Northumberland man honoured for lifeboat service

John Hanvey, his wife Mary, RNLI Inspector Andrew Ashton and the lifeboat crew at Seahouses.
John Hanvey, his wife Mary, RNLI Inspector Andrew Ashton and the lifeboat crew at Seahouses.

A Seahouses man has been honoured for his 65 years of service to the village’s lifeboat station.

On Tuesday, RNLI Divisional Inspector Andrew Ashton presented John Hanvey, chairman of the Seahouses RNLI Lifeboat Station management committee, with the RNLI’s Gold Badge and Certificate, recognising his outstanding service.

Mr Hanvey first joined the Seahouses (then North Sunderland) Lifeboat Station as a shore crewman in 1949.

In 1963, he became a crewman on the first inshore lifeboat to be stationed at Seahouses. He later became a deputy launch authority until his retirement, when he then chaired the station management committee.

His wife Mary recently retired as a volunteer in the station’s souvenir shop, where she worked for many years and was well-known to the many visitors to the station.

Mr Hanvey still keeps close contact with the station, chairing meetings as required, and monitoring the activities of the station’s all-weather lifeboat Grace Darling and inshore lifeboat Peter Downes.

Mr Hanvey’s son, John Hanvey Jnr, continues the family RNLI tradition, and is currently the full-time coxswain/mechanic at Seahouses Lifeboat Station.

Mr Ashton said: “It is not often that the RNLI has occasion to recognise such lengthy and dedicated service, and it is an honour to present John with his Gold Badge and Certificate.”

Seahouses Lifeboat operations manager, Ian Clayton, added: “I don’t think many of us realised just how long John had been connected with the station, and we are all delighted to see this award being made.

“It is most well-deserved and we owe him an immense gratitude and debt for his dedication and support over his 65 years of service.”