RNLI crew attend Royal Garden Party


Volunteer crew from Hoylake and West Kirby lifeboats were among the guests at a garden party hosted by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

The event was held to mark the 200th anniversary of the RNLI, with seven staff from Hoylake and others from West Kirby invited to enjoy tea in the Buckingham Palace gardens.

Celebrating 30 years of long service were Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen and his partner Vicky, Deputy 2nd Coxswain Andy Dodd and his wife Lou, and Launch Authority Ian Davies and his wife Tracy, who is also a shore crew member.

Celebrating 20 years of long service were crew member Emily Jones and her mum Cheryl, and crew member James Whiteley and his wife Nicola.

Also attending to mark a recent RNLI Excellence in Volunteering Award was Hoylake RNLI crew member and Lifeboat Press Officer Dan Whiteley and his wife Siân.

Hoylake RNLI crew member and Area Lifesaving Manager Chris Gaskin and his wife Catherine joined the celebrations as the RNLI thanked its staff for their commitment to saving lives.

For West Kirby, crew with RNLI Long Service Medals were Chris Gatenby (30 years), Andy Brown (20 years), Adrian Gregan (20 years) and Paul Brown (WK RNLI Doctor).

The West Kirby crew at the garden party

Hoylake Coxswain Howie Owen said: “On behalf of all the crew and guests from Hoylake RNLI, it was a huge privilege to be invited to celebrate the RNLI’s 200th anniversary at this special occasion with so many other dedicated lifesaving volunteers.

“The sun shone, the military band played, and we all had an unforgettable time.”

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: “We are incredibly honoured that His Majesty The King has granted permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party to take place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of 200 years of saving lives at sea.

“Our hosts, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, have been hugely supportive of our charity over many decades and it will be a huge honour and privilege for many of our volunteers and staff to meet them.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and I am looking forward to being able to thank them personally, along with their equally dedicated families and our long-serving staff members, for their courage and commitment to saving lives.”

Photo credit: Hoylake RNLI (top) and West Kirby RNLI (middle)