Falmouth RNLI are presented a commemorative quilt to mark 150th anniversary

Lifeboats News Release

The quilt was made by members of Churchdown Patchwork and Quilters group in Gloucester to commemorate that it is 150 years since the City of Gloucester raised money for Falmouth’s first lifeboat and the launching ceremony held in Gloucester Docks on 9 April 1867.

Quilt presentation at Gloucester Docks

Paul Wickes MBE

Mark Killingback (left) and Paul Wickes MBE at Gloucester Docks being presented with the quilt with a number of the Churchdown Patchwork and Quilters group members behind

The quilt was presented to Falmouth RNLI representatives at Gloucester Docks during a special 150th event held by Gloucester RNLI over the weekend of 29 and 30 July.

At the historic event in Gloucester in 1867, the lifeboat was named City of Gloucester and launched into the docks in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people before being transported to Falmouth a few days later. The link between Falmouth and Gloucester RNLI has continued and the idea of a having a commemorative quilt made to present to Falmouth came about after Gloucester RNLI volunteer Fraser Gunn gave a talk to the patchwork and quilters group about the City of Gloucester lifeboat.

The Churchdown Patchwork and Quilters group agreed to take on the project and after Fraser suggested the idea of including the Gloucestershire, Cornwall and RNLI flags, a design by local secondary school design teacher, Joy Salvage, was chosen. A group of 16, led by Anne Underhill, took on the various aspects of construction and the quilt was completed in June 2017.

The quilt was presented to Mark Killingback, Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee and Paul Wickes MBE, Deputy Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee at Gloucester Docks and handed over to Falmouth Coxswain Jonathan Blakeston at Falmouth RNLI’s quayside service in August.

Jonathan Blakeston said: ‘The station is very grateful to Gloucester RNLI for presenting us with this magnificent quilt and also to Churchdown Patchwork and Quilters group for making it. The quilt will be proudly displayed at the station.’

Notes to editors

  • Attached photo 1 shows Mark Killingback (left) and Paul Wickes MBE after being presented with the quilt with a number of the Churchdown Patchwork and Quilters group members behind. Please credit Paul Wickes MBE
  • Attached photo 2 shows Mark Killingback (left) presenting the quilt to Falmouth Coxswain Jonathan Blakeston at the quayside service. Please credit Stacie Nicoll.
  • Falmouth’s first lifeboat, the City of Gloucester, a 33 foot 10 oared self-righting pulling and sailing lifeboat, served at the station from 1867 to 1887 before being withdrawn from service. During that time the lifeboat launched on 10 occasions but didn’t save any lives.
  • The Falmouth RNLI Appeal was launched in March to raise £100,000 towards the cost of improvements to their station in preparation for of the arrival of a new Atlantic 85 B class inshore lifeboat.
  • The Churchdown Patchwork and Quilters team was: Anne Underhill; Gill Banks; Mary Davies; Carolyn Edwards; Chris England; Penny Harper; Pam Lander; Shirley Matthews; Celia McTeer; Kim Phillipart; Val Pickard; Joy Salvage; Mon Wake; Liz Wife and Jan Workman.

RNLI media contacts

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

Presentation of quilt to Falmouth Coxswain

Stacie Nicoll

Mark Killingback (left) presenting the quilt to Falmouth Coxswain Jonathan Blakeston at Falmouth

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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