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Rye Harbour RNLI man pulls first pint at opening of refurbished pub

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer manager of Rye Harbour RNLUI lifeboat station was given the honour of pulling the first pint at the reopening of a local pub following a £200,000 refurbishment.

The William the Conqueror in Rye Harbour celebrated its makeover with a reopening event on Thursday 14 April, and Richard Tollett, Lifeboat Operations Manager for the station, was first in line to serve a draught beer.

And to mark the occasion, the Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, presented a £500 donation to the Friends of Mary Stanford Lifeboat House. The boathouse is a permanent reminder of the tragedy in 1928 when Rye Harbour’s Mary Stanford Lifeboat capsized in heavy seas with the loss of all 17 crew.

Jonathan Neame presented the cheque to Jacqui Stanford, founder and chairman of Friends of Mary Stanford Lifeboat House.

The pub, overlooking the River Rother, reopened after being closed for five weeks during the refurbishment. Local dignitaries and residents were also invited to the launch celebration.

Richard joined the crew at Rye Harbour in 1968, and his years of dedicated service were recognised by the RNLI in 2013 with the presentation of a Bar to his Gold Badge, the second highest award made by the charity.


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• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252  tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
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• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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