St Albans Lifeboats charity appealing for new blood

RNLB St Albans.

RNLB St Albans. - Credit: RNLI St Albans

Despite the city's landlocked status, the St Albans branch of the RNLI has been raising money for lifeboats for over 100 years.

But the pandemic forced them to suspend their activities and cancel most of the celebrations planned for their centenary year in 2020.

The branch has a rich history which includes funding three lifeboats:

* an offshore lifeboat based at New Quay, Cardiganshire, between 1948 and 1970 which is recorded as having saved 79 lives

* a D-class inflatable inshore rescue boat based at Burnham on Crouch 1969 to 1973

* a prototype for the Atlantic class of rigid inflatables which was stationed at West Mersea from 1972 to 1976.

The branch also distinguished itself - and St Albans - by funding a Spitfire fighter plane for the war effort in 1940.

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Now members are keen to re-start their traditional activities - and invent new fun ways to encourage support for the RNLI volunteers who crew the nation's lifeboats and beach lifeguard stations.

Plans are already in hand for a summer party including a talk and film show about the work of the RNLI,  a quiz evening with fish and chips supper, an outing to Dover - to visit both castle and lifeboat station, and traditional collections in the city centre and outside supportive supermarkets.

Committee member Anthony Oliver said they are looking for new recruits to help restart these fundraising efforts, which usually raised £10,000 a year for the RNLI.

"Please, if you would like to support these efforts in any way at all, send an email to rnli.stalbans@gmail.com. That way anyone who is interested in lifeboats can be kept informed of local activities, and of course the committee would also welcome new volunteers to offer help with the organisation."

The branch is also hoping to have a framed photo of the St Albans lifeboat displayed outside the district council chamber where there are already pictures of HMS St Albans, old and new, and HMS Verulam.

You can  check the latest news from the branch on the website rnli.org/StAlbans