This page includes the postcards showing Lifeboats in Geoff Topp's collection. Other than adding explanatory notes, the content is the same as when published on the Merchantnavyofficers.com website.
Note: The Hilbre Islands are a group of three small islands located at the mouth of the Dee Estuary off Hoylake on the Wirral Peninsular that are cut off by the tide but can be reached by foot when the tide is out. They are currently uninhabited but Hilbre Island was the location for the Hilbre Lifeboat. For nearly 100 years, lifeboat crews based at Hoylake manned two lifeboats - one at Hoylake itself, and the other on Hilbre Island. The Hilbre station was built in 1847 and operated until the outbreak of WW2. Further information can be found HERE.
Note: There were a number of lifeboats of the same design as this one around the UK. Admiral Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland KG, PC (15 December 1792 – 12 February 1865), became the first president of the newly formed National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck in 1834, and went on to become the president of its successor, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. In 1851 he offered a prize of £200 for a new design of self-righting lifeboat, won by James Beeching, which became the standard model for the new Royal National Lifeboat Institution fleet. The early lifeboats were rowing boats unlike this one which was much later. Many lifeboats were named Duke of Northumberland in his honour.
Note: The nature of the coastline results in the need to launch the lifeboats using a carriage. This practice continues to the present day though nowadays a caterpillar tractor is used for this purpose.
Note: Duke of Northumberland was placed in service in 1893 and remained in service until 1923 when she was replaced by a motor lifeboat. Further information about the New Brighton lifeboats can be found HERE.