More historic facts from our Branch font of knowledge Les Bridgewater
The first ever lifeboat station was at Formby. Opened in 1776 it was taken over by the RNLI in 1884 and subsequently closed in 1889 after 113 years service.
The second station was at Bamburgh. Opened in 1786 and taken over by the RNLI in 1887. It closed in 1897 after 111 years service.
Third was South Shields. Opened in 1789, closed in 1937 after 148 years service.
The oldest stations still operating are:-
Sunderland: Opened in1800, taken over by the RNLI in 1869. Took delivery of its first motor lifeboat in 1926.
Montrose: Opened in 1800, taken over by the RNLI in 1865 and took delivery of its first motor lifeboat in 1916.
Scarborough: opened in 1801. The first motor lifeboat at Scarborough was the Herbert Joy a 35ft “self righting motor ” class of lifeboat it was a gift of Mr Alexander O Joy of London in memory of his brother it was powered by a single 35hp Sage petrol engine and cost £3691.00. She was on station from 28/05/1923 until 04/06/1931 when she went into the relief fleet. During her time in Scarborough she launched 49 times saving 9 lives.
Redcar: Opened 1802, became RNLI in 1858 and took on its first motor lifeboat in 1931. The all weather lifeboat was withdrawn in 1986 and the station became an inshore lifeboat only station. Redcars first lifeboat Zetland is, of course, now in a museum at Redcar and is the oldest surviving lifeboat at 207 years old.