At sea off Dunster beach en route from Watchet to Minehead Harbour.
An impromptu invitation from an old friend to join him for a trip from Watchet Marina to Minehead Harbour on an old Liverpool class Lifeboat saw me spending an amazing afternoon aboard ex RNLB 'The Elliott Gill". Current owner Jonathon Pearman has had this wonderful old boat lovingly restored to her former glory and she is now berthed in his home town of Watchet in West Somerset.
The Liverpool Class Lifeboat was a common site at Lifeboat stations around the UK up until the mid 70's when they were eventually replaced by faster inflatable boats or other more modern classes of offshore Lifeboat. The hull is constructed in double diagonal planking from mahogany and was powered by twin diesel engines giving her an operational speed of 8 knots (on a good day). This class of Lifeboat was non self righting despite this these kindly old boats carried out some impressive rescues in heavy weather.
A Liverpool Class Lifeboat was stationed at my home town of Minehead until 1973 on her retirement she was replaced by 2 D-Class inshore Lifeboats which were deemed more suitable for the rescue work on this stretch of the Somerset coastline.
Ex RNLB The Elliott Gill on her berth in Watchet Marina.
The Engine room now houses 2 x lister Alpha diesel engines.
Preparing to leave the berth.
Me at the helm.
My Grandfather Eddie James assisting with the recovery of the Liverpool Class Lifeboat 'BHMH' stationed at Minehead.
Leaving Watchet Marina Bound for Minehead harbour.