Plaque unveiled to celebrate Poole Lifeboats 150th year
A Blue Plaque was unveiled today by the Mayor Xena Dion on Wednesday (27 July 2016) to celebrate the Poole Lifeboat’s 150th year.
The Blue Plaque was mounted on the wall of the Antelope Hotel to acknowledge that the Hotel was the initial muster point for the first Lifeboat crews in 1865.
The event and Blue Plaque was organised and supported by the Society of Poole Men.
The Society of Poole Men's President Andrew Hawkes and John Buckby (retired 2nd Cox) both served on the Poole Lifeboats for many years and joined present crew, dressed in kit through the ages.
The Antelope Hotel was the site where it began. From 1865-1882 crews would gather at the hotel to be taken by a horse brake (a fast cart), to their boat which was stationed at what is now the Royal Motor Yacht Club site at North Haven Point, Sandbanks.
The crews used to be alerted by a rocket and then run to muster at the Antelope to start the trip round the harbour. In 1882 a new lifeboat house was constructed at Fisherman’s Dock on the quay, the rest is history.
Volunteer Coxswain Jonathan Clark said;
'On behalf of the crew, I would like to thank the Society of Poole men for organising the Blue Plaque, acknowledging where it all began, a proud link to our heritage'.
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Key facts about the RNLI
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.