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