New book details history of Shoreham lifeboat

Lifeboat operations manager Peter Huxtable, left, with authors Michelle Tugwell and John Periam at Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station
Lifeboat operations manager Peter Huxtable, left, with authors Michelle Tugwell and John Periam at Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station

From humble beginnings to becoming a flagship RNLI station, Shoreham has a long lifeboat history.

Having celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station has now launched a book telling the history.

An aerial view of the current lifeboat station  on Kingston Beach

An aerial view of the current lifeboat station on Kingston Beach

There was a special launch of Enid Collett, the Tamar lifeboat which covers an area from Hove to Ferring, this lunchtime to mark the occasion.

It is the last book in a national series published by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is available at the lifeboat station shop or online at www.shorehamlifeboat.co.uk.

Authors Michelle Tugwell and John Periam have themselves had a long association with the lifeboat station. John was a helper then crew member at Shoreham Harbour during the 1980s, while Michelle has been a volunteer for many years and her husband Simon is now the longest-serving crew member at Shoreham.

John and Michelle have had the support of past and present crew members in creating an exciting and at times nostalgic book about the station’s first 150 years.

The state-of-the-art Tamar lifeboat and boathouse at dusk

The state-of-the-art Tamar lifeboat and boathouse at dusk

George Rawlinson, RNLI operations director, said: “It takes a huge amount of effort and a lot of people behind the scenes to get a lifeboat to sea.

“The community of Shoreham has been totally committed to that effort. It is thanks to them and the station’s supporters that so many lives have been saved by the station’s lifeboat crews.

“The station’s presence and commitment of its volunteers ensure the waters around Shoreham are a safer place than they otherwise would be.”

From the early days of the horse drawn carriage lifeboats to the current state-of-the-art Tamar lifeboat situated in its purpose-built boathouse on Kingston Beach, the book tells of the crews’ exploits both at sea and behind the scenes.

The boathouse and slipway built in 1933

The boathouse and slipway built in 1933

It also covers royal visits, fundraising, family histories, the three different lifeboat station over the years and the many life-saving services over the years.

Stunning images grace all the pages, including many which have been enhanced from archive files as well as current ones taken by Geoffrey Lee and other local photographers.

Peter Huxtable, lifeboat operations manager, is another with a long station history, his going back more than 40 years.

He said: “I have watched the work on this book progress. It has been a challenge for all involved. It is also an honour for us to be one of the few selected stations out of the UK’s 237 to be asked to have its history published.

The current Shoreham Harbour lifeboat crew

The current Shoreham Harbour lifeboat crew

“The lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith, the crew and myself hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did in compiling it.”

All proceeds to the RNLI. Copies are available in the souvenir shop, which is open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and weekends 10am to 4pm, and at www.shorehamlifeboat.co.uk.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 – Make our website your homepage

2 – Like our Facebook pages

Shoreham Harbour's first boathouse

Shoreham Harbour's first boathouse

3 – Follow us on Twitter

4 – Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

The Herald and Gazette – always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.