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Falmouth RNLI Appeal benefits from local builder’s 60th birthday celebrations

Lifeboats News Release

Falmouth builder Andy Stribley recently donated £350 to the station’s appeal after the money was given by family and friends instead of gifts for his recent 60th birthday.

David Barnicoat collection

Falmouth lifeboat Bob Newbon alongside Custom House Quay, Falmouth taken shortly after the Hera rescue in February 1914. Tom Pollard is front row second left standing in the lifeboat.

The appeal was launched in March with the aim of raising £100,000 towards the cost of alterations and improvements needed at the lifeboat station ahead of the arrival of their new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat.

Andy thought it seemed like a really good idea to ask for donations to give to the appeal after he and his wife Gail had a conversation with Paul Wickes MBE, Deputy Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee, about her family history and links to the RNLI. The money was raised with the help of Betty Stoggs who made a surprise attendance at Andy's birthday party at The Shed in Falmouth.

It seemed a very fitting thing to do as in February 1914, Gail's great grandfather, Tom Pollard, was a crew member on the Falmouth lifeboat Bob Newbon during the famous Hera rescue off Gull Rock when five lives were saved from the shipwrecked German barque. Gail recounted her grandmother's memories of that daring rescue when the crew of the Bob Newbon returned exhausted and with their hands raw from the efforts of rowing. Tom's great grandson, Mark Pollard was Falmouth Lifeboat Coxswain between 2005 and 2015 during which time he was awarded the RNLI’s Bronze Medal for his fortitude, exemplary leadership and outstanding seamanship in the rescue of the Galina in November 2005.

Another of Tom's great grandsons, Tim Julian, also served as station mechanic aboard the Falmouth Lifeboat from 1983 to 2003 and at the time of being recruited was one of the youngest ever RNLI station mechanics.

Paul Wickes said 'Andy and Gail's support for the Falmouth RNLI Appeal is a fantastic gesture. They both truly reflect the very high regard local people in and around Falmouth have towards the local RNLI crew and the many volunteers who support them. On behalf of the Appeal Committee we are delighted to accept the generous donation of £350'.

The Falmouth RNLI Appeal has currently raised £75,000 towards its target.

Notes to editors

  • The Bob Newbon photograph was taken shortly after the Hera rescue. Tom Pollard is front row second left standing in the lifeboat. Photo: David Barnicoat collection
  • Details of the Hera and Bronze Medal Galina rescues can be read in the book Falmouth Lifeboat 150 years of saving lives at sea 1867-2017 published this year to commemorate the station’s 150th anniversary.
  • The attached PDF file gives more information about the Falmouth RNLI Appeal.


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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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