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Duke of Kent to open Scarborough Lifeboat House

The Duke of Kent, as President of RNLI, will formally name Scarborough’s RNLI new lifeboat and open the new lifeboat house on Wednesday, 12 April in Yorkshire. He will also name the Shannon-class life boat launch and recovery system. RNLI is responsible for the training of people to use lifeboats to save lives at sea. The RNLI is entirely reliant on the support of volunteers, donors and trustees.

The Duke last visited Scarborough and eight other lifeboat houses in 2006. This upcoming event will be attended by over 350 RNLI guests, volunteers, and supporters. A few of the prominent guests include: chairman Stuart Popham; the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Barry Dodd; the borough mayor, Cllr Simon Green; and Maurice Mason, a trustee of the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust, which funded the new lifeboat. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York will lead a service of dedication; lifeboat chaplain Pam Jennings will give a reading.

As part of the ceremony where the lifeboat will be handed in to the care of the RNLI, Mr. Mason will formally and over the lifeboat to RNLI Trustee, Mark Byford who will accept it on behalf of the RNLI. Mr. Byford will then hand the lifeboat in to the care of the lifeboat station.

This new lifeboat, the Shannon Frederick William Plaxton, came into service on 19 December 2016. It was created and named in memory of Frederick William Plaxton who was the founder of Scarborough-based coach building firm Plaxton Ltd. After the death of his son, Frederic ‘Eric’ Plaxton, a trust was established to ensure that the proceeds of his father’s estate were to benefit those of Scarborough.

The legacy of Esther Cairns along with a local fundraising appeal funded the new launch and recovery system, The Cairns. It was named in Ms. Cairns honour. The new lifeboat station that was built to house the Shannon-class vessel was completed last year.

Scarborough RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Senior told the Yorkshire Coast Radio: “It is 25 years since we had a naming ceremony for a Scarborough lifeboat, so this will be a big day for everyone involved with the RNLI locally.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the Duke of Kent as well as many supporters and guests to our lifeboat station and are especially pleased that we will be able to publicly acknowledge the generosity of the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust, whose legacy helped fund our wonderful new lifeboat and launch and recovery system.

“This will be a historic and memorable occasion for Scarborough lifeboat station and crew and we hope local people can come along and help us to celebrate. If not, then they are welcome to join the coxswain and crew for a special black-tie supper at the Spa. All are welcome,” he continued.

“Without donations, legacies and the support of people and organisations like Esther Cairns and the FW Plaxton Charitable Trust, RNLI crews just wouldn’t be able to carry on our lifesaving service. Our charity depends on the public’s generosity and the naming ceremony will be an opportunity for us to celebrate the continued support we receive, as well as to pay tribute to those who help us by donating not just their money but also their time and expertise to saving lives at sea”.”

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