Just found an old pic which must have been taken on a ‘Brownie 127’ – as that is all we could afford in those days. A fairly calm day so probably a routine exercise.
The photo shows the then lifeboat Mabel E Holland, which was in service between 1957 and 1979 It certainly looks cumbersome and heavy compared with todays boats. And of course no fancy tractors to haul it up and down the beach – just the ‘wives’ (sorry The ‘Dungeness Lady Launchers) and an old winch. The ‘Ladies’ not only had to man handle the heavy oak ‘woods’ or ‘skids, upon which the lifeboat was moved across the beach they often had to give a ‘piggy back’ to the menfolk of the crew to ensure they were completely dry before setting off. Much more detail of these ladies and the well written history of the local lifeboat can be found on www.dungenesslifeboat.org.uk/shouts/31-history
Copied below – without the permission of the local RNLI (but hope they wont mind) a list of the ‘shouts’ the Mabel E Holland was involved in during her tenure here at Dungeness.
R.N.L.B. MABEL E. HOLLAND 1957 – 1979
3 Dec 1958 – S.S. Prodromos of Monrovia, landed (12)
4 Dec 1958 – S.S. Prodromos of Monrovia, landed (6)
1 Jan 1959 – Houseboat Petrina of Itchenor, gave help
13 Feb 1959 – F.V. Breadwinner of Hastings, stood by vessel
29 June 1959 – Rubber Dinghy, saved dinghy
7 July 1959 – Cabin Cruiser Kaye of Rye, gave help
12 July 1959 – Rubber Dinghy (4)
2 Sept 1959 – Yacht Glenshane of Chichester, escorted yacht
17 Apr 1960 – Sailing Dinghy, saved dinghy
19 Apr 1960 – Fishing Vessel Morag (3)
19 July 1960 – Sailing Dinghy Sioux Kayak, saved boat (1)
28 July 1960 – Launch Victor and Yacht Lulworth Castle, gave help
12 Feb 1961 – MV. Jacqueline Roberta of Folkestone, saved boat (3)
17 Feb 1961 – Naval Tanker, gave help
18 June 1961 – F.V. Little Dick of Dungeness, saved boat (3)
And again- for overseas readers – the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) which covers the entire U.K. coastline is funded entirely from donations and crews are purely volunteers.
Also noted in last weeks Kentish Express three young lads from the local Marsh Academy, raised over £1300.00 to be shared between the Dungeness and Littlestone RNLI. The lads took photographs, available from a local Facebook group (Marsh Sunrise and More) and created and marketed calendars.
Great to see local youngsters getting involved in this worthwhile charity.