October 11, 2016
150th anniversary of Burnham-On-Sea lifeboat launch is commemorated

A lifeboat funded entirely by the town of Cheltenham and destined to serve as the first RNLI lifeboat in Burnham-On-Sea has been commemorated this week - 150 years after its launch.

On October 10th, 1866, the 32-foot, 10 oar-powered pulling vessel was launched on Pittville Lake in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

'Cheltenham' was later transported by rail to Burnham-On-Sea where it remained in service for 21 years, saving 21 lives across the 14 times it was launched.

This week, to mark the 150th anniversary, the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury RNLI Branch hosted a commemoration service to mark the 15 decades since the dedication of the lifeboat to the charity’s crew in Burnham.

The lifeboat was funded entirely by the people of Cheltenham via an appeal. Once built, the lifeboat had to be transported by rail from London to Cheltenham for the naming ceremony, where it was named on behalf of the Borough by Lady Charlotte Shreiber on 10th October 1866.

Paul Wroot, RNLI Cheltenham and Tewskesbury Committee Member, told "The service marked this significant part of the history of the people of Cheltenham and the RNLI."

"It also marked over 150 years of fundraising for the RNLI in Cheltenham and the surrounding area, an incredible length of time which has seen such generosity from our inland town."

"We have also organised for an information board including history and picture to be put near the place where the lifeboat was launched."


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