St Abbs lifeboat supporter takes a spin in new boat

Boyd Tunnock checks out the new St Abbls lifeboat
Boyd Tunnock checks out the new St Abbls lifeboat

St Abbs new lifeboat carried its first passenger last week - the crew gave Boyd Tunnock, who donated £260,000 towards buying the new boat, a trip round the harbour.

A keen sailor Boyd Tunnock, who runs the Scottish family bakery Tunnock, initially donated £10,000 towards the Support St Abbs Lifeboat appeal after the RNLI ended 104 years of providing a lifeboat service at St Abbs, where the marine reserve is very popular with divers.

When Euan Gibson, a member of the Support St Abbs Lifeboat team rang to thank Boyd for the donation, by the end of the conversation the money had risen to £260,000 on the proviso the boat was named after Boyd’s grandfather and late brother.

Unable to make it to St Abbs to see the boat arrive last month, 83 year old Boyd came to visit the crew and their new boat last week.

“As an avid sailor, he was very interested in the onboard systems, and spent a good while being shown round the boat,” said Euan.

“He didn’t take much persuading when offered a run round St Abbs Head with two of our coxwains. We could tell from the big smile on his return that he thoroughly enjoyed the 40 minute experience,and in turn we are very grateful for his generosity....he even brought lunch for everyone.

“The fact that he also brought a boot full of Tunnocks teacakes and caramel wafers for our crew was also very welcome!

“We look forward to welcoming him back on September 17, to officially launch the ‘Thomas Tunnock’.”

The crew and supporters are preparing for the official launch which will be one of the biggest events St Abbs has ever seen.