Beadnell WI, Meeting

Life-saving at sea

Saturday, 23rd July 2016, 5:00 am
There was plenty of room at Beadnell Bay. Picture Jane Coltman

Beadnell WI members arrived for their July meeting to discover what appeared to be a new building.

Local builder Len Smith and his men had almost completed the repairs, treatment and refurbishment of the outer walls.

Ninety-year-old wood has been replaced by cedral cladding, making it weather proof and ready to face another era. Everyone is delighted by the result.

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This has been achieved through hardworking members fund-raising for the past three years, and also through the generosity of villagers and visitors.

Now our new target is to try to raise money to facilitate meeting some of the requests on our ‘wish list’.

This was compiled from answers given to recent public surveys conducted with members of the various groups, who currently hire the hall, and other interested bodies.

We will try to adapt the interior to accommodate some additional activities, while retaining our original features.

Ian Clayton, Seahouses Lifeboat operations manager, was our speaker for the evening.

He gave us a fascinating insight into the work of the RNLI, both locally and nationally.

We learnt of Ian’s responsibilities in regards to crew welfare and management, administration and press liaison work, while being part of a multi-agency team, responsible to the Coast Guards.

Over his 22 years with the service he has observed the changing role of the RNLI. It has taken on additional responsibilities, including the need to try to reduce the high level of deaths which take place in coastal areas.

The surprising fact for us was that half of those who require rescuing never intended to get wet.

It was obvious that in this area, the Holy Island crossing causes immense problems to the service, in addition to other accidents that befall the general public.

We were interested to learn that the Seahouses crew now includes seven female members, six of whom go to sea.

Excellent training facilities prepare both men and women to deal with a variety of emergencies.

Other duties include helping to promote the RNLI’s campaign to educate the public about the need to Respect the Water, which it has now adopted as a policy and a slogan.

With the expectation of taking delivery within the next two years of both new inshore and all-weather boats, Seahouses Lifeboat Station is well-equipped to carry out its mission to preserve life on and near the sea.

During the business section, members were asked to sign up to help with our annual fete on July 27, and weekly summer coffee mornings.

On September 8, Stuart Walton will talk to us about working in Kenya in the 1970s.

The competition will be to bring something connected to the letter K.

Members were reminded of the Lindisfarne group meeting on September 21, which we are hosting.