Yesterday evening, I was proud to announce on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that the Project has reached a little landmark: The first stretch of coastline — East Anglia — has been completed and all the photographs are now available to view and buy on these pages.
If you’ve been following the journey to this point, thank you so much. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.
Since I made the first plate on 12th January, it’s been an extraordinary mission rich with anecdotes.
I’ve shared some of those stories but there hasn’t been the time or column space to convey many more of them to you. I think that will only ever be able to happen if I write a book. Hmmm…
Anyway, having just released the final selection of prints from Hunstanton, there’s one story that’s particularly fresh in my mind.
This post is dedicated to all the East Anglian RNLI volunteers that I’ve met whilst on the road; with my deepest thanks for all your kindness, humility, warmth and generosity.
Although this post specifically relates to the Hunstanton volunteer RNLI crew, it is intended to be representative of the dedication, selflessness and bravery along the entire coastline.
I originally visited the small North Norfolk town of Hunstanton on 20th January.
I recorded the view from the station and made a wonderful crew photograph but, unfortunately, Michael Darby (the Senior Helmsman) was delayed offshore due to fog.
So, we arranged to meet again on 19th March, a date on which my friend Julian Calverley was also able to help me out for the day.
Julian and I had both carried out some independent research beforehand and stumbled across the same video on YouTube.
It’s a clip filmed from the masthead of the RNLI hovercraft recording a startling rescue by the Hunstanton crew, lead by the man we were about to meet.
From this point onwards, there’s little more to say other than to show you the photographs I made during my two visits to Hunstanton accompanied by that very video clip.
Suffice to say, it’s indicative of the work carried out by the charity that save lives at sea and one of the many reasons why I believe in this Project so much…
First of all, here’s Michael Darby, the Hunstanton Senior Helmsman:
Michael’s the man who jumps into the water during this clip. Make sure you’re able to hear the sound:
Description from YouTube:
“Three girls cut off by the tide who had tried swimming to shore were rescued by the Hunstanton RNLI hovercraft.
“One of the youngsters holding on to the buoy was very distressed, so helmsman Michael Darby jumped into the sea and swam to the terrified young girl. He got hold of her and managed to inflate his lifejacket in order to keep them both afloat. Meanwhile, the hovercraft crew went to the aid of the two girls who had been swept several yards away by the tide and pulled them aboard. Both seemed exhausted and very upset, having been hanging on to the buoy for some considerable time in a very strong current.
“They were met by an ambulance when back on land and deemed to be safe and well.”
50 LIMITED EDITION PRINTS
Along with the other work from East Anglia, there are now 50* Limited Edition Prints available to purchase from each of the photographs on this page:
* 49 prints are available of the Sen’r Helm and Crew as Print No.1 is donated to each respectively.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE PROJECT
I’d like to thank all those who’ve supported the Project to this point — it’s truly moving to see so many of you recognising the value in the photographs I’m making.
If you think the world is a better place for the photographs I’m making, please show your support.
Remember, although the RNLI are supporting me logistically, I’m currently raising the funding under my own steam — in essence, my own form of crowdfunding.
Print sales, pre-orders and contributions keep The Lifeboat Station Project on the road:
My thanks to each and every one of the staff and crew along the East Anglian coast who have helped me to make the photographs so far.
It has truly been an honour to meet you all and to make such wonderful work together…