For the Lifeboats!

As all of the very few people who read my blog will know, I am a big supporter of the RNLI. The charity has been close to my heart since childhood, I used to build lifeboats out of lego bricks, subscribe to Stormy Stan’s monthly magazine and became known as Lifeboat Lolly. I recall with glee the fantastic opportunity I had once to sit on the Atlantic 75 stationed at Hunstanton Lifeboat Station. As I grew up into a bigger lifeboat lolly I dropped the name but didn’t drop the passion for the charity, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to ride aboard the Sheerness Trent class lifeboat in the Thames Estuary and with my friend @geekyjames visited all almost all of the lifeboat stations in the North West Wales area in one day.


Getting married is of course a huge life milestone and it wouldn’t be right to not acknowledge the RNLI in some way during such a big event - so we did. I am incredibly proud and honoured to say that on our wedding day we were able to raise £691.43 for the RNLI. It was absolutely fantastic to see such generosity from everyone and while it may not be the best part of the day (that was marrying Mrs Andrews!) it was absolutely up there with the warmest and most lovely part of the day and year. I stomped around Commissioners House in by big stupid yellow wellies shaking a fund-raising bucket and was met with nothing but eager desire for everyone to do their bit for the lifeboats. So to all who contributed on our special day - thank you! A special thank you also to Eileen and John Allison of the Medway RNLI Fundraising branch who were incredibly helpful and kind in providing literature, goodies and the famous lifeboat buckets which made everything very special.


As mentioned in my previous post, it was totally coincidental that in getting married at Commissioner’s House meant that we were right next door to the biggest collection of historic RNLI Lifeboats. Frankly, it would be rude to to take advantage of that fact and so we wandered over passing cheering visitors to have a few photos. My particular favourite is the photo below, where in totally agreeable circumstances we stood aboard a Arun Class lifeboat! Thank you to Mrs Andrews for putting up with me just minutes after being married!


Whitstable Regatta

This weekend Victoria and I ventured to Whitstable for the regatta and a day out. The regatta was rather odd, there were very few boats, it was no equivalent to Cowes! Perhaps we missed the events somehow. Nonetheless we still had a fantastic time, Whitstable is one of the best parts of Kent, it is on the sea, has a fantastic brewery and isn't that far from home! Of course it's most famous for it's oysters, but despite temptation we agreed to leave them until next time. 


Despite the lack of waterborne craft we still managed to get a lifeboat selfie, as it has become somewhat habitual. Interestingly this vessel isn't from Whitstable, I'm pretty sure it's the Leonard Kent from Margate and the crew came in for the day. 

Port Issac Lifeboat Station

I'm not going to beat around the bush here... I've seen better kept stations. It appears to have been attacked by seagulls! Port Issac Is a tiny town on the north coast of Cornwall between Tintagnel and Padstow, it's become famous for being the set for the ITV series Doc Martin. It's an operational fishing port with some lovely pubs and spectacular scenery. port_issac_lifeboat_station_c


There is only a small D-Class dinghy based at Port Issac, the boat is named Copeland Bell (ON D-707). 

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

This was kind of a good birthday. It's not often that it falls on a Saturday, and even less often that is is followed by plenty of annual leave. This birthday @tigziefc and I went to Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Broadstairs was lovely, we had a quick go on the penny pushers and even won a prize from the tickets! After that we got to see two lifeboats! bembridge_lifeboat_selfie_c

Above is the the oldest Mersey class lifeboat still in service with the RNLI RNLB Peggy and Alex Caird (ON 1124, Op. No. 12-001). She was last briefly stationed at Dungeness as a relief vessel while their lifeboat had some work performed in Ramsgate. Prior to being stationed at Dungeness she was stationed at Bembridge between 2009-2011 while a new station was constructed for their Tamar class vessel. It's not clear why she was out of the water in Ramsgate, although presumably she is waiting for her next relief assignment, perhaps undergoing some maintenance.


Above is Ramsgate Lifeboat Station. RNLB Esme Anderson (ON 1197, Op. No. 14-02) can be seen in the water, she is a Trent class vessel which has been stationed at Ramsgate since her construction in 1994. A blue davit can be seen at station level which is used to launch Ramsgate's inshore lifeboat Bob Turnbull (ON B-765) a Atlantic-75 class rigid inflatable. rnlb_peggy_alex_caird_c