RNLI Shop: A few of our favourite things
As we celebrate 195 years of lifesaving, we thought it would be fun to have a look back at some of the RNLI shop products from yesteryear. How many of these do you remember – and would any of them make your top ten?
10. A lifeboat tea towel
A 1999 tea towel showing key RNLI moments and innovations, with our 175th anniversary logo. An excuse for not doing the dishes? Perhaps, but only if you were to frame it and hang it on the wall!
Did you know?
Our 175th anniversary logo, featuring a picture of a lifeboat with a red and yellow stripe on the hull, lives on. Since then, we've painted coloured stripes on the hulls of all our new all-weather lifeboats. With one small difference – the red and yellow stripes on the logo are reversed.
9. This crew member statue
A metal statuette of a lifeboat crew member from an old Caister lifeboat. Made to commemorate the RNLI’s 100th anniversary in 1924, this unique piece would have set you back 7s 6d (about £22 in today’s money).
If you were lucky enough to own a car back in 1926, you would have been able to attach the car mascot version to your bonnet for 3s more.
8. The yacht-shaped CD rack
Finely crafted in the shape of a yacht, this sleek and elegant CD rack provided easy access to 13 of your best-loved discs. It will probably outlive the CDs, in which case you can use it for your toast, or perhaps as a good old-fashioned letter rack.
Available, with love, from our Christmas 2001 catalogue.
7. A striking silver bowl
A striking silver and silver-gilt bowl depicting the gold medal rescue of 22 sailors from the St George by Sir William Hillary and the crew of Douglas Lifeboat Station on the Isle of Man, in 1830. From our 150th anniversary catalogue in 1974, price £230.
6. Cartoon Christmas cards
Giles Christmas cards (pack of 10, £2). Lifeboat-themed cartoons by Giles featured on RNLI Christmas cards regularly since 1960. The were a huge hit, even after the cartoonist’s death in 1995. This gem is from 1992.
And we still have Giles Cartoon Christmas cards in our festive range – here's this year's selection.
5. This playful apron
A Lifeboat Ludo apron for your children (PVC-coated cotton, £1.60) from 1979. This is so brilliant, we just wanted to share it with you. A shoo-in for our top five. How many other aprons can double as a boardgame? Not many, we’d bet.
4. A miniature Shannon class lifeboat
Appearances can be deceiving. This diecast model of the Shannon class lifeboat is only 136th of the size of the real thing – the RNLI’s most advanced and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet. OK, this gift’s not old like the others. But it could become a future classic. You can buy yours for a snip at just £10.
3. These handy dayglo disks
Be seen, be safe! A pair of dayglo disks that clip onto your bicycle or tricycle spokes to keep you or your children safe. They also served to raise awareness of the RNLI. We wheely, wheely like this! From 1981.
2. A sleuth of bears
Who could fail to be captivated by Colin, Carol, Sam and Bob, the limited-edition RNLI sculpted bears? So lifelike you wanted to cuddle them, these endearing, hand-painted bears retailed at £14.95 each. We’d have liked them all. Autumn 2001.
1. A multi-purpose lighthouse
And here’s our top pick. We love this charming little lighthouse that doubles up as an indoor watering can. A practical and ingenious gift from our 2002 collection.
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