New lifeboat will carry names of 10,000 loved ones
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A new all-weather lifeboat for Wells-next-the-Sea will carry the names of 10,000 people, placed on it by their loved ones.
And the first name to go on the £2.5 million state-of-the-art Shannon class vessel will be that of a much-missed member of the Wells community - Campbell MacCallum.
Peter Rainsford, Chair of Wells Lifeboat, said the ‘Launch a Memory’ campaign would give people the chance to commemorate their loved ones while helping fund the new vessel and lifeboat station, which is due to open next year.
Each name will then be featured within the lifeboat’s letters and numbers - RNLI 13-46 - displayed on the vessel’s hull.
At the launch of the campaign on June 7, Mr Rainsford said: "We are so pleased to be able to bring Launch A Memory to Wells, with a lifeboat that will enable our volunteer crew to save lives off our coast for generations.
"Everyone who supports the campaign will receive email updates about the lifeboat, keeping them informed of all major developments on its journey to going on service and saving lives at sea in Wells and along the north Norfolk coast."
Mr Campbell was an advertising photographer working in London when a visit to Wells in the late 1950s set in motion a permanent move to the town in 1973.
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He became a local councillor, a harbour commissioner and a member of Wells Sailing Club.
He supported Wells RNLI for more than 50 years as their honorary photographer and pioneered the group photographs at the station featuring all the volunteers, crew, lifeboats and air rescue, which have since been adopted across the RNLI. He died in April 2019, aged 78.
His widow, Dorothy, said she was "touched" his name would grace the new lifeboat - a service he cared deeply about.
She said: "I remember when the maroons would go off and he would dash out of the door with his camera to photograph a launch.
"I know his name will be joined by thousands of others whose loved ones want to remember them in this special way. The lifeboat will launch many times in its lifetime and bring many people to safety. I couldn’t think of a better way for someone to be remembered."
Donations can be made online at rnli.org/WellsLaunch or by phone on 0300 300 9990. There is a suggested donation of £50 with space to commemorate up to 10,000 names on the lifeboat.