Cruise up the coast thanks to charity

The NIFCA patrol vessel, St Aidan.
The NIFCA patrol vessel, St Aidan.

Four lucky youngsters spent a day aboard a fishing patrol vessel as their reward for winning a competition held by the Corporation of the Newcastle upon Tyne Trinity House.

The Corporation is a maritime charity run by brethren which received its first Royal Charter from King Henry VIII.

The brethren moved into their present quarters, Trinity House, more than 500 years ago.

The Corporation’s many maritime functions have diminished over the years including the very well-respected free school it ran.

Although the school is now closed, the brethren have maintained a strong educational function.

Over the years, this has morphed into arranging a programme of educational visits for youngsters who have demonstrated an interest in the sea.

The aim of the visits is to provide extracurricular help to stimulate their interest and increase their knowledge of the variety and range of occupations encompassed within the region’s maritime industry.

A regular host is the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (NIFCA) and as a result of a successful visit earlier this year, the organisation offered a day trip on its patrol vessel, St Aidan, for four youngsters.

With more than two dozen Sea Cadet and Sea Scout units on their books (totalling more than 650 youngsters), the brethren were hard-pressed who to choose so they organised a competition.

The four winners were Liam Graham, Matthew Casson, Bethan Miller and Charlotte Beardsley, from the Junior Section of the Newburn Sea Cadets, based in Lemington, Newcastle.

They sailed from Royal Quays Marina in North Shields up the coast to Coquet Island.