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Coastwatch to hold annual jumble sale
Thursday, 07 June 2012
FOR SAIL: Senior Watch Keeper Dave Price and Station Manager Paul Roberts prepare for this weekend’s jumble sale. Picture by Mark Cleveland
THE CANVEY Island branch of Coastwatch will hold its annual boat jumble on Sunday.
The sale will help raise funds towards a new station for the volunteers.
The group watch the waters around the island 365 days per year, reporting any swimmers or vessels in distress to the Coastguard.
Coastwatch – a national organisation – was set up in 1994 after the Conservative government closed down most small Coastguard stations in the UK.
Two Cornish fisherman drowned right underneath a recently closed Coastguard station and the National Coastwatch Institution was born.
The Canvey Island branch opened in 1999.
The volunteers currently operate from a station at Holehaven, close to the Lobster Smack, but are seeking planning approval for a new station on the south eastern side of the island.
Station manager Paul Roberts said: “There is nothing wrong with the old station as such, but it is in a place that gives us a very narrow view of the Thames.”
Volunteer Anne Cooper said: “Where we are, we have a lovely view of all the bigger vessels like the oil tankers, but those vessels aren’t really the ones that need our assistance.
“By moving to the South East of the Island, near the Labworth Café, we’ll be able to keep an eye on smaller boats and swimmers all the way to Southend.”
The new station is expected to cost roughly £70,000.
The group’s annual boat jumble is one of several fundraisers which pay for the upkeep of the existing station and will raise money towards its replacement.
Mrs Cooper said: “The public have always looked after us but times are very tough these days so we’re having to really push the fundraising. We also have very generous people and organisations who donate to us, like the rotary clubs and the Masonic lodges.”
Organisers said the boat jumbles at the Eastwood Nursery off the A127, would offer ‘thousands of boating bargains’ across up to 100 stalls.
The sale will run between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, June 10. Entrance is £4 per adult but free for kids. Parking is also free.
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