LIFEBOAT – Lifeboat The.

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 28/01/1870


            The first lifeboat—or what could be really be considered as such—was, we believe, the one patented by Mr Lukin, in 1785. The peculiarity of this invention was that hard project in gunwales, with hollow cases or double sides under them, together with air tight lockers under the thwarts. The great defect of the board was the weakness of its sides, which were liable to be staved in. In 1789, however, a much superior boat was devised by Mr’s H. Great- head, of Sunderland. It was cased and lined throughout with cork, which enabled it to flood when almost knocked to pieces. It had five thwarts all seats for rowers, double-banked, and was manned by 10 rowers. One of these boards was stationed off the mouth of the Tyne, and up to 1804, was instrumental in saving nearly 300 lives. Greathead (more fortunate than most inventors) received during his lifetime, a practical recognition of the file you of his services to humanity. The Emperor of Russia presented him with a diamond ring of great value; and in his native country parliament voted him £1200, and the Society of Arts presented him with their gold medal and £50, in 18 or four. For 40 years. His boat was almost exclusively used on the English coast, undergoing, but slight alterations during that period. In the year 1850, a sad accident happened to the lifeboat at South Shields, whereby 20 pilots lost their lives. This had the effect of drawing of practical men to the fact that the lifeboats, then in use, though admirably adapted in many respects for the purpose for which they were intended, were deficient in several qualities essential to the perfect safety of the crews. In the same year, the Duke of Northumberland, as president of the Lifeboat Institution, offered a prize for the best model of a life boat. The prize was gained by Mr Beeching, of Great Yarmouth, among 50 competitors. Mr Peak, of Portsmouth, afterwards produced the model of a life boat, which combine it all the best features of the competing models. This boat, with several improvements which have been suggested by experience, is now used by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This really noble association was founded in 1824, for the purpose of granting funds for providing lifeboats, boat-houses, and life-buoys, along the coast; assisting in training boat men, coastguards men, etc., To aid ships in distress; interchanging information with local bodies concerning appliances for the saving of life; and rewarding those who might afford assistance to ships in distress, etc. There are now 215 lifeboat stations in connection with the institution, which since its formation has been instrumental in rescuing nearly 20,000 lives, with an expenditure of about £250,000.

The oldest of the two lifeboats at Redcar, the “Zetland., was built by Mr Greathead in the year 1802, and was one of the first lifeboats stationed on this coast. It continued in use for 20 years, when some repairs were found necessary, she was stripped of the cork lining, and air-cases of copper applied, covered with all wainscot to protect them from injury. It is a 10 oared boat, and is manned by a crew of 22 men. It has been the means of rescuing about 300 persons from a watery grave.

About six years ago, the “Zetland” being thought by many to be unfitted for active service by reason of old age, Sir Frank Crossley, of Halifax, defrayed the cost of a new life boat. Accordingly, a boat called the “Crossley,” after the generous donor was sent to Redcar to supersede the old one. The “Zetland,” was turned out of its house, and the “Crossley” installed in its place; but the fishermen refused to desert their “old friend,” which was NDA did to them by long association, and by so many years of faithful service. They set to work and raised by subscription a sufficient song to enable them to put the old boat into thorough repair, and to erect a suitable building with which to shelter the boat, which they consider is still strong and staunch, and fit to breast “the forming wave” for many years to come.

At the time the fishermen were raising subscription for their new boat house, Lord Zetland the Redcliffe was staying with the Earl of Zetland at Upleatham, and he wrote the following verses on the old lifeboat, some of which have been set to music by Claribel :-




The Lifeboat—oh! the Lifeboat, with all have known Saul Long,

A refuge for the feeble, the glory of the strong;

Twice 30 years have vanished, since first upon the way.

She howls the drowning mariner, and snatch’d him from the grave.

Let others deem her costly, nor longer fit to breast.

The surge that, madly, drivin, bears down forming crest;

But we, who oft have manned her, when death was on the prowl,

We cannot bear to leave her nor will be leave her now.

Our fathers long before us her worth in danger tried;

Their fathers too have steered her amidst the boiling tide;

We love her,—‘tis no wonder—we can but follow them;

Let Heav’n, but never word of man—the dear old boat. “condemn”

The voices of the rescued,—their numbers may be read,—-

The tears of speechless feeling our wives and children shed,—

The memories of mercy in man’s extremist need,—

All for the dear old lifeboat uniting scene to plead.

The Pow’r en scene that lashes to storm the briny pool,

And when the blast is keenest, forbids our hearts to cool,—

The hand of earthly kindness, that gave our beat its life,

That made it, bird-like, flutter o’er waves in deadly strife,—

And now the kindred Spirit, which makes the colour his care,

Shall heed our fond remembrance, nor spurn the seaman’s prayer:

Another craft, and brighter, may stem the raging gale. :-

Thy plea of sixty winters, old friend. I can never fail..

Thine age shall be respected, thy youth, perchance restored.

And sires and songs together shall press by heaving board;

No fear that storms be wanting: and call it old or new,

We’ll cheer the boat that’s foremost to save a sinking crew.


Lol Hansom March 15, 2013 Lifeboat