Ramsgate RNLI do their part to help preserve the charity's heritage

Lifeboats News Release

On Wednesday 4 November, the day before Lockdown two, the sun was shining meaning it was a perfect day to put a protective cover over the old Broadstairs lifeboat ‘Francis Forbes Barton’.

L-R Karen Cox Volunteer Press Officer, Ian Cannon Coxswain, Phill Mace Station Mechanic and Michael Bon (Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society).

RNLI/Sarah Hughes

L-R Karen Cox Volunteer Press Officer, Ian Cannon Coxswain, Phill Mace Station Mechanic and Michael Bon (Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society).

It is such a large boat that the two available members of the Restoration and Preservation Society could not manage it on their own, so an S.O.S was sent out to their very good friends at Ramsgate RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Answering the call was the Coxswain, the Station Mechanic and the Press Officer always happy to help and to do their bit for the local community, albeit on this occasion socially distanced. There is however a historical link between the Francis Forbes Barton and Ramsgate RNLI.

After the Francis Forbes Barton left Broadstairs in 1912 she went on to serve at North Deal as their number Two lifeboat. When she left North Deal in 1921 she was put into the Relief Fleet and her first spell of Relief was indeed at Ramsgate in 1921 where she took over duties from the “Charles & Susanna Stephens” a lifeboat that she had worked alongside in several rescues whilst she was at North Deal. She was then sold out of service and spent most of her time on the Thames and Grand Union Canal.

There is however another link with the town of Ramsgate, in 1946 she was seen in the Royal Harbour as a private boat called Path. We do not yet have an answer as to why she was in Ramsgate in 1946 but lines of enquiry are being actively pursued by the Society.

The Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society were extremely grateful for the help received from RNLI Ramsgate.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said, ‘ We were happy to help, and hopefully this will be the first step in preserving this old Lifeboat and restoring her to her past glory.’

RNLI Media Contacts:

Karen Cox Ramsgate RNLI Volunteer Press Officer Tel. 07779848431 Email coxinthebox63@gmail.com
Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East Tel. 07785296252 Email paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk


L-R Karen Cox Volunteer Press Officer, Ian Cannon Coxswain, Phill Mace Station Mechanic and Michael Bon from the Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society.

RNLI/Sarah Hughes

Pulling the protective covers over the historic lifeboat.

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.

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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.

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