Llandudno's station history


One Bronze medal awarded in 1919.

Station established by the Institution in 1861 as a condition of a gift from the Misses Browne of Toxteth Park, Liverpool, in memory of their sister who died in 1860. The three sisters had been regular visitors to the town for many years.

The first coxswain, Hugh Jones, was a copper miner and it was the duty of his daughter, in the event of a service call, to rush to the top of the shaft, halfway up the Great Orme, and signal her father. Her method was to rap with a stone in a certain manner and up the shaft Hugh Jones would come and dash for the shore.


Station established following an appeal to the RNLI by two local men. First lifeboat provided by the Misses Browne of Toxteth Park, Liverpool, in memory of their sister and named Sisters Memorial.  It was based in a boathouse near the railway station so that it could also be taken to adjoining areas by rail to be launched although this never occurred. The first Coxswain, Hugh Jones, was a copper miner. In the event of a lifeboat call his daughter would tap the mine shaft in a certain to call him.


Lifeboat capsized whilst on service without loss of life.


The second Sisters Memorial also capsized whilst returning from rescuing the crew of the sailing boat Mira. No one was lost. That year a flagpole and bell were installed on the promenade to summon the crew.


Alarm bell rung as a practical joke and the offender summonsed and fined £2 10s.

A new lifeboat was sent to Llandudno called Sunlight No1 funded by Lever Bros, replacing the Sisters Memorial.

Second Coxswain Edward Jones caught a severe cold as a result of her inaugural launch and died a fortnight later.


Robert Williams, a helper, died after falling under the wheels of the carriage whilst running alongside the lifeboat. The RNLI’s  Committee of Management voted £100 to local funds.


Arthur Whalley, a helper, also died after falling under the carriage wheels whilst the lifeboat was being taken out on service. Committee of Management voted £100 to local funds.


Station to be known in future as Llandudno instead of Ormes Head as at present.


Launching poles supplied.


The use of horses to launch the lifeboat was discontinued owing to the high cost of their hire and the delay in obtaining them.


A new lifeboat, the 37ft self-righting Theodore Price was sent to Llandudno.


A new lifeboat house was built in Lloyd Street at a cost of £1300 from where the lifeboats could more easily be taken to the town’s north or west shores to be launched.


The death of crew member John Williams was attributed to severe exposure from a rescue on 22 February. Committee of Management voted £100 to dependants.


Coxswain John Owen was awarded the RNLI’s Bronze medal for the rescue of the crew of the small sailing ship Ada May in gale force conditions.


The Theodore Price, a very popular boat with her crews, was withdrawn after almost 30 years’ service. She was replaced by reserve lifeboats until, in 1933, the station received its first motor lifeboat,  the Thomas and Annie Wade Richards, along with a tractor and a new carriage.


On 1 June HM Submarine Thetis failed to surface during diving trials in Liverpool Bay. Llandudno lifeboat took out a doctor to the destroyer Somali. Ninety-nine lives were lost in this disaster – four escaped by means of the Davis apparatus.


Thomas and Annie Wade Richards was withdrawn from service and replaced by a twin engine boat Tillie Morrison Sheffield and then, in 1959, by another single engine boat, Annie Ronald and Elizabeth Forrest.


Station awarded an anniversary Vellum Certificate by the RNLI.


A brand new twin engine lifeboat named Lilly Wainwright with a revolutionary self- righting system was sent to Llandudno.


Llandudno received one of the RNLI’s new inshore lifeboats, the first station in north Wales to do so.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Helmsman Robert Jones in recognition of his courage, determination and seamanship when the inshore lifeboat rescued a member of the crew of a sailing dinghy which went on the rocks at Little Orme, Llandudno Bay, in a fresh north easterly wind and a very rough sea.


A special framed certificate was presented to the station in recognition of the services carried out by crew members under extremely difficult circumstances between 26 February and 1 March when, during hurricane force north westerly winds and very high tides, the areas of Towyn and Pensarn suffered severe flooding. They worked tirelessly for up to 16 hours each day and succeeded in helping over two hundred people to safety.

A Mersey class lifeboat ON 1164 Andy Pearce was placed on service in November of the same year. This lifeboat was funded by the legacy of Andrew Stephen Pearce together with other gifts and legacies.


Alterations were made to the boathouse to accommodate the new Mersey class lifeboat. This included the installation of new steel concertina type main doors, a new boarding/viewing platform and a new 600 gallon fuel storage tank.


Coxswain Meurig Davies awarded the MBE.


D class lifeboat D508 was placed on service on 2 October.


A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was awarded to Craig Roberts, duty officer at the Marina office at Conwy in recognition of his vigilance, initiative and prompt action when on 13 June he launched the marina’s dory after he heard cries for help emanating from outside the marina basin. On finding the direction of the shouts for help he found two people in the water, an exhausted woman was clinging to the stern ladder of a yacht and a man was holding onto an inflatable dinghy. He hauled both people on board and took them back to the marina.  


The new D class lifeboat, D-656 William Robert Saunderson was placed on service. This lifeboat was funded by Dr Barbara Saunderson of Llanfairfechan. Lifeboat D-508 John Saunderson has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.


The Trustees of the RNLI at their meeting on 3 November confirmed an anniversary Vellum to acknowledge the completion of 150 years service as a lifeboat station for 2011.


Station awarded an RNLI Vellum Certificate to commemorate 150 years. During the same year, Head Launcher and former Coxswain Ian (Dan) Jones was awarded the MBE.


The Andy Pearce together with Rhyl lifeboat Lil Cunningham, stood by the coaster MV Carrier which had been dashed on the rocks at Llanddulas in severe conditions. The crew were airlifted to safety.  The Andy Pearce was recovered at Llandudno’s west shore in view of the conditions on the north shore.


Planning permission was granted to build a new boathouse in the Craig-y-Don area of Llandudno. In 2015, the RNLI announced the allocation of a Shannon class lifeboat to the station.


The station received its seventh inshore lifeboat. This was named Dr Barbara Saunderson, after its donor. This was the third inshore lifeboat to be funded by this long standing supporter of the station. Building started on the new lifeboat house at Craig-y-Don.


The new boathouse was complete and the Shannon class lifeboat William F Yates arrived at the station. She completed her first rescue mission a month after being formally placed on service but had already completed three rescues during training passage in the south of England and on passage to station off the Anglesey coastline.

The Andy Pearce was withdrawn from service ending the historic and sole surviving practice in the British Isles of an all-weather lifeboat being drawn through a town centre to be launched.