Mid Wales

New Quay lifeboat station marks 150 years service

Image caption Winston Evans (left) was Britain's youngest coxswain when he took over from Rhoslan Davies (at helm)

A lifeboat station is set to mark 150 years of service to the local community with a series of events during the summer.

New Quay RNLI was established in the Ceredigion seaside town in 1864.

A Mersey class all weather lifeboat and an inshore rescue craft are currently manned by 25 crew members.

Planned events include an open day and a rededication of the station and its lifeboats in June.

The town has produced a long list of notable coxswains who have answered more than 940 call-outs or 'shouts' in the last century and a half.

Perhaps the most famous was Arden Evans and his son Winston who between them served a total of 40 years after the Second World War.

Winston Evans, who at the age of 26 became Britain's youngest coxswain in 1965, was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1985.

He was also awarded the RNLI's Bronze Medal in 1966 following a rescue off rocks between New Quay and Aberysytwyth.

Image copyright f
Image caption Winston Evans (third left) meets the Prince of Wales in 1969

"I was very lucky in my time as coxswain because we didn't have to answer a lot of shouts," said Mr Evans, who was at the helm for 29 years until 1994.

"In those days most of the crew were fishermen but now the RNLI can train people from all walks of life who want to be part of the crew."

Mr Evans was followed as coxswain in 1994 by Daniel Potter, another local man who continues in the post, and is the great nephew of Frederick Shayler who was a distinguished coxswain for 17 years in the 1920's and 30's.

New Quay's first lifeboat was the Forester, a gift from the Independent Ancient Order of Foresters and introduced to protect sailors in what was a busy coastal shipping area.

Image copyright New Quay RNLI
Image caption The St Albans was the first engine-powered lifeboat at New Quay

A service of rededication of the station and its lifeboats will be conducted by the chaplain to the station the Reverend Matthew Baynham on the quay on Saturday 7 June.

A book detailing the history of the RNLI in New Quay with more than 100 photographs was launched on Tuesday.

Its author, Roger Bryan, said: "It's been a great honour and a labour of love to chronicle the history of the lifeboat station and its crews.

"The station has a great deal to be proud of and is worthy of commemoration."

The New Quay lifeboat station will host an open day on Sunday 25 May.

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