Scarborough Lifeboat's annual memorial service to be held virtually this Sunday

An annual memorial service organised by Scarborough RNLI will be streamed live online this year.

By Sarah Fitton
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:50 am

The ECJR memorial service, commemorating lifeboat crew who have perished at sea, takes place at 6.30pm on Sunday at St Mary's Church with a limited number of attendees adhering to social distancing guidelines.

They will include guests from Bottom End, Scarborough Borough Mayor Hazel Lynskey and fewer RNLI crew than usual.

Organisers are asking families and friends to take part at home by watching a live broadcast via the St Mary's Church's Facebook page.

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The memorial service will be held virtually this year.

The service, to be led by Rev Richard Walker, will feature an address by Rev Pam Jennings and a bible reading by coxswain Lee Marton.

Shore-crew volunteer Dave Grieves will read the roll of honour - a list of names of all who have died in service.

Hymns will be listened to but not sung and, for the first time in many years, Filey Fishermen’s Choir will not take part.

The service marks the 66th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in the lifeboat’s history.

Scenes from last year's Scarborough RNLI ECJR service.

Three crew died when the ECJR lifeboat overturned in the south bay in a terrible storm on December 8, 1954.

In atrocious conditions - with enormous waves and a howling gale - the lifeboat had been at sea all afternoon, escorting fishing boats back to the harbour.

Its rescue work complete, the ECJR was then engulfed by waves and capsized close to the harbour mouth.

The deaths of coxswain Jack Sheader, second coxswain John Cammish and signalman Francis Bayes devastated their families and numbed the whole town with shock and grief.

Every year since then, the anniversary of the tragedy has been commemorated by a church service remembering those three in particular but also other lifeboat crew who have died at

sea. They include Frank Dalton, who died in a horrific accident in tumultuous seas on December 9, 1951.

This weekend will also see Scarborough's lifeboat station host the first virtual Jingle Mingle with lifeboat crew on Sunday, at 11am, and its shop will reopen.

A spokesperson said: “After what has been a challenging year for us all, the event is a great opportunity to get together across all areas and share some festive cheer.

“Taking place over Zoom, expect an hour of fun including stories of ‘where were you when the pager went off at Christmas time?’, a virtual tour of the boathouse, guest appearances from crew at other stations, something fun for the little ones and a Christmas thank-you from the crew.”

The Jingle Mingle is open to the public, free to join and due to last an hour or so.

To sign up, search for RNLI Jingle Mingle on Eventbrite.

For the foreseeable future, the lifeboat shop will be open from 11am-3pm Saturdays and 1-3pm Mondays and Tuesdays.