Newham treasure receives a makeover
How our staff helped to restore the oldest complete steam coaster, SS Robin, during Volunteers' Week (1-7 June).
Twelve members of Peabody staff (below) helped to restore the Newham 'resident with a difference' by volunteering their time. They scraped and sanded the deck area of the bridge in preparation for deck oil being applied and also bailed the bilges.
Volunteers also became historians for the day, identifying, photographing, labelling and cataloguing unidentified tools, objects and artefacts including some historic plans and documents in the archive. Then then finished the day rolling oakum, which is used for caulking the decks.
Peabody’s Chief Executive, Stephen Howlett said:
"Our staff are lucky to get involved in many wonderful activities within our communities. SS Robin was an extraordinary opportunity for Peabody staff to work shoulder-to-shoulder with an exceptional range of local and national expertise, along with an experienced team of staff, volunteers and enthusiastic supporters.
"This allowed them to go behind the scenes and get involved in restoring this historic ship which was built in 1890, so future generations can visit and learn about this piece of history which is now moored just one mile from where she was built."
Clare Wincza, SS Robin’s Engagement Manager who has been working in partnership with Peabody to encourage involvement of local residents as part of her restoration and the future use of the ship, said:
"Volunteers are paramount to SS Robin. They have really been a great help and we would like to thank them for their time and hard work. With their help, we will be able to continue to offer guided tours, so local residents can go behind the scenes on board the ship and learn about the conservation currently being undertaken and our plans for the future."
SS Robin history
SS Robin is a national treasure which is currently moored at London’s Royal Victoria Dock, opposite the ExCel Centre (before taking to her place at the western end of the dock). Built in 1890 at Thames Ironworks shipyard on the River Lea, she is the last of her type in the world. Her incredible story is one of risk, enterprise, determination and endurance.
Peabody employees volunteered their time as part of the organisation’s Peabody Promise which allows individuals to volunteer two days of their time each year to benefit community groups and projects across London. This amounts to 14,000 hours per year.
Readers wishing to find out more about SS Robin and volunteering opportunities should log on to www.ssrobin.org
We run lots of exciting programmes and activities – the vast majority are free and open to everyone. Download the Peabody Community Foundation Annual Report, 2018 (pdf, 2mb) to learn more.