Lyme Regis RNLI ships bell shines and chimes for Fred’s 99th birthday
A former RNLI volunteer who donated a magnificent ship’s bell to the lifeboat station in Lyme Regis today (Sun)returned to the station to mark his 99th birthday and to view the newly polished brass bell.
Fred Day, from Uplyme, was the man in charge as Honorary Secretary at the lifeboat station from 1987 to 1994. He was a merchant navy chief engineer in BP oil tankers and on retirement, after 32 years, he was presented with the bell from the 101,605 tonne oil tanker British Argosy.
He later presented the bell to the RNLI to mark the opening of the Lyme Regis lifeboat station in 1997 and it hangs just inside the entrance to this day.
A few weeks ago Fred called in at the lifeboat station to check on the bell. He met Lifeboat Press Officer Richard Horobin who said: 'Fred was pleased to see the bell but politely pointed out that it needed a bit of a polish. As he was leaving the station he reminded me he would be 99 in a few weeks time, so we thought it would be nice to give the bell a good polish and invite him back to inspect it on his birthday.'
Lifeboat station tour guide Chris MacDonald spent a few satisfying hours bringing the bell back to its gleaming brilliance.
And Fred, who still rides his battery-powered bicycle, said of his 99th birthday ‘present’ - 'That’s much better I hope you can keep the bell shining for years to come.'
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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