The Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council was the special guest at the AGM of Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercraft charity BARB on Friday evening (May 23rd).

Cllr Peter Downing joined 40 people at Burnham’s Town Council Chambers to hear about a busy year for the long-running life-saving charity.

He told the audience he is a “strong supporter” of Burnham’s marine rescue services and was honoured to have been invited, adding that he was impressed with the team work.

He was given a tour of the seafront hovercraft station by BARB’s volunteers and also visited Burnham RNLI and Burnham Coastguards.

During the AGM, BARB’s Chairman Mark Newman said proposals are to be unveiled soon about expanding the hovercraft station to add extra training facilities.

He thanked BARB’s fundraisers and supporters for their “hugely appreciated support” in helping the charity meet its £30,000 annual running costs. Among those highlighted were Burnham’s Trinity Close Christmas Lights Team, Somerset Motorcycle Group, the Lions and Burnham’s Inner Wheel.

He and Operations Manager Mike Lowe praised BARB’s volunteer crew for their tremendous team spirit over the past year, particularly during the recent flood relief work on the Somerset Levels.

Certificates were presented during to several of the charity’s fundraisers and volunteers by BARB President Neville Jones and Cllr Downing – including treasurer Mike Ross, above.

The annual telescope award, given to the crewmember who has contributed most to the welfare of the charity over the past year, was presented to Mike Lowe.

During the election of officers, those re-appointed were Chairman Mark Newman, Vice Chairman Julie Dean, Operations Manager Mike Lowe, Deputy Operations Manager Graham Hallsworth, BARB Treasurer Mike Ross and BARB Secretary Roger Flower.

Burnham RNLI’s Operations Manager Matt Davies and Chairman Graham Wills both attended the meeting and praised the close working and co-operation between the organisatons.

Burnham’s Mayor Martin Cox and Deputy Mayor Dennis Davey were also both in attendance, representing the Town Council.

Pictured: BARB crew with council chairman Cllr Peter Downing at Friday’s AGM and, above, with Burnham RNLI members (Photos: