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Burnham-on-Sea's station history


Sir Peregrine Acland presented the Corporation of Bridgwater with a lifeboat.  This was to be kept at Burnham-on-Sea in a boathouse erected by the donor, and followed closely on a local shipping disaster.


The Bridgwater Harbour Trust replaced the old lifeboat with a new boat built by Gale of Whitby, upon the most approved principles laid down by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.  This lifeboat was allowed to decay and was broken up in 1857.


Station taken over by RNLI.  Lifeboat house built on dunes by lower light-house, ground owned by the Rev H Dodd.


1867 Extract from Lifeboat Journal 1 January 1867:-

As the life-boat formerly placed at Burnham by the Bridgwater Harbour Trust, being ill-adapted for the locality, had been allowed to go to decay, and had then been broken up, the National Life-boat Institution recently, with the assistance of the Harbour Commissioners and other gentlemen in the locality, formed a new life-boat establishment there.  It was thought desirable that a lifeboat should be stationed there as the ordinary shore boats frequently ran great risk in putting off to vessels in distress on the outlying sandbanks in the vicinity.  The Institution has therefore forwarded a 32 ft 10-oared life-boat named The Cheltenham and a transporting carriage to the station, and they have been placed in an excellent boathouse prepared for their reception.  The cost of the lifeboat and carriage etc has been defrayed from the lifeboat fund raised in the town of Cheltenham and its neighbourhood, principally through the benevolent exertions of the Rev W Hodgson, Captain A W Young RN, and Mr Witchell, the bookseller.  The life-boat was conveyed to Cheltenham, en route to her station, that the contributors might have an opportunity of seeing their boat and it was publicly named and launched on the Pittville Lake in the suburbs of that town, on the 10th October, amidst much enthusiasm.  Lady Charlotte Schreiber for the borough presented the boat to the Institution in an appropriate speech.  A very hearty reception was also given to the boat on its arrival at Burnham, and a deputation from Cheltenham attended to take part in the proceedings on the occasion of its launch there.  The boat and carriage were liberally conveyed from London to their destination free of charge by the Great Western and Bristol and Exeter Railway Companies."


New boathouse built adjoining the railway station close to the pier or long inclined slip from which the lifeboat was launched.


A new SR lifeboat John Godfrey Morris (ON138) built at a cost of £406, was placed on service, replacing The Cheltenham.


Small truck supplied to convey beach roller skids etc for launching the lifeboat.


A new lifeboat Philip Beach (ON498) was placed on service replacing the John Godfrey Morris.


Water laid on to boathouse.


Lifeboat station closed.  Motor lifeboats placed at Minehead and Weston-super-Mare to cover Bridgwater Bay.


Independent lifeboat service started, Burnham Area Rescue Boat, and following local fundraising, the lifeboat Challenge 1 was bought. A national TV programme, Challenge Anneka, built a boathouse in three days and the lifeboat went on service.


The RNLI lifeboat provision for Burnham-on-sea was given the final stamp of approval at the Trustee Committee meeting which took place at RNLI head quarters on Wednesday 2 July 2003.

The lifeboat station was taken over after a request from Burnham Area Rescue Boat, and became operational on 23 December 2003 with two inshore lifeboats; an Atlantic 75 RIB and a D class.


The new Atlantic 75, B class lifeboat, B795 Staines Whitfield placed on service 7 January 2004.


The new class of lifeboat IB1, D-664 Puffin was placed on service on Monday 11 December.  This lifeboat was funded by a generous gift from Mrs O Mitchell.  D-552 has been returned to the Relief Fleet.