2020 Shouts: YTD  Total 3  Plus 3 stand down


 19th April BB launched to search the River Torridge from the station to Bideford quay and back, person soon located safe and well inland.

Crew J pavitt (Helm) M Rowe R Coburn

18th Jan ILB launched to search for a missing person, and to search between Saunton and Baggy Point. search called off after 2 hours with nothing found.

Crew S McCarthy (Helm) N Simmons R Ward D Elsemore

17th Jan ILB tasked to a possible person in the water at Fremington quay. Object was discovered to be a blue can. False alarm with good intent.

Crew N Ayres (Helm) Stu M R Ward M Rowe

Appledore RNLI Boarding Boat    00/01/20 TEST 2



Atlantic 75 Lifeboat 00/01/20 TEST

Crew O Atkinson (Helm) J Pavitt S McCarthy  







Tamar-class Lifeboat


Atlantic 75 Lifeboat

Appledore RNLI Boarding Boat

Appledore RNLI Boarding Boat




Dear Supporters


I would like to wish you a Very Happy New Year and say a big “THANK YOU’ for your continued support during the past year. The amount that has been raised by the Appledore Lifeboat Supporters in 2017 is a fantastic total of £49,573.36. All the money raised has come from events organised by the Fund Raising Guild, and also from local organisations, individual donations, box and bucket collections outside Tesco’s and Morrison’s in Bideford as well as from bequests made to us


I would like to thank everyone who supported our many events during the year, and to all those who came along and gave their time and helped with the various events and collections. Your help is invaluable and very much appreciated.


We are pleased to tell you that we have a new Chairman, Pat Hughes, who has been on the Committee for a number of years, and was previously Hon. Secretary.


We would like to thank Phil Sargent for organising the box collectors and thank them for all for their hard work and support. The monies which they have raised from the boxes in the local community is an important part of our fund raising efforts, and is greatly appreciated. During 2017 a total of £7,891.47 was raised from the boxes.


A big thank you to Shooey McCall and her great team of volunteers for making such a successful job of Souvenir Sales both at the Station and also at the many outside events. Their help makes a massive difference to the fundraising for our Station, and last year they raised in excess of £4,929. If you would like to help with the sales of Souvenirs, please do let me know on 01271 861 291


NEWS FROM THE LIFEBOAT STATION: There was an increase in activity in 2017 over the previous year with 60 launches in 2017 as opposed to 48 in 2016. One life was saved, 15 people were assisted who would have got into a more serious situation without assistance and the crew had the unpleasant task of recovering 3 bodies.


Around 75% of the launches were for services within the estuary and both the Taw and Torridge rivers. The station has seen a significant increase over the last couple of years in the volume of launches for potential or actual suicides and searches for missing persons with mental health problems.


In October the Lifeboat Operations Manager – Wendy Dale retired after some 13 years of service and she will be sorely missed by many. Her replacement as the Lifeboat Operations Manager is Tony Merrill.


The main Fund-raising events held in 2017 were as follows:-


SOS DAY - This took place at the Appledore Lifeboat Station on January 28th and was a great success as always with Ian Hudson and his musical friends, who entertained us with Sea Shanties. We would like to thank Heard’s butchers of Westward Ho! who donated the sausages for the hotdogs, and to everyone who made the Shortbread, and all those who came along and enjoyed the day.  The Lifeboat Crew were the chefs for the day, and £285.00 was raised


QUIZ AND SUPPER - This was held at St Mary’s Church Hall on 17th February, and was a very successful evening raising £1,400.00


FUN EVENING OF FASHION, BEAUTY AND MUSIC - This was a new event that was held at St Mary’s Church Hall. It was good fun evening, thank you to the RNLI Ladies for modelling the clothes, which were kindly loaned by Bon Marchè of Barnstaple, and also the lady members of the Lifeboat Crew who modelled their uniforms. Thank you to Natalie for her lovely music. We raised £600.00 and hope to run this event again in spring 2018.


BIG SHEEP EVENT – Growing Old Disgracefully, for recycled teenagers - This was an exciting new event, and proved to be a lot of fun, and we would like to thank the ‘Big Sheep’ for putting on this fun evening. We raised £785.00 and we will be holding this event again during May 2018 and hope a lot of you will come along and have fun without the children!


BOAT JUMBLE AND CAR BOOT SALE - Due to bad weather, this event was cancelled twice, however we are hoping to go ahead in 2018, with the back-up plan of using the Skern Lodge Hall. It was disappointing, but beyond our control.


TEA AT TAPELEY PARK - We were extremely lucky with the great weather last August for this annual event, we had a good number of visitors and just over £1,000.00 was raised. We served cream teas and had the Torridge Male Voice Choir to entertain us. Along with the Border Morris Dancers, always popular. Also thank you to the Kenwith Model Boat Club for coming along once again with their lovely collection of models.


STATION-to-STATION SPONSORED WALK - We had another disappointment with this event which we were advised to cancel by the Coastguards, due to so much rain the footpath was considered unsafe. However, we would like to thank those wonderful walkers who came and did the walk at other times, and still managed to raise £2,816.00. We will have a backup plan if we experience bad weather again this year, so please if you are likely to want to enter for the walk in 2018, please be assured it will be on.


OCTOBER SEAFOOD MEALS - We had a great number of pubs and restaurants in the area, who participated in this, and we raised £782.74, thank you to everyone who joined into this event.


THE ART SHOW - this was held at the North Devon Yacht Club from 19 – 22nd October, and was once a wonderful exhibition.  We would like to thank Judith James for organising this event for us.  It is a very prestigious event enjoyed by all and raised £3,128.94. This figure includes the money raised by ‘THE ACORNS’ who gave a Concert after the show on the evening of 26th October and once again thanks to Ian Hudson and the Acorns for their great performance.


QUIZ AND SUPPER - This was held on 17th November at the Appledore Community Hall, and was once again well attended, and enjoyed by all. We thank Sally Hughes and her team for providing a lovely Lasagne Meal. Thank you to Dennis and Julie Ford for compiling the questions and being quiz masters for the evening.  We raised nearly £900. Thank you to everyone for their help and support.


CHRISTMAS CONCERT - This was held at the Lifeboat Station with music provided by the Appledore Silver Band and the Appledore Lifeboat Choir. Mulled Wine and mince pies were served and £206.26 was raised by a bucket collection. A lovely start to the Christmas Season.


WHAAM CONCERTS - There were two main ones this last year. One held in March and one in September. We would like to thank John Barton for organising these events and raising over £1,194.35. These events were thoroughly enjoyed by both the musicians and the audience, and were well supported. The concerts will be held again in 2018, so hopefully you will be able to come along and have a great night out.


We had two ‘Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Mornings’, which prompted some new volunteers both to join the Fundraising Guild and also the Lifeboat Crew. We always need help with the Fund Raising Events, and if you think you have a little time to spare, please come along and join us, you will be made very welcome and also be much appreciated.



It is with great sadness that due to ill health our Treasurer Richard Stone, is standing down at the end of this financial year. Richard has been on our Fundraising Committee for 23 years, and has been Treasurer for 14 of those. Richard has done a fantastic job in his role as Treasurer, and has done much more besides, organising collection buckets and flags, and even making the mulled wine for the Carol Concert. Richard also organised and ran the Art Show for nearly 20 years. We would like to thank Richard for all of his dedication and hard work and, we would like him to know that he will be very greatly missed. However on the plus side, we are pleased to announce that Richard has accepted the post of Vice President, so hopefully, he will still be around and part of our fundraising efforts, for which we are grateful. From the 1 February 2018, our new Treasurer will be John Wilson, who may be contacted on 01271 860918, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We also are saying farewell to Sally Hughes. Sally has been on the Committee for 14 years, and has been our main catering organiser at all our events, many of you will have enjoyed her wonderful meals during the past. We wish Sally all the best in the future.


Once again we would like to thank you all for your support throughout the year. The funding of the Appledore Lifeboat and the RNLI is vital to maintaining the wonderful work that they do on a voluntary basis both ashore and at sea, where the crews often risk their lives in all weathers to rescue people at sea, from our beaches and also our rivers


If you wish to make a donation towards our fundraising, and to help cover the cost of this newsletter, please send your cheque made out to RNLI Appledore to me, along with the completed form overleaf. We would also ask you to update any e-mail addresses, home addresses and telephone numbers to keep our records straight. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you no longer wish to receive information about forthcoming events, please let me know on 01271 861 291 and I will delete you from our mailing list. We only wish to inform you of any activities you may wish to support, the list of proposed fundraising events is attached.


Yours sincerely

Sandy Peace - Honorary Secretary. (Home telephone number 01271 861 291)

EVENTS. 2019


26th Jan SOS Day @the Lifeboat Station 11-2pm

22/23rd Feb Possible music event

29th March Quiz at the Appledore Community centre  7:30pm

10th May Big Sheep Event - Adults Behaving Badly 6:30pm Doors open

15th June Fashion Show @St Marys Church Hall 7-7:30pm

7th July Sea Sunday @The Lifeboat Station, with Appledore Silver Band

5-15th Appledore regatta week

17th August Tea at Tapley Park.  Cream Teas 2-4:30pm

19th Appledore carnival

Sept Clovelly to Appledore sponsored walk TBC

Sept Senior Wham Concert 7pm TBC

4th Oct Fish Supper  St Mary's Hall 7-730pm

24th-27th Oct Ian Hudson & Acorns in concert @North Devon Yacht Club 7:30pm

15th Nov Quiz @ The Appledore Community Hall 7:30pm

1st Dec Christmas Carols with Appledore Silver Band. 2:30pm@the Lifeboat Station




   Appledore's long and proud tradition with lifeboats goes back to 1829 - before the RNLI was even formed. The station's history is so rich that only a brief summary can be made here. We hope that you will be able to get a little of the effort and human endeavour that has gone into keeping this voluntary service running for those in peril at sea from this synopsis.


   There were, at times 3 stations open at the same time! All of these were manned by the Appledore Crew, and which boat went was decided by where the casualty was. The Braunton Burrows Boat would go for a casualty anywhere from the North Tail, or Airy point to Saunton or Woolacombe. The Northam Burrows Boat would go for anything from the South Tail down to Westward Ho! And the Appledore Boat was for anything inside Bideford Bar. All that changed when the RNLB Jane Hannah MacDonald arrived at the Appledore Boathouse in 1889.


   This history has been broken down and summarised under the following linked sections...





The stations were taken over by the RNLI.

Over a period of 90 years (1829–1919) 21 Silver Medals were awarded for rescues to the many shipwrecks that occurred off the coast.

1919 The lifeboat station at Appledore became the main station.
1922 The station’s first motor lifeboat arrived.


1928 A Centenary Vellum was awarded to the station.
1935 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Second Coxswain GHE Pow for saving three men from the fishing vessel Lee Bay.
1944 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for rescuing seven crew from a concrete harbour unit 10 miles off Morte Point.


1950 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for a service to the steamer Monte Gurugu which sank south of Lundy Island on 12 November 1949. With Ilfracombe and Clovelly lifeboats they saved 24 people but 13 of the Monte Gurugu’s crew died.
1956 Robert Cann, aged 10, a great-nephew of Coxswain Sidney Cann, was presented with a watch for rescuing two boys.


1959 The Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum was awarded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for a service to the Polish ship Gilwice.
1963 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Sidney Cann for a service to the RFA tanker Green Ranger off Hartland Point on 17–18 November 1962.
1964 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Second Coxswain John Richard Bowden for rescuing four crew from the yacht Volunteer.
1966 On 1 January the lifeboat took two doctors to Lundy Island to treat a seriously ill woman. Due to the conditions they were put ashore using the South Lighthouse stores hoist. Dr Brooke and Dr Ruddock were recognised in the Book of Valour of the British Medical Association.


1971 Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum were awarded to Dr DF Valentine and Crew Member John Pavitt for a service to an injured seaman on board the Manchester Merit. John Pavitt saved the doctor from being crushed as he was climbing aboard the vessel.


1972 An inshore B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat was sent to the station. This was kept in the 1889 boathouse.
1975 A celebration 150th anniversary Vellum was awarded to the station.
1986 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Helmsman John Pavitt for rescuing a windsurfer in very rough seas on 1 December 1985.
1988 The Tyne class lifeboat, ON1140- George Gibson, was placed on service.
1995 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain Michael Bowden for rescuing the crew of the fishing vessel Torridge Warrior close to Bideford Bar buoy on 31 March 1994.
1997 A new Atlantic 75 lifeboat, B-742 Douglas Paley, was placed on service on 11 December.
2001 A new boathouse and slipway were completed.


2005 Helmsman Gary Stanbury is to be awarded the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's Bronze Medal* for Gallantry after saving three people from a stranded powerboat Kasam. Crew Members Andrew Hallet and Martin Davis are to receive Medal Service Badges and Certificates.



New Tamar Class Lifeboat RNLB Mollie Hunt (16-16) placed on station March 28th.


2012 New Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat, B-861 Glanely, was placed on station 9th July

Past Appledore Lifeboats:

1825-1858 Volunteer
1831-1848 Assistance
1847-1852 Petrel I
1889-1907 Jane Hannah McDonald I
1907-1910 Jane Hannah McDonald II
1910-1922 Jane Hannah McDonald III
1922-1938 VCS
1938 - 1962 1938-1962 Violet Armstrong
1962 - 1987 1962-1987 Louisa Ann Hawker
1988 - 2010 George Gibson
2010 - present Mollie Hunt

Previous Appledore Inshore Lifeboats:

1972 - 1974 Reserve Lifeboats
1975 - 1986 Whizzer
1986 - 1997 Manchester & District XXXII
1997 - 2012 Douglas Paley
2012 - Present Glanely

Previous Braunton Burrows Lifeboats:

1848-1857 Assistance
1857-1866 Dolphin
1866-1881 George and Catherine
1881-1902 Robert & Catherine I
1902-1912 Robert & Catherine II
1912-1918 Robert & Catherine III

Previous Northam Burrows Lifeboats:

1852-1861 Petrel
1856-1862 Mermaid
1862-1890 Hope
1870-1875 Mary Anne I
1875-1885 Mary Anne II
1885-1889 Jane Hannah MacDonald
1862-1890 No. 8 Reserve LB
1891-1897 Bessie Pearce


Below are some links that we hope may interest you. We've included links to...

Sister Websites:

These are all links to our sister lifeboats who have their own web site. Any incorrect listings or omissions please either our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Aran Islands
Barra Island
Caister Volunteer Rescue Service
Cowes Inshore Lifeboat
Dun Laoghaire

Loughor Inshore Lifeboat
Lytham St Annes

Port St Mary
Sidmouth Inshore Rescue Service
Valentia Island
Walton & Frinton

Appledore Websites of interest:

Below we list some of Appledore's website that may be of interest to you. If you have any suggestions please contact either our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

General Information
Appledore General Information.
And another view on Applefore
Appledore Historical Society
Appledore Visual Arts Festival
Information on Devon

Skern  Lodge (Adventure/Accommodation)

Torridgepilot Gig Club
Appledore Gig Club

Appledore Shipyard
Appledore - Instrow Ferry


Ships and Boats:

    • Ilfracombe Shipwrecks. This is a great site that highlights just some of the many shipwrecks that dot the Devon Coastline. Fascinating, but tragic.


    • The "Kathleen and May". This beautiful 3-masted topsail schooner is a piece of living history and is located in nearby Bidford. Apart from the beautiful and sensitive restoration, this boat has another feature worthy of note.The original reefing gear fitted was the first known example of Appledore roller-reefing, the sail being reefed by a ratchet lever that engaged the cogs on the gaff boom thereby winding the sail around it and then locked to prevent the sail unwinding from the boom. She worked out of Appledore for some years, (as the "Lizzie May" - named after her first owner's daughters), and thereafter many more years working out of Youghal, Co.Cork in Ireland, (as the "Kathleen and May" after her new owner's daughters)
    • St.Mary's Chuch, Appledore: The connection here is that the wooden screen in this Protestant church is made from timbers of the sailing ship Marco Polo. The church was founded in 1836 on Appledore's quays.

Video Selection:


RNLI Appointed Coxswains.

Coxswains at Appledore

1852 – 1873 Joseph Cox
1873 – 1891 J Cox Jnr
1890 – 1903 J Berry
1891 – 1895 S Hare
1903 – 1912 R Batten
1912 – 1933 G Craner
1933 – 1964 S Cann BEM
1964 – 1969 H Carter
1970 – 1994 D Cox (Present Cox'n Father)
1994 – 2005 M Bowden
2005 – Present M Cox


Coxswains at Braunton Burrows

1859 – 1890 J Smallridge
1891 – 1910 R Woodcock
1910 – 1919 W Cann


Occasional Coxswains

In the early days before Coxswains were appointed the first senior man arriving at the Boathouse would take the boat as Coxswain, these men are listed among the occasional Coxswains. It may be note that there is some overlapping as some Coxswains near retirement.

1829 O N R Smith
1833 W Chappell
1833 T Burnard
1836 T Day
1845 Capt J Williams
1876 J Harvey
1969 I Ives