Volunteers visit Royal Docks to help restore SS Robin

The SS Robin. Picture: Ambrose Greenway

The SS Robin. Picture: Ambrose Greenway - Credit: Ambrose Greenway

Two historic institutions came together as volunteers from the capital’s oldest housing association helped to restore the country’s oldest complete steam coaster.

Peabody employees volunteering their time to help with the restoration of SS Robin during Volunteers

Peabody employees volunteering their time to help with the restoration of SS Robin during Volunteers Week - Credit: Archant

It was all hands on deck as 12 Peabody staff helped get SS Robin – built in 1890 and now moored in Newham’s Royal Victoria Dock – ship shape and Bristol fashion as part of National Volunteers’ Week.

They scraped and sanded the deck area of the bridge in preparation for the it being oiled and helped bail the bilges before labelling and cataloguing unidentified tools, historic documents and artefacts in the archive

Peabody 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 our team 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.

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Built in 1890 at Thames Ironworks shipyard on the River Lea, SS Robin is the last complete steamer in the world.

Clare Wincza, SS Robin’s engagement manager said volunteers were “paramount” to SS Robin, adding: “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.”

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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, amounting to 14,000 hours per year

Visit ssrobin.org to find out more about volunteering opportunities.

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