PBCC Lend Helping Hand to Restoration and Re launch of 2nd World War Military Boat.

The 31st January 2015 saw large crowds gathered at Bridgwater Docks to watch the launch of a refurbished 73ft Second World War Motor Torpedo Boat MTB219.

In February 1942 the 219 was one of a pack of five Motor Torpedo Boats which attempted to attack the German battle cruisers: Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen as they dashed through the English Channel, protected by destroyers, E-Boats and the Luftwaffe. Although the attack was unsuccessful and the battle cruisers managed to get through, none of them were ever able to return to attack allied shipping in the Atlantic again.

The MTB 219 also excelled herself in rescuing a number of downed Fairey Swordfish aircrew. Others weren’t so lucky. Of the eighteen young men of the Fleet Air Arm who flew the wood and fabric bombers, only five survived the battle

Following 15 months restoration work, MTB219 the last one left of her type and a veteran of the famous ‘Channel Dash’, was loaded by crane from her temporary ‘dry berth’ at PBCC members Mr & Mrs Newman’s secure storage yard and transported by specialist lorry for a two mile journey through the town centre to make her way back to the water.

The town’s mayor and mayoress were in attendance, together with other dignitaries. Members of the PBCC provided hot food and drinks throughout the day.

The Sea Cadet band played MTB219 to the dockside. Moving speeches were made by the various dignitaries including The Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Steve Austen, The Chair of Sedgemoor Council Cllr Peter Downing, and the owner of MTB219 Mr Paul Childs who is CIC of Militaryboats.org.

The volunteers and all those who had helped with the restoration project were thanked, and a special thanks was given to the members of the PBCC and the Newman family for the use of their storage yard, workshop facilities, their support, their time, and the enthusiasm of the volunteers……..without this Mr Childs said “this project simply couldn’t have happened”.

A wreath was fastened to MTB219 to remember those who had served on her; she was showered with champagne, and lowered to the water.

The following images and videos are for the readers’ interest.

(1)MTB219 arrives at the yard after its journey from Chelsea, London Oct 2013

MTB219 arrives at the yard after its journey from Chelsea, London Oct 2013

(2)Starting the restoration process on the right side of the boat

Starting the restoration process on the right side of the boat

(3)	Early start to provide refreshments for the transport and MTB219 crew

(3)Early start to provide refreshments for the transport and MTB219 crew

Early start to provide refreshments for the transport and MTB219 crew

(4)The Mayor of Bridgwater looks on as action starts

The Mayor of Bridgwater looks on as action starts

Leaving storage yard

Leaving storage yard

(6)Narrow streets en route to Bridgwater Docks

Narrow streets en route to Bridgwater Docks

(7)Bridgwater Sea Cadet’s start the launch ceremony

Bridgwater Sea Cadet’s start the launch ceremony

The Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Steve Austen addresses the crowd

The Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Steve Austen addresses the crowd

(9)Mr Paul Childs speaks to members of the PBCC, The Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Steve Austen and The Chair of Sedgemoor Council Cllr Peter Downing.

Mr Paul Childs speaks to members of the PBCC, The Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Steve Austen and The Chair of Sedgemoor Council Cllr Peter Downing.

(10)Lowering MTB219 into the water

Lowering MTB219 into the water

(11)MTB219 takes pride of place in Bridgwater Docks

MTB219 takes pride of place in Bridgwater Docks

MTB 219 Restoration Speech 1



MTB 219 Restoration Speech 2


12 thoughts on “PBCC Lend Helping Hand to Restoration and Re launch of 2nd World War Military Boat.”

  1. *friend* says:

    Well done the Newman family! Love to have seen the boat squeezing through those narrow streets! Good community spirit shown once again 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Quack says:

    Water laugh! Well done Mr Simon!!! Very impressed. All looks in ‘ship-shape’!

    1. PAGW says:

      that really floats my boat!

  3. tommy says:

    thats totally brill….i cant belive the monstorsity of that huuuuuge ship!!
    i’d luv 2 hav been there!!!xx

  4. Jes says:

    Simon strikes again !
    Good show old boy and well done for playing a part in preserving the history of Great Britain.
    What we owe to the WW generations could not be overstated, and work like this is part of a tribute to their sacrifice.
    Thank you to all involved.

  5. Camo says:

    For those that can’t get the sound working in the video, try right clicking on the video, and selecting ‘switch to Flash’
    Cheers

  6. CJ says:

    Very interesting, but, again, like the other recent post, there doesn’t seem to be any sound with the video. Can this be fixed?

  7. PAGW says:

    Brilliant effort!

    Good to see some important history being preserved for us young people.

    Would love to come and see MBT129 one day.

  8. Rhian Childs says:

    Some really good photos – thanks for making Launch Day such a good day!

    Thanks for all your help throughout the project, we really couldn’t have done it without your support!

    on behalf of all at http://www.militaryboats.org

  9. Rhian Childs says:

    Some fantastic photos- MTB219 really looks good.

    Thanks for all your help – we really couldn’t have done it without you!!

    On behalf of all at http://www.militaryboats.org

  10. bob says:

    Well done Newman’s!

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