119-year-old merchant steamer returns to London in 2010

The SS Robin Trust is inviting applications from potential new trustees as it embarks on an ambitious programme to transform and restore the historic merchant vessel.

SS Robin is a traditional raised quarterdeck coastal cargo steamer built at the celebrated Thames Ironworks, Orchard House Yard in Blackwall, East London and launched in 1890. She is one of only three “Grade1” / Core Collection ships in London, alongside Cutty Sark and HMS Belfast and is the only complete example in the world of a coastal cargo steamer.

She plied the coast of the UK and northern France, setting off on a maiden voyage in 1891 from Swansea for Rouen, then to Northfleet on the Thames, then Eastham and Garston on the Mersey, Plymouth, Deauville, Guernsey, London, Rochester, Newport, Swansea, Cherbourg and back again to Northfleet.

A decade later, in May 1900, the Robin Steamship Company sold the vessel to the Spanish firm of Blanco Hermanos y Cia of Llanes in the Basque province of Spain, where she was still in use until the 1970s.

She was to have been broken up in September 1974 but in May of that year, became the property of The Maritime Trust and returned to England.

She is currently in drydock in Lowestoft, Suffolk and is set to return to her home berth in 2010 to take her place as an exciting new London landmark.

What would be involved?
The Trust is preparing to transform the vessel into a multimedia cultural and heritage centre as part of a restoration programme, and has opportunities for new Trustees to join the Board.

Meetings are usually held at 6pm on the first Tuesday of each month in central London. Trustees are expected to attend meetings on a regular basis, and in addition to be able to contribute a minimum of 5-6 hours / month in support of the project and the management team.

Preference will be given to applicants with experience and skills in any of the following fields: maritime, museums, charities/governance, fundraising, education, architecture, construction and engineering

See the SS Robin website for instructions on how to apply

Closing date: 30 August 2009