Boat restoration project sets sail at Eyemouth

Steve Frew, Commonwealth Games Gymnastic Gold Medalist with Johnny Johnson and George Shaw
Steve Frew, Commonwealth Games Gymnastic Gold Medalist with Johnny Johnson and George Shaw

A 90-year-old fishing fifie will be a regular sight sailing along the Berwickshire coastline after ‘old sea dogs’ and ‘young pups’ joined forces to restore her to her former glory.

The Good Hope had her official launch and renaming ceremony at Saltgreens Quay, Eyemouth, at the weekend.

Among those attending was former Commonwealth Games gold medal gymnast Steve Frew, who made history for Scotland when he won the men’s rings event at the 2002 Manchester Games.

Now an athletics mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, he visits schools to inspire and motivate youngsters and happened to be visiting Eyemouth while the boat project was underway last year.

Hearing about it he went to the Harbour Road yard where the fishing boat was being restored and at the weekend returned to the town to see for himself the end result.

The former ‘Robina Inglis’, now the ‘Good Hope’, spent six months in Dicksons Yard, as members of Berwickshire Maritime Trust worked on her alongside six school leavers.

The trust joined forces with Connect, Berwickshire Youth Trust, who supervised the six-month apprenticeship programme for the youngsters. And Drysdales vegetable processing plant at Cockburnspath, keen to encourage youngsters to gain skills and prepare themselves for work, funded the apprenticeships.

Former Eyemouth harbour master Johnny Johnston headed the restoration project and now that the ‘Good Hope’ is back in the water he will be at the helm when youngsters sail in the fifie to St Abbs and back experiencing sailing as fishermen would have done a century ago. Weekly trips are also planned during the summer holidays as part of Connect’s summer programme for Berwickshire youngsters.

Different generations working together and youngsters being encouraged to broaden their horizons is something Frew approves of. “I wanted to be a part of something that inspires and supports young people’s lives,” he said.