Staithes and Runswick set for weekend of fundraising

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The RNLI’s Staithes and Runswick lifeboat station is looking forward to a bumper three days of fun and fund-raising at its annual Lifeboat Weekend celebrations between 17 and 19 August.

The station is hoping to beat last year’s successful event when more than 2,000 visitors visited Staithes to help raise more than £14,000.

Colin Harrison, the station’s lifeboat weekend coordinator, said: “The support we received from the village and surrounding areas was tremendous last year given the difficult economic climate and we’ll be putting on another great show over the weekend for all the family.”

The station’s high speed inshore lifeboat, Pride of Leicester, will be on show for young and old to see at close quarters and watch in action sweeping in and out of the harbour.

Visitors will also have the chance to look around Staithes’ newly refurbished station which has only just been completed and will be re-dedicated at the end of the weekend.

The impressive £250,000 makeover and extension will enable the station to house a bigger lifeboat in the future.

The Staithes and Runswick lifeboat will be joined by their RNLI colleagues from Redcar and Whitby in putting their lifeboats through their paces.

There will also be RNLI lifeguards and coastguard rescue teams showing off their abseiling skills on the cliffs – so long as they’re not called out on emergency.

The action will be split between Staithes and Runswick Bay.

Popular events include the traditional Friday evening nightgown parade through Staithes starting on the harbourside, lifeboat displays (Saturday – Runswick 11am/ Staithes 2.45pm), and the raft race across Staithes harbour (Saturday 4pm).

Throughout Saturday afternoon the crowds can also enjoy a variety of stalls including tombola, roulette, gift and book stalls and refreshments.

There will be fancy dress competitions for all ages and a barbecue on The Staith from 5.30pm till late.

To round off the evening at 10pm a spectacular fireworks display will be set off from the northern breakwater.

Sunday’s programme includes the Great Annual Duck Race at 11am when hundreds of spectators pack the banks of Roxby Beck. The day finishes with two services of thanksgiving held by the station chaplain Rev Alan Coates.

First will be an open air service held near the old lifeboat station in Runswick starting at 3pm.

The Staithes service, preceded by a display by the Redcar & Hartlepool sea cadets, is scheduled for 6pm at Staithes, the highlight of which will be the re-dedication of the lifeboat station.

Mr Harrison added: “This will be a moving finale to the weekend.

“The lifeboat has always been at the heart of the community and the superb refurbishment is the culmination of much hard work and proof of the generosity of all who make lifeboat weekend such a special event.

“It’s also a great affirmation of the continuing vitality of the RNLI here, a proud day for all of us.”