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This Wetherspoon pub is named after the 18th-century boat-builder William Wouldhave. He is also commemorated by the Wouldhave Memorial, at Pier Head, for his part in the invention of the self-righting lifeboat.
Controversy surrounds the origins of the South Shields' lifeboat. Opinion is divided over whether it was invented by William Wouldhave or Henry Greathead. Whatever the truth, the first-ever version, Original, was built in 1789. By 1824, a network of stations had sprung up and the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (now the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - RNLI) had been formed.
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