Historic Hastings lifeboat is at centre of community celebration

A special event in Hastings Old Town on Monday June 17 marked the anniversary of the Ghost of Dunkirk lifeboat being moved from the Stade to its permanent dry dock opposite All Saints Church.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 12:24 pm
The Ghost of Dunkirk anniversary event 17/6/19. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-190618-133812001

Attending the event were the family of crew members who served on the lifeboat at various points of her history.

Also present was Hastings Mayor Cllr Nigel Sinden, Deputy Mayor Cllr James Bacon and a number of past Hastings Mayors.

Local band The 1066 Rockitmen provide live music, staging their Queen tribute show.

The Ghost of Dunkirk anniversary event 17/6/19. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-190618-132945001

The community event was organised by Dee Day White, along with the Macbean and Bishop Lifeboat Trust.

Dee Day, who played a key role in bringing the lifeboat back to Hastings, after locating her in France, said: “What a night it was. Around 300 spectators were rocking to our good old friend Tim Phillips who, with his fabulous band the Rockitmen set the area alight.

“I would like to thank Whites Seafood and Steak restaurant for their help and donation.

The Ghost of Dunkirk anniversary event 17/6/19. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-190618-133641001

“Also many thanks to Suzie and Tina of the Old Rectory for their raffle prize, cakes and cream teas.

Coffee and teas were made available in All Saints Hall, so a thank-you to them as well.

Brother Aldred gave a moving service and I would like to thank Garry Fellow and all our helpers and marshals as well as Hastings Town Crier John Bartholomew.

It was lovely to see previous crew and family members attending the event and I would like to thank Stagecoach bus company for their support.

The Ghost of Dunkirk anniversary event 17/6/19. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-190618-133732001

The Cyril and Lilian Bishop lifeboat, played a vital role in helping to evacuate stranded Allied troops from the beaches at Dunkirk during the Second World War, when she came under heavy enemy fire.

Her role in the action earned her the name ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’ after she emerged like a phantom from the mist to pick up soldiers.

Following the war the lifeboat returned to Hasting to resume her role as the local lifeboat.

Both the Cyril and Lillian Bishop and the Priscilla Macbean lifeboat, in the Old Town, have recently been undergoing restoration work and have been re-painted to protect them from the elements.

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