Station history

The station was established by the Duke of Northumberland in 1851, who paid for the lifeboat house. Management taken over by the RNLI the following year.

1851

Silver Medals awarded to John Dent, Philip Jefferson, William Armstrong, Henry Brown and Robert Armstrong who distinguished themselves in endeavouring to save the crews of four fishing boats which capsized on 22 March 1851.

1854

Silver Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain Philip Jefferson in recognition of the exertions of his crew in attempting to save the crew of the brig Embla which was wrecked during a heavy gale on 12 January 1854, when all her hands perished. The lifeboat, not being fully manned, failed to reach the wreck.

1876

Two members of the crew were washed out of the lifeboat whilst on service to a fishing coble on 3 August but were fortunately recovered.

1881

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain John Brown for the rescue of the crew of four of the Northumberland which had run aground during a heavy gale on 14 October 1881.

1888

Silver Second-Service clasp awarded to Coxswain John Brown, who had completed 35 years' service and had rendered many gallant services.

1897

A woman was injured by the explosion of a rocket signal.  The Cotton Powder Co compensated her for the injury.

1898

Mortars supplied in lieu of sound signals.

1905

Socket distress signals supplied.

1914

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Coxswain Watson Brown for the rescue of 13 of the crew of the ship Arctic Stream in rough seas on 22 February.  The Thanks on Vellum were also accorded to William Brown, Coxswain of the Cresswell lifeboat for the rescue of the other six crew members.

1915

Two members of the crew were washed out of the lifeboat whilst on service but were recovered unharmed.

1926

Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain William Robinson for a meritorious service carried out at great risk when the crew of nine of the trawler George R Purdy were rescued.  The trawler had stranded on the rocks at Church Point during a dense fog and heavy surf on 28 April 1926.

1927

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to the women of Newbiggin for a service in January 1927 to the Newbiggin fishing fleet, when a scratch crew was got together, consisting chiefly of miners who had just come off their shift in the mine, as nearly all the regular members of the lifeboat's crew were out in the fishing boats. But for the help of 25 women it would have been impossible to get the lifeboat afloat in the heavy surf. As it was she was thrown back on the beach, and to straighten her many women waded waist deep into the surf.

1940

Silver Medal awarded to Second Coxswain George R Taylor, who was in command of the lifeboat in the absence of the coxswain. It was an outstanding service. On 4 February 1940 the lifeboat went out to the Belgian motor vessel Eminent of Antwerp in a south east gale with a heavy sea and rescued her crew of 11.  It was a most difficult launch.  The launchers, 30 of whom were women, had to pull the lifeboat up a cliff, over a moor and through sand dunes against the gale which cut their faces with the sleet and the blown sand. The women of Newbiggin were accorded The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum.

1951

A Centenary Vellum accorded to station.

1972

On 14 July 1972 the Branch Chairman, Mr Campbell Storey and Stan Green saw a boat heading towards the rocks. They swam out to give assistance. Unfortunately Mr Story collapsed on board the fishing vessel and died. It transpired that the two crew on the fishing vessel had fallen asleep. 

1975

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Assistant Mechanic George Dawson who, as acting coxswain of the lifeboat Mary Joicey, displayed courage, tenacity and expert seamanship when a man was rescued from the sea following the capsizing of a rowing boat in Newbiggin Bay in a gentle south westerly breeze and a rough sea on 31 January. The skipper of the fishing coble Margaret Lisle, John Lisle Robinson, was accorded the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum for the rescue of a second man from the rowing boat who was also in the sea. Each member of the lifeboat crew and fishing coble crew received a Vellum service certificate.

1976

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum were accorded to Coxswain George Dawson in recognition of his determination and seamanship when the lifeboat Mary Joicey saved a cabin cruiser and rescued her crew of four who were in difficulties near the mouth of the River Wansbeck in a light south easterly wind and heavy confused surf on 29 August. Each member of the lifeboat crew received a Vellum service certificate.

1981

Boathouse adapted in order to accommodate the station's new Atlantic 21 lifeboat and launching tractor.  The portside extension to the boathouse was also converted to provide improved crew facilities.

The 37ft Oakley lifeboat was withdrawn on 26 February and replaced with an Atlantic 21 lifeboat on 15 March.

1982

The new station Atlantic 21 B-553 Kirklees has been placed on station.

1998

Adaptation for Atlantic class lifeboat drawn up and approved. Work completed in July.

The new station Atlantic 75 lifeboat B-745 CSMA 75th Anniversary has been placed on service 3 August 1998. Lifeboat B-553 Kirklees has been withdrawn.

2001

To celebrate 150 years of service the station was awarded the Gratitude of the Institution inscribed on Vellum.

2012

The new station Atlantic B-864 Richard Wake Burdon was placed on service on 19 September 2012. The lifeboat was funded by the legacy from Mr Hylton Burdon. Lifeboat B-745 has been withdrawn.

MEDAL RECORD

Ten medals have been awarded, nine Silver and one Bronze, the last being voted in 1940.