An estimated 1000 people attended the 56th Annual Lifeboat Service on Wells Quay on Sunday.
The lifeboat chaplain, the Reverend Neil Woodruff, led the service and gave the address from on-board the all-weather lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill. The readers were Coxswain Allen Frary and crewmembers Jim Heasman and Angel Eaglen who has also been crowned this year’s Carnival Queen. Operations Manager Chris Hardy gave the closing prayers and vote of thanks to all who have supported the lifeboats in Wells so magnificently over the years.
The traditional seafarers' hymns were accompanied by the Fakenham Town Band and led by the Churches Together choir. During the final hymn, Abide With Me, the inshore lifeboat went round all the small boats anchored in the quay for the service to take a collection while Guild members collected from those on the quayside. As this was taking place the Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat did a circuit of the harbour sounding her siren before returning to the boathouse.
The collection raised £2016.76 for lifeboat funds.
Tesco in Fakenham kindly donated essential supplies for our recent open day... pictured is Guild Secretary Amanda Hastings with Tesco Community Champion Sara and Sue, one of the store's managers.
Our thanks to all at East Anglian Working Newfoundlands who once again came to Wells last month to put on a show on our behalf. A good crowd on the quayside were treated to seeing these amazing rescue dogs in action in the water, culminating in a mass staged rescue by one dog bringing 14 people to shore including two of our lifeboat crew. Over £700 was raised for the lifeboat service from sponsorship and a collection taken on the quay.
A brand new inshore lifeboat D-797 Peter Wilcox was delivered by the RNLI and placed on service at Wells today. The IB1 D-Class lifeboat was generously donated in memory of Peter by Jayne Wilcox and his family and friends.
Jayne came to Wells to welcome the new boat and joined in helping crew members change the boats over and prepare the new boat for use. Once set up, D-797 was launched and given a brief test run around the harbour to ensure all was well before being washed down, rehoused and officially placed on service as the station's new inshore lifeboat.
Peter Wilcox is the 12th D-class inshore boat to be stationed at Wells since this type of boat was first introduced in the early 1960s and replaces the previous D-661 Jane Ann III which left the station to return to the RNLI, where she will likely serve in the relief or training fleet. D-661 was on station for almost 10 years, launching on service 223 times and was the third boat in sequence to carry the Jane Ann name, covering a period of 28 years.
A formal naming ceremony and welcome for the new lifeboat will take place later in the year.
pics: FW and MP
Hazey Coker and Tracy Mcgivern stopped by the boathouse today halfway into their 47 mile North Norfolk coast path walk to raise funds for the RNLI. The dynamic duo, who have no real history of hiking or camping, set off from Cromer on Friday and aim to complete their walk on Sunday 5th at Hunstanton, having camped over at Stiffkey and Burnham Deepdale and visited one or two pubs and eateries on the way.
We really appreciate their support and wish them all the best with the rest of the walk...
The Blakeney Old Wild Rovers presented Wells RNLI with a cheque for £4000 at a lively social evening at Wells Sailing Club this weekend. The shanty group has raised the money over the course of the last year at its gigs and through CD sales. The funds will go towards the cost of a new boathouse and launch and recovery equipment for the station's forthcoming new Shannon class lifeboat.
The cheque was presented by Brin Siller of the Old Wild Rovers to Deputy Second Coxswains Mark Frary and Martin Emerson, Mark's partner Charlotte Jordan and Martin's wife Amy Emerson.
The Old Wild Rovers raise money for a nominated charity every year and over 16 years have now raised in exceess of £190,000 for charities including the EDP Flood and We Care appeals, the King's Lynn Hospice and the air ambulance. This donation joins over £250,000 raised in 2014 and 2015 in a local appeal towards the cost of the new lifeboat and additional donations and fundraising towards the overall cost of the project.
An additional £190 was raised on the night from Jill and Peter Scillitoe who provided the catering and donated the evening's takings.
We'd like to thank the Old Wild Rovers and everyone for their continued support.
The station's carol service on 13 December saw the boathouse once again packed with local residents and visitors to the town alongside crew and their families. Our thanks for musical assistance provided by Fakenham Town Band and Wells Churches Together. and refreshments by members of Wells RNLI Guild. A bucket collection raised £386. We hope to see you all again next year.
Global energy company DONG Energy has agreed to make a £120000 contribution over two years towards the running costs of six RNLI stations at Wells, Clacton and Humber on the east coast, Barrow and New Brighton in the north-west and Ramsgate on the south coast.
DONG Energy is a leading pioneer in offshore wind generation with currently eight operational offshore windfarms in the UK and a further four in development, all located in areas covered by the six selected RNLI stations. The funds will be used for day-to-day running costs of the lifeboats at the stations, mainly fuel used in launches and rescues as well as minor items replaced during routine maintenance.
Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy’s UK country chairman, said: "The RNLI is a fantastic charity that does incredible work, and I am thrilled that we are making a major contribution to the lifeboat running costs for six stations across the UK.... As a company operating at sea ourselves, we know all about the extraordinary support that the RNLI provides to coastal communities. DONG Energy is fully committed to making a positive contribution to the local areas where we operate and that's why this partnership makes so much sense."