In March 1999 the RNLI celebrated its 175th Anniversary and Selstar Fireworks very kindly decided that, to celebrate this, they would carry out a firework display from the Lifeboat Gantry during that anniversary year. And so, for the very first time, hundreds of people watched this spectacular display and very generously gave donations into the buckets.
This event was supposed to be a one-off but Peter Cooper and his team decided that they would carry out another firework display the following year. Again, it was a roaring success and each subsequent year this tradition continued until 2015 with Steve Harriot taking over the reins from Peter Cooper several years ago. 2016 saw the closure of the Lifeboat Gantry to the public and so a display couldn't be held that year however, it was always intended by us to have a final firework display from the Lifeboat Gantry and, once the date for the final launch from the old boathouse had been decided upon, a date was set - Friday 24th March 2017.
So many people were going to be present to watch it and it would have been magnificent, but the weather gods were against us and it was decided that it was far too windy to be safe and so the display was cancelled, much to the dismay of several thousand people. The reserve date the following evening was forecast to be even worse and so the spectacular display never took place.
It just remains for me as Chairman of the Selsey Lifeboat Fundraising Committee to say thank you to the wonderful people of Selstar who, not only provided us with some fabulous entertainment for seventeen years, but have enabled us to raise well in excess of £25,000 in aid of Selsey Lifeboats.
(Article written by Sue Lintott, Chairman, Selsey Lifeboat Fundraising Committee)