Thursday, 7 November 2013

'Charlotte Mary' - Swanage's first lifeboat

We've had some really interesting visitors at the lifeboat station recently and today was no exception.

A few months ago we were contacted by Mr Wilde who had a model of our first lifeboat 'Charlotte Mary' he wondered if we would like to have it on long term loan for display at the lifeboat station. This afternoon he and his daughter popped in to drop the model off and have a chat. To say that we were amazed by the model is an understatement!
The model was presented to Mr Samuel J Wilde (Mr Wilde's Great Grandfather) in 1875 when he and his wife named the lifeboat in Swanage.

Samuel Wilde was the Nephew of Miss Margaret Ryder Wilde who had left a legacy to buy a lifeboat, it was named 'Charlotte Mary' after her youngest sister.
The model has been in the family ever since and is in remarkable condition considering that its nearly 140 years old and has travelled with the family as far away as Africa!
Sadly the glass case is missing but we hope to get this replaced in due course so that it can be put on display in our new lifeboat station.
If you'd like to read more about Charlotte Mary's naming ceremony then download [ Click here ] this PDF, its an extract from the RNLI's in house magazine from 1876 (Copyright: RNLI - taken from the Complete Historical Archive of the Lifeboat Journal).

We'd also really like to see some pictures of the lifeboat at sea or in her boathouse as we don't have any of this boat at all, do please get in touch if you can help.

Thanks again Mr Wilde, it was great to meet you, rest assured we'll look after your boat.