Station history

A lifeboat station was established at Clovelly following a wreck in the bay and in consideration of the distance separating the then two flanking stations of Bude and Bideford.  A new 32ft 10in oared lifeboat proved by Mrs Boetefour of London in memory of her late husband who was an active member of the Committee of Management of the RNLI and one of the most munificent benefactors.

1869

Silver Medal awarded to Mr George Bumby, Chief Officer Coastguard as Clovelly for putting off in a shore boat with others at much risk of life and bringing safely to land a long boat with 13 people form the Barque Odore wrecked at Portledge Mouth in a whole gale and heavy sea on 12 September.

1870

Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £175.

A new 33ft SR lifeboat Alexander and Matilda Boetefour (ON230), built at a cost of £320, was placed on service

1871

Lifeboat capsized whilst on exercise fortunately without loss of life.

1881

Alexander and Matilda Boetefour renamed Graham Hughes

1882

Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Richard Headon in recognition of his gallant services in saving 34 lives during the past 12 years.

1890

Silver Medal to Mr Sidney Abbott and Mr Robert Hodge for putting off at great risk in a small boat and gallantly rescuing two men from a boat that had capsized off Clovelly in a north-north-easterly gale and heavy sea on 5 November.

1892

Boat house reconstructed and a slipway provided at a cost of £1,065.

1893

A new 34ft SR lifeboat, Elinor Roget (ON348), built at a cost of £423, was placed on service.

1902

Committee of Management voted £125 to the widow of Bowman John Dunn, who died from the effects of exposure on service 28 April.

1907

A new 37ft SR lifeboat, also named Elinor Roget II (ON573), built at a cost of £1057, was placed on service.

1908

Acetylene beach light supplied.

1913

Second Coxswain washed out of lifeboat on service to unknown vessel on 15 March; fortunately he was recovered.

1936

A motorised SR lifeboat City of Nottingham (ON726), previously on service at Hythe, was placed on service.

1949

Bronze Medal awarded to Bowman Percy Shackson and Assistant Mechanic William Braund for the rescue on 30 August1948 of two Americans from a rock under the cliffs at Baggy Point.  It was impossible to get close enough with the lifeboat so the Coxswain called for two volunteers to man a dinghy brought by the lifeboat.  The two men handled the dinghy with great skill and courage in the darkness and dangerous waters. The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain George Lamey. The Maude Smith Award for Courage for Bravest Deed of the Year awarded to Bowman Percy Shackson and Assistant Mechanic William Braund for this service.

A new Liverpool class lifeboat William Cantrell Ashley (ON871), built at a cost of £10,964, was placed on service.

1954

Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain George Lamey for the rescue of the crew of three of the ketch Progress on 28 July in a north-westerly gale and very rough sea.  The lifeboat had to be brought under the lee of the ketch 10 times before the crew, as well a cat, some new born kittens and a canary were taken aboard.

1962

A Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution together with an additional monetary award was sent to the coxswain and crew for launching on service in considerably difficult conditions because of an onshore gale and a tide being at low water on 17 November, to the tanker Green Ranger.

1963

The William Cantrell Ashley was sent away to have diesel engines fitted and was replaced by the reserve fleet Liverpool class lifeboat Clara and Emily Barwell (ON893) until November 1964, which had previously been on service in Eyemouth.

1968

A new Clyde class lifeboat Civil Service No 35 (ON987), previously Charles H Barrett, built at a cost of £63,907, was placed on service.

1971

A Centenary vellum awarded.

The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Dr D Mackenzie, the Honorary Medical Adviser, in recognition of his courage when on 7/8 November he went afloat in the lifeboat and boarded the motor vessel Embdena under the most hazardous conditions to attend to a seriously injured man.

1972

Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution presented to Boat Mechanics R G Tanner & P J Croft for the rescue of two men trapped on the cliffs using an inshore lifeboat on temporary duty at the station on 10 June.

1974

Bronze Medal awarded to Staff Coxswain Michael Stafford Houchen for courage and seamanship when the lifeboat saved the trawler St Pierre that was taking water, and her crew of three, on 6 February.

1975

A new Clyde class lifeboat City of Bristol (ON1030), built at a cost of £220,452, was placed on service.

1979

A special framed certificate awarded to the Coxswain and crew for display at the Station in recognition of their services in connection with numerous yachts in difficulties during the Fastnet Race on 15 August.

1987

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was present0ed to the Coxswain and crew members of the lifeboat City of Bristol for their professional and seamanlike manner, when four people were rescued from the yacht Moon Dragon and the vessel saved in difficult conditions on the night of 11/12 July.

1988

Station closed 15 August.

1998

Re-opened as an inshore lifeboat station with an Atlantic 21 in May. Lifeboat B-759 Spirit of Clovelly, funded by the Clovelly Lifeboat Trust placed on service.

2014

A new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat B-872 Toby Rumble, was placed on service on 6 May and B-759 transferred to the reserve fleet.

MEDAL RECORD

The men of Clovelly have been awarded eight medals, four Silver and four Bronze, the last being voted in 1974.

FOREIGN AWARDS

In 1950 the Spanish Society for Saving the Shipwrecked awarded Coxswain Lamey the silver prize medal and a Diploma of Merit to the crew for the service to SS Monte Gurugu.