Caister Lifeboat prepares for Royalty
VILLAGERS at Caister are gearing up for a royal visit on Wednesday when the Duke of Edinburgh meets the crew and supporters of Caister Lifeboat. Prince Philip's visit will mark the independent lifeboat's 40th anniversary, and a special plaque commemorating the occasion will be unveiled.
VILLAGERS at Caister are gearing up for a royal visit on Wednesday when the Duke of Edinburgh meets the crew and supporters of Caister Lifeboat.
Prince Philip's visit will mark the independent lifeboat's 40th anniversary, and a special plaque commemorating the occasion will be unveiled.
Arriving at the station shortly after 10.30am, Prince Philip will be greeted by the lifeboat crew, junior members, directors, the 40th anniversary committee, Great Yarmouth mayor and mayoress Tony and Sara Smith and high steward Michael Falcon.
Also attending the event is the high sheriff of Norfolk, Robert Carter, Norfolk turkey tycoon and stalwart lifeboat supporter Bernard Matthews, and a representative from energy company E.on, which also supports the lifeboat.
Prince Philip will be given a tour of the station, where he will meet key supporters of the lifeboat. From there he will be offered a trip to sea on the offshore lifeboat, the Bernard Matthews II.
Paul Garrod, chairman of Caister lifeboat, said: “People in the village are over the moon that Prince Philip is taking time out to visit the station. Wednesday promises to be a very proud day for the lifeboat.”
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Hundreds of pupils from local schools will gather outside the station to welcome the royal visitor, including children from North Denes School, Yarmouth, Caister High and Infant schools, and the Alphabet Nursery, in Caister High Street.
The first lifeboat was stationed at Caister in 1845, but the Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to close the station in 1969, at a time when it had saved the lives of 1,814 people - more than any other station in the county.
On the day the station was closed it was taken over by the crew, led by Jack Woodhouse, setting up the indep-endent Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service, manned by volunteers and funded by public subscription.
The visit will end with Prince Philip unveiling a plaque commemorating the anniversary and his visit.
The plaque will carry the crew's motto: “Caister men never turn
The royal visit is the first of two key events marking the milestone, with a summer ball taking place on August 8 at the Ocean Room, Gorleston. The 1960s party night will start at 7.30pm for 8pm, and tickets are �30, to include a three-course meal and coffee.
They are available from Jason Delf on 07879 851594, or download a book-ing form from CVLS40thball@aol.com.
See next week's Mercury and www.yarmouthmercury24.co.uk for pictures and full report of the royal visit.