View as PDF

Labour of love for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A model of an RNLI lifeboat has been donated to Hartlepool Lifeboat station by the family of the late Bryan Bell.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Pictured at the presentation of the model lifeboat are(left to right) Janet Dobson, Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew memberSteve Dunnett, Heather Bell, Graeme Bell, Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew member Tommy Price and Susan Bell.
Bryan who was a former Gray's Shipyard and Laings joiner was a keen model maker with a passion for the lifesaving charity and went to great lengths getting plans for the model by contacting the RNLI headquarters at Poole who sent him some detailed drawings.

Bryan's widow Heather who first met husband to be Bryan when they were pupils at Galleysfield School on the Headland at Hartlepool were married for 57 years.

Heather said 'Before Bryan passed away one of his wishes was that the model lifeboat, one of several model boats he built, be donated to the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Station.

'We are all immensely proud of him, I don't think we realised how talented he was.

'He would be really pleased to know that his model is now mounted on a cabinet above the station's ‘Pride of Britain’ award.'

Hartlepool RNLI station mechanic Garry Waugh said 'Bryan's excellent model of the RNLI Severn class lifeboat now stands pride of place in the crew training room and on behalf of all the crew we would like to say thank you to the Bell family for their donation.'

Picture caption.

Pictured at the presentation of the model lifeboat are (left to right) Janet Dobson, Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew member Steve Dunnett, Heather Bell, Graeme Bell, Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew member Tommy Price and Susan Bell.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Tom Collins, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07896 793557 or Alison Levett, Public Relations Manager on 07786 668912 or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland