Campaigners hoping to get the former Allchorn Pleasure Boats back in the water and operating off the coast of Eastbourne again have launched a bid for lottery funding.
More than £500,000 is needed to buy the two boats, the Southern Queen and William Allchorn, from their current owner, restore them and get them working again. They were both built locally and for more than 50 years operated from a beach west of the Pier with daily pleasure cruises out to Beachy Head and beyond. But due to the economic crisis, they fell into a state of disrepair.
A campaign was launched last year by friends Lloyd Stebbings and Jason Foster and the first stage of applying for lottery funding is now underway.
People are being asked to send in letters supporting the application.
Lloyd said, “These two remaining boats are all that is left of 200 years of local boating history. They represent and stand for all that has gone before and if the boats are sold off or are left to rot that door to the past will be closed forever.”
For more information on the appeal visit www.allchornpleasureboattrust.org.uk and donations can be made at Nat West Bank in Eastbourne, account number: 40483509.