Lyme lifeboat crew’s call for help

RNLI team wants pictures of the 1866 rescue boat William Woodcock for a special exhibition

LYME Regis lifeboat crew has sent out an SOS - to salvage a piece of their history.

They are appealing for photographs of one of the country’s earliest lifeboats.

The William Woodcock, which was powered by ten oarsmen and is credited with saving 22 lives in the waters around Lyme Regis, went on duty in 1866.

She was the first named lifeboat to be stationed in the resort. But photographs of the vessel seem to have sunk without a trace.

The current crew want to add the William Woodcock to an exhibition for Lifeboat Week in July.

Volunteer press officer Richard Horobin said: “We also need a photograph, or photographs, to help us mark the 150th anniversary of lifeboats in Lyme Regis which is also this year.

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“We will be celebrating the anniversary during Lifeboat Week and our records would be incomplete if we cannot include the William Woodcock.”

RNLI officials say they have had a great deal of help from Lyme Regis Museum, but there was no sign of a photograph of the William Woodcock in their files.

According to records the William Woodcock could take a total crew of 13, was self-righting and cost �277.

Books edited by Mr T K Faragher and retired journalist David Cozens record that the William Woodcock was once ‘wagon-trained’ to Seaton, pulled on a carriage by 11 horses, because conditions were too severe to launch at Lyme Regis.

Anyone who can help with a photograph or photographs of the William Woodcock is asked to contact Richard Horobin on 07974 268504 or 01297 444550.