As the station has a full-time mechanic, the boathouse is usually open and manned during the week and on Saturday mornings. Visitors are welcome to come in and have a look around.
Wells boathouse is largely original. It has a modern exterior and has been extended and altered over the years but much of it is the original 1895 building inside. Unlike many modern RNLI boathouses, there is no separate public area or viewing gallery as the building is barely big enough to house the boats and their supporting equipment. This makes for an interesting and different experience but it also means that visitors do need to take extra care as they move around and that small children should be closely supervised.
We have a small gift shop for information and souvenirs but this is not normally open unless there is a public event on. However, you may well meet crew and station officers at the boathouse and most are willing to stop for a chat or answer a few questions if they're not too busy.
We're happy to accommodate visits from larger parties such as a schools or scout groups, but please contact us first to arrange this. Visits usually consist of a talk, possibly a video, a question and answer session and a walk round the facilities.
We run open evenings at the boathouse on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer holidays. Visitors usually start with a short talk by a crew member with a question and answer session and the chance for children (and perhaps a grown-up or two) to dress up in lifeboat kit. Unusually, you will then also have the chance to go aboard the Mersey lifeboat to look at its equipment. Children also have the opportunity to sit in the inshore lifeboat.
Once a year we also run an all-day open day and barbecue at the boathouse, usually with the inshore lifeboat out on the water so that you can see it operating.
Planning permission has been granted for a new lifeboat station at Wells to house our forthcoming Shannon-class all weather lifeboat but legal work relating to the new site has taken longer than expected and we are now hoping that building work will be able to start in September 2019. This will take around 18 months to complete so our new Shannon-class lifeboat should then come into service late in 2021.
Funding for the new lifeboat was raised in part with a station appeal for £250,000 in 2014-15 and also by the Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund with its 150th Anniversary Appeal. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated, fund-raised, helped and supported us both locally and across the UK and even further afield. Your contribution is appreciated and will help to save lives and keep our volunteeer crews safe in the years to come. Read more about the station appeal
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