Donate now

Cromer RNLI celebrates the Centenary of boathouse and slipway

Lifeboats News Release

On July 26, Cromer RNLI celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the construction of a lifeboat house and slipway at the end of Cromer Pier with a week long exhibition.

GoPicture shows RNLB Henry Blogg launching down the slipway. In background image of the boathouse showing the small viewing windows on the upper level


Good view of RNLB Henry Blogg launching. Great image of the boathouse showing the small viewing windows on the upper level

Cromer has had lifeboats since 1804, and became part of the RNLI in 1857.

Until 1923, all the lifeboats were launched from the slipway by the Henry Blogg Museum; the boathouse and slip are are still used to house the D Class inshore lifeboat - Mr Eric Sharpe.

Following the construction of Cromer Pier in 1901, with the introduction of a motor lifeboat to Cromer in 1923, a new lifeboat house and slipway was constructed at the end of the Pier at a cost of £32,000.

The boathouse (which was rebuilt in 1998 to its present form along with an upgrade of the slipway) currently houses the Tamar all-weather lifeboat - Lester. The old boathouse was cut in half and transported by barge to Southwold to house their old lifeboat.The official opening was the 26 July 1923.

To celebrate the volunteers, in collaboration with the Henry Blogg museum, will be hosting a weeklong exhibition starting on Wednesday, the 26 July. It will feature exhibits and photographs from 1923 to 2023 and volunteers will be on hand to explain more about the history over the last 100 years.

The first lifeboat to be launched was the Norfolk and Suffolk class lifeboat H F Bailey ON670. Since its opening in 1923, the slipway has seen many launches resulting in the saving of numerous lives; none of which would have been possible without the courage and dedication of all the boat and shore crew over the last century .

To further commemorate the anniversary Lester, Cromer’s Tamar class all-weather lifeboat will launch at approximately 6.30pm on 26 July.

While a pre-booking is not essential we ask any parties over 15 to email [email protected] or call the station on 01263 512237 to arrange a suitable time to visit.

The exhibition runs daily from 26 July to 1 August from 10:00am to 4:00pm and is located on the public gallery at the lifeboat station, Cromer Pier.

Note - launch is subject to weather and may be cancelled at short notice.

To the best of our knowledge these images are either out of copyright or permission has been given to the RNLI to use them in promoting the work of the charity. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Clare Stagg, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]

Key facts about Cromer RNLI

The Cromer Lifeboat Station was established in 1804 and was not taken over by the Institution from the Norfolk Shipwreck Association until 1857. Since 1923 there have been two lifeboats at Cromer, and currently there is a D Class inshore boat and Tamar all-weather lifeboat. The outstanding figure in the history of Cromer is Henry George Blogg who became a member of the Cromer crew in 1894 at the age of 18. He was coxswain from 1909-1947. During his 53 years as a lifeboat crew member, the Cromer lifeboats had been on service 387 times and rescued 873 lives. His record is without equal in the history of the Institution. No lifeboat crew member has received so many decorations for gallantry.

Image of lifeboat being recovered up the slipway


RNLB being recovered up the slipway. We don’t have an accurate date for this but will be between 1946 and 1966. In those days it was fine to take holiday makers / prospective donors out for a trip on the lifeboat in good weather which is what is happening here. You can see the windows above the doors where shore crew would look out for the return of the lifeboat.


Taken in 1939. This shows the pier entrance to the lifeboat house.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.