Sunday, 26th July 2015 was meant to be Lifeboat Day, in Cromer, Norfolk, UK. It had been bad weather on the Saturday and so, at the last minute, it was all called off. Cromer has a lifeboat house at the end of the pier, with a slipway, that makes for a dramatic launch, with the lifeboat racing down into the water with a major splash at the end! However, it was cancelled. I heard a lady on the radio say that “We have decided that the weather will be too bad to launch the lifeboat”. Huh? You what? Surely, bad weather is normally the time when you DO launch the lifeboat, isn’t it??? I think that what they probably meant, was that no-one may turn up to see it, due to the bad weather. This has now been rescheduled for another Sunday, being the 9th. August 2015. This should make for a grand day out. The images of a lifeboat above and below, are of the lifeboat “RNLB Lady Of Hilbre” which I believe is a relief lifeboat standing in for the original one based at Wells in Norfolk. I recently had a ‘day out’ to Holkham beach, a little bit down the road from Wells. I always wanted to see where Gwyneth Paltrow had stood in the movie “Shakespeare In Love” and where Stephen Fry had regularly walked on that same beach for the “Kingdom” TV programme. I don’t know if the lifeboat is based here, but this is where it was launched from on this day. I didn’t know it was going to be launched, so that was a bonus for me! I can’t tell you if it was just a practice launch or not, but the tow truck in front, took about half an hour to tow it round the beach to the point it was launched from, so I should think it was just a practice. It was funny to watch it being towed backwards, when I’m more used to seeing them going forwards. I hope this doesn’t sound like I am poking fun at the lifeboatmen though. They are all very brave for what they do and I know I couldn’t do it. The Cromer lifeboat is currently short of volunteers and some of them don’t live close enough to go on a ‘shout’ or whatever they call it in the lifeboat service. So I suppose you could consider this an ‘advert’. I am not saying this officially on behalf of the RNLI though, as I am nothing to do with them, but the service they provide is second to none and apart from giving them a few coins or notes when I can, I am unable to help them in any other way. To become a volunteer, you would obviously have to live close enough to Cromer though and have the stomach for it and the necessary seagoing skills too, I’m sure.
The local RNLI Henry Blogg museum tells stories of the men and boats and their derring do over the years. It is a great place to visit. It is named after one of the bravest men I have ever heard of, Mr Blogg was the coxswain of the Cromer lifeboat and served on lifeboats for 53 years! On the promenade leading up to the Cromer Pier are strips of text, listing some of the ships that foundered out there in the rough waters of the raging North Sea on occasion, and how many lives were saved each time. It is hard to believe that the RNLI has nearly been going for 200 years and is still funded only by voluntary contributions. Anyway, having watched the Wells lifeboat slowly making it’s way around Holkham beach, it reached it’s launch point, where it was lowered from it’s trailer into the water and sped off into the North sea, lit by a rapidly setting sun. I did actually make a video of that, but as it would take days to upload that anywhere, I shall simply leave you with the picture below. After all, they do say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So maybe I should stop all this typing and just upload pictures!
See you next week!