The 68th Harvest Home Auction raises funds for RNLI Rye Harbour and Hastings

Lifeboats News Release

Harvest Home was first held in 1952, and this year its 68th was as exciting as ever with a few surprises thrown in


'Sparra' mastermind behind the event with the auction lots

‘Sparra’ and his team of volunteers worked tirelessly to bring in the donations. They were collected on Friday and Saturday with help from the crew at Rye Harbour, Tony Peters (helm), Stuart Clark (crew) his son Noah and Lucy Green (trainee crew) and her partner Ian. Sparra said, ’It was great to have their input as we got the job done so much more quickly. As this event has been going on for so long we have lost many of the original volunteers due to retirement and it is great to see this year so many youngsters stepping up to the mark and enabling this venture to carry on.’

Last night, Saturday 28 September, saw the New Beach Club at Pett Level filled to the brim with people eager to bid for the lots. There was standing-room only and not much of that by the time the auction began at 7.30. The auctioneers were really entertaining and the lots flew off the shelves. People were surprised when they thought that they had bid for two bottles of wine only to discover that their lot included a mystery box of assorted items. This caused a great deal of laughter and added to the fun. The variety of lots was interesting, from gym equipment to beautifully crafted walking sticks; glasses of all shapes and sizes, carpets, local produce, a fish smoker and a mitre-saw.

Once again Sparra and his team had created a fabulous entertaining evening and raised £2171 (with more donations still coming in) to be shared by RNLI Rye Harbour and Hastings lifeboat stations, both of which were well represented at the event.

Paul Bolton, Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Rye Harbour, commented at the end of the evening, ‘We can’t thank enough the team of volunteers who worked so hard to create this annual event. Not only did people have a great time, they took home some interesting bargains and the RNLI benefited from a generous donation. This enables us to carry on our life-saving work locally at Rye Harbour and in Hastings. Thank you, team.'


Ian Burford was such an entertaining auctioneer


'Sparra' and some of his volunteer team


Rye Harbour RNLI supporting the event


Wayne Blackman giving a helping hand on the night


Steve Brown and Steve Griffin from Rye Harbour making bids

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.