The boat this week before it was removed. Pic by Brian BaileyThe boat this week before it was removed. Pic by Brian Bailey
The boat this week before it was removed. Pic by Brian Bailey

Historic Hastings fishing boat is removed from outside the station

The fate of one of the last wooden decked fishing boat in Hastings was sealed this week when the boat was removed from the roundabout outside Hastings railway station under the cover of darkness.

The clinker built boat Dorothy Melinda had been on display on an island outside Hastings railway station for the past 15 years. It was the first thing visitors to Hastings see when they arrive in the town by rail.

But Hastings Borough Council said the condition of the boat was seriously deteriorating and claimed it could become a potential hazard. In addition, the lease for the roundabout, which belongs to South Eastern Rail, had expired.

She was due to be removed and demolished at the end of January, due to her deteriorating state, but local man Peter Carney launched a campaign to have her restored and put on display in Hastings old Town, setting up Go Fund Me appeal.

Speaking at the time, Peter said: "She wants tender loving care not a wrecking ball. After the destruction of RX134 Stacey Marie last year, Hastings now has only seven full-size wooden fishing boats left and it could very easily be only four before very long.”

In February he asked the Council for a stay of execution while money was raised and volunteers found to carry out restoration work on her. A Just Giving page was set up to raise funds.

But the council turned down his request informing him ‘the boat is beyond reasonable repair and provides a potential health and safety risk to the public and traffic around the very busy station area’.

Peter said the decision was “hugely disappointing.”

It is believed the boat was removed overnight on Wednesday or during the early hours of Thursday morning this week.

Dorothy Melinda was originally built in Newhaven in 1958 for local fisherman, Jimmy 'Toller' Adams. He fished in her for 26 years, beach-launched from Hastings fishermen's beach, until 1984.

There is now only one wooden decked fishing boat working off Hastings beach.

Local photographer Brian Bailey captured these before and after shots of the boat.