It was a proud day in the history of Newbiggin Lifeboat Station when the naming ceremony for the Atlantic 75 class Lifeboat ‘CSMA 75th Anniversary’ was held adjacent the refurbished boathouse on Saturday August 22nd, 1998.
Despite an unfavourable weather forecast the day provided warm sunshine and ideal conditions for the afternoon ceremony. Preparations began early in the day in setting up a stage for a large lorry trailer which was loaned for the event by Fergusons Transport of Blyth. Visitors began arriving just after lunch with a good turnout by the time the ceremony began. Newbiggin Station Honorary Secretary Stan Green, opened the proceedings to over 600 assembled guests. Mr. Andrew Noble, Chairman of the Liverpool Victoria Group of companies handed over the Lifeboat to the RNLI District Inspector Kieran Nash who in turn accepted the Lifeboat and delivered into the care of the Newbiggin Branch.
The £66,000 Lifeboat was funded by a series of competitions in the Civil Service Motoring Association (CSMA) magazine ‘Motoring and Leisure’. Together with help from the Frizzel Financial Services (part of the Liverpool and Victoria Group) this is another example of their joint fund raising for the RNLI.
Mr. Jack Smith, lay preacher of the Apostolic Church (and former Station Honorary Secretary) then conducted the service of dedication Following a vote of thanks by Mrs. Barbara Martin,
Chairman of the Ladies Lifeboat Guild, John Herrington, Chairman of the CSMA, then named the Lifeboat ‘CSMA 75th Anniversary’.
The Lifeboat was launched and gave a demonstration in the bay to the crowds of onlookers. Many people from outside the community also attended the ceremony including a large number of dedicated Lifeboat Enthusiasts who had travelled hundreds of miles to be there.
Following the ceremony an afternoon tea was served for all the guests at Newbiggin Central Club. The Donor VIP’s were taken back to the boathouse where framed photographs of the new Lifeboat were presented to them by Station representatives.
Many guests remarked on their special visit to Newbiggin, which they said will be remembered for years to come.