Madness star Suggs launches Whitstable lifeboat's 50th anniversary
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
MADNESS singer Suggs helped Whitstable Lifeboat launch its 50th anniversary celebrations last night.
The musician, real name Graham McPherson, was one of the guests at an evening to thank groups who had supported the station since it opened on July 23, 1963.
Suggs unveiled a commemorative plaque donated by former crew member Mark Laming, who is also chairman of the lifeboat management group.
He was joined by crewmembers past and present, including founder members Douglas Ward and Brian Tyrrell and Larry Lamberton as well as the Lord Mayor Cllr Heather Taylor and Lady Mayoress Linda Taylor.
Coastguards from Sheppey and Herne Bay and volunteers from Margate and Sheerness lifeboat were also on hand to help mark the occasion.
Suggs said the lifeboat was a key part of the town and should be supported.
He said: "My wife Anne's family have lived in Whitstable for two generations so I know the area well and the great thing about the Whitstable RNLI is that it is a great reflection of the spirit of community as much as it is also about saving lives at sea."
He presented long service awards to crewmembers Andy Kennedy, Paul Kemp and Richard Judge who each have served more than 30 years with the station. The station also received a certificate of service from the RNLI before supporters celebrated with cake made by Dave and Irene Woolnough.
An exhibition of the lifeboat's history, from a shed on Long Beach to the purpose-built station in the harbour used today, will be open on Saturday, July 27, for the launch of the Oyster Festival and Saturday, August 3 during Harbour Day.