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Lifeboat crew prepare to celebrate station's 150th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 17:56 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:56 14 May 2019

A similar Baltic Class lifeboat to the Elisa Adams in the harbour near Sluice Creek. Picture: RNLI

A similar Baltic Class lifeboat to the Elisa Adams in the harbour near Sluice Creek. Picture: RNLI

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For decades its crew members have been risking their lives to rescue those who get into trouble at sea.

The Wells Lifeboat crew in 1979, front, from left to right, Mr. David Cox ( coxswain ), Mr. Tony Jordan ( second cox ), Mr. John Betts, Mr. Albert Court ( first mechanic ), Mr. Alan McDonald Cox ( second mechanic ), back, Mr. John Nudds, Mr. Albert Warner and Mr. Graham Walker.  Dated  2nd May 1979  Photograph  C4786  BH. SmithThe Wells Lifeboat crew in 1979, front, from left to right, Mr. David Cox ( coxswain ), Mr. Tony Jordan ( second cox ), Mr. John Betts, Mr. Albert Court ( first mechanic ), Mr. Alan McDonald Cox ( second mechanic ), back, Mr. John Nudds, Mr. Albert Warner and Mr. Graham Walker. Dated 2nd May 1979 Photograph C4786 BH. Smith

Now, the RNLI Wells Lifeboat Station is preparing to celebrate its 150th anniversary of being an RNLI station with a week full of activities.

A new exhibition and a special celebration to mark the occasion will take place in July to celebrate the station's long-standing commitment in the town.

Peter Rainsford, Wells Lifeboat chairman, said: "It's certainly a cause for celebration.

"It takes enormous dedication from our volunteers to do the job that they do. It's also about the continuing involvement of the local community.

Doris M Mann of Ampthill - Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat at sea. Picture: RNLIDoris M Mann of Ampthill - Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat at sea. Picture: RNLI

"Almost everyone in the town knows someone who has been involved with the lifeboat.

"The job has changed a lot over the time but our volunteers are still putting their lives at risk to help others."

A day of celebration will take place on Saturday, July 13, with the outer harbour pontoons opening to the public from 11am, where historic lifeboats will be on show.

The station will also be presented with a commemorative vellum at a private ceremony at the boathouse.

Former Wells RNLI Lifeboat coxswain, Allen Frary, was given a seaborne send-off by his fellow lifesavers, with a final trip out on the North Sea last year. Picture: CHRIS TAYLOR christaylorphoto.co.ukFormer Wells RNLI Lifeboat coxswain, Allen Frary, was given a seaborne send-off by his fellow lifesavers, with a final trip out on the North Sea last year. Picture: CHRIS TAYLOR christaylorphoto.co.uk

Later that day at 5pm, the Wells all-weather lifeboat, Doris Mann of Ampthill, and the inshore lifeboat, Peter Wilcox, will lead a flotilla of lifeboats, past and present, past the main quay.

An exhibition, which is set to open at Wells Maltings on Staithe Street in July, will show a collection of paintings and photographs together with memorabilia from the 150 years of the station.

It will also include a section on volunteering for the RNLI today.

Mr Rainsford added: "We want to make sure everyone has a good time and reflects what it means for the lifeboat crew to serve for such a long time in a small community.

Wells Lifeboat house pictured on nov 7, 1967. Picture: BH Smith.Wells Lifeboat house pictured on nov 7, 1967. Picture: BH Smith.

"Another of our crew, Phil Eaglen, is also celebrating 50 years of service, which is an extraordinary achievement."

A number of other events around the town will also take place in July to celebrate the anniversary.

For more information about the celebrations, visit http://www.wellslifeboat.org/events.htm.

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