The boss of Hinkley Point power station was the special guest at the AGM of Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft charity BARB on Friday evening (June 24th).

Nigel Cann, who is the Site Director of the proposed Hinkley Point C, joined almost 50 people at the Town Council Chambers in Jaycroft Road, where he heard about a busy year of rescues, fundraising and visits for the life-saving charity.

Mr Cann told the audience he is a “great supporter” of Burnham’s marine rescue services and was “honoured” to be invited as the guest.

During the meeting, an update was given on the project to buy a new replacement hovercraft for the Light Of Elizabeth, which is showing heavy wear and tear after extensive use as a training and rescue craft.

BARB Chairman Mark Newman said the charity had conducted over a year’s research on all current commercial hovercraft and had also carried out visits and meetings with various firms and users – including a full commercial tendering process – to ensure the new craft meets BARB’s needs.

He said the process is nearing completion and an announcement is due shortly. He thanked those who have donated funds to buy the new craft.

Certificates were presented during the evening to the charity’s key recent fundraisers by Mr Cann and BARB President Neville Jones.

They included Brean’s Diamond Farm Holiday Park and Burnham’s Trinity Close Christmas Lights fundraising team, Bristol Yacht Cruising Club, and the Inner Wheel of Wrington Vale.

During the election of officers, Chairman Mark Newman and Vice Chairman David Bailey were re-appointed, while a new Operations Manager, Mike Lowe, and Deputy Operations Manager, Clive Wheal, were chosen.

The annual telescope award, given to the BARB crewmember who has contributed most to the welfare of the organisation over the past year was given to Al Humphries, who led a programme of extensive mechanical and structural repairs to The Spirit Of Lelaina craft following a recent engine failure.

Outgoing Operations Manager Steve Perks was also thanked for his considerable work over the past year, which included the renovation of BARB’s office and crew area.

BARB Treasurer Mike Ross noted that while the charity’s finances are in good shape, several significant purchases are due to be made over the coming year, including the much-needed replacement of the charity’s two tow trucks, so the focus on fundraising will continue.

Mr Cann was given a tour of the seafront hovercraft station and was also taken on a flight in The Spirit Of Lelaina and visited Burnham RNLI.

Pictured: (top) Burnham’s Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Maria Clarke with BARB President Neville Jones, BARB Chairman Mark Newman, Hinkley Point’s Nigel Cann and BARB Operations Manager Mike Lowe; The Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft; Diamond Farm fundraiser Jayne Collins receiving a certificate; and (above) Al Humphries receiving the telescope award

BARB’s Deputy Operations Manager Clive Wheal with Mr Cann (centre) and BARB Vice Chairman David Bailey

Roger Flower, right, receiving a certificate from Mr Cann on behalf of the Trinity Close Christmas lights fundraisers

Mr Cann also visited Burnham RNLI during the evening and is pictured with Tony Deahl (Photos: BARB & Mike Lang)


Official BARB Web site