RNLI Felixstowe Fundraising Branch

As there has been very little fundraising since my last article, I’d like to share a little bit of history and some key dates on the founding and progression of the RNLI.

The institution was founded in March 1824 following an impassioned public appeal led by Sir William Hillary in February 1823. Sir William was already heavily involved in shipwreck rescues, along with the help of locals, on the Isle of Man, but he wanted to expand this to a nationwide service. From this, the National Institution for the Preservation of Lives and Property from Shipwreck was then born.

In 1838 substantial public support was raised for the institution following the heroic rescue by Grace Darling and her father of nine passengers and crew from the Steam Ship Forfarshire off the Northumberland coast. If you get to visit Kent after the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the lifeboat museum at Chatham Dockyard has one of the older famous Seahouses lifeboats on display named Grace Darling, a Liverpool Class, served from 1954 to 1967. The last lifeboat named Grace Darling from Seahouses, a Mersey Class, served for nearly 30 years before her last launch in January 2021.

In 1854 the institution changed its name from the National Institution for the Preservation of Lives and Property from Shipwreck to the more recognised RNLI, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and has been responsible for saving over 142,700 lives since 1824.

Today the RNLI headquarters is based in Poole in Dorset. It has 238 lifeboat stations and an active fleet of 431 lifeboats which could not run without your support. If you are interested to learn more and are holidaying in the UK this year, there are lifeboat collections at the following museums:

RNLI Grace Darling Museum, Bamburgh, Northumberland

RNLI Henry Blogg Museum, Cromer, Norfolk

Whitby Lifeboat Museum, Whitby

RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection, Chatham Dockyard, Kent

Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboat Museum, Sussex

Salcombe RNLI Lifeboat Museum, in Devon

As soon as we can go out and visit people and places, you can also call into our nearest lifeboat stations at Harwich and Aldeburgh, see the current lifeboats and learn a bit more about their history. In the meantime, if you have access to the internet please visit: https://rnli.org/about-us/our-history

Happy 250th Birthday Sir William.

For more information on our current and future news and events, please visit our Facebook page: RNLI Felixstowe Fundraising Branch

Thank you for your continued support.

Written by the Press and Publicity Officer for the RNLI Felixstowe Fundraising Branch

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