The 'Alfred Corry'
The 'Alfred Corry' was built by Beeching Brothers of Great Yarmouth in 1893 at a cost of £490.7s.6d. The money was provided by the RNLI who used money left to them by a Mr A.J.Corry (born in Kensington) who had died at the age of 34. It is said that although Mr Corry had no connection with the sea as such, the Cork lifeboat had saved his parents.
'Norfolk & Suffolk' type, non-selfrighting, sailing and rowing lifeboat, she is 44ft
1in long by 13ft wide (not including her belting), and had 2 masts, dipping lug on
foremast, standing lug on mizzen.
The weight of the boat without gear (and crew) was 8.3 tons. The crew numbered 18.
The new boat replaced the old 'London Coal Exchange' No.1 lifeboat, and joined the smaller No.2 lifeboat 'Quiver 2'. Both boats were launched up until 1908 from a shed on the beach to the south of the Town. After 1908 the 'Alfred Corry' was moved round into the newly refurbished harbour, and launched from a specially built 'platform' or slipway.
She was launched 41 times on service and saved 47 lives, under her Coxswains, John Cragie 1893-1898, Sam May 1898-1918, and Charles Jarvis for the last 3 months of her service in 1918. In her time she was crewed by men from the local families of Southwold; Palmer, Hurr, Goldsmith, Waters, Upcraft, Ladd, Peck, Stannard, Herrington, Rogers, Took, Barber, Crickmore and Chapman but to name a few. A model hangs of her to this day, in Southwold Church.
After the 'Great War' she was found to be in need of considerable repair , and was condemned and sold out of service to Lord Albermarle, who converted her to a fine yacht named the 'Alba'.
She was renamed the 'Thorfinn' in 1949, and eventually ended up a derelict houseboat at Maldon in Essex by 1976. She was bought by Captain John Cragie (great-grandson of her first Coxwain) and his wife Doreen, who by 1979 had restored her back to a yacht, but this time with her original name, 'Alfred Corry'.
By 1991 she was again in need of costly repairs, and although various options were explored to keep her as a yacht, John and Doreen brought her back to Southwold and started the Trust up to care for her. Stripping her out and restoring her to her Lifeboat form was seen as the only way to ensure that the 'Alfred Corry' survives as a memorial to all those who served in her.
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