Tynemouth RNLI make history by signing the 200th anniversary scroll at the South Shields Lifeboat Memorial

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Tynemouth RNLI and the Tyne and Wear lifeguards have marked a milestone in the RNLI’s 200th anniversary scroll relay.

Representatives from Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat along with the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside have taken part in the RNLI’s ‘Connecting our Communities’ relay-style event.

The event is one of the many ways in which the charity is marking its 200th anniversary throughout 2024 - with a scroll, bearing the RNLI pledge, being passed through RNLI communities.

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The commemorative event was held at the Lifeboat Memorial, on Pier Parade, in South Shields, at 11am on Sunday, June 9.

The scroll was signed by David Robinson, retired Deputy Coxswain of Tynemouth Lifeboat, Caroline Treavor, fundraising chair of Tynemouth Lifeboat and James Waters, press officer and inshore lifeboat helm at Tynemouth RNLI.

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside in front of the Tynemouth RNLI crew. The crew are holding the case which houses the scroll marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI. Photo: National World.The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside in front of the Tynemouth RNLI crew. The crew are holding the case which houses the scroll marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI. Photo: National World.
The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside in front of the Tynemouth RNLI crew. The crew are holding the case which houses the scroll marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI. Photo: National World. | National World

Speaking after the scroll signing, Cllr Fay Cunningham, the Mayor of South Tyneside, highlighted the importance of the work that the RNLI carry out.

She commented: “I think it is such a good thing that they are doing, 200 years of service and being a maritime town, it has been so important to us, especially to sign it in front of ‘The Tyne’.

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“I know they work alongside South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB) who we are also very proud of so today has been a really important day.”

The scroll is on a tour of the UK and Ireland until October, where it will end on the Isle of Man. Photo: National World.The scroll is on a tour of the UK and Ireland until October, where it will end on the Isle of Man. Photo: National World.
The scroll is on a tour of the UK and Ireland until October, where it will end on the Isle of Man. Photo: National World. | National World

James Waters, one of the RNLI crew who signed the scroll, has expressed his pride at being able to sign the document, which will now go down in history.

He said: “We are obviously based north of the Tyne at Tynemouth but it is amazing to be here in front of this old boat and showing the differences that have happened since then.

“It is such a privilege to be representing our crew on the scroll today and for generations to come to be able to look back and see mine, Caroline’s and David’s names written on the scroll.

David Robinson, retired Deputy Coxswain of Tynemouth Lifeboat signing the 200th anniversary scroll. Photo: National World.David Robinson, retired Deputy Coxswain of Tynemouth Lifeboat signing the 200th anniversary scroll. Photo: National World.
David Robinson, retired Deputy Coxswain of Tynemouth Lifeboat signing the 200th anniversary scroll. Photo: National World. | National World

“It is a true pleasure and I feel very humbled by it.”

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The scroll has been made as a bespoke item by RNLI craftspeople using materials of significance to the charity.

All aspects of the case housing the scroll have been made from the same materials that go into making the RNLI lifeboats across the country.

Caroline Treavor gave an insight into her role at the RNLI as she highlighted that not all volunteers for the charity need to go out on the lifeboats.

She added: “I’ve been with Tynemouth RNLI for three years as I was looking to volunteer in something that was going to support the community.

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“I love the sea but knew I wasn’t going to be able to go out on the boat.

“People forget that RNLI are a crew made up of many different people, not everyone goes out on the boat so we’ve got volunteers who are shore crew, fundraisers, etc.

“It has been an honour to come here today and sign the scroll on behalf of the RNLI.

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The Tynemouth RNLI crew holding the 200th anniversary scroll in front of the South Shields Lifeboat Memorial. Photo: National World.The Tynemouth RNLI crew holding the 200th anniversary scroll in front of the South Shields Lifeboat Memorial. Photo: National World.
The Tynemouth RNLI crew holding the 200th anniversary scroll in front of the South Shields Lifeboat Memorial. Photo: National World. | National World

“I was at the service in Westminster and saw it leave there to start its tour, which again was a real privilege.”

The scroll is passing through 240 RNL locations around the UK and Ireland before it finishes its journey in October at Douglas, on the Isle of Man - home to the RNLI’s founder, Sir William Hillary. By the time that it reaches the Isle of Man, it will have been signed by around 700 people.

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