Landlord one of rescue boat’s founding team

Phil Metcalfe
Phil Metcalfe

One of the founders of a village’s rescue boat has died aged 65.

Landlord of The Royal Hotel Runswick Bay Phil Metcalfe was an electrical engineer who worked in the oil and gas industry.

A married father-of-two, he had lived in the village since the 1970s.

He became involved in village life, and in 1979, when the RNLI closed its station at Runswick Bay, he was one of a small group of volunteers who set about establishing an independent onshore lifeboat to serve the village.

They faced a huge task, and one which was met with considerable opposition from those who did not believe it could work.

It was a matter of great pride, then, when as chairman Phil welcomed the Marchioness of Normanby and a crowd of supporters to the launch of the charity’s third boat, Lady Normanby, in 1992, following ten years of successful operational service and 65 call-outs.

Phil was the last founder member of the Runswick Bay Rescue Boat to remain serving on its committee. In 2002 he received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, along with others, for services to the rescue boat. He remained actively involved in the organisation which is still going strong after more than 30 years, until his death in December.

In 1980, Phil met Mo, an English lecturer, and they were married in 1983. Together they had two children, Claire and Andrew. they enjoyed taking part in community life as members of Hinderwell Tennis Club and as committee members and volunteers for the Hinderwell Show.

In 1998 he and Mo took over the Royal Hotel in Runswick Bay – Phil’s local – where he was said to keep a very good pint and enjoyed telling old and new friends stories of his travels.

His funeral took place at St Hilda’s Church in Hinderwell on December 30, with a collection towards the Runswick Bay Rescue Boat.

The family would like to thank the staff of Abbey Ward at Whitby Hospital for the outstanding care they gave Phil.