Scarborough Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) hosted an historic event yesterday when the date stone for its new lifeboat station was set in place.
The charity’s station is currently under construction and the stone (made by Forticrete) bearing the year ‘2016’ will form part of the front wall on Foreshore Road, next to the main boathouse doors.
It was a special occasion for the charity, which was overseen by Colin Woodhead, chairman of Scarborough Lifeboat Station. Local volunteers and representatives from the RNLI’s HQ in Poole, Dorset also attended, as did officials from the build’s main contractor, BAM Nuttall Ltd.
The guests of honour were Peter Hartley CBE, Gay Hartley MBE and Oscar Hartley.
The family took part in the ceremony on behalf of Simon Hartley, who bid for the opportunity to dress and lay the date stone in the Yorkshire Post’s Christmas Appeal 2014.
The ‘lot’ was one of the unique prizes for which members of the public could bid. In total £17,000 was raised for the RNLI and the money helped the charity to reach the £200,000 target it needed to part fund a launch and recovery vehicle* for its new Shannon class lifeboat*. This is due on station in Scarborough later this year.
Simon was unable to attend the event as he is a member of the RAF Reserve and is currently undertaking a four month tour.
His father, Peter Hartley CBE, said: “We were very proud to attend the ceremony on Simon’s behalf and it was a great honour for his son, Oscar to take his place and represent him.
As a family we’ve always been passionate supporters of the RNLI. The Gay and Peter Hartley’s Hillards Charitable Trust, which we set up, has had the privilege to provide funds to purchase three inshore lifeboats for Scarborough, one of which, John Wesley Hillard III, is still in service today.
“The RNLI is a marvellous charity manned by volunteers who risk their own lives to save others, often in hazardous conditions. Scarborough lifeboat station is an integral part of the community and we were delighted to lay the historic stone, one of the first steps in heralding a new era of lifesaving within the town.’
Colin Woodhead, chairman of Scarborough Lifeboat Station, said: “It was a truly special occasion today and it seemed fitting that Oscar Hartley placed the date stone in the wall.
“The Hartley family has shown amazing support for Scarborough RNLI over the years and their generosity in bidding to place the stone is simply a continuation of this longstanding relationship.
“Thanks must also go the Yorkshire Post, who selected our charity to benefit so generously from their 2014 Christmas Appeal and to everyone who gave such phenomenal support; this enabled us to reach the £200,000 needed to provide the final funding for our launch and recovery vehicle for the new Shannon class lifeboat.”