JANE HANNA MACDONALD III
1940 Jane Hanna LN98
Type: R.N.L.I. Lifeboat
Length: 35ft 6ins
Beam: 8ft 6ins
Displacement: Not known
Engine: 10 oars, lugsail ketch
Construction: Mahogany on oak
Builder: Thames Iron Works, Blackwall
The Jane Hannah MacDonald III (JHM III) was the third gift of Mrs Jane Hannah MacDonald of Brighton to the RNLI in the late 19th. Century. JHM III was built at the Thames Iron Works & Ship Building Company in Blackwall, East London in 1909 at a cost of £931 with the Thames Iron Works Production Number: TL56.
The Jane Hannah MacDonald Lifeboat is a fine example of a Self-Righting, ‘Pulling & Sailing’ ketch rig of standing lugsails rigged Lifeboat. Built with two drop keels, 10 oars and weighing just short of 4 tons, registered with the RNLI: ON611 in 1910.
Still before the war, schoolboy Graham Chase saw her advertised in a yachting magazine and persuaded his father Bernard to buy her. He remembered that she was 'in marvellous condition.' When she was called to go to Dunkirk, George and 'Fat Freddie' Long took Jane Hannah to Newhaven, where the Royal Navy took charge of her. It was reported that she was so heavily laden with troops at Dunkirk that the water came up through her valves. Afterwards, when Bernard Chase had given up all hope of getting his boat back, he discovered that she had been found floating in the English Channel and towed home. She was sold to Billy Long who used her for musselling and was later seen as a fishing boat on the NE Coast. Her end seemed to have come when she was left rotting, far from the sea, in the railway yard at Kidsgrove in the Midlands.
But the strangest things happen to Dunkirk Little Ships. Simon Evans, a British boatbuilder and lifeboat enthusiast who has settled in France, took pity on her and got someone to put her on a transporter and deliver her to his yard at St. Denis Les Sens. Now Jane Hannah MacDonald is being lovingly restored.