Some of Britain’s oldest and most famous lifeboat stations can be found in the North East, and down the East coast.
While the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was established in 1824, and has a long and proud tradition of saving life at sea, many lifeboats were operating on the North East coast before the 1820s.
Indeed, the first proper design of a lifeboat originated in the North East, on the River Tyne, where Henry Greathead built his ‘Original’ lifeboat in 1789.
Today, the volunteer lifeboat crews of England’s North East coast operate high-tech state-of-the-art lifeboats in their work of saving lives at sea in and around some of the busiest sea lanes in the world.
The RNLI currently operates 22 lifeboat stations between Berwick-upon-Tweed near the Scottish Border and Skegness in Lincolnshire.
A new comprehensive book has details of every one, with information about their history, rescues and current lifeboats. It also includes details and outline histories of old stations that have been closed.
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Many dramatic, courageous and daring rescues have been performed by the lifeboat crews from Northumberland, Durham and further down the coast.
These are brought to life in the historical introduction, which examines the gallantry and selflessness of the volunteer lifeboat men and women who crew the county’s lifeboats as well as tracing the history and development of the lifeboat service in the North East, looking at the early pioneers of life-saving.
The Tyne Bridge and Quayside in 1968 – see how the location looks today
There are 300 illustrations in the book, including archive images, such as those here showing lifeboats at Tynemouth and Newbiggin, while the 1833-built lifeboat Tyne is on display at South Shields next to the memorial to William Wouldhave, one of the claimants to being inventor of the lifeboat. The Tyne was in service until 1887 and was held in reserve until 1894.
The Lifeboat Service in England: The North East Coast Station by Station, by Nicholas Leach. Amberley Publishing. On sale now. £17.99.
Source : Chroniclelive