Model of historic Lyme Lifeboat given to RNLI

Hand built replica of the Thomas Masterman Hardy is now prize exhibit at lifeboat station

A hand-built model of an historic Lyme Regis lifeboat has been presented to the RNLI.

Powered only by sails and oars, the 35ft Thomas Masterman Hardy served

the resort for 17 years from 1915, during which time her crew saved several lives.

One of her most famous rescues came in March 1918 when she was launched after a cargo ship was torpedoed two miles off Lyme Regis. Three men drowned, but the lifeboat crew rescued the captain of the cargo ship and four of his crew.

The model, built by Lt. Col. B M Hynes, was given to the town’s museum by a Lyme Regis resident, the late Miss Margaret Eyre. It had been on display in the parish church since 1985.

But now the museum and the church have agreed that it can be handed over to the RNLI on a long-term loan to help mark the 150th anniversary of a lifeboat service in Lyme Regis.

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A spokesman for the Eyre family said: “We have always been great supporters of the RNLI and I am delighted the model will be on show at the lifeboat station.”

Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Grahame Forshaw said: “We are all very pleased and grateful for the loan of this model which will doubtless be of great interest to the many people who visit our lifeboat station.”

* Young visitors William Ashcroft (right) nine and his brother George, seven, take a look at the model. Photo Richard Horobin.