History – pre 1863 to 1972

 ‘ A Tribute to Lifeboatmen Past ‘ current crew Mike Jones wearing early cork lifejacket & kit.

The photo is a tribute to late 19th Century photographer Frank Sutcliffe of Whitby by Bob Warwick

Historic and modern kit comparison

Late 19th / early 20th Century kit compared to todays

This concentrates on the stations early days through the rowed, sail, steam and finally motor era.


Lifeboat stations existed on the Mersey before the founding of the RNLI in 1824 and was not till 1863 that RNLI established our lifeboat station at New Brighton.  The first lifeboat recorded in the British Isles was at Formby in 1770’s and subsequently other stations were founded by the Liverpool Dock Committee including a station at Hoylake.

1851 Silver Medals were awarded to Coxswains Peter Cropper, Thomas Evans and Joseph Formby for their long service on the Liverpool Dock Trustees lifeboat.

1863 The RNLI established a lifeboat station and the tubular lifeboat was kept on moorings in the River Mersey. Silver Medals were awarded to Coxswain Thomas Evans, Thomas Evans Jnr and William Evans for their efforts in rescuing 55 people from the stranded John H Elliot.


New Brightons first lifeboat – 42 ft tubular lifeboat ‘Rescue’ – in service 1863 to 1876

  1870 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Richard Thomas for rescuing two people from the schooner Elephant on 19 October 1869. He had jumped aboard and rescued one man from the rigging as it crashed over the side.

1877 A Silver Medal was awarded to Hiram Linaker for ‘his long and intrepid services’.

1883 In heavy seas Crew Member Charles Finlay was washed out of the lifeboat and drowned.

Tubular lifeboast Henry Richardson - 1888 - 1898

Tubular lifeboat ‘Henry Richardson’ – 1888 – 1898

1893 The steam lifeboat Duke of Northumberland was placed on service.

Steam lifeboat 'Duke of Northumberland' - 1893 - 1897

Steam lifeboat ‘Duke of Northumberland’ – 1893 – 1897

1894 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain William Martin for his ‘gallant services’.

Cox Martin with crew

Cox Martin with crew

Steam lifeboat 'Queen' 1897 - 1923

Steam lifeboat ‘Queen’ 1897 – 1923

1905 Crew Members Allan Dodd and John Jones, acting as night watchmen, aboard ‘The Queen’ died from the fumes from a fire they had lit to keep themselves warm.

1923 Crew Member WJ Liversage died as a result of exposure on a lifeboat service. The station’s first motor lifeboat William and Kate Johnson was placed on service.

1925 Assistant Mechanic Herbert Harrison drowned after he was thrown out of the boarding boat.

1928 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain George Robinson and Bronze Medals to Crew Members John Nicholson, George Carmody, Ralph Scott, Wilfred Garbutt, Samuel Jones, William Liversage, and John Moore for rescuing 24 men from the steamer Emile Delmas.

1928 – Rescue of the crew of the steamer ‘Emile Delmas’ – The painting is in the collection of the Williamson Museum and Art Gallery, Birkenhead


Crew of the Kate and William Johnston with medals for the ‘Emile Delmas’ rescue

1938 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain W Jones and Bronze Medals to Second Coxswain J Nicholson, Mechanic W Garbutt and Second Mechanic J Mason for rescuing three men from the fishing boat Progress and four men from the schooner Loch Ranza Castle that was drifting towards shore on 23 November 1938.

1947 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Second Coxswain W.S. Jones for evacuating the crew of six from a fort in the River Mersey.

1950 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Acting Coxswain William S Jones for rescuing four people from the schooner Happy Harry.

1954 A motor boarding boat was provided for the station from the proceeds of Panto Day, an annual event organised by Liverpool University students; it was named Panto.

1957 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain George Stonall for rescuing the crew from the coaster J B Kee.   1962 Second Mechanic F.K. Neilson lost his life on 6 March when he fell overboard from the boarding boat white approaching the lifeboat.

1963 A Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.