Friday, 20 January 2012

A tribute to Peter Huxtable, former coxswain of the Shoreham lifeboat.

Hello and welcome to my blog. It's lovely to see you again and I hope you've had a good week. 

As you can see, I'm back in the saddle and last week mentioned that Shoreham had been a hive of activity during my 6 month sabbatical.  Now, one of the events that caught my eye was Peter Huxtable's resignation.  

Peter devoted 43 years to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, (RNLI), during which time he helped to save 449 lives at sea.  In 1991 he became the coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat and continued as such until his resignation on New Year's Eve.  In 2005 Peter was awarded an MBE for his services to the RNLI and received two RNLI Thanks of the Institution on Vellum, one of the Institution's 4 senior awards for gallantry.

I did not know Peter, in fact, on the odd occasion we met, I found him quite taciturn, however in December 2010 I interviewed Dave Cassan, who spoke warmly of him. 

"Our coxswain, in my opinion and in the opinion of the crew is, “the Boss.  We have absolute confidence in Peter. If you look out there and it’s breakers and you think, “Oh” but Pete says, “Get on board," you get on board because you know that he will bring you home and he will bring the casualties home. 

Without trying to sound sloppy or anything, the respect that the crews have for him is unbounded. It’s incredible. We know he’s a safe pair of hands, but it goes beyond that. There's something about Pete. We know that if we go out to sea he will bring us back, and that’s all we need to know."

David Cassan, RNLI Volunteer for 18 years and Shoreham Lifeboat's Press officer.

Peter has been succeeded by Steve Smith and I'm sure he will prove a worthy successor.

Last week I also mentioned that East Street had been pedestrianised. Well, another phase of the Shoreham Renaissance Strategy, namely work on the new footbridge, will start soon. With that in mind, West Sussex County Council and Osbornes have organised a presentation and Q & A session on the proposed replacement footbridge at Sussex Yacht Club during the afternoon of Saturday 28th January, time to be confirmed. Beach Residents and all those who will be effected by the proposal are invited to attend regardless of whether or not they are Club members. Perhaps I'll see you there. 

Well that's all for now. I hope you have a great week and see you soon.

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