Cyril and Lilian Bishop

Cyril and Lilian Bishop Lifeboat

BOOK TITLE - Diary of ‘Cyril and Lilian Bishop’ Hastings RNLI Lifeboat 1931-1950 – ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’

The cost of this lifeboat was met from a £20,000 legacy left to the RNLI in the Will of Sarah Frances Constance Lilian Philpott in 1931. It was named after her and her first husband Cyril Duvall Bishop. The keel was laid down at J. S. White & Co. Shipbuilders, Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1930 and became the Hastings lifeboat the following year. It was stationed there until 1950 when it was sold to an Essex marine company. Over the following years it was sold a number of times becoming a fishing boat and a cruiser-sailer travelling around Scotland and Norway. This Dairy charts these times, its experiences during World War II and the final journey back to Hastings where it was restored and put on permanent display in 2017.
A donation from every Diary sold will be made to the Macbean and Bishop Trust, who maintain both this and another lifeboat, Priscilla Macbean.
Paperback 21cm x 29.5cm
40 pages
60 photographs and illustrations
ISBN ISBN: 978-0-9568669-6-7
£6.00 excl. p.p. (please contact us for postage details)

James Beeching

James Beeching of Hastings and the self-righting lifeboat

BOOK TITLE - James Beeching of Hastings and the self-righting lifeboat

James Beeching was born in 1788 into a local Bexhill, East Sussex smuggling family and was the youngest of seven children and unsurprising his interest in in later life turned to boats and boat building. He learnt his trade with a Hastings boat builder and eventually had his own very successful boat yard on the town’s beach with partner John Gallop, until 1814. However, three years later Beeching left the country with his wife and family and made a new life in Vlissingen, Holland and created another very successful boat yard. In 1824 he returned to the UK with his family and settled in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, where he again started up yet another successful boat yard.
During the mid-nineteenth century the number of lives being lost at sea around our coasts was rising considerably and in 1850 there was believed to have been seven hundred and eighty-four lives lost. It was this statistic that prompted the 4th Duke of Northumberland to sponsor a competition the following year, to find the best lifeboat design. One of the competition’s terms was the lifeboat had to be self-righting. James Beeching submitted a design and was deemed the winner of the two hundred and eighty entries from around the world and claimed the prize of one hundred guineas (£105).
Beeching’s first lifeboat, built to his design, was named the Northumberland after the competition sponsor and was stationed at Ramsgate, Kent for fourteen years. He went on to build a total of 12 lifeboats followed by his sons who built a further 27 and numerous other vessels.
Earlier lifeboat designers and others from Sussex are also mentioned and the part they played in the ultimate design of today’s lifeboat.
A donation from every copy sold will be made to the ‘Macbean and Bishop Trust’, who maintain two old lifeboats, Cyril and Lilian Bishop and Priscilla Macbean, now displayed in Hastings Old Town.
Paperback 21cm x 29.5cm
53 pages
24 photographs and illustrations
ISBN ISBN: 978-0-9568669-7-4
Price £7.00 plus p.p. (please contact us for postage details)