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SE Cluster Visit to Hastings Lifeboat and Pub Lunch
18th February 2017
Members from the South East Cluster group met in Hastings on Saturday 18th February on a bright sunny morning for a visit to the Hastings RNLI. There were eleven of us in the end, after a few unavoidable cancellations, but our SE Cluster mascot Badger the dog came along, and behaved himself impeccably! Ken Howkins met us there and gave us a talk and some background information about the Lifeboat Station with a few interesting anecdotes thrown in. They have a presentation room there just above where the Lifeboat is kept, which is tractor launched off the beach. They are just about to take receipt of a brand new Shannon Lifeboat, and the old one (Sealink Endeavour, a Mersey Class) will be sent back to Poole, where it will probably be used for a while as a standby for when other Lifeboats go in for servicing. The old boat has been there for 30 years and Ken explained that some of the older crew will be sad to see her go. But technology has moved on and the new one will be equipped with the very latest, she’ll also have water jets to steer the boat instead of a propeller. Ken presented us with a certificate at the end of the talk, stating that WOA South East Cluster are now ‘Friends of Hastings Lifeboat Station’.
We then had a pleasant stroll in the sunshine and through the Saturday crowds to Ye Olde Pump House where we had a good lunch – the building was rebuilt in 1956 after a fire, but the footprint of the Pump House complex dates back earlier than 1890, and the timbers which make up the frontage were brought from bombed sites in the High Street and from a local shipwreck. It is a Grade 2 listed building with an open fireplace, exposed beams, and low ceilings, so much so that the tallest member of our group had the inevitable bump on the head!
We look forward to meeting up again on March 4th at Brighton Marina Yacht Club.