(Lots of photos of the week's events will be added over the next few weeks, so please keep checking back)
This year’s Selsey Lifeboat Week took place from Sunday 26th July to Sunday August 2nd 2015. Prior to this several volunteers had taken turns to stand outside Kavanagh Budgen’s Selsey over a two-week period selling Lifeboat Week programmes. This was mainly done by Elaine Burge who stood outside for more than her fair share of time and even counted what had been collected afterwards! The magnificent amount of £506 was raised and our thanks go to our major sponsor for allowing us to do this.
In the evening before the start of Lifeboat Week, several of us were allowed to collect inside of the Embassy Ballroom and White Horse Club at Bunn Leisure. Both venues were packed to the rafters and it was difficult to squeeze through and reach some of the audience, but we managed it in the end and collected the very good amount of £394. Our thanks to Bunn Leisure.
In the evening of Sunday 26th August the Sea Service on Lifeboat Green was supposed to take place but, due to the dreadful wind and rain, it was decided to hold the service in St. Peter’s Church, Selsey. It was conducted by the Reverend Andy Wilkes, Chaplain to RNLI Selsey Lifeboat and Rector of St. Peter’s Church Selsey, with music provided by Chichester City Band and choirs from local churches. A bucket collection was held at the end of the service which raised the amount of £424.
Please click here for photos.
Monday 27th July was the Station Open Evening. Visitors were shown the ILB, ‘Betty and Thomas Moore’, and, in the boathouse, the all-weather Lifeboat, 'Voluntary Worker'. This will be the last open evening to be held in the present boathouse as building work starts very shortly on our new, shore-based, Lifeboat Station.
Starting at the inshore boathouse on Tuesday 28th July, 160 people and 10 canines participated and were led along the sea wall towards the east, along Kingsway and beyond, coming around in a circle back to the Lifeboat Inn. The weather was kind to us again this year and everyone enjoyed themselves. For questions, answers and results, please click here. Please click here for photos. Our thanks to Steve and Linda Frampton from Mulberry Divers for compiling this.
Wednesday 29th July brought the Quiz at The Seal Public House. After a wonderful meal we had an entertaining evening with some devious questions and pictures, and a good time was had by all. We raised £628 through entrance fees and a raffle, so many thanks to all who attended. Our thanks, as always, to Malcolm, Kiki, Niko and staff for all their help.
Please click here for photos.
On Thursday 30th July we held a Race Night at the Royal British Legion. This year the Tote was entirely staffed by females and we had a very busy and enjoyable time. I was in charge of working out the winnings from the Tote with Ali, Andrea and Caroline taking the money for the betting. The last race of the evening arrived and there was a frantic bidding war going on for the right to buy a horse. With one of the members of the fundraising committee bidding against a joint team of people from the Lifeboat Crew and Coastguards, the final horse was sold for the enormous amount of £60! And it didn’t even win! This evening raised the staggering amount of £1841 and our grateful thanks go to all at the Royal British Legion and to all the punters.
Please click here for photos.(Top of page)
This took place in the early evening of Friday 31st July and 82 dogs and handlers entered the various classes. It was a lovely to see all of the dogs and people having a great time. The winners of the classes then went on to Best in Show. Jane Hassell, Dog Breeder and volunteer with the Labrador Retriever Rescue, was the judge and had an even harder job this year than last to choose between all the wonderful dogs. Eventually she chose Dach, handled by Lisa.
Please click here for details of winners and photos.
Later on the same evening of Friday 31st July the Tug-of War competition took place. Only four teams entered this year: The Lifeboat and Coastguard Crew (joint), The Lifeboat Inn, The Deadbeats, and Southern Fabrications. A fiercely fought competition took place and the winners were The Lifeboat Inn, for the second year running. As there was some time before it was dark enough to start the Firework Display, some younger members of the crew were holding a competition for two people to compete against each by trying to get dressed in the gear that the inshore Lifeboat crew get dressed in when they go out on a ‘shout’. This was quite hilarious. At about 9 p.m. the Grand Firework Display took place. This was the final firework display to take place from the Lifeboat gantry as work starts soon on the new onshore station and demolition of the existing Lifeboat station, and so it was quite poignant to stand and watch it. As magnificent as ever (thank you, Selstar). Collections that evening in and around Lifeboat Green totalled the fantastic figure of £1814.
Please click here for some photos of the evening.
Saturday 1st August was the final day of Selsey Lifeboat Flag Week and volunteers stood around various points in Selsey holding their cardboard Lifeboat boxes and stickers for people to give donations. It was a successful week with £1035 being collected and my grateful thanks go to those volunteers because without their willingness to give up their time the collection wouldn’t be possible.
Ali and Andrea once more put on a Car Treasure Hunt, starting at the Lifeboat inshore shed, sending people around West Wittering on a sunny Saturday afternoon, finishing at The Lifeboat Inn. There were 17 teams and £115 was raised. The team ‘Hangers On’ were the winners by two points, the members of which are demon quiz competitors, so that might explain why they won! Everyone had a marvellous time as usual and our thanks to Ali and Andrea for compiling this event. Click here for the answers, and here for the results. Thanks to Ali and Andrea for compiling this fun event.(Top of page)
And so the culmination of Lifeboat Week arrived on Sunday 3rd August – Selsey Lifeboat Launch Day. Another sunny and bright Lifeboat Day. The stallholders had been arriving early and shown into their spots, the Classic Cars had arrived and went into the overflow car park. Visitors were beginning to meander round the stalls and the funfair started.
The Hogs Back Harleys made a welcome return visit to us and swept once more along Kingsway and into the overflow car park. As usual we held a ‘prettiest bike’ competition, which I judged, and I was delighted when it turned out to be the same lady, Katherine, who won it on the Hog’s Back Harleys’ first visit back in 2010, this time with a different bike. I presented her with her prize later in the day which was an ‘exciting’ assortment of Lifeboat goodies!
The first event of the day was the arrival of the catamarans from Bognor Regis Sailing Club who were using the Lifeboat Station as a turning point for the race they were holding. At 12.30 p.m. a presentation of a certificate from the RNLI was made to Bruce Jenkins for his many years of service as Head Launcher. We won’t be losing him at Selsey Lifeboat Station – he has now become a DLA (Deputy Launch Authority).
At 1.30 p.m. the Raft Race took place. 17 rafts took part this year with a number in fancy dress and the rest just out to win… Always a fiercely fought race, this year it was won by the Lifeboat Crew with the Coastguards in 2nd place. All the prize money was given back to Selsey Lifeboat.
The air display this year was going to be a display of a Harvard and Spitfire from the Boultbee Flying Academy based in Chichester but one of the pilots couldn’t fly that day and so we were entertained with a stunning show by the Spitfire alone. I had goose bumps watching this magnificent flying machine strut its stuff, and I’m sure that I wasn’t alone.
The display by Selsey Lifeboats and visiting boats then took place. Our inshore Lifeboat, ‘Betty and Thomas Moore’, was already in the water as they had been the safety boat for the Raft Race and so our all-weather Lifeboat, ‘Voluntary Worker’, launched to join the others. Unfortunately, one of the Hayling Lifeboat crew had an accident and so they had to return to their station, and the Coastguard helicopter was delayed on operational matters and so couldn’t attend. The remaining boats still managed to put on a show to delight the crowds, culminating in spraying the children on the beach.
Then it was time to return the collection buckets back to the Organisers’ caravan and to start the great tidy-up. The raffle for the lovely pushbike, which had been taking place all day, was then drawn and the lucky winner notified. The lucky Lifeboat programme number was also drawn. The winning programme number was 1238 and, if you have the programme with this number on it, then please click here to email the Branch Chairman, Colvin Rae, to claim your prize, or telephone him on 01243 601822.
From Friday evening, through Saturday, and all day on Lifeboat Day, GB4SLB Amateur Radio Station broadcasted from the Lifeboat compound. To read their report please click here.
We also started off the “Where’s Wellie” Treasure Hunt on this day which started on the following day and continues until Selsey Carnival Day. It was fun to compile and the results and a report will be posted separately later.
The Chairman and Committee of Selsey Lifeboat would like to give sincere and grateful thanks to all the people who helped make this year's Lifeboat Week the enormous success it was. You know who you are – we couldn't do it without you.
For lots of photos of Launch Day, please click here.
(Article written by Sue Lintott, Webmaster and Deputy Chairman, Selsey Lifeboat Fund Raising Committee)