All set for big 80th anniversary bash for Fleetwood’s historic lifeboat

Members of the Ann Letitia Russell Rescue Group alongside the Ann Letitia Russell with a model of the Ann Letitia Russell
Members of the Ann Letitia Russell Rescue Group alongside the Ann Letitia Russell with a model of the Ann Letitia Russell
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Plans to celebrate the 80th anniversary of a vintage Fleetwood lifeboat which is being restored in the town get underway this weekend.

The 41ft Ann Letitia Russell, which helped save more than 150 lives with Fleetwood RNLI from 1939 to 1976, was brought back to the town more than two years ago after years of decline in Lowestoft marina.

Yesterday marked the exact date 80 years ago, on February 14 1939, that the boat left the builders yard of Groves & Guttridge of Cowes, Isle of White, bound for Fleetwood - and this Saturday marks the exact anniversary when she first arrived in the town.

To mark that milestone, a fund-raising night is being staged on Saturday at the King’s Own Old Comrades Club, Adelaide Street, beginning at 7.30pm, featuring a disco and raffle.

Members of the public are welcome.

The volunteers are now looking to raise more than £390,000 to create a permanent home to house the vessel.

They have earmarked the former Sleep at Ease Bed Centre premises, in Adelaide Street, Fleetwood, which they plan to convert into suitable premises to serve as a museum for the lifeboat.

Meanwhile, they are still busy working on the restoration of the vessel, which will cost an additional £125,000.

Rob Baines said: “This lifeboat is part of our heritage and played a vital part in the town for so many years.”