Dedication ceremony of new lifeboat in Cromer

A legacy has helped provide Cromer with a new lifeboat which will be put to use helping save lives around the coast.

An official dedication ceremony for the new D734 inshore lifeboat took place on The Gangway in Cromer on Saturday .

The new boat, which has been named George and Muriel, was funded by the legacy of George Lancashire who hailed from Middleton, Manchester, and died in November 2006 aged 88. He left the RNLI a share of his residuary estate for the purchase of a lifeboat in memory of his himself and his wife, Muriel, who had died a few years before him.

Mr Lancashire was a shoreline member and long-term supporter of the RNLI and his legacy was also used towards the funding of a new Tamar Class all weather lifeboat for the institution's relief fleet at Tenby in Wales.

Alan Coulthurst, whose father Harold was Mr Lancashire's cousin, and Virginia Clowes, who counts George and Muriel as her second family, were at the naming ceremony which took place on The Gangway at Cromer on Saturday .

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Mr Coulthurst, 79, from Rugby, said: 'George was a keen supporter of the RNLI for a long time, giving them general support. He did holiday a lot in Cornwall and he may have got his interest in the RNLI from there.

'I feel privileged to be here on behalf of George for the ceremony.'

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Ms Clowes, who comes from Australia but is currently living and working in the UK in Cambridge, added: 'It is a great privilege to be here, it is a tremendous occasion. George was known as my uncle, both he and Muriel were like my family over here, their door was always open. I know they had many happy holidays in Cornwall and I assume that is where the connection with the RNLI came from.'

At the ceremony on Saturday, which included music from Cawston Band, Ms Clowes was the one to officially name the boat.

Martin Steward and Mearl Brown are the senior helmsmen of the new boat. Mr Steward said it would be used for close inshore work and rescues involving crab boats and missing people, and also helping the lifeguards as well.

Tammy Allgood, senior community fundraising manager with the RNLI, said: 'Without legacies like this one, we would really struggle, it makes such a huge difference to us.'

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