Nightgowns kick off lifeboat fun

Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat weekend - Nightgown parade''w113402e''Picture: Ceri Oakes
Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat weekend - Nightgown parade''w113402e''Picture: Ceri Oakes

THE sight of 200 people walking through a village on a Friday night wearing nightclothes might seem odd – but in Staithes it is a much-loved annual tradition.

The Nightgown Parade kicks off the Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat weekend which took place between Friday and Sunday.

Women wore traditional gowns and bonnets, children donned pyjamas with cartoon characters on and men dressed up as women – all in the name of charity.

They were helping to raise the £30,000 that is needed annually to cover the costs of running the lifeboat.

Led by the East Cleveland Belles Band, local residents marched from the bottom of the village and made their way up the cobble streets to Staithes Club with crowds of people coming out of their houses to clap and cheer them on.

A member of the Staithes crew said: “It started off in Victorian nightdresses and has degenerated into what you see.

“It gets everybody in a good mood for the lifeboat weekend.

“Most of the village takes part and a lot of the visitors as well.

“It is very much a family weekend and that is something we like to emphasise.

“We usually earn between £10,000 and £15,000 but the maximum was £17,000 – but that is a huge amount for a small village.”

Tim Barber and Dr Judd Davies are from Leeds but own a cottage in Church Street, Staithes and come with their familes.

Mr Barber said: “We are here every month but the lifeboat weekend is so fantastic we make sure we are here for that and the dressing up is just part of it.

“The lifeboat crew wear dresses and we have just gone along with it. Taking part helps you feel as though you are part of the village.”