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Displaying items by tag: RNLI 200

As the RNLI prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary on 4 March, the charity has brought some of its rich history to life with the release of a stunning collection of colourised images.

From community events to candid snapshots, 11 black-and-white images have been painstakingly cleaned and colourised with folds, scratches and dust removed using digital technology to shine new light on 200 years of saving lives at sea.

The striking images from across Ireland and the UK include courageous lifeboat crews, early fundraising street collections and iconic scenes of close-knit communities coming together to launch and recover lifeboats.

Part of the new collection is a photograph taken of Ballycotton coxswain Patrick Sliney, his wife and their son William at an annual meeting in 1936.

Full-length photograph of Ballycotton coxswain Patrick Sliney, Mrs Sliney and son William at an annual meeting in 1936 | Credit: RNLIFull-length photograph of Ballycotton coxswain Patrick Sliney, Mrs Sliney and son William at an annual meeting in 1936 | Credit: RNLI

In that same year, the Daunt Rock Lightship came adrift off Ballycotton in horrendous conditions with 12 people onboard. The lifeboat crew spent 49 hours at sea and eventually rescued all those onboard.

Patrick Sliney was awarded the RNLI Gold Medal for Gallantry and the rest of his crew, including his son William, received Bronze Medals.

Also featured in the collection is the most decorated RNLI lifesaver, Henry Blogg, who was born on 6 February 1876. Blogg served for 53 years on Cromer’s lifeboats in Norfolk, England before retiring in 1947, having saved 873 lives and been awarded many honours including three Gold and four Silver RNLI Medals for Gallantry.

The image of Henry, which first appeared in the Lifeboat Journal in 1916, shows him wearing black oilskins and a sou’wester, which preceded the instantly recognisable yellow waterproofs now associated with the RNLI.

Before and after: A portrait of Henry Blogg, the most decorated RNLI lifesaver, who in his 53 years of service helped save 873 people | Credit: RNLIBefore and after: A portrait of Henry Blogg, the most decorated RNLI lifesaver, who in his 53 years of service helped save 873 people | Credit: RNLI

RNLI heritage and archive research manager Hayley Whiting said: “The carefully coloured images illustrate just a few highlights of the incredible history of lifesaving over the previous two centuries, where over 144,000 lives have been saved to date.

“To see the crew of St Davids lifeboat walking up from the boathouse wearing their traditional red hats, the yellow sou’westers of the children fundraising or the vibrant blue sea off the Isle of Man, the reworked images really do bring a different perspective on some of our archived pictures.

“Each image has been brought to life by our own in-house creative team with hours spent on attention to detail, along with research being undertaken to ensure each one gave a true, lifelike representation.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

As one of the youngest members of the RNLI family, Lough Ree RNLI and its volunteer crew are already looking forward to a special year in 2024 when the charity celebrates its 200th birthday.

With the theme of ‘Commemorate, Celebrate, inspire’, a full calendar of activities is planned throughout the year in Ireland and the UK.

On 4 March 2024, the actual birthday, a number of large public events are planned including a Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Cathedral. On 1 August 2024 ‘One Moment, One Crew’ will see volunteers gather at 18.24 to mark the year and the importance of every volunteer to the charity.

Many local events will also take place including a ‘Connecting Communities’ initiative which will see a commemorative scroll travel to RNLI facilities and be signed on behalf of the crew by one of the volunteers. Lough Ree RNLI expects to welcome the scroll in late summer 2024.

In preparation for the celebrations, Lough Ree’s volunteer crew are ready to welcome the public to the lifeboat station at Coosan Point in the next few weeks.

The lifeboat station at Coosan will host a pop-up shop on Saturdays 18 and 25 November | Credit: RNLI/Tom McGuireThe lifeboat station at Coosan will host a pop-up shop on Saturdays 18 and 25 November | Credit: RNLI/Tom McGuire

On the next two Saturdays, 18 and 25 November, the charity will host a pop-up shop at the lifeboat station. This will be the first opportunity for supporters and patrons of the charity to locally acquire specially designed merchandise marking RNLI 200.

The shop will also carry the full range of RNLI Christmas cards along with many new products and a wide selection of stocking fillers.

The RNLI shop at the lifeboat station at Coosan Point will be open from 12.30 to 3pm on 18 and 25 November and will have the facility to take card payments.

Next month, on 16 December the volunteer crew at Lough Ree RNLI will host a special Open Day at the lifeboat station with a ‘family festive’ theme. Activities planned include face painting, a kids’ DJ and a visit from Santa in the afternoon.

Lough Ree station visits officer Paul Kelly said: “We have had a very special year welcoming visitors to our new facility. Among the most enthusiastic are our younger supporters and we look forward to seeing them again on one of these days at lifeboat station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats