Almost 150 years of service to town's lifeboat honoured

Tony and Peggy Webster and their family at the Cromer RNLI evening in November, 2021. Mr and Mrs Webster were given a

Tony and Peggy Webster and their family at the Cromer RNLI evening in November, 2021. Mr and Mrs Webster were given a special award for their service to the station. - Credit: RNLI/Richard Annis

Nine volunteers who have been helping save lives at sea for a combined total of 147 years have been honoured with awards.

Derek Hinds, chairman of the RNLI Cromer, said at an awards night earlier this month: "Each merited their awards after giving our station so many years of dedication and it was right that we and the charity could thank them in this way."

Derek Hinds. Picture: Cromer RNLI.

Derek Hinds, Cromer RNLI chairman. - Credit: Cromer RNLI.

The recipients were Adrian Barker, Steve Barrett, Robert Cadman, Billy Gaff, Richard Leeds, Paul Russell, David Syer, Rose Syer and Adrian Woods.

A special award was also given to husband and wife Tony and Peggy Webster in recognition of more 40 years volunteering for the RNLI.

Mr Webster was chairman of the Cromer station for more than 36 years and its president for the past four years.

During this tenure, Mrs Webster has given him support and has also been active in the Cromer Ladies Guild fundraising branch.  She was formerly the guild's chairman and is now its vice president. 

During this time at the station, Mr Webster has overseen two naming ceremonies of all-weather lifeboats - in 1986 and 2008 -  and many other inshore lifeboat ceremonies.

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He worked with the late Peter Cadbury to achieve the return of the HF Bailey, which was legendary lifeboatman Henry Blogg’s rescue vessel during the Second World War.

Between 1985 and 2020, Mr and Mrs Webster counted and banked the money from Cromer's all-weather and inshore lifeboat houses as well as the Henry Blogg Museum, helping secure a vital source of income for the RNLI. 

John Redmond, lifeboat operations manager, said the station had been served faithfully by its small but dedicated community, and this had continued throughout the pandemic.

John Redmond has been appointed lifeboat operations manager at Cromer. Picture: RNLI

John Redmond, lifeboat operations manager at Cromer's RNLI station. - Credit: RNLI

Mr Redmond said: "All our volunteers play a vital role in every launch, rescue and life saved.

"Without the dedication of our boat crew, shore crew, fundraising teams and many more besides, we wouldn't have been able to serve the community of Cromer since 1804.

The lifeboat returns to the boathouse at the end of the ceremony. Picture: Ally McGilvray

File photo of Cromer's all-weather lifeboat returning to the boathouse. - Credit: Archant

"Even in this strangest of years, our volunteers have gone above and beyond, launching our lifeboats and it's wonderful to see this commitment recognised for these dedicated individuals. Thank you to all of them on behalf of all of us at Cromer lifeboat station."