Home baked cakes, lifeboats, ukuleles and cruise liner.
RNLI Longhope Lifeboat Guild entertain passengers from cruise ship and raise £503.75
It was a rather daunting request that Longhope lifeboat Guild received from the tours operators of MV Berlin cruise ship. Would it be possible to provide afternoon tea and home baked cakes for visiting passengers?
Initially the guild were rather surprised and a few eyebrows were raised. That's a lot of cakes and we are only a small community here in Longhope and have a limited supply of bakers. However the one thing to get our guild fired up and ready to go is a challenge. To raise funds for the RNLI is what it's all about and so sleeves were rolled up and the pinnies duly donned. What was really remarkable was the help received from other folk in our community who backed us up and whose incredible baking was an absolute godsend.
The rather splendid 139m cruise ship berthed at Lyness and the passengers were taken off in buses on a variety of specialised tours around the island. One of which was a lifeboat orientated tour led by local tour operator and volunteer crew member Steve Rhodes and Coxswain Kevin Kirpatrick. On the itinerary was the Longhope Lifeboat Museum at Brims, the Longhope Lifeboat Disaster Memorial, views and points of interest concerning the notorious Pentland Firth and a tour of the lifeboat station.
When the tours finished the guests arrived in two groups at The Shore, a room in the village hall overlooking Longhope Bay. With a 15 minute turn around in between sittings, the members of the guild worked away happily like a well oiled machine and the event went smoothly and successfully. The very pleasant visitors were delighted with the spread and interested to receive items from the RNLI Respect the Water Campaign which promotes safety at sea.
But the icing on the cakes were the local musicians who entertained the visitors during their stay. Fran Gray and The Hoykuleles captivated their audience with their very original and excellent renditions. The guests were truly impressed and some happily joined in with the singing. Also Lifeboat Operations Manager John Budge, on accordion, sang some favourite Orkney songs including one with a poignant Longhope lifeboat rescue theme.
As the cruise liner sailed away into the distance and the last cup washed, the remaining cakes were quickly boxed up and whisked down to the lifeboat shop where they were eagerly bought by local folk.
With generous donations from the MV Berlin company and passengers, the sale of souvenirs and the remaining cakes we raised a total of £503.75 for the RNLI. A magnificent effort by all concerned and the guild would like to say a very special thank you to the bakers and musicians for their wonderful support and to MV Berlin tour operators and passengers for showing an interest in our island, our community and our lifeboat.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.