A supper given for the Brigade was overshadowed by the death of Sub-Inspector Pickering in an accident on the Tyne.
Fatal Accident to a River-Police Officer. —Last night, a fatal accident occurred on the Tyne to one of the oldest members of the River Police Force. It appears that Sub-Inspector Richard Pickering, accompanied by his son-in-law, Christopher Nelson, left the South Shields station between six and seven o'clock, and were proceeding down the south side of the harbour when they came in contact with a wherry under sail, and the boat was crushed between the wherry and the steamtug Elswick. Nelson managed to escape unhurt, but Pickering was so severely injured -some of his ribs and one of his arms being broken —that he died shortly afterwards. Deceased was 50 years of age, and had been a member of the River Police Force since its commencement in 1845.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 7 January 1873
South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade
The Late Sub-Inspector Pickering
Last night, the members of this brigade met together at the Watch House on the South Pier, to partake of a supper, kindly given by Mr Thompson of the Marine Hotel, Ocean Road, that gentleman being anxious to show his appreciation of the services of the volunteers. About 70 accepted the invitation, and did ample justice to the substantial fare provided. The chair was occupied by Mr Malcolm, hon. sec., who expressed his pleasure at being present and seeing many of his brother brigadesmen. He alluded in very feeling terms to the sudden death of Sub.-Inspector Pickering, who was killed at the Mill Dam on the previous night. Mr Pickering had been a member of the brigade from its commencement, and, by his steadiness, civility, and attention to his duties, had won the respect all his comrades. Captains M. Cay, jun., and Mabane, also bore testimony to the worth of the deceased and it was resolved, on the motion of the Chairman, to turn the meeting into one of sympathy with the widow and orphans who had been suddenly bereft. A subscription list was at once opened, and about £70 collected in the room. We understand a subscription list is also lying at the National Provincial Bank. The circumstances of Mr Pickering's death cast a gloom over what would have been otherwise a very enjoyable evening.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 8 January 1873
Funeral of Sub-Inspector Pickering —On Saturday afternoon, the remains of the late Sub-Inspector Pickering, of the River Police, who was killed on the Tyne in a collision on Monday night last, were interred in the Westoe Cemetery. The funeral escort was composed of a strong muster of the River Police, commanded by Supt. Stephens; of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, commanded by Capt Cay; and a large number of the Free Gardeners, in which order deceased had been enrolled.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 13 January 1873
A lighter went ashore on the South Pier.The crew of two hands were rescued by the Brigade.
The Annual Meeting was held in the Watch House.
The Swimming Club Annual Regatta again included a race for brigadesmen and pilots.
PRIZES TO BE COMPETED FOB MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE AND PILOTS OF SOUTH SHlELDS—Distance 300 Yards. 1st Prize, Egg Stand, given by W. Black, J. P. 2nd Prize, Silver Mug, given by Messrs Crisp and Hails.
Competitors—John Burn, Wm. Young, and Geo. Tinmouth.
As usual great interest was taken in this contest. The number of starters, however, was reduced to the minimum, three being required to compete for two prizes, and only that number out of six entries presenting themselves. Tinmouth led from the commencement, and was a long way ahead until near the end the course, when Burn made rapid strides upon him, and came in a splendid second, not more than a yard behind him. Young made poor work of it, and did not swim the length the course.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 24 July 1873
The Brigade received its annual inspection.
SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE.— On Saturday afternoon, the members of this brigade took part a special drill on the South Pier, after which they were officially Inspected.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 September 1873