EDITORIAL – Three Lifeboats at Redcar

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 09/03/1877


            We understand that a new lifeboat for Redcar built on the old principle has been ordered by the Society of Free Gardeners, who have decided to present a lifeboat to Redcar. In the first instance the offer was made to the National Lifeboat Institution, and Admiral Robertson (now Admiral Robertson-Macdonald) attended a meeting of fishermen and pilots held at Redcar in September last, to hear their opinions on the subject and to express his own. Of course our readers are aware that Redcar already possesses two lifeboats- the old boat, which was discarded by the National Institution when declared unseaworthy by their inspector, Admiral Ward; and the new boat on the self-righting principle, built for the Redcar station, and subscribed for by the inhabitants of Burton-on-Trent, whose name it bears. The old boat was given up to the fishermen, and at their instigation a subscription was raised to put the boat into what was then deemed satisfactory repair, and to build a boat house on a site given by the late Earl of Zetland. It would appear that the old boat had not been put into such thorough repair as was expected, for signs of decay and now apparent, and it is the opinion of some persons who are qualified to judge that the old boat has done her work, and that henceforth her place should be monumental. Under these circumstances, Admiral Robertson-Macdonald suggested as a compromise that the old boat should be disused, and that the new boat offered by the Free Gardeners should take her place, and be under the management of the National Institution, who would thus have to official lifeboats had Redcar. The local wish was to substitute the Free Gardeners’ boat for the Burton-on-Trent, but the Admiral considered that proposal inadmissible, on the ground that the people of Burton-on-Trent had subscribed for and given the boat to Redcar, and its removal would be an insult and breach of faith on the part of the Institution and the donors. How the difficulty years is to be met does not yet appear, as it is certain that the National Institution will not remove the Burton-on-Trent, and the Free Gardeners seem equally determined to present their boat to Redcar, and to Redcar only. It remains to be seen whether the Free Gardeners’ boat will come to Redcar to replace the old boat, or as a second independent life. In this latter case, a new boat-house will have to be built, and thus in place of settling the old dispute by the compromise suggested by Admiral Robertson-Macdonald, there will be three lifeboats at Redcar, which will practically hand on to posterity the feuds and the bickering amongst the rival supporters, which all who are well affected towards the Redcar fishermen wish to die out. Few people would venture to argue that three lifeboats are needed at Redcar, and perhaps there are some who would agree with us that the cost of a site and the building of a new boat-house where to already exist would be an unnecessary expenditure of money. The question lies in a nutshell: either the old boat is unseaworthy, and ought to be superseded by the Free Gardeners’ boat; or if the old boat is still seaworthy the Free Gardeners’ boat is not required. We are distinctly of the opinion that terms should be made with the National Institution, and both boats placed under its control; for although our men, to their honour be it said, are always ready to venture their lives for the welfare of their fellow was who are in danger, yet they are not insensible to the fact that reward sweetens labour, and if the pay attached to the crew of the National boat is certain. With all local associations the pay must depend on the management, and we are not sanguine enough to believe that any local management at Redcar would equal the management of the committee of the National Institution.


Lol Hansom October 26, 2014 Editorial, Letters and other., Lifeboat