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Pebble memorial moves on apace

Lifeboats News Release

Rye Museum was buzzing with creativity on Monday 18 February with sixty-two adults and fifty-nine children painting pebbles

Last year November 15 marked the ninetieth anniversary of the Mary Stanford Disaster which claimed all seventeen lives of the gallant crew of the Rye Harbour lifeboat. To mark the occasion within the village an idea was born to get local people to paint a nautical design on a pebble; when enough were painted, a pavement would be created.

There have been five workshops so far and everyone wants to be part of this community project. Nine hundred and fifty pebbles are needed in total and we are well on the way to achieving that number. It is wonderful to see so many groups, societies and schools wanting to be involved. It shows that the disaster is still very close to the heart of the community. Many families directly descended from the lost crew still live in the village or nearby and it will be wonderful for them and others to see such a colourful display.

Local businesses are supporting this project and yesterday David Bookless presented KT Bruce with a cheque for £102 on behalf of Rye Conservation Society, while Priscilla Ryan generously gave a £100 cheque. This money will help to cover the cost of the paints, varnish and brushes, and will also be used to create a memorial plaque explaining the project. £100 donations have also been received from both Rastrum Ltd and Atlas Business Park.

Thus there will be a permanent reminder in the village to celebrate the brave crew and to remember their families, whose lives were changed forever in 1928. It is hoped to have all the pebbles in place by October or November this year when there will be a grand opening to mark the village memorial to those who gave so much.

Heather Stevenson, Director of Rye Museum, commented at the end of the day, ‘It was a great joy to see so many people coming through the doors of the Museum. Because of the numbers a few more tables and chairs had hastily to be set-up, and thankfully there were enough pebbles to go round and plenty of paints and pens. By the end of the afternoon there was a fantastic array of painted pebbles to be seen and a lot of happy children and parents. The Museum would like to thank KT Bruce, RNLI Press Officer at Rye Harbour and creator of the project, as well as the various sponsors and such a great turnout of children and their parents. Thank you to all who attended and to the Museum volunteers for assisting. This was a worthwhile project perhaps to be repeated at the Museum in the summer holidays.’

RNLI Media contacts

• Kt Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 Kt@ktbrucephotography.com

• Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

•For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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 237 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 180 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.

RNLI/KT Bruce

Completed pebbles from the afternoon's marathon of painting

RNLI/KT Bruce

The Judge family having fun and producing works of art

RNLI/KT Bruce

even when you are little you can have fun with paints

RNLI/KT Bruce

families from the Harbour came to paint their pebbles

RNLI/KT Bruce

Aunty and her nieces having a creative time

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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