RNLI Mablethorpe receives generous donation
On Saturday 12 October crew from Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Mablethorpe were presented with a substantial donation of £1511.50 by the family of the late Barry Bisby and the Mermaid Ramblers.
Barry Bisby was born in June 1940 and sadly passed away just 2 days short of his 79th birthday on 12 June 2019. Barry was married to Marlene and they had five children: Gary, Stephen, Cheryl, Anne and Lisa. Barry and Marlene had five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The Mermaid Ramblers consisted mainly of three families who, over the years since 1987, all spent their holidays playing cricket on the beach in Mablethorpe or on the boating lake in Queen’s Park.
These were the Bisby family from Rotherham, the Pegg family from Newark and the Ashworth family from Sheffield. Another member of the group was John Lowe from Newark, who passed away in 1998.
The Mermaid Ramblers was formed in 1991 when the friends met up at the Mermaid Inn on Seaholme Road. The initial sum of £250 was raised when the Landlord and regulars started to cut the ties off gentlemen entering the Inn. Certificates were issued to the gentlemen indicating how badly done to they were.
The ladies retaliated by issuing their own certificates stating that they were the general ‘dog bodies’. This was all done in good spirit and the group decided that the money should go to the Mablethorpe lifeboat station. They also agreed to focus more of their fundraising activity towards RNLI Mablethorpe.
Further fundraising activities included: a bed push from Rotherham to Mablethorpe, a six-man catamaran trip from Skegness to Mablethorpe (raising funds for both lifeboat stations), collections wearing fancy dress at several of Mablethorpe’s caravan parks, a couple of boat pushes from Ingoldmells to Mablethorpe, a car push from Market Rasen to Mablethorpe on a day of very mixed weather conditions, a helicopter pull from Ingoldmells to Mablethorpe (an amusement helicopter, not a real one!), another bed push, two more boat pushes, and 13 car pushes.
Due to Barry’s failing health it was decided that 2013 would be the last year of fundraising, however the group returned in 2014 with a bike ride which they continued until 2017. Unfortunately in 2018 Barry and his family were unable to attend owing to his continuing ill health, but the Mermaid Ramblers did do a fancy dress pram walk from Ingoldmells to Mablethorpe. In 2019 the group dedicated a memory walk to Barry with all proceeds going to RNLI Mablethorpe.
Mr Bisby had also collected in supermarkets both in Mablethorpe and Rotherham during the early years and the Bisby and Pegg families held car boot sales four times a year at the Mermaid Inn (up until 2019), again with all funds raised going to RNLI Mablethorpe.
In 2010 the Mermaid Ramblers donated a boat to Mablethorpe council to be used in the event of any flooding. They also purchased the lifeboat mascot costume, Stormy Stan, to be used at the lifeboat station for the enjoyment of children. Barry himself wore the Stormy Stan costume at several lifeboat events until it became too much for him.
Over the last 28 years the Mermaid Ramblers, through Barry’s excellent organisation, have raised approximately £60,000. Barry’s daughter Lisa said: ‘It will not be the same without Barry but we will carry on doing this; it is what he would have wanted but he will be sadly missed.’
As with any charity the RNLI and Mablethorpe Lifeboat are dependent on the efforts of those who tirelessly work to support the institution and its volunteer crews, not only the volunteer fundraisers within the organisation but those who support the RNLI from outside.
Mark Chambers, Deputy Launching Authority at RNLI Mablethorpe said: ‘We are extremely grateful to the Bisby family and the Mermaid Ramblers for their very generous donations resulting from the hard work they put into their fundraising activities on our behalf.
'Fundraising efforts such as this demonstrate the commitment to ourselves that the local community and our visiting holidaymakers have. The kindness and generosity of our fundraisers goes towards training and equipping our crew to enable us to continue our mission to save lives at sea.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Debbie Kendrick on 07504 713092 or by email Debbie_Kendrick@rnli.org.uk
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, in a normal year, 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.