Angle RNLI celebrated its 150 years in style on Saturday (August 11) at a memorable open day, when its proud record of saving lives was recognised with the presentation of an anniversary vellum.
The framed vellum was presented by Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, a member of the RNLI Council, who was welcomed by Angle’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Julian Hammond.
Admiral Kerr spoke of the hundreds of call-outs and many lives saved by Angle lifeboats since the station was established in November 1868. Despite world events over that century -and-a-half, including two world wars, Angle had remained steadfast – ready 365 days of the year, round-the clock, to help those in trouble at sea. Station awards had included seven Silver Medals and six Bronze Medals for bravery.
“You have done so much to deserve this accolade,” he told Angle RNLI personnel.
Wet weather conditions on Saturday failed to dampen the spirit of the open day and some 350 people visited the station, including actor John Altman, well remembered as playing ‘Nasty Nick’, Dot Cotton’s son, in the BBC soap ‘Eastenders’. Nick was the guest of Angle RNLI Deputy Launch Authority, the Rev Mike Brotherton, retired Royal Navy Chaplain.
Visitors, who were welcomed by Julian Hammond and Coxswain Lewis Creese, met crew members and enjoyed tours of the £1.2m boathouse and the £2.6m all weather state-of-the art Tamar class lifeboat Mark Mason. They also viewed the £41,000 D class inshore lifeboat SuperG II.
Crew members Paul Smart and Karl Morgan operated a barbecue near the entrance to the station. In the crewroom, RNLI souvenirs were sold by the station’s treasurer Linda Foulstone and there was also a brisk trade at the cake stall, where Linda Hammond was assisted by young Andrea Stringer.
Refreshments were served by Daphne Bush, chairman and press officer of Pembroke Ladies Lifeboat Guild, and Sandra Thompson, Guild minutes secretary.
Children were delighted to meet RNLI mascot Stormy Stan (Ian Foulstone) as he toured the station. Youngsters also enjoyed a number of competitions, including ‘Pick Your Card Right’ and ‘Find Barnaby Bear on Holiday’ (Anna Foulstone) and ‘Spin the Arrow’ (Sharon Duffield). The raffle was organised by Elaine Richards.
The open day culminated with the launch of the all weather lifeboat Mark Mason, which led a parade of historic ex-RNLI lifeboats into Angle Bay, to the delight of those gathered at the nearby Old Point House Inn.
The former Angle Watson class lifeboat, Richard Vernon and Mary Garforth of Leeds, was followed by the Liverpool class lifeboat The Chieftain and the ex-St Davids Watson class lifeboat Joseph Soar.
The Richard Vernon and Mary Garforth of Leeds, which served at the station from 1957 to 1987, is now owned by Bevis Musk. Owner of the Portishead-based The Chieftain, which was stationed at RNLI Barmouth from 1949 to 1982, is Tony Gatt.
The last Watson class lifeboat to be built, in 1963, was the Joseph Soar, now owned at Coleraine in Northern Ireland by Bernard Condon. She served at St Davids from 1963 to 1985, before being transferred to Dunbar (1986-88) and then Shoreham Harbour (1988-90). She was sold in 1992 and renamed City of Bristol, but reverted to her original name Joseph Soar in 2000.
On Sunday (August 12), to mark the 150th anniversary, a short service was held at a marquee at the Old Point House Inn, when the blessing was given by the Rev Josh Maynard, Team Vicar in the Rectorial Benefice of Monkton. It was followed by a programme of singing by Dunvant Rugby Club Choir.