Weston RNLI history book launched

PUBLISHED: 17:56 22 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:56 22 June 2015

John Crockford-Hawley launches his new history book on Weston RNLI.

John Crockford-Hawley launches his new history book on Weston RNLI.

Archant

A BOOK on the history of Weston RNLI has been released to help the life-saving charity raise money to build a new lifeboat station.

Weston historian John Crockford-Hawley spent a year researching and writing RNLI Lifeboat Station Histories: Weston Lifeboat Station.

It details the history of the RNLI in Weston, from 1882 when it was based on Birnbeck Pier, through to the present day and its appeal to build a new lifeboat station by Marine Lake.

Mr Crockford-Hawley said: “The task was to write a book which wasn’t just a record of the launches and rescues, but something that can be readable for the general public but also something I hope the lifeboat personnel will enjoy reading.

“The RNLI records are pretty extensive, and a number of lifeboat people in Weston are so passionate about lifeboats and had lots of information and photographs.

“They were all extremely helpful, not just for providing source material but correcting things.”

Mr Crockford-Hawley said his favourite part of the RNLI’s history was the Calouste Gulbenkian lifeboat, which was used in the 1960s.

He said: “It holds a great deal of memories for me, because I was only a youngster at the time and in the scouts helping to raise money for her and I was invited to the launch on Birnbeck.

“They signalled the crew by firing the maroons, which made this incredible noise so everyone knew when the lifeboats were being called.

“I remember a band playing and the Calouste Gulbenkian going down the slipway with a great splash.

“She was the last of the big boats and could go out in terrible weather.”

Mr Crockford-Hawley will give a talk at the launch on Saturday at 11am in Emmanuel Church in Oxford Street.

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