Lifeboat station museum is on the hunt for volunteers

The former Caister lifeboat Shirley Jean Adye is a star attraction at the station. Picture: Nick But

The former Caister lifeboat Shirley Jean Adye is a star attraction at the station. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A lifeboat station is searching for new volunteers to help staff its popular museum.

The Caister Lifeboat Experience allows visitors of all ages to get onboard a vintage lifeboat and dress up as lifeboat crew and has children’s activities.

But more volunteers are needed to keep the museum open for visitors.

Crewman and vice-chairman of the independent lifeboat charity, Andrew Turner, says it is because they’ve become more popular and are open more days.

He said: “A few years ago we only opened on Wednesdays and Sundays, but since we’ve made some alterations we’re now opening on more days during the school holidays.

“And as more people have come through the door, we need more volunteers on hand, both to show people around and to staff our shop.

“The trouble is, we’ve become almost too much of a success and some days we’ve been short of staff - and for safety reasons that means we have had to close.”

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Tina Walker, who volunteers with her husband Peter, says they decided to get involved six years ago. “I like meeting all the visitors we get, talking to them and telling the history of the lifeboat.

“It’s amazing how much I’ve learned over the years.”

Peter Walker said: “While it was daunting when I first started, because I didn’t know the history, I soon found the important thing was making the visitors feel welcome. Then, as I spoke with them, I found the answers they were looking for - and slowly I picked up the knowledge.”

June Williams, the mother of coxswain Paul Williams, has volunteered for Caister Lifeboat for more than 40 years, starting up a shop on the Beach Road car park in the 1990s.

“We get so many people coming in, and we have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years. Knowing that we are raising money which helps keep the lifeboat saving lives gives me a good feeling.”

Mr Turner, who has been a volunteer with Caister Lifeboat since 2009, said: “As it’s Volunteers Week this is the perfect time for us to welcome more people to our team. They can make a tremendous difference to the experience our visitors get when they come and see us, so we hope that some friendly, confident and helpful people will come forward and be able to help us.”

“Everyone at Caister Lifeboat is an unpaid volunteer which means every pound we raise goes towards helping save lives.

Mr Turner will be at the lifeboat station from 10am until 12.30pm on Sunday, June 10 to meet any prospective volunteers who would like to visit the museum and find out more. On Wednesday, June 13 Derek George, the secretary of Caister Lifeboat, will be on hand at the lifeboat station from 10am until 1230. For further information, contact Derek George on 07979 086981.