HLF, other funders and our volunteers, we have been able to create a stunning new space with unrivalled views of the North Sea.”
Onlooker Archie Dundas 67, from Sheringham, watched and was busy taking photos throughout. He said: “There is never a dull moment in this town, it is quite a special thing to see.”
For those watching, it was the last chance to witness such as spectacle, as the Atlantic 75 will be the museum’s last lifeboat.
The operation echoed a similar exercise almost a decade ago when the town’s 1960s Oakley class lifeboat into the museum, on East Promenade.
The site is due to open for the season from April 1 and the extension and is due to be finished in July.
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