Many thanks to Anna Cronin for taking the above photo of the large crowd at Hoylake lifeboat station yesterday at the official naming ceremony of the lifeboat.
Here’s what the RNLI have to say about the event:
Among the special guests were friends and family of the people whose legacies helped provide the vital life-saving equipment for the Wirral lifeboat station.
The state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat was funded in part by the legacy of former Women’s Royal Naval Service officer Miss Paulette Micklewood, from Oxford, and is named Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood in memory of her grandfather. Her generous gift to the charity was supplemented by funds raised during a local RNLI appeal, which also helped meet the cost of the new Hoylake lifeboat station.
Hoylake is the fourth RNLI lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland to have received a Shannon, which is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of propellers. Designed by an in-house RNLI team, it is the most agile all-weather lifeboat in the charity’s fleet and has been developed with the safety and welfare of RNLI volunteer crews as a key priority.
The launch and recovery system, which has revolutionised the way the charity’s volunteers launch the lifeboat, is named Roland Hough in honour of the local man whose legacy paid for it. Mr Hough lived in Hoylake all his life and was a great supporter of the lifeboat charity, having watched the lifeboats launching many times as a boy from his home near the old Hoylake lifeboat station.
The bespoke £1.5M launch and recovery system is capable of operating on the most challenging of beaches due to its all-track drive system. It operates as a `mobile slipway` and will make the lifeboat launch and recovery process both faster and safer.
Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Curry, said: ‘It is 24 years since we had a naming ceremony for a Hoylake lifeboat, so this will be a very big day for everyone involved with the RNLI locally. We are very much looking forward to welcoming many supporters and guests to our lifeboat station and are especially pleased that we will be able to publicly acknowledge the generosity of Paulette Micklewood and Roland Hough, whose legacies helped fund our wonderful new lifeboat and launch and recovery system.
‘Without donations, legacies and the support of people like Paulette Micklewood and Roland Hough, RNLI crews just wouldn’t be able to carry on our lifesaving service. Our charity depends on the public’s generosity and Sunday will be an opportunity for us to celebrate the continued support we receive, as well as to pay tribute to those who help us by donating not just their money but also their time and expertise to saving lives at sea.’
The lifeboat will be named by a friend of Miss Micklewood, Mr Geoffrey Ford Hawker, while Mr Hough’s cousin, Mrs Susan Reed, will name the launch and recovery system. Commodore David Squire, RNLI Trustee, will formally accept the lifeboat and launch vehicle into the care of the RNLI and hands them into the care of the lifeboat station.