‘ADA LEWIS’

The fifth Lifeboat for Newbiggin was provided from a gift of £1000 from the late Mrs. Lewis-Hill of No.16 Grosvenor Square, London and was named as desired by her, ‘Ada Lewis’. She was a ‘Standard’ 37 foot Lifeboat and had the same dimensions as the ‘Robert and Susan’ however at 3ton 2cwt she was
over 1ton lighter and therefore more easily moved by the shorehelpers. This ‘Standard’ type boat was the 100th out of a total build of 109. It is worth noting that ‘Standard’ boat 102 was called ‘Richard Ashley’, a name that was to be fixed to a later Newbiggin Lifeboat some 43 years on, in 1950.
The boat builder was the Thames Ironworks Company of Blackwall, London and she cost £979. It was delivered to Newbiggin via the Great Eastern & Continuous Railways on December 17th, 1906. Modifications to the existing carriage were carried out by the Bristol Wagonworks Company and completed in readiness for the arrival of the new Lifeboat.

New Lifeboat Named
On July 27th, 1907 the ‘Ada Lewis’ Lifeboat was named by Mrs. Burdon of Hartford Hall in front of a large crowd of over 7,000 people. Mrs. Burdon and members of her party were taken to sea in the Lifeboat during which time a coble in difficulties was come across with two small boys on board. The coble and its occupants were brought safely ashore.
The Blyth News and Wansbeck Telegraph carried the following report;
‘Exciting rescue at Newbiggin – The new Lifeboat’s timely arrival – An unrehearsed incident and one singularly appropriate to the occasion occurred on Saturday afternoon at Newbiggin in connection with the naming and launching of the new Lifeboat. After the Lifeboat had been named by Mrs. Burdon of Hartford Hall it was launched to the accompanying cheers of a large crowd of people who had gathered to witness the interesting ceremony. The boat containing several ladies and members of the local Committee was been rowed in the bay when two boys were seen making a signal of distress from a small pleasure boat about half a mile from the shore. A stiff westerly wind was blowing and the little boat was drifting helplessly out to sea around the Church Point. Coxswain Watson Brown took in the situation at a glance and soon the Lifeboat was speeding over the billows towards the pleasure boat. The two lads both about 15 years old were taken aboard the Lifeboat and brought ashore with their boat towed back. The boys were from the Ashington District. The incident was watched by thousands of people on the shore’.