Wells-next-the-Sea RNLI Lifeboat Station houses an all-weather lifeboat and an inshore lifeboat to save lives and assist with emergencies around Wells and off the North Norfolk coast. Manned by volunteer crews, the boats are ready to launch within minutes, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This website will tell you more about the station and give you a taste of what we do and the traditions of the lifeboat service.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Slight
Weather Squally Visibility Good Wind SW6-7 Sea Slight
Newcastle-based photographer Jack Lowe visited Wells lifeboat station today as part of a project to photograph all the RNLI's lifeboat stations using his 110 year old Victorian wet plate camera, producing stunning 12x10" images directly onto glass.
The collodion process dates from 1850 and involves creating a film emulsion by pouring chemicals onto a piece of clean glass which is then sensitised to light before being transferred into the camera. After exposure, developer is poured onto the glass to reveal the image which is then stopped with water and finally immersed in fixer, producing a final 'Ambrotype' positive image.
To make this possible, Jack has converted an old ambulance into a mobile darkroom. Each image took around 20 minutes to prepare, shoot and develop, with Jack making two trips between the camera in front of the lifeboat house and the darkroom positioned on the top of the beach bank for each one.
After two years of preparation and planning, this is the first week of Jack's project and Wells is the seventh station to be photographed. The whole task with 237 lifeboat stations will take a minimum of three years to complete.
The images created at Wells today include the view from the boathouse, a portrait of the Coxswain and a group photograph of the crew in front of the boat and boathouse.
Limited edition digital prints from the glass images will be available for purchase from Jack's website. The project aims to document today's RNLI and act as a fundraiser. It is hoped that an exhibition of the original images can be staged once the project is complete.The Lifeboat Station Project website
We've already a busy diary for 2015 with the station's usual open days and events along with others to help raise money towards our new Shannon-class lifeboat. Already scheduled are further Talk of Wells evenings at the Globe inn, a Mexican evening at Binham village hall in March, a series of bike rides with Cycle Sportives UK and the incredible Norfolk Superhero challenge which will be raising funds for the appeal in June.
For more details, keep an eye on our events page.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity, registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). This website is managed and maintained by local volunteers at Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station and is not the main RNLI site. All text and images copyright (C)2005-2014 RNLI Wells Lifeboat Station, or as indicated, and may not be downloaded, copied or reproduced elsewhere without prior permission of the station or the relevant copyright holder. Site Manager