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The RNLI benefits from pickled onion contest

Lifeboats News Release

Customers at the Woodvale Hotel, Gurnard were in a right pickle when it came to benefiting the RNLI.

Ginny Orrey, the Woodvale’s Pickle Queen.


Ginny Orrey, the Woodvale’s Pickle Queen.

Thanks to what was promoted as a Pickled Onion War, the life-saving charity was the beneficiary of a competition to find which of 14 customers had brought along the best home-prepared pickled onions.

After some judicious tasting, it was decided on a vote that Ginny Orrey, of Cowes really did know her onions, and was duly crowned the Pickle Queen.

Nathan McGinty, the Woodvale’s general manager, said the competition was revived after a three-year absence because of Covid.

'Thanks to the selling of tickets for a large raffle manned by the RNLI’s Cowes Guild, and donations, we were able raise £1,075 for the RNLI,” he said. “It was a very enjoyable event, for a very good cause'.

Mark Southwell, Operations Manager of Cowes lifeboat station, said it was especially appropriate that the Woodvale looked over the Solent where lifeboats play a significant life-saving role. He also praised members of the RNLI’s guild who staffed the raffle, which was packed with prizes provided by the Woodvale.



1. Ginny Orrey, the Woodvale’s Pickle Queen.

2. The pickled onion tasting gets underway.

3. General manager Nathan McGinty.

4. The table weighed down with raffle prizes.

RNLI media contacts

  • George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07530 254052/ [email protected]
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Media Regional Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426/ 07785 296252/ [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

· RNLI: For more information on the RNLI please visit or Cowes Lifeboat Station can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

· News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

The pickled onion tasting gets underway.


The pickled onion tasting gets underway.
General manager Nathan McGinty.


General manager Nathan McGinty.
The table weighed down with raffle prizes.


The table weighed down with raffle prizes.

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.