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Anstruther's station history


Six Medals have been awarded to the crew of Anstruther, one Gold, four Silver and one Bronze, the last being awarded in 2013.

This station was established in 1865 at the request of the local fishermen, who subscribed among themselves £60 towards the cost of the station.  The Institution sent a 32’ pulling lifeboat with 10 oars, built out of a gift of £600 from a lady in Cheltenham.

In the early days there was an arrangement approved by the local committee whereby there were seven coxswains each with his own crew and all took their turn for services and exercises.


Silver Medal awarded to coastguard K McCulloch for saving by boat the master and two seaman of the Sloop Vine when it struck the bar at Elie Harbour and was wrecked on 6 March.


Gold Medal Bar awarded to coastguard Lt Henry E Randall and Silver Lifeboat to coastguard Kenneth McCulloch for rescuing the Master and six crew of the schooner Wanderer that was wrecked at Elie in a violent storm on 2 February 1833 (Lt Randall first won a gold in 1825 at Aberdeen for service to Devonan).

Silver Medals awarded to A Murray and J Mason, both coastguards, for saving by boat the master and four men of the Schooner John in difficulties in bad weather on 3 December 1833.


Lifeboat house built on land given by Harbour Board.


Water service provided.


District Inspector reported that in consequence of the peculiar organisation of this station which had six coxswains and full crew for the boat, it was not practicable to appoint a paid bowman.


Mortar was substituted for the rocket signal, the latter being considered dangerous to vessels lying in the harbour.


Decided to remove the mortar and supply a handbell to summon the crew.


There were five unpaid coxswains at this station and the men were willing for the number to be reduced to four.


Discontinued the practice of having several coxswains and appointed a Coxswain Superintendent.


New lifeboat house and slipway constructed at a cost of over £1,600.


HRH The Duchess of Gloucester named the station’s new Oakley class lifeboat on 28 July.  The lifeboat was a gift of Dr Nora Allan and named The Doctors in memory of her father and three brothers.  Dr Allan’s father and two of her brothers were doctors.  The boathouse was adapted for the new Oakley class lifeboat, carriage and tractor.

Centenary Vellum sent to station.


The boathouse was extended and modernised along with the slipway which was refurbished for the new Mersey class lifeboat. Oakley class lifeboat withdrawn and replaced by a Mersey.


Two-storey extension to the starboard side of the boathouse was constructed.  This included improved crew facilities.


Relief lifeboat D-552 Global Marine was placed on service for 12 months evaluation on 21 May 2003.


At the Operations Committee Meeting on 4 February 2004 and the Trustee Committee Meeting on 31 March 2004 the proposal to co-locate a D class ILB at Anstruther was discussed.  The Trustee Committee resolved that a D class ILB be co-located at Anstruther.


For services to the Institution, former Coxswain John Murray has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the recent Birthday Honours:  Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).


The station was refurbished and extended to provide and permanently house a D Class ILB   D-667 at a cost of £273,000.


Bronze Medal awarded to Helmsman Barry Gourlay in recognition of his courage boat handling skill, initiative and leadership in very difficult sea conditions when the lifeboat saved the lives of two in the early hours of 1 August 2012. The service was conducted in complete darkness with south east by east force 5 winds, heavy rain and a three metre swell. The motor vessel Princess had been driven ashore on rocks near Sauchope beach and was breaking up. Helmsman Gourlay skilfully manoeuvred the lifeboat alongside the starboard side of the Princess where she was made secure for the crew to assist the two people onto the lifeboat. After a difficult passage to seaward, the casualties were transferred onto Anstruther’s all weather lifeboat and both lifeboats returned safely to shore. Crew members Euan Hoggan and Rebecca Jewell were both accorded the Thanks of the Institute inscribed on Vellum for their professionalism, teamwork and commitment to the service.