Dedicated Redcar RNLI fundraiser passes away

Lifeboats News Release

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of one of the cornerstones of the Redcar Lifeboat Ladies Guild, Joyce Dowding, at the age of 98.

Photograph of Joyce Dowding

Evening Gazette

Joyce Dowding

She died on Wednesday 29 July 2020 after a sudden illness.

Her involvement with the RNLI began nearly 50 years ago when she joined the Ladies Lifeboat Guild.

She told the Evening Gazette in 2012, when she was nominated for a Community Champion award: ‘I’d always wanted to do something for the lifeboat because my grandfather, Frederick Readman, was a seafaring man in the 1800s and my uncle, William Bullock, was in the Navy.

‘I’ve lived in Redcar all my life so the sea is in my blood.’

In 2010, she received a silver badge from the RNLI.

Even when, in her latter years, she was unable to join the guild to collect funds for the Redcar lifeboat, she would organise events at the care home where she lived.

Mike Picknett, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar RNLI, said: ‘Our crew cannot do the work they do without fundraisers like Joyce. Her hard work over the years means we can be sure we have the best equipment and training available to save lives at sea.’

Dr Roger Smith, Branch Chairman at Redcar RNLI, said: ‘We are extremely sorry to hear of Joyce’s passing. Part of the charity for so many years, she has help raise many thousands of pounds for the Redcar lifeboats.

‘It’s people like Joyce who are the backbone of the RNLI. Our sympathies go to all Joyce’s family and friends.’

Joyce was a life-long friend of the entertainer Larry Grayson who, when he died, left in his will £10,000 to the Redcar lifeboat in recognition of his friendship with her. That money was used to replace the main boat hall doors - approprate in the light of Larry Grayson's catch-phrase 'shut that door!'

She was conscripted into the NAAFI during World War 2 and was one of the first women to land at Normandy after D-Day in June 1944.


Notes to editors:

Attached is an image of Joyce Dowding. Credit 'Evening Gazette'

Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802

Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Mr Nick Thomas of Shropshire

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Any images used should be credited RNLI/Redcar unless indicated

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For more information please contact Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07894 558 483. Alternatively, contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North 07824 518641 or at [email protected], or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789; [email protected]

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.

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