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Funds raised for RNLI by school with a lifesaving link to Staithes and Runswick

Lifeboats News Release

Silcoates School, in Wakefield, celebrated not only the 200th anniversary of the RNLI but the 120th anniversary of a link between a West Yorkshire school and the North Yorkshire Coast.

Courtesy of Silcoates School

Helen Massey (centre) with pupils of Silcoates School, volunteer student Amir in RNLI inshore lifeboat crew kit and Stormy Stan

In 1904 the school in Wrenthorpe near Wakefield suffered a fire. The school moved to a temporary home in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, until 1908 when the rebuilding of the school was complete.

The home of the school in this time was what is now Saltburn House on Marine Parade. Originally opened as a Convalescent Home for workers of the Quaker Pease families industries. Becoming the temporary base for Silcoates School in 1904 it was here a link was forged, through sport, with the RNLI crews at Staithes and Runswick.

During the four-year relocation, the Silcoates’ boys engaged in spirited games of Cricket and Football with RNLI crew members. This not only provided solace during a challenging time but also laid the foundation to create a lasting friendship, that still exists today.

In honour of this historic connection and their ties to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Silcoates staff and pupils from Pre-School to Sixth Form, enthusiastically participated in a fundraising walk, carrying boats around a 1.2-mile course, across the 60-acre campus at Silcoates. Together, they covered a remarkable 80 miles, symbolising the journey between Silcoates and its temporary post-fire location at Saltburn House in Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

Their dedicated efforts culminated in an outstanding fundraising total of £947.76 for the Staithes and Runswick RNLI Lifeboat Station, a contribution that will significantly aid the charity’s life-saving endeavours.

Following the fundraising walk, RNLI Ambassador, Helen Massey visited the school to receive the donation being joined by Stormy Stan the RNLI's mascot and volunteer student Amir who showcased the RNLI's vital ILB (inshore lifeboat) crew kit.

Helen Massey, speaking on behalf of the Staithes and Runswick RNLI, expressed heartfelt appreciation, stating: 'We are immensely grateful to Silcoates for their dedicated efforts in organising this charity fundraising walk in support of the RNLI. Events like these not only raise vital funds but also raise awareness about the importance of sea safety and the tireless work of our volunteers.'

Notes to Editor

Staithes and Runswick RNLI lifeboat has been in operation since 1978 with Atlantic B-Class inshore lifeboats (ILBs). The present ILB at the station B-897 Sheila and Dennis Tongue III has been on station since 2016.

In 2024, the RNLI is celebrating 200 years - and counting, commemorating this remarkable past, celebrating our lifesaving achievements today, and inspiring a future where we can save every one. More information on RNLI 200 can be found at

Silcoates School is a 3-18 co-educational independent school in Wrenthorpe, Wakefield which was established in 1820.

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For further information, please contact James Stoker, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at: [email protected] or Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Communications Manager (North and East) on 07824 518641 or, [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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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