Birthday boy gives the perfect present to town’s RNLI

Helen and John Barton. Picture by RNLI/John Young
Helen and John Barton. Picture by RNLI/John Young

A pensioner who celebrated his 80th birthday has given a special present to a life-saving charity, which has launched a major fund-raising appeal.

Amble RNLI is on a mission to collect £200,000 by July 2016, to go towards a modern and much-needed £2million Shannon-class lifeboat.

And the cause received a big boost recently, thanks to birthday boy John Barton, from North Yorkshire.

The selfless 80-year-old asked friends and family to donate to the fund, instead of buying him presents.

As a result, £1,100 has been gifted to the appeal, which currently stands at just over £46,000.

Rodney Burge, from Amble RNLI, said: “We would like to thank John and the many people who gave so generously to the appeal.

“We hope that John and his wife Helen will visit the station for a tour around the new Shannon lifeboat when it arrives in late 2017.”

John regularly visits Amble as Helen is from Whittingham and they have family and many friends in the area.

During a recent trip to the town, he made a visit to the lifeboat station and was shown aboard the current Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat.

He was so impressed by what he saw, he decided to make the birthday gesture.