Falmouth RNLI 150th Anniversary Dinner at the Falmouth Hotel repeats history

Lifeboats News Release

Over 100 people, including local MP Sarah Newton, attended the dinner on Saturday 11 November to help celebrate Falmouth Lifeboat Station’s 150 years of saving lives at sea.

Vellum Presentation

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Left to right Coxswain Jon Blakeston, Falmouth RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Alan Rowe and George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director presenting the vellum to mark the 150th anniversary.

A dinner also took place in 1867 at the same hotel to celebrate the arrival of the station’s first lifeboat, the City of Gloucester.

The new lifeboat arrived in Falmouth in April 1867 and was formally launched at the Docks on 28 August of that year after it had been paraded through the streets of Falmouth drawn on its carriage by twelve horses with the lifeboat crew seated in the boat. The Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that thousands of people witnessed the event which included a demonstration of the lifeboat’s capsize capabilities

The Gloucester was paid for from money raised by the people of that city and a number of people from Gloucester were present at this official inauguration. The dinner that took place that evening was hosted by Falmouth Mayor, Mr Thomas Webber and guest of honour was RNLI Secretary, Richard Lewis. The Falmouth Hotel was only two years old at this time.

Guests at the dinner held 150 years later included RNLI representatives, members of Falmouth Town Council and managers and staff from local businesses. During the evening George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, presented a vellum to mark the anniversary to Falmouth RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Alan Rowe and Coxswain Jon Blakeston.

The evening also added funds to the current Falmouth RNLI Appeal. Just over £3,000 was raised on the night from a raffle and an auction run by Betty Stogs and supported by local businesses.

Paul Wickes MBE, Deputy Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee said: 'We are hugely grateful to everyone who supported the 150th Dinner and contributed to the amazing sum of £3,040 collected on the night. We also appreciate the fantastic efforts of everyone behind the scenes who made the night a success, but in particular Debbie Killingback and Pauline Wickes for arranging the raffle and auction prizes; and Clare Cocks at Cornwall Marine Network for coordinating ticket sales.'

Mark Killingback Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee said: ‘This now takes the Appeal total to over £93,000 towards our target of £100,000 which is fantastic.’

Notes to editors

  • Photo DSC0952 left to right Coxswain Jon Blakeston, Falmouth RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Alan Rowe and George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director presenting the vellum to mark the 150th anniversary.
  • Photo DSC0982 left to right George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, Lifeboat Operations Manager Alan Rowe and Coxswain Jon Blakeston with the vellum at Falmouth Lifeboat Station.
  • Photos DSC0964 and DSC0985 Falmouth lifeboat crew and station members with George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director at Falmouth Lifeboat Station.
  • Since the station’s opening in 1867, Falmouth lifeboats have launched over 2,500 times and, up to the end of 2016, saved 440 lives.
  • The Falmouth RNLI Appeal was launched in March this year with the aim of raising £100,000 towards the cost of alterations and improvements needed at the lifeboat station ahead of the arrival of their new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact; Simon Culliford, RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07971986978, sculliford@sky.com; or Amy Caldwell Regional Media Manager on 07920818807, amy.caldwell@rnli.org; or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Falmouth lifeboat crew with 150th Vellum

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Falmouth lifeboat crew and station members with George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director at Falmouth Lifeboat Station.
150th Anniversary Vellum presentation

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Left to right George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, Lifeboat Operations Manager Alan Rowe and Coxswain Jon Blakeston with the vellum at Falmouth Lifeboat Station.
Falmouth lifeboat crew with 150th Vellum

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Falmouth lifeboat crew and station members with George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director at Falmouth Lifeboat Station.

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 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.

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