RNLI - Barmouth Lifeboat Station



Friday, 8th July 1949

The Cambrian News and Welsh Farmers’ Gazette                                   

Barmouth’s New Lifeboat.

Large Crowds at Naming Ceremony.

Presentation Tributes to Lifeboat Men.

Thousands of holidaymakers from along the Cambrian Coast area visited Barmouth on Wednesday to watch the naming of Barmouth’s new motor lifeboat – “The Chieftain” – which was built out of a legacy from Mr P C Peek, Branksome Park, Dorsetshire.  The quayside had been gaily decorated with buntings and all vantage points had been occupied a long time before the ceremony was due to take place.

The first lifeboat was provided at Barmouth over 120 years ago, and since then five lifeboats have been in service at the Barmouth Station, which is one of the oldest on the Welsh coast. 

“The Chieftain” replaces the “Lawrence Ardern,” which featured in many daring sea rescues during the war years.  The new boat has the advantage of the latest equipment and carries a radio, combined searchlights and signal lights. It weighs 8 ½ tons, and capable of carrying 48 people.  It was brought to Barmouth from Cowes by members of Barmouth lifeboat crew, under the coxswainship of Mr Edward Llewelyn Jones.

Col. C J Lloyd Carson, OBE, DL, JP, president of Barmouth Branch, presided at the naming ceremony, at which Commodore R G Clayton, DSC, RDRNR, a member of the Committee of Management, handed the boat to the Branch on behalf of the family of the donor.

In acknowledging the gift, Mr R Llewellyn Owen, chairman of the Barmouth Committee, paid tribute to the services rendered by the Lifeboat Service, and commented upon the great part which the Barmouth Lifeboat Station had occupied over such a long period of years in sea rescues in Cardigan Bay.

Commander E W Middleton, VRD, RNVR, district inspector of lifeboats, described the new boat, and stated that 100 years of lifeboat experience had gone into the making of the boat.

The new lifeboat was dedicated by the Archdeacon of Merioneth (the Ven. David Jenkins), assisted by the Rev. W H Wallis Thomas (rector of Barmouth) and the Rev. E Afonwy Williams.

The naming ceremony was performed by Mrs H M Richards, Caerynwch, Dolgelley, who wished the crew every success in its errand of mercy, and expressed her confidence that the high tradition of the Station would be maintained.

Miss Ann Llewellyn Jones, daughter of Mr and Mrs E L Jones, presented a bouquet to Mrs Richards.  The St John’s Church Choir, under the leadership of Major Lewis Williams, JP, rendered several hymn tunes, in which the vast crowd joined.

Commodore Clayton presented to Mrs J R Heath, hon. Secretary of the Barmouth Ladies Lifeboat Guild, a framed vellum recording her appointment as an honorary life governor of the Institution.  He also presented to Capt. G B Piggott, DL, JP, inscribed binoculars in recognition of his long service as hon. Secretary of the Barmouth Lifeboat Station.

Presentations to the retiring members of the lifeboat were as follows:
Coxswain’s certificate of service to Mr J Ellis Morris for 17 ½ years’ service; lifeboatmen’s certificates of service to Evan Jones, Artro House (over 17 years as second coxswain and 12 years as member of the crew); John Jones, Bronygraig (over 38 years as assistant motor mechanic and 8 years as member of the crew); Griffith Griffiths (member of the crew for 40 years); Owen T Morris (member of the crew for 44 years).

Thanks were proposed to all who had contributed to the success of the event by Mr Morris G Roberts, JP (chairman of Barmouth Urban Council) seconded by Mrs J R Heath.