The old unsafe Lifeboat Station
The New Temporary Station Arrives
The Finished Temporary Lifeboat Station
The Temporary lifeboat station for Weston super Mare RNLI volunteers started inauspiciously but with typical RNLI verve came good in the end
The RNLI has been forced to close its Lifeboat station on Birnbeck Island due to safety risks to the crew. However it was felt vital that the organisation continued to provide a lifesaving service in Weston Bay. Indeed a guarantee to this effect had been issued to reassure local people that the RNLI would not desert them. The development and building of a permanent, long term lifeboat station will take time and require significant funds. An Appeal has been launched for this purpose. In the meantime a temporary solution had to be found.
In discussion with North Somerset Council the RNLI was offered the use of part of the paved area at the root of Knightstone Causeway next to the Marine Lake. A decision was made to establish a temporary station there holding a D Class rapid response Lifeboat which could be launched via Knightstone Harbour,
The building of this short term solution raised a number of anxieties when a 50’ dirty grey container was delivered to the site along with two smaller metal buildings. A lot of people worried that an eyesore was being created which would spoil the view of Weston promenade, an important feature of the Tourist Attraction.
The three containers were arranged alongside each other and the work started. While internal works were being done to prepare for housing a complex lifeboat, the outside underwent dramatic change. First the containers were painted and then clad in boards to tie them together and make the whole building seem as one. Further extra work with hardwood panelling smartened up the outside and then pictures of Lifeboats were added to show what the building contained. Finally a flag post was erected and an RNLI flag was raised to proclaim the true purpose and nature of the now smart building.
The crew have already started training in the facility and launching in the harbour. One immediate benefit is that the public can see the lifeboat, crews and activities up close. When they were on Birnbeck Island no member of the public could get close. The interest shown by the public has been enthusiastic and complimentary.
Peter Holder the Lifeboat Operations Manager Weston-super-Mare said; ‘Finally, the graphics have been fitted to our new Weston RNLI temporary Lifeboat Station at Knightstone Harbour today. Judging by the positive and constructive remarks from the general public they appear to fully approve of our new facility for responding to incidents in Weston Bay and the surrounding area. Our thanks to everyone who has played a part in bringing this project to a “speedy and satisfactory” conclusion, not least North Somerset District Council, Weston Town Council, Symons Construction and John West Ltd’