Station history

The station was established on Roa Island in 1864 - known as Piel (Barrow).  Renamed Barrow in 1889.

The first motor lifeboat to be placed on the Lancashire coast was sent to Barrow in 1927.

There are traces of five different lifeboat stations in the vicinity.  There is a slipway running out to the East where Roa Islanders moor their boats; there was a position at the end of the old Piel Pier.  The third station was at Barrow when the boat was housed at the Harbour Yard for a short time.  The fourth station was the old Watch Tower with its runways out to the west and south west of the old Piel Pier.  A fifth was the old lifeboat station which did service for many years and the sixth is the present structure opened in 1929.

1864

Lifeboat house constructed on Roa Island at a cost of £240.

1884

Honorary Secretary reported that a new slipway for the lifeboat had been built at the expense of the Furness Railway Company and that they had also provided a lifeboat house for which the Institution paid a rental.

1889

Committee of Management decided that the lifeboat be kept afloat at Barrow.

It was decided that the name of the station be changed from Piel to Barrow as the lifeboat was now stationed at Barrow.

1892

The wooden lifeboat house was transferred from Piel to Barrow and a new slipway constructed.

1898

Decided to transfer the station back to Roa Island.

1899

Piel station closed.

1901

Old Barrow lifeboat house re-erected on a new site.

1902

District Inspector reported launch of lifeboat under the new conditions of trolley and tramway line laid over the beach.

1910

Member of crew washed out of lifeboat on service on 16 January but was rescued.

1913

Lifeboat house moved back and store shed constructed.

1943

Bronze Medals awarded to Motor Mechanic J A Moore and his son, Assistant Mechanic Frank Moore, for a shore boat case on 27 September 1943 when at great personal risk they put out in a small rowing boat in a strong south south westerly wind with a very rough sea at night and rescued the crew of two of the fishing boat Seabird which dragged her anchor on a lee shore.

1952

Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain Roland Moore for the rescue of two people from the yacht Faithful on 13 July.  It was considered that the coxswain handled his boat skilfully in the heavy and confused seas and it needed good judgement and more than average ability to go alongside rapidly yawing boat in the prevailing weather three times without damaging either craft.

1954

The lifeboat launched on three consecutive occasions to the same vessel, the fishing boat Tranquillity.  No similar instance can be traced in the Institution’s records.

1957

Assistant Mechanic John Hughes died following an accident on board pilot boat whilst following his normal occupation.  The Institution voted £10 to widow.

1958

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain Roland Moore when the lifeboat took a sick man off the Morecambe Bay lightvessel on 24/25 September 1958.  There were gusts of wind of nearly hurricane force, the seas were exceptionally rough and the lightvessel was pitching violently and gave no lee.  The sick man was held at the doorway in the bulwarks in the lightvessel’s upper deck and was successfully grabbed by the lifeboat crew at the second attempt.

1964

A celebration Centenary Vellum awarded.

1965

A D class lifeboat sent to station in April, the costs defrayed by the Barrow Round Table.

1974

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Robert Charnley in recognition of the determination, judgement and excellent seamanship he displayed when the lifeboat Herbert Leigh saved the yacht Zelma II which was aground two and a half miles north west of Lowsey Point and rescued her crew of three in a south-south-westerly gale and a very rough sea on 24/25 August.

1986

Boathouse adapted to accommodate the new Tyne class lifeboat.  This included the installation of a new fuel storage tank, a new boathouse exhaust extractor system and alterations to the bilgeways.

1998

New boathouse completed, construction commenced in 1998.

2003

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Mr Peter Nicholson presented to Coxswain Alexander Moore in recognition of his skilful seamanship, leadership and judgement when two men were saved from the sinking yacht Xantho on 20 October 2002.  This was a long service conducted in rough seas, heavy rain and an easterly gale.

2004

Following the visit on 13 October 2003 by the Coast Review delegation, led by Rear Admiral John Tolhurst, it was agreed by the Operations Committee on 4 February 2004 and resolved by the Trustees Committee at their meeting on 31 March 2004 that Barrow Lifeboat Station be allocated a Tamar class lifeboat within two to three years.  It was also resolved that the necessary slipway modifications be carried out and that there be no change to the ILB Cover.

2006

Coxswain Alexander Moore has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Years Honours List.  Member, Order of the British Empire.

2007

Building adaptations to accommodate a Tamar class lifeboat was completed in November at a cost of £1.120,000.

2008

A new Tamar class lifeboat ON1288 Grace Dixon was placed on service on 8 January.  The Lifeboat was funded by Mrs G. Dixon, as well as the generous donations of 23 further legacies, trusts and individuals.

2010

For services to the community in Cumbria the Chairman of Barrow Lifeboat Management Group Captain John William Green  has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the recent Birthday Honours; - Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE).

A new station D-Class D733 Vision of Tamworth was placed on service 14 September 2010.  The Lifeboat was funded by the Tamworth Guild.

MEDAL RECORD

Three Bronze Medals have been awarded, the last being voted in 1958.

FOREIGN AWARD

The Finnish Government awarded a Silver Lifesaving Medal to Coxswain Charnley and Bronze Medals to the crew in recognition of the efforts made to render help when the ss Esbo was wrecked in October 1935.  Similar awards were also made to the Coxswains and crews of the Maryport and Ramsey lifeboats which also put out.