Monday, April 26, 2010

Holy Humber Lifeboats...

Spent yesterday afternoon in Holy Trinity Church, having been invited by my friends at the RNLI to attend the Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication to mark the 200th anniversary of lifeboats at Spurn Point. Caught up, very briefly, with Dave Steenvoorden, the current Superintendent Coxswain of the Humber Lifeboat who was so helpful during the writing of On A Shout (including taking us for couple of spins in the name of research aboard the mighty Pride of the Humber). Was going to have a quick pre-service pint in the nearby William Wilberforce pub but when I walked in it was absolutely brimming with lifeboat crew members leaving little hope of getting served quickly. So I nipped over the road to King's Ale House where, in the toilets, just before setting off for the church, I met a nautical looking fella who couldn't turn the taps on at the sink. He asked me to oblige, having pointed out that he came from Scunthorpe. "What, don't you have taps in Scunthorpe?" I quipped, to which he bafflingly replied "no"! He felt it very appropriate to strike up a full conversation with me, asking me what I thought of the pub, its food, its ale, and where I was going next. "A service? I've been to one over there already today." Five minutes after I took my place in a pew he wandered in, obviously ready for another service and demanding a service sheet from anyone that passed him, despite them clearly being handed out at the door on entry. I sat with quite a few members of HM Coastguard, who failed to impress me with their singing (and slight smell of seaweed) although I suppose if you do a job of such import belting out a hymn will not be at the top of your list of priorities. As someone that somehow manages to scratch a living by tapping on a keyboard I felt like a really insignificant wuss surrounded by lots of people that save lives. Hats off to them all and here's to the next 200 years of lifeboats at Spurn, wherever its shifting sands may be located.

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