Incredible £5 million milestone achieved by Whitby RNLI shop.
The charity shop and museum celebrated reaching the total yesterday (Tuesday 8 October).
The lucky customer who helped the shop make a staggering £5 million was Stephen Bakewell from Leeds. Stephen who was purchasing £10.75 worth of souvenirs had no idea of the significance of the sale until after it was rung through the till.
It was then that curator Pete Thomson greeted him with the news and a glass of bubbly to celebrate. The RNLI also gifted Stephen a teddy bear from the shop to say thank you.
Stephen was thrilled with the news and told Pete that he regularly supports the RNLI.
Former crewman, Pete Thomson who has been honorary curator at the Whitby shop and museum since 1985 said how proud he was of the achievement:
'I have watched the shop grow over the years from taking £500 a year to now taking around a quarter of a million annually. The support we get from the public is phenomenal.
I have loved every second of being involved with it, and can't thank all the hard working volunteers enough for the hours of time they give to help make it all possible.
Pete won't be saying goodbye to the role completely as he plans to handover to the new curator, ex-crewman and Deputy Launch Authority, Neil Williamson and still wants to take an active role in supporting Neil.
Pete first became involved with the RNLI whilst on leave from the Army in 1958 when he began helping his father convert the old rowing lifeboat house into a museum.
This sparked his interest in the RNLI in Whitby, and he began making models for the displays.
In 1966, the first inshore lifeboat came to Whitby, and Pete joined the crew. Whilst serving on the All- weather lifeboat as Mechanic and eventually Coxswain, in 1985 he was asked by the director of the institution to take over from his father as Honorary Curator.
For more information contact Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes on 07813359428 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.