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Kathleen Mary model makes Newhaven home-coming

Lifeboats News Release

Newhaven RNLI is celebrating a lifeboat homecoming. A 1/12 scale model of the 'Kathleen Mary' 47ft Watson class lifeboat has been presented as a gift to the station by its maker David Crowden of Orpington, Kent. Former crew of the 'Kathleen Mary' gathered at the station to receive the gift.

RNLI/Newhaven

Kathleen Mary 47ft Watson class lifeboat
Model-maker David Crowden said: ‘It’s been a lifelong ambition to see the finished model back at its true home. It has taken 42 years, on and off, to build. It is wonderful to hand the model over to Newhaven RNLI for safe keeping.’

The Kathleen Mary served as lifeboat for Newhaven from 1959 to 1977. It was the combined gift of an anonymous donor in memory of Kathleen Mary Haddock and RNLI funds.

David Crowden is also the recipient of an RNLI silver medal, which was presented to him in honour of his, more than sixty years, fundraising service for the RNLI Bromley Hayes in Kent branch.

David was already collecting funds for the RNLI Bromley branch when he was inspired by a photograph on the front cover of The Lifeboat magazine in circa 1963. The magazine featured a colour shot of the Kathleen Mary sailing off Newhaven, vivid against a blue sky.

David said: ‘It was a striking photograph and I thought to myself – that’s the one.’

David was greeted at Newhaven RNLI by three former Kathleen Mary volunteer crew, Derek Payne (Crew & First Aider, served 18 years), Mike Beech (Crew & Assistant Mechanic, served three years) and Ian John MBE (Crew, Signaller & First Aider, served three years).

Derek Payne, former RNLI volunteer Crew & First Aider, said: ‘We thank David sincerely for completing this fantastic model. The result is superb. It brings back so many memories of my eighteen years volunteering on the Kathleen Mary.’

David said: ‘I visited the RNLI Newhaven boathouse, as it was at the time, when I began the project to take photos of the then operational Kathleen Mary. It is an enormous pleasure to meet three of the crew today who volunteered on the Kathleen Mary during that era and know the boat so well.’

Derek Payne said: ‘The model provides a tangible legacy of the live saving work the Kathleen Mary provided with her volunteer crew for the Newhaven and surrounding community. It will be appreciated and treasured.’

Notes for the editor
• Established in 1803, Newhaven RNLI is now a modern afloat station, which currently supports a Severn class All-weather Lifeboat (ALB), the David and Elizabeth Acland.
• The 47 ft Watson-class was a class of non self-righting displacement hull lifeboat built from 1955 to 1963 and operated by the RNLI between 1956 and 1991.

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For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or [email protected] or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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RNLI

Former volunteer crew of the Kathleen Mary (left to right: Derek Payne, Mike Beech, Ian Johns) with David Crowden

RNLI/Newhaven

Former volunteer crew of the Kathleen Mary (left to right: Derek Payne, Mike Beech, Ian Johns) with David Crowden

RNLI/Newhaven

David Crowden's 1/12 scale model of the Kathleen Mary lifeboat

RNLI/Newhaven

Former volunteer crew of the Kathleen Mary (left to right: Derek Payne, Mike Beech, Ian Johns) with David Crowden

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

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

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