Oldest remaining Whitby RNLI crew member who helped save 84 lives turns 90

Ronnie Frampton. Picture: Whitby RNLI/Ceri Oakes.
Ronnie Frampton. Picture: Whitby RNLI/Ceri Oakes.

The oldest remaining crew member of Whitby RNLI who served 24 years on the lifeboat from 1951 to 1975 has just celebrated his 90th birthday.

And 84 lives were saved during this period by the volunteer crew at Whitby RNLI.

Ronnie Frampton, known locally as ‘Frammy’ joined the lifeboat aged 23 as a crew member, before going on to be a bowman for over six years, assistant mechanic for two and a half years and 2nd Coxswain for eight months.

When Mr Frampton, a local fisherman, first joined the lifeboat in 1951 it was on the traditional rowing lifeboat Mary Ellen Robson, the last active pulling lifeboat in the country. The lifeboat was stationed near the West Pier until 1957, the station is now the local RNLI museum, where the rowing boat is still on display next to the RNLI shop.

Richard Dowson, Station Mechanic said: “Frammy is a real character, the stories he has to tell about being on the lifeboat all those years ago are fascinating. They really make us appreciate the equipment we have today to keep us safe!

“It’s hard to imagine a crew rowing out in rough seas to a rescue but they did, and many lives were saved due to their bravery. Myself and all the crew would like to wish Frammy a very happy 90th birthday.”

The crew joined Mr Frampton’s friends and family at the football club to celebrate the occasion with a party.