Handmade lifeboat model 42 years in the making gifted to Newhaven RNLI

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A model of a lifeboat has been given to the Newhaven RNLI station.

A 1/12 scale model of the 'Kathleen Mary' – a 47ft Watson class lifeboat – has been presented as a gift to the station by its maker David Crowden.

The former crew of the 'Kathleen Mary' gathered at the station to receive the gift – Derek Payne (crew and first aider, served 18 years), Mike Beech (crew and assistant mechanic, served three years) and Ian John MBE (crew, signaller and first aider, served three years).

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Model-maker David, from Kent, said, “It’s been a lifelong ambition to see the finished model back at its true home. It has taken 42 years, on and off, to build. It is wonderful to hand the model over to Newhaven RNLI for safe keeping.”

Kathleen Mary 47ft Watson class lifeboat (Credit: RNLI/Newhaven)Kathleen Mary 47ft Watson class lifeboat (Credit: RNLI/Newhaven)
Kathleen Mary 47ft Watson class lifeboat (Credit: RNLI/Newhaven)

The Kathleen Mary served as lifeboat for Newhaven from 1959 to 1977.

David is also the recipient of an RNLI silver medal for more than 60 years of fundraising for the RNLI Bromley Hayes in Kent branch.

Derek said, “We thank David sincerely for completing this fantastic model. The result is superb. It brings back so many memories of my 18 years volunteering on the Kathleen Mary.”

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David said, “It is an enormous pleasure to meet three of the crew today who volunteered on the Kathleen Mary during that era and know the boat so well.”

Derek said, “The model provides a tangible legacy of the live saving work the Kathleen Mary provided with her volunteer crew for the Newhaven and surrounding community. It will be appreciated and treasured.”

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