Station history

From 1871 until 1938 there were two stations, but at present there is one.  The reason for the two stations, given in the Journal of the Institution at the time, is as follows: -

One boat is stationed on the north beach and the other on the south, one either side of Flamborough Head, and they are so situated that when one is exposed to the wind and sea, the other is always under shelter; and accordingly most of the fishermen, which number nearly 400, have each two fishing cobles, one of which they keep on one beach and one on the other – using the boat on the lee side in bad weather, which plan is to be used by the lifeboat.

1839

Silver Medal awarded to Captain W Dunn, Master of the Providence, for rescuing the Master, 10 crew and one female passenger of the Brig Forster wrecked off Flamborough Head on 10 January.

1853

Silver Medals awarded to Mr William Parker and Mr John Parker (brother), for saving with their boat the crew of the Brig Maria which landed off Flamborough Head during a hurricane on 27 December 1852.

1873

A retaining wall was constructed for the number two lifeboat house at a cost of £70 as the house had been unavoidably built close against a high mark bank which had slipped owing to bad weather.

1890

Slipway constructed for number one lifeboat house at a cost of £250.

1895

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain R Pockley for saving the crew of three of fishing boat Elizabeth that was struck by a heavy sea in a strong south-easterly gale which washed the three men overboard on 15 November 1895.  Mr Pockley with three other men launched a coble, battled out to the three men and saved them.

1909

Three crew from the coble 2 Brothers drowned whilst trying to rescue the three crew from the coble Gleaner who also drowned at North Landing, Flamborough.  The three crew from the 2 Brothers were Melchoir Chadwick, Tom Leng Major, George Gibbon.  The number one station lifeboat Forrester was launched and although 20 men pulled the oars, instead of the usual 10, it was not possible to get the lifeboat more than 50 yards from the beach, such was the severity of the wind and sea.  One member of the lifeboat crew on this occasion vowed, as a result of the disaster, that he would devote the remainder of his life to saving life.  His name was Robert Cross, brother and uncle of the ill fated crew of the coble Gleaner.  Afterwards he was to become the famous coxswain of the Humber lifeboat and one of the most outstanding lifeboat coxswains of the Second World War.

1915

On the launch of the number two lifeboat on 6 February to the steamer CT13 in a whole gale with heavy seas, the lifeboat capsized and all her crew of 13 were washed out of her.  Fortunately they all regained the boat.

1930

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain Richard Chadwick when the crew of the Admiralty re-fuelling steamer Rosa were rescued after it had ran ashore under the Flamborough cliffs on 28 April.  The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty sent an expression of their admiration and appreciation of the gallant work of the Flamborough Lifeboat and of their gratitude to Coxswain and Crew.

1933

A member of the crew was washed out of the number two lifeboat whilst on service – he was recovered.

1937

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain G Leng for the rescue of 13 men from the Grimsby steam trawler Lord Ernle that went ashore at Bempton Cliffs on 2 March.  It was an exceptionally fine service carried out in the middle of the night.  Coxswain Leng veered down but found it impossible to get alongside.  A line was fired on board the wreck and with difficulty, due to the line parting twice, 15 men were taken off in three hours.

Bronze Medal awarded to Motor Mechanic Edward A Slaughter for assisting to rescue a boy who had fallen onto a rock ledge from the top of a 150ft cliff on 15 May.  Mr Slaughter, a powerful swimmer, swam with a line from the lifeboat and finding the boy too badly injured to be transported to the lifeboat, arrangements were made to transport him up the cliff  by stretcher.  Mrs Porter’s gift for the Bravest Deed of the Year by a lifeboat man was awarded to Motor Mechanic E A Slaughter for this service.

1952

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Assistant Motor Mechanic Robert Leng for the service to person fallen from cliffs on to a ledge of rock just under the water on 27 July.  Assistant Motor Mechanic Robert Leng, volunteered to swim ashore.  Guided by the searchlight he landed safely, although carried some distance along by the strong tide.  About a quarter of a mile from where he landed Leng found two coastguard men with the body of the young man.  Artificial respiration was applied, and Leng helped the coastguards to carry him on a stretcher to the top of the cliff on a path made extremely difficult by the pouring rain and pitch darkness.  In spite of these efforts the young man died.  Mrs Porter’s gift for the Bravest Deed of the Year by a lifeboat man was awarded to Assistant Mechanic Robert Leng.

1954

Mr John Bayes died.  He had been Honorary Secretary of the Flamborough Station for 34 years and had been elected an Honorary Life Governor of the Institution.

1967

A memorial plaque in memory of Richard B Cowling, coxswain of Flamborough lifeboat for 20 years unveiled in St Oswolds Church on 18 June by Miss I E Morrison, District Organising Secretary.

1971

Centenary Vellum awarded, placed in the local church.

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain George Pockley for the rescue of two men and a  stranded under the cliff at Stapple Nook on 22 September.  The lifeboat had to operate in a confined area in poor visibility with seas constantly breaking over her.  Crew member Alwyn Emmerson was accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum for the part he played in this rescue when he swam ashore and established a breeches buoy.

1975

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to crew member Alwyn Emmerson for the part he played in the rescue by breeches buoy of two people cut off by the tide on 23 August.  Coxswain Pockley received A Framed Letter of Thanks, signed by the Chairman of the Institution.

1987

Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution were presented to Second Coxswain/Mechanic L Robson, Assistant Mechanic R Sunley and Mr B James for rescuing a skin-diver, in Mr James’ 14ft inflatable boat, on 23 August.  The skin-diver was found on a ledge inside a cove at the foot of 200ft high cliffs.  The surrounding sea was confused with breaking waves and full of rock ledges and scars.

1993

New boathouse constructed on the site of the old boathouse at South Landing to accommodate the station’s new Atlantic 21 class and TWH tractor coupled in-line, it includes a store souvenir outlet and improved crew facilities.

Inshore lifeboat station established on 12 July with the placing on service of an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat.

All-weather lifeboat withdrawn from the North Landing site at Flamborough on 15 August.

1994

Atlantic 21 class lifeboat withdrawn on 16 February and replaced by an Atlantic 75.

1998

Collective Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman was awarded to Helmsman Simon Robson and crew members Nigel Atkinson and James Cross for their excellent teamwork, good seamanship and sound knowledge of the local shoreline and sea conditions when the Jason Logg lifeboat launched on service and rescued two people cut off by tide at Thornwick Bay on the north side of Flamborough Head on 31 July.

2007

The new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B820 Elizabeth Jane Palmer was placed on service on Monday 13 August.   This lifeboat was funded by Bill and Anne Wraith in memory of a precious daughter and loving mother.  Lifeboat B703 has been withdrawn.

2008

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Helmsman Darren Pollard in recognition of his leadership, boathandling and decision making when the B class lifeboat saved the life of a swimmer close inshore in adverse conditions near to cliffs and rocks at North Landing on 22 August 2007.   The 2007 Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award for the most meritorious service by an Atlantic class lifeboat was made for this service.

2009

The necessary adaptation to the boathouse to house the larger Atlantic 85 was completed in November at a total cost of £200,000.

MEDAL RECORD

Seven medals have been awarded, five Silver and two Bronze, the last being voted in 1971

During the war of 1939 to 1945 the Flamborough lifeboat was launched 24 times and rescued 39 lives.