Chairman Chris Carolan is one of the founding members of Sunderland Maritime Heritage (SMH). He was vice-chairman for around 14 years, before becoming chairman.
Chris has been interested in boats and marine activities for the last 50 years. He has owned a number of boats and has a lot of experience in repairing and renovating small boats.
Chris is currently the project manager in the restoration of the Willdora.
Vice Chairman, Fundraising Manager & Marine Engineering Manager – Jim joined SMH in October 2015, initially to work on Willdora’s engine. He was subsequently invited to join the Board of Trustees and in February 2018 became Vice-Chairman. Jim trained as a Marine Engineer in the Merchant Navy, serving 4 years deep sea on various cargo vessels. He then worked at the Wear dockyard as a Marine Fitter. Jim then pursued a career in the oil and gas industry, progressing to Offshore Installation Manager, before moving on shore to manage a gas terminal on Teesside. Jim took early retirement in December 2015 and spent his last three years working in Shetland, managing the Sullom Voe oil and gas terminal.
Treasurer – Ian started volunteering for SMH in 2015. One of his first jobs as an Administration Assistant was to sort out the heritage centre’s collection of maritime-themed books. He became treasurer in 2016.
Trustee & Electrical Engineering Manager Bob joined SMH when he moved to Sunderland in 2016. Bob has been interested in boats since he was a lad. He learnt to sail in his father’s dinghy when he was just 8-years-old and went on to sail and maintain father’s various sailing cruisers. He acquired mechanical skills and trained as an Electronics and Electrical Engineer, which equipped him for a 32-year career in aerospace. Bob retired in 2002 and is currently part-time lecturer and module tutor for the University of Warwick. He has also owned a canal narrowboat for 25 years and sailed as Assistant Engineer on the tall ships Stavros S Niarchos and Prince William. He has also undertaken all of the wiring work on Willdora.
Capt. Peter Johnson
Trustee & Health & Safety Manager Peter has been a volunteer with SMH since 2016. Peter joined the Merchant Navy in 1971 at the age of 16 and sailed worldwide on a variety of ships. He progressed through the ranks as Third Mate, Second Mate and Chief Officer, before becoming a Master Mariner in 1985. He served as a Master Mariner for 16 years. He then came ashore and worked for two different shipping companies over 12 years, as Marine Superintendent. Peter is now a skipper on small passenger vessels on the River Tyne and Water Patrol Officer on the River Wear.
Martin is a local lad from Red House. As a retired joiner and lecturer he volunteers at Sunderland Maritime Heritage (SMH as the workshop manager.
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