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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.”

Image courtesy of Mike Holliday and others, thanks to Derick Pearson, Fred Brunskill and Paul Gray for the updates.

Skinningrove Auxiliary 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.”

The Archive requested assistance with additional names. Pat Sparkes advised: “My Uncle Major Lightfoot sitting behind the gentleman with the arm band. Standing directly behind the same man with the arm band could be my grandad John Kennedy. not positive but it looks like him.” John Kennedy further assisted with: “Pat is correct. this is a photo of the Skinningrove auxiliary coastguards Rocket practise. They used to practice firing a rocket with a rope attached. The idea being to then send a Breech’s boy to the wrecked ship to rescue the crew. They used the local Gas board wagon to transport the equipment to the cliff top. Jimmy Hewison drove the lorry. Also in the picture is Jim Kennedy,(John Kennedy’s brother and Major Lightfoot was their brother in law. Major was his name not rank) also Chuck Laity, Kruger Hart, Mr Wheatman (First Aid man) and I believe Do- Do Cox and Jim Green.”

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and thanks to John Kennedy and Pat Sparkes for the updates.

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. ??.

Margaret Verrill Craggs tells: “George Hugill was my uncle. His son Edward Verrill Hugill lives in Marske.” Lesley Short adds: “Harry Reed was my uncle, married to my mother’s sister. I visited Staithes with my mother, father and brother during the early 1960s. Wonderful memories.” Whilst Dorothy Smith (nee Reed) advises: “My father is Harry Reed pictured here, we moved to Staithes just after the war for my Dad to serve with the Coastguard and live in the Coastguards house on Cliff Road. Thank you very much for the photograph.” Can someone add more details, please?

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

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. The Archive has a request from Chris Bell: “Does anybody have any information regarding the rocket House on the Cowbar at Staithes which was used for marine rescue?”

Image courtesy of Mr. Ray Conn, thanks to Chris Bell for that request.

A Happy Ending

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