Judi Spiers opens Sidmouth Lifeboat boathouse extension

PUBLISHED: 18:22 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:38 18 June 2010

RADIO host Judi Spiers helped open a £90,000, two-storey extension to the Sidmouth Lifeboat boathouse last Friday.

RADIO host Judi Spiers helped open a £90,000, two-storey extension to the Sidmouth Lifeboat boathouse last Friday.

The BBC Radio Devon presenter was among a host of local residents and dignitaries who celebrated the completion of the bid, which has provided Sidmouth's highly-valued crew with a new training area, kit room and showers.

The existing crew room at the front of the building has been renovated, along with

a new toilet and kitchen area.

"I'm very impressed with the three-headed shower, (East Devon MP) Hugo Swire and I were the first in there!" said Patron of the service Judi, who laid the first brick of the project in January.

"It's all to do with the way that first brick is laid, once you put that right it just flies up like an Amish barn." She added.

Judi said she was "thrilled" to support "such a fantastic cause."

Construction work began on January 5 and came was finished on time and budget.

A new single storey garage has been built at the rear of the site to accommodate a

spare tractor.

Fundraiser David Brooks, 23, who hopes to bag £10,000 for Sidmouth Lifeboat by rowing 12,000 miles across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans next year, was also on hand to pay tribute to the crew's work.

"Privileged" David said: "It's such a poignant charity to represent. It's not just what they do as a service but what they provide as a heritage to Sidmouth. It's part of the coastline and the town's history."

All members of the five divisions that operate Sidmouth's service, the only independent lifeboat within the South West, and one of only 36 in the UK, were on hand to enjoy the festivities.

Senior coxswain Simon Sparrow thinks the extension will make a big difference to the crew. He said: "We have a room upstairs so we can actually do some training now. Before we had to take the boat out. We also have somewhere proper to keep our kit.

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