Station history

This station was established by the Institution in 1864.  The cost of the lifeboat was defrayed by the widow and daughter of Mr R W Hopkins of Preston and named Robert William in his memory.

1864

Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £170.

1880

A member of the crew, J Rimmer died from the crushing of one of his feet by being run over by the carriage when the lifeboat was preparing to take part in a fe^te on the occasion of Lord Derby's visit to Blackpool.

Voted Silver Medal to Coxswain Robert Bickerstaffe for his brave and skilful exertions during the rescue of four people from the schooner Bessie Jones which was wrecked on Salthouse Bank during a heavy north west gale on 26 February.

1885

A new SR lifeboat Samuel Fletcher of Manchester ON74, built at a cost of £74, was placed on service.

1886

Coxswain Robert Bickerstaffe was washed out of the lifeboat but fortunately regained the boat.
Hon Secretary suggested that some better means of summoning the crew after dark than the bell be provided.  A messenger was substituted for the bell.

1887

Coxswain Robert Bickerstaffe awarded the Silver Medal on his retirement.

1896

Institution asked to contribute to local fund to provide new instruments and uniform for the local Lifeboat Band.
A new Watson Class lifeboat, also named Samuel Fletcher of Manchester ON393, built at a cost of £591, was placed on service in December.

1897

Lord Nelson's old Flagship Foudroyant which had been in Blackpool for exhibition purposes was totally wrecked in a gale and a very heavy sea.  Twenty people on board were rescued by the lifeboat.

1904

The promenade was being widened and the lifeboat had to be taken half a mile before reaching the only slipway.

1907

Electric light service provided to lifeboat house.

1923

Honorary Secretary, Mr Tatham, and Station committee member Mr Flowers were awarded aneroid barometers for their services in a shore boat case at Fleetwood.  His son, Joseph Tatham, aged 10, received a copy of 'Britain's Lifeboats'.

1930

Samuel Fletcher of Manchester was withdrawn from service and replaced by the Liverpool Class lifeboat John Rowson Lingard ON542, which was previously on service at Mablethorpe Lifeboat Station. A launching Tractor T11 was placed on service to assist with launching the lifeboat over soft sand and in very shallow water.

1936

New lifeboat house was built alongside the Central Pier to house a new motor lifeboat.

1937

A new Liverpool Class lifeboat Sarah Ann Austin ON800, built at a cost of £3,895, was placed on service in June along with a new launching tractor T12. The boat was named and the new lifeboat house opened by the Duke of Kent.  This was the first naming ceremony in which he had taken part after he became President of the Institution.

1940

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain R Parr and a Bronze Medal awarded to Mechanic Thomas E Rimmer in connection with the service to the Pilot boat Charles Livingstone that went aground in bad weather conditions on 26 November 1939.  Two of the crew were washed out of the lifeboat in this service but were recovered.  In all, six lifeboats took part in the search and rescue.

1961

Sarah Ann Austin was withdrawn from service and replaced by the Liverpool Class lifeboat Maria Noble ON916, which was previously on service at Exmouth Lifeboat Station.

1964

Centenary Vellum awarded to station.

1965

D Class lifeboat sent to the station in May.

1970

Whilst Maria Noble was undergoing an overhaul, she was replaced by the Relief Liverpool Class lifeboat Edgar George Orlando and Eva Child ON861, which was previously on service at St Ives Lifeboat Station. Subsequently the Edgar George Orlando and Eva Child became the station’s lifeboat permanently.

1972

At the end of March, ILB D-117 took over station duty.

1975

Edgar George Orlando and Eva Child lifeboat was withdrawn and the Offshore Lifeboat station closed on 6 May.  Atlantic 21 lifeboat B-525 sent to station on 21 May for evaluation trials.  Became Blackpool's No 2 station boat with the D class as the No 1 station lifeboat.

1979

Atlantic 21 lifeboat B-537 withdrawn and a second D class D-116 sent to station.

1980

On 28 July the D Class inflatable lifeboat was launched after a report had been received that a woman was in danger of drowning.  The unconscious woman was hauled from the water and given artificial respiration by the two crew members, Keith Horrocks and Peter Canham, and she later recovered.  The Liverpool Shipwreck Association awarded scrolls to Keith Horrocks and Peter Canham.

1981

A Framed letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, the Duke of Atholl, awarded to Helmsman K Horrocks in recognition of the high degree of seamanship he displayed when the 'D' Class lifeboat rescued the crew of three of a 17 foot catamaran with an outboard engine failure in difficulties about half a mile offshore at Squire Gate on 13 June.

1988

Bronze Medals awarded to Helmsman Keith Horrocks and Helmsman Philip Denham in recognition of the courage, skill and determination displayed when both inshore lifeboats were involved in the rescue of two people in a fresh north westerly breeze and very confused seas on 6 January 1988.  Keith Horrocks was Helmsman of D310 which rescued one of the crew of the Peebles which capsized one and three quarter miles south by west of the lifeboat station, and Helmsman Philip Denham was helmsman of D300 which rescued the sole occupant of the Dijon which was in difficulties one and a quarter miles north-north-west of the lifeboat station.  Crew members Stuart Cottam, Terence Rogers, Robert Browell and Alan Parr were accorded the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum for the part they took in this service.

1996

Atlantic 75 class lifeboat B-718 was placed on service on 26 June.

1998

New boathouse completed September.

1999

A new B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat, B-748 Bickerstaffe was placed on service on Friday 25 September.  B-722 withdrawn to ILC Cowes.

2000

The new station D class lifeboat D-558 William and Rose Nall was placed on service on 12 September. The lifeboat was provided by a donation from Godfrey and Desmond Nall of Cheswick Green, Solihull in memory of their parents. Lifeboat D-419 was withdrawn to Poole Depot.

2010

The D class lifeboats D-729 Eileen Mary George and D-732 Basil Eric Brooks were named in memory of the two local supporters of the charity whose legacies funded the vessels.  Placed on service 30 March 2010. D-558 William & Rose Nall has been withdrawn.

2013

The new station Atlantic 85 B-867 William & Eleanor was placed on service 23 April 2013.  This lifeboat was funded by the generous bequest of Mr Willaim James Seed.  Lifeboat B-748 Bickerstaffe has been withdrawn.

MEDAL RECORD

Six Medals have been awarded, three Silver and three Bronze, the last being voted in 1988.