From Lorna Crystal, with photos by Andrew Crystal:
The sun shone throughout Lifeboat Weekend and the festival-like atmosphere and support for Bude RNLI was amazing.
The weekend was jam-packed full of fantastic events and activities including stalls and refreshments in the marquee, music and entertainment on the castle grounds in front of the marquee, amusements at the Wharf and activities on the canal. An evening concert with ‘Mevagissey Male Choir’ and ‘Cousin Jack’ saw the marquee full, with crowds also gathering on the Castle green to listen to the music.
Bank Holiday Monday was the main event, Lifeboat Day, with thousands of locals and tourists alike coming out in support of the RNLI. There were events and activities at the Lifeboat Station and Summerleaze beach including tours of the station and a children’s treasure hunt. The Marquee in the Castle grounds was busy all day with a bar and raffle, along with stalls including the Lifeboat Shop. The Wharf areas had Bacon Family Amusement rides, vintage cars and live music. Rowing races and a very competitive canoe polo tournament were held on the canal along with the ever-popular duck race. At the Brendon Arms, there was a pasty competition, lobster draw and singers until late in the evening.
The highlights for many people included the volunteer lifeboat crew demonstrating a capsize drill on the canal and at Summerleaze beach the RNLI lifeboat and shore crew joined the RNLI lifeguards for a series of rescue demonstrations. They demonstrated rescues using the D class Lifeboat ‘George Bird’, Rescue Water Crafts (RWCs), the Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) and rescue boards, as well as demonstrating a swim rescue.
Lifeboat Day ended on a high with an amazing firework display lighting up the skies.
Over the course of the weekend, raffle tickets were sold for a painting entitled “Storm Force” kindly donated to the RNLI by local artist Alan Merchant-White. It was won by a local Bude lady who was thrilled to have won. The painting raffle raised almost £400 and the artist was very pleased with the result.
Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Wilson said: ‘I’d like to say a massive thank you to the volunteer organisers who spend months planning and sorting paperwork as well as working hard all bank holiday weekend, with very little sleep, to make Bude Lifeboat Day such a success. They couldn’t do it without the support and time of the RNLI volunteer lifeboat and shore crew, the RNLI lifeguards, the fundraising volunteers and the huge support received from local businesses, clubs and groups who offer their support in a number of ways. Most of all Bude Lifeboat Weekend wouldn’t be the best weekend of the year without support from the people of Bude, the local area and holiday-makers who all turn out to create a fantastic family-friendly atmosphere, as well as digging deep to support the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.’