On Saturday 17 May a new Inshore Lifeboat was blessed and officially launched at Horton. The boat was a bequest from the late Shirley Cottrell who wished the boat to be named after her father, Albert Wordley. Fifty of his friends and family came from the Midlands to attend the ceremony.
Phillip Place, Audrey Frank and Alan Richards (L-R) went to represent NCI Worms Head and were joined by David Moulson and Michael Roberts. Mike's family are well-represented in the crew: his son Gavin is senior helmsman, his 19-year-old grandson William is in the crew and Will's cousin Cei is in training.
The blessing was followed by the handover ceremony and the official launch of the boat. It is a D-class like the last ILB but faster and with a GPS navigation system to help in the search for survivors. The Mumbles Lifeboat had come to honour the occasion and a spectacular double act ensued with both boats sweeping round the bay with blue sea and white wakes - and in unexpected full sun (rain had been promised).
The Albert Wordley is the fifth lifeboat to do duty in the bay. The Port Eynon Station was established in 1884, with the first boat A Daughter's Offering . She was followed by the Janet but that enterprise ended in disaster with the loss of the Janet and three of her crew. This is the tragedy commemorated by the statue of Coxswain William Gibbs in the churchyard of St Cattwg's at Port Eynon. The station closed down in 1919.
In 1968 the new station at Horton was initiated with an Inshore Lifeboat (my father was first Hon. Sec./A.F.). Several dramatic rescues were effected by the Coxswain Walter Grove and his crew and in 1998 the new D Class D-531 boat was named the Walter Grove. The distinguished service of that boat was honoured by the presentation of the M.B.E. to Helmsman Laurie Grove in 2001.
NCI Worms Head look forward to our collaboration with the new boat and send our best wishes to all who serve in her.