LIFEBOAT – Burton-on-Trent and United Free Gardeners’

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 23/11/1877


On Tuesday (20/11) last, both the Redcar lifeboats the Burton-on-Trent and the United Free Gardener were on duty, in the brave endeavour to save the ten fishermen whose lives were in jeopardy outside the West Scar Rocks. The first lifeboat which responded to the beat of the alarm drum was the United Free Gardener, and so eager were the fishermen to man her that twenty-nine men crowded into the boat whose full complement is twenty-three. Doubtless the absence of the first coxswain, Richard Picknett who was in one of the boats in danger, accounted in part for the confusion which arose, and the consequent over manning of the boat.

Notwithstanding this, the launch was quickly and effectively made, and the boat sped gaily on her way to the rescue. Joseph Burnicle, coxswain of the National Institution’s boat, the Burton-on-Trent, had landed from fishing a short space before the alarm spread that the cobles from the Tees were in danger, and was at home changing his clothes when the report reached hi. Without waiting for food or refreshment, he at once ran to the beach, and saw the Free Gardener’s boat on her carriage on her way to the sea. He determined to prepare his boat, and hold her in readiness in case she was also needed.

When he saw the United Free Gardener did not take the Luffway, the nearest cut to the cobles in danger, he at once determined to launch the Burton-on-Trent, because it was plain that the United Free Gardener was on her way to the Hales, which is considerably to the east of the Luffway, and thus doubling he distance from the distressed cobles, they would have to face a strong headwind and as the United Free Gardener was so to speak on trial, it was no means certain whether she would reach the cobles in time, for the sea was rising rapidly, and the tossing up and down of the cobles showed the imminence of danger. Burnicle was only able to raise a scratch crew, consisting of five fishermen besides himself, and a number of landsmen, who volunteered to man the boat, which was launched about thirty five minutes after the United Free Gardener, although the latter, by dint of strenuous exertions on the part of her crew, reached the cobbles first and took off the men.

We are now brought face to face with the fact that Redcar possesses two efficient and well equipped lifeboats, one under the control of the National Lifeboat Institution, and the other having the support of the United Order of Free Gardeners, and the further advantage of having secured for its patroness, Mrs. Dawson, of Weston Hall, whose open-handed liberality has been already largely experienced both towards the boat and men. We sincerely hope that any rivalry which exists will be of a friendly character. The sole object of these boats is, or should be, the saving of human life, and there seems to be no reason why each boat should not possess an efficient crew,, and endeavour to the best of their ability to carry out the object for which lifeboats are designed. It will be sad indeed if local prejudices and jealousies should in any way mar so noble a work, or hinder the hearty goodwill which should animate all who volunteer to “man the lifeboat” on the beach at Redcar.


dean August 26, 2011 Lifeboat