Recent Comments


Runswick – The Lifeboat

Runswick - The Lifeboat

In this painting of the lifeboat at Runswick Bay by W. Gibson we can see the new lifeboathouse that was built in 1910, on the beach. 

On October 29th, 1910, a new lifeboat was sent to Runswick.  She was a 35ft self-righter and was named the ’Hester Rothschild’ and served at Runswick until 1933, being involved in 31 services and saving 114 lives.

Thanks to Beryl Morris for the image and ”The Story of The Staithes and Runswick Lifeboats” by Jeff Morris for the information.

Coming Home

Coming Home

Not easy work bringing in the lifeboat, now known to be the ”Fifi and Charles” life boat which was based at Redcar 1907-1931.

Fred Brunskill tells us: ”The ‘Fifi and Charles’ was the last of the rowing lifeboats, towards the end of her service she was provided with the first of Redcar’s tractors to aid launching and recovery. A 35hp. Clayton tractor was delivered in readiness for the ‘Fife and Charles’s’ successor which was to be a heavier and motor driven lifeboat named the ‘Louisa Polden’.” Paul Gray tells us: ”Regarding the “Fifi and Charles”, having researched my family tree , have my great-grandfather hired out a team of horses to launch the lifeboat mentioned, would appreciate any pictures if anyone has them.”

Thanks to Derick Pearson, Fred and Paul for the updates.

Skinningrove Auxilliary Coastguards

Skinningrove Auxilliary Coastguards

Rocket Practise with the Skinningrove Coastguards. So far we have been told (excluding boys in photograph):

Back row: Mr Wheatman, John Kennedy, ? Hart, Jim Hart, Jim Green, Jim Kennedy, ??, ??, ??.

Front row (seated): Mr Richards, Do-Do Cox, Chuck Laity, Major Lightfoot.

Skinningrove Auxiliary Coastguards were formed at the same time as the Home Guard and worked alongside each other. They comprised men too old for active service and those like miners in reserved occupations which excluded them from active service. Their role was to man the observation posts and watch out for U-boats on the surface and aircraft dropping mines also drifting mines. They used the local Gas Board wagon to transport the equipment to the cliff top. John Kennedy tells us: ”My Dad John Kennedy told me the story of when at the beginning of the war they were issued with a rifle and a box of ammunition. An argument took place between the home guard and Coastguards to who should have it. In the end they agreed that the home guard should have the rifle and the coastguard the ammunition. Mr Mainwaring springs to mind.”

Can anybody help with additional names?

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and thanks to John Kennedy for the update.

Staithes Coastguards Presentation

The Coastguards group are outside Staithes village hall and the certificates were from the R.S.P.C.A. for an animal rescue.

We have some of the names of the men in the photograph: 1. ??, 2. ??, 3. Harry Reed, 4. Rev. B. Tatham, 5. ??, 6. ??, 7. Norman Conn, 8. ??, 8. ??, 9. George Hugill, 10. ??.

Can someone add more details, please?

Image courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn (from a photograph, copyright John Tindale).

Rescue Equipment

Members of the Staithes Coastguard Auxiliary Service; Norman Conn, Harry Reed and Harold Beyham with the life-saving gear for rescue from the shore.

Image courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn

A Happy Ending

Harry Reed and Norman Conn with a boy from Middlesbrough who had been rescued by the Staihes Auxiliary Coastguards.

Does anyone know more of the story, please?

Image and details courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn (photograph under copyright of L.W. & C.D. Richardson, Redcar).

Staithes L.S.A. Company, 1889

The Life Saving Company were responsible for rescues from the shore, firing a line to a vessel in distress.  Other ropes and pulleys were then hauled out to the vessel and the crew brought ashore one by one.  They would be the forerunners of the Coastguard Auxiliary Service. Mr. Conn’s grandfather, Jack Bennison, is standing beside the two men higher up at the back.

Image courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn.

Staithes L.S.A. Company, 1894/5

The members of Staithes rescue company grouped down by the beck or harbour in Staithes. L.S.A.’s were formed in several parts of the country and they would be the forerunners of the Coastguard Auxiliary Service. We have not many names for the members, but Ray Con could tell us Jack Bennison is 3rd from the left on the back row. Can anybody assist with any other names?

Image courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn.