• Cromer RNLI

Through The Archives

We have been looking through RNLI Cromer archives from the 1980s to the present day, looking in particular at the types of lifeboats that have operated from Cromer.


During this time RNLI Cromer had Tyne and Mersey class lifeboats on station, for example Tyne class Ruby and Arthur Reed II was our lifeboat from 1985 until 2007 - she was numbered 47-006. We also had various Tyne class boats on relief: 47-002, 47-004, 47-017, 47-023, 47-025, 47-029 & 47-037.


The photographs and information for this article were provided by Paul Russell, to whom we are extremely grateful. Paul commented that ’We did seem to have quite a few relief Tynes but Ruby and Arthur Reed ll was here for 22 years so probably deserved a rest and maintainence check a few times!’.


Mersey class lifeboats also provided sterling service to Cromer. We operated two Merseys from the beach - the first when the boathouse was rebuilt in 1998 / 1999 and the second when the slipway was replaced in 2007 in readiness for the arrival of the Tamar class boat. 12-30 Her Majesty The Queen was on station from November 1996 until April 1999 as the boathouse was being replaced whilst 12-004 Royal Shipwright served Cromer from March 2007 until January 2008 when the slipway was rebuilt. The hulls of the two boats were made of different materials hence there being either two or three numbers after the leading number 12 (which indicated the boat length in metres). 


The photos of the Mersey class ON1189 12-30 Her Majesty The Queen is unusual in that the three photos show in the background the old boathouse, no boathouse and finally the new boathouse.


The two 2007 photographs feature theTyne Class ON1097 47-006Ruby and Arthur Reed ll.


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In Cromer there are two boathouses, one for the All-Weather Lifeboat "Lester" on the pier and the other for the Inshore Lifeboat on the east promenade. This boathouse was originally built in 1902 for the then rowing and sailing lifeboat Louisa Heartwell. Also on the east promenade you'll find the Henry Blogg Lifeboat Museum. The whole town is proud of the man referred to as 'the greatest of the lifeboatmen', who gained national fame in the first half of the 20th century when navigation around the Norfolk coastline was particularly hazardous in easterly gales.