lifeboat crew to re-enact historic Cheltenham launch of 1866
lifeboat crewmembers will this week be re-enacting a lifeboat
launch of 146 years ago in Gloucestershire.
In 1866 the people of Cheltenham witnessed a rare event - the
arrival and launching of an RNLI lifeboat into a local lake.
The residents had raised the money for a new lifeboat for Burnham
and watched with awe as it was floated onto Pittville Lake - as
pictured above - so they could see what they had achieved.
Now, 146 years later, the RNLI are launching another lifeboat
onto the same lake in a ceremony at Pittville Lake, Cheltenham
on Sunday 4th March at 2pm.
It will promote a play about the history of the charity that's
being performed at the Parabola Arts Centre in Cheltenham in late
It was a special lifeboat fund organised in and around Cheltenham
that paid for the lifeboat and carriage that was destined for
Both were transported from London free of charge by the Great
Western and Bristol and Exeter Railway companies, and on 10th
October 1866 the lifeboat was launched onto the lake and named
in a public ceremony.
the lifeboat was launched into Pittville Lake it was, according
to The Lifeboat Journal amidst much enthusiasm, and
crowds gathered at the waters edge to witness the event.
Now, the activities of 1866 are to be re-enacted using a modern
day inshore lifeboat, similar to one of those now based at Burnham-On-Sea.
Lifeboat volunteers from todays lifeboat station will crew
the vessel and plan to demonstrate its ability to capsize and
Ricky Holmes, Burnham's Lifeboat Operations Manager, says it
will be an unusual experience: "I'm sure the lifeboat team
at Burnham 146 years ago were very grateful to the people of Cheltenham
and now we have a chance to say thank you again as we support
Alan Tyson, who has written an amazing live performance docudrama
about the history of the RNLI."
"Out of the Mist explores the humour, sadness, triumph and
disaster that lifesavers since 1771 and that RNLI volunteers have
experienced over the last 188 years and we are honoured to have
this rare opportunity to bring a modern day lifeboat to the town.
We hope lots of people will come along to see the lifeboat, meet
the crew volunteers and find out more about this extraordinary
Out of the Mist is being performed at the Parabola Arts Centre
in Cheltenham on Thursday 29 March (with a matinee performance
at 2.30pm and an evening performance at 7.30pm) and at 7.30pm
on Friday 30 March 2012.