A HISTORIC Walton lifeboat motored along the water to London to inspire the founders of a new heritage trust.

The James Stevens No:14 is a retired lifeboat and was used to save lives in the Walton waters from 1900.

Frinton and Walton Heritage Trust restored the craft and now work hard to maintain it and display the boat.

Last week heritage trust bosses took the James Stevens to London to the Thames Ironworks, where it was created in 1899.

A group of West Ham United football club fans have recently created a Thames Ironworks Heritage Trust.

It has been set up to save the remaining boats made by the ironworks and restore them, before using them to run educational tours around the Olympic Park waters.

Founders hope the scheme will create an employment hub for young people by putting them to work building and restoring boats.

The ancient Walton lifeboat was taken to London to show Thames Ironworks Heritage Trust founders what they could achieve with their project.

Brian Jennings, from Frinton and Walton Heritage Trust, said: “It went very well. We got all the way to the Olympic park and had a very successful meeting with the guys there.

“Hopefully our work with the James Stevens will inspire them and as they progress we hope to be able to offer advice and support if they need it.”

West Ham was originally formed by Thames Ironworks employees.

New heritage trust leaders will apply for grants and lottery funding to kickstart the project.

The James Stevens No:14 cost Frinton and Walton Heritage Trust £250,000 to lovingly restore over a ten year span.

It was originally retired in 1928 and changed hands several times over the following years, being used as a fire boat on the Thames and eventually as a houseboat, before being snapped up by the heritage trust.