Falmouth RNLI history recalled during a visit by a descendant of a former mayor
Chris Lloyd, the great-grandson of former town mayor Thomas Webber, and his wife Jane, made a visit to Falmouth Lifeboat Station recently as part of their trip to the UK from their home in the Bahamas.
Thomas Webber was Falmouth’s mayor when the town’s first lifeboat, the City of Gloucester, arrived in April 1867. The lifeboat was formally launched at the Docks on 28 August of that year after it had been paraded through the streets of Falmouth drawn on its carriage by twelve horses with the lifeboat crew seated in the boat. The Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that thousands of people witnessed the event which included a demonstration of the lifeboat’s capsize capabilities.
That evening, a dinner, hosted by Falmouth Mayor Mr Thomas Webber, was held at the Falmouth Hotel and the guest of honour was RNLI Secretary, Richard Lewis.
Apart from the historical link, Chris Lloyd had another reason for visiting the station as he is the Operations Manager for Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue Association in Nassau, Bahamas.
He explained: ‘BASRA is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives at sea throughout The Bahamas, and I have also acted as Fleet Captain and full-time volunteer for the past 25 years.
Chris and Jane Lloyd were welcomed to the station by Falmouth RNLI Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston and Falmouth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick Lewis after which they were given a tour of the station and both lifeboats.
During their visit, Chris was presented with a copy of the book Falmouth Lifeboat 150 years of saving lives at sea
signed by Jonathon Blakeston and the authors.
Notes to editors
- Photo DSC3072 shows Falmouth RNLI Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston presenting Chris Lloyd with a signed copy of the station book produced in 2017 to commemorate the station’s 150th anniversary with Jane Lloyd and Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick Lewis to the left.
- The photo of Falmouth’s first lifeboat, the City of Gloucester was taken in Gloucester Docks at the time of her naming and launching ceremony in April 1867. The lifeboat was transported to Falmouth just after this but was not formally launched here until August 1867 when the new lifeboat station had been completed in the docks.
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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.