Friday, 27 April 2007

Quantum Leap

Looking at yesterdays pictures of the Robert Charles Brown and J. Reginald Corah alongside each other I was struck by the vast differences between the two boats. Going back a generation further this boat (Dave will surely be able to tell me her name) is in most ways very similar to a Rother class; similar hull shape, similar speed and similarly equipped. The leap in technology to the Mersey class was in many ways a quantum leap, the next jump to Fast Carriage Boat 2 (FCB2) is if anything even greater. Once again the speed has doubled, there are water jets, touchscreens, she can be joystick controlled.......the list goes on. Funny really, they all do the same job of saving lives at sea.

Update: I knew I could rely on Dave for the historical facts........

It is the RLP (short for Reginald Lional Pugh). It was a 41ft Watson class and was stationed at Swanage until 1975, when it was replaced with the J Reginald Corah. I can boast that it was the first lifeboat I served on, although thankfully I am not in the photo. Four of those pictured are still alive. Phil and Eric Dorey, Donald Dyke and 87 year old Ron Hardy (who was coxswain when I joined and is on the far left on the boat). RLP was a great sea boat, going through any heavy seas, but you always ended up cold and wet. It had a top speed of 7 knots. You youngsters don't know how lucky you are.

Dave Corben


(and who says old people suffer memory loss?.......well done Mr Corben!)

The reminiscences keep flooding in, Karina - lovely wife of Martin and daughter of ex cox'n Vic Marsh adds these thoughts:

Nice to see the old photo of the RLP, I think my Dad and uncle Reg are on the boat, my grandfather-Sid, is on the slip.
Sad to hear the news about the Corah, the boys (Gav & Matt)used to spend every Thursday helping dad lower the boat out to do the radio test, also a bit wistful as both Matt and then 21 years later Jack (Matt's son) were both christened on board her.Well, that's life.
keep up the good work with the scrapbook.
Karina x

8 comments:

Savage Family said...

Fantastic picture.... is there a book about the history of the station? One of the great things about sharing this interest with my son is that it has introduced me to a new area of history, and i've always been a big fan of that. The more pics the better....

Great blog John.

lifeboatjohn said...

There is a booklet, email me yor address and I will see if I can find one for you....

Glad your still finding the blog interesting, obviously I didn't take this photo!

Savage Family said...

lol - you look far too young to have been there ;-)

thanks for the offer, I'll e-mail you shortly.

Mike said...

I am sure this boat is the RLP. I can certainly recognize Bob Brown and Fred Crutchfield in the photo.

Anonymous said...

You are right Mike, it is the RLP (short for Reginald Lional Pugh). It was a 41ft Watson class and was stationed at Swanage until 1975, when it was replaced with the J Reginald Corah. I can boast that it was the first lifeboat I served on, although thankfully I am not in the photo. Four of those pictured are still alive. Phil and Eric Dorey, Donald Dyke and 87 year old Ron Hardy (who was coxswain when I joined and is on the far left on the boat). RLP was a great sea boat, going through any heavy seas, but you always ended up cold and wet. It had a top speed of 7 knots. You youngsters don't know how lucky you are.

Dave Corb

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. It really is, I don't know why Lifeboats fascinate me so, but they always have and probably always will. Thankyou for writting this blog John, I check it most days for updates.

Martin

lifeboatjohn said...

Mike, Dave,

Thanks for that, I had a hunch it was the R.L.P. but wasn't sure.

Many thanks for the comments Martin.

Regards

John

Mike said...

Apologies if this appears twice, I think the first attempt may have got lost in space. I knew the RLP well and the past crew members mentioned by Dave Corb. As a young lad working in Swanage in the sixties I did occasionally help out on the shore crew and remember doing the Thursday radio check with Fred Crutchfield on more than one occasion.