Selsey Lifeboat Week 2019

August 2019

Selsey's annual celebration of its strong and enduring relationship with the RNLI took place at various venues around the town from July 28th to August 4th. Activities varied from a simple Service of Praise and Thanksgiving in the new boathouse, with the two lifeboats forming a fitting backdrop to the proceedings and attended by over 200 people, to the heart-pumping exertion and thrills of the raft race.

There was ample opportunity to take a closer look at the boats at Monday's Open Evening, when the boathouse threw its doors open to visitors. In all, around 320 people were shown around the boats and the boathouse itself. The purpose-built facility is testament to the dedication of the crews of Selsey Lifeboats, past and present, and the people of Selsey to ensure that the RNLI remains an important part of the town's heritage.

Despite the inclement weather on Tuesday, 91 intrepid souls braved the high winds to take part in the Walking Treasure Hunt. Many thanks to Steve and Linda of Mulberry Divers for putting it all together.

Brain power was the name of the game on Wednesday, with 143 people pitting their wits against each other in Malcolm's fun quiz at The Seal. As usual, Kiki and her team worked hard to keep everyone supplied with their 'engine oil' of choice to keep the cogs turning and the memory in good working order!

Thursday saw a change of direction with a Race Night at the Royal British Legion. This is always a great evening and it is sometimes difficult to tell which is more excited – the horses or the punters! This year's feature race gave us a special reason for merriment – pigs, carrying knitted jockeys on their backs! It had to be seen to be believed. What will next year bring – camels maybe?

It was outside again on Friday for Family Fun Night. We started with the Dog Show which continues to attract a lot of support and this year was no exception, with 70 entries all vying for top spot in the various categories. This was followed by a musical interlude featuring our very own Selsey Shanty Men who kept the crowd entertained whilst waiting for the tug of war competition. Six teams competed for the coveted Chichester Observer Trophy sponsored by The Seal, with Selsey Royal British Legion emerging as champions after winning all their 'pulls'.

The evening was rounded off with a fantastic pyrotechnic display from Selstar, who went on to win the prestigious British Firework Champion of Champions 2019 title the following week.

For Saturday it was back to gentler pursuits, with Flag Day collectors out and about at a number of locations in Selsey supported by the RNLI's Stormy Stan, and a Grand Afternoon Tea at East Beach Evangelical Church. Rumour has it that there were nearly 100 people waiting for their doors to open which just goes to show why this is one tradition that should remain a firm favourite on our schedule.

Sunday's Launch Day, the highlight of the week, although mostly overcast, brought out the crowds well in advance of the official opening time, and many arrived equipped to stay for the whole day with cool-boxes, barbeques, blankets and everything they might need to enjoy all the experiences on offer. And what a lot there was for them to see and do. An incredible 49 stands on the green providing everything from cocktails to insect houses, tombolas and pencil portraits, handmade goods and tots of rum. Entertainment was on hand in the form of another rendering of popular 'Shouty' songs by the Selsey Shanty Men, and the military band of the youngsters from TS Sturdy. And not forgetting of course the display from Manhood Classic Cars, and the Southern Harley Davidson Owners Group who arrived in tremendous style with a ride past along Kingsway. The Ride Captain for the outing gave the official count as 150 bikes and the sight and sound of their arrival was amazing, as was seeing them all lined up together in East Beach carpark.

The raft race was again hotly contested with 7 crews bringing along their home-made crafts all hoping to make it safely back to shore without having to call on the services of the ILB – which was on standby, just in case.

This year's sea displays included a fabulous demonstration by a group of local divers who showed just how easy it is to become 'invisible' in the water and how alert the volunteer crews need to be in order to carry out successful rescues. It brought home once again just how important it is to keep the Selsey Lifeboats operational and providing an essential service for all those who use the sea around our coast, whether for work or pleasure.

All in all, a great week. The only thing left to do is to express the thanks of the fundraising committee, crew, ladies association, boathouse attendants and volunteers to the people of Selsey for their continuing support of the RNLI.