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Seaham Harbour Lifeboat Disaster Song Recorded At EDC

East Durham College was proud to host and help produce a very special recording of a song about the George Elmy Lifeboat tragedy which happened off the coast of Seaham nearly 50 years ago.

The East Durham Heritage Group approached the College to ask if they could use the recording studio to record the song called ‘Seaham Harbour Lifeboat Disaster’, so they could produce CDs to help raise funds towards the restoration of George Elmy.

A group of over 20 school children sang on the track along with Seaham born and internationally renowned operatic baritone Sir Thomas Allen CBE.

The children, from Years 3 to 6, were all from local Seaham schools; St Cuthbert’s R.C. Primary School, Ropery Walk Primary School , Seaview Primary School, St. Mary Magdalen's R.C. Primary School, Seaham Trinity Primary School and Westlea Primary School.

Sir Thomas, who travelled from London where he now lives, said: “It has been a privilege to be involved with The George Elmy Lifeboat Project and to help to contribute to this special recording.

“I can still picture the sea and waves that day, I’ve never seen it look that rough before or since.

“The tragic events affected the whole community and deeply touched everybody who lived in Seaham. I’m proud to be part of this fundraising effort.”

The guitar on the track was played by guitar maker Terry Docherty, from Ashington, who was asked to play on the track by the song’s writer Ed Pickford.

The song was written in 1962 (the year of the disaster) by Ed Pickford, a folk singer/songwriter who lives in Roker.

The East Durham Heritage Group purchased the George Elmy for £1,800 when Brian Scollen saw her for sale on eBay in April 2009. Since then they have been raising funds to restore George Elmy to her former glory. The target was in excess of £95,000.

The boat is currently in South Shields where the restoration is underway and the group hope ‘she will be coming home’ to Seaham next June - 50 years since the disaster, in which 9 people lost their lives.

The dead included all five crew members of the George Elmy and four fishermen they had just rescued, one of whom was a 9 year old boy. Only one person, who was on the fishing coble Economy, survived.

For detail on how to purchase a copy of the CD please contact Brian Scollen on 0191 581 7240 or 07742 487 804 or email at bscollen@yahoo.com

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