The 68th Harvest Home Auction raises funds for RNLI Rye Harbour and Hastings
Harvest Home was first held in 1952, and this year its 68th was as exciting as ever with a few surprises thrown in
‘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.'
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.