From its earliest days people from all walks of life have been willing to offer their services without any thought of reward or personal recognition in the service of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. Selfless dedication to the cause of preservation of life from shipwreck and safety from danger around the coast has drawn together active members, honorary officers and supporters
upholding the finest traditions of truly voluntary lifesaving service. Since 1866 to date there has been an unbroken succession of people
“Always Ready” to answer the call to help others in distress. The mould was cast in the early days in the figure of Samuel Malcolm,
first Honorary Secretary and Treasurer and first President. It continued at the beginning of the 20th century through a succession of seafaring men such as Captain Robson and carried on in more recent times with Captain Herbert Clavery MBE
and Captain Don Tinning.These two men were the backbone of the Brigade for more than 60 years from the 1930s to the 1990s Former Brigade President John Landells, a much respected and renowned shipping journalist and later local historian saw through
a period of great change and achievement in his time in office.
Current Honorary Treasurer and former Captain Alan Ward has been a member since just after the wreck of the Adelfotis II in 1963
and longserving Honorary Secretary Tom Fennelly has more than 46 years’ service. Current President Janis Blower is a highly respected
local journalist and local historian. These people, their predecessors and successors and all the other officers and members and hundreds
of family members, friends and supporters have created the history of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. Today’s officers and members,
now including a number of women, have inherited a fine legacy. Fathers, sons, brothers and cousins, nephews and friends strive to follow those
who have gone before them. The same common purpose of volunteer lifesaving endeavour has continued to inspire people to volunteer.
Since 1866 people from all walks of life have served with South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. In the early days most of the officers and
men were connected with the sea either as masters, seamen, fishermen, or pilots. Whatever their role and whatever their calling, they were
drawn together by the same bondwhich keeps their successors united in the same cause. Today, some still have seagoing backgrounds
and they are joined by engineers,local government workers and civil servants, offshore workers and surveyors, students and businessmen
and some retired people. There has always been a place in South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade for those who are willing to give up their
time without reward. Today’s team still represents a wide cross-section of the community and they remain “Always Ready”.
Assistant Honorary Secretary : Norman Jensen