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Volunteers help ready unusual boat for Jubilee celebrations
3:00pm Sunday 15th April 2012 in News
HARD-WORKING volunteers have gathered at one of the county's most well-known waterfronts to prepare a former lifeboat for its part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Iris O’Faith – a 52ft, 30-ton, one-time RNLI lifeboat, which is now owned by Guy Thompson, 46, of Danbury – will be part of the 1,000-vessel pageant on the River Thames, organised to commemorate the monarch’s 60-year reign in style.
Mr Thompson was joined by 20 friends and crew members at Heybridge Basin, where his vessel is moored, to help repaint it and carry out engineering tasks ahead of the celebrations in June.
The father of three also plans to restore its old service name, John and Frances Macfarlane, in the coming weeks.
He said: “It’s a great big thing. It takes forever. We have a chap who helps us at home and he’s extremely skilled so he has helped a lot.
“It just absorbs insane amounts of time and work, but we have made a huge amount of progress.
“The crucial part of the painting was the orange because orange fades quite quickly."
The motor barge, Izambard, Topsail Charters’ Hydrogen, and the Thames Sailing Barge Trust’s Pudge, which are all regularly moored in Maldon, will also be part of the 12½-mile flotilla.