Historic lifeboat house is in danger of collapsing

Stanford lifeboat house
Stanford lifeboat house

THERE are growing fears that the iconic Grade II listed Mary Stanford Lifeboat House will fall onto the beach.

The building, at Rye Harbour, was where the Mary Stanford Lifeboat launched from on the fateful night of November 15 1928 when all 17 crew were lost at sea.

The lifeboat house was never used after what was the worst disaster in the history of the RNLI, but in recent years a local group has been working hard to preserve the building and save it from dereliction.

Now it is under threat from an eroding beach.

Jacqui Stanford, from Winchelsea Beach, who helped to set up the Friends of the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House, said: “There are growing fears that it will fall onto the beach due to lack of shingle on the beach as no maintenance has been carried out for months.

“We are worried that if it collapses that will be end of the project to restore it.”

She added: “The slab of concrete that you see in the foreground of this picture, was, I think, the foundation for a block house which was there during the war.

“Now the shingle underneath is being washed away and this is only about 10 yards from the doors of the boat house.”

If the boat house can be restored there are plans to set up a coastal classroom to teach children about the history and natural history of the area.

There are also plan to set up a permanent display in memory of the Mary Stanford crew-men who lost their lives in the 1928 disaster.

To become a Friend and help support the project to save and restore the lifeboat house, contact Jacqui on 01797 226908.