Hilbre Holyhead Hoylake
New Brighton

This page includes the postcards showing Lifeboats in Geoff Topp's collection.


Hilbre Island Lifeboat
This is a rowing lifeboat based at Hilbre Island. The date is not known. [1]

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.


Holyhead Lifeboat
This is the Holyhead steam lifeboat Duke of Northumberland completed in 1899. [1]

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.


Hoylake Lifeboat
An early Hoylake sailing lifeboat being launched with the help of horses. [1]
Hoylake Lifeboat
An early Hoylake sailing lifeboat on the beach. There seem to be a load of visitors and no signs of urgency so this may be some kind of drill. [1]
Hoylake Lifeboat
Hoylake lifeboat Mary Gabriel and her launching tractor. She is a Rother Class lifeboat that had also been in service at Rhyll but taken out of service and sold in 1992. She was still around under private ownership in August 2015 when photographed in the River Medway. [1]
Lifeboat Mary Gabriel in the Mersey. [1]

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.

New Brighton

New Brighton Lifeboat
A sailing lifeboat based at New Brighton. The date is not known but I think this is probably the tubular lifeboat Henry Richardson that was in service from 1888 to 1898 after which a steam lifeboat was stationed at New Brighton. [1]
New Brighton Lifeboat
New Brighton's first steam lifeboat Duke of Northumberland. The date is not known. [1]

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.

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