Cromer Lifeboat Station

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Cromer Lifeboat Station
Flag of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.svg
Cromer Lifeboat (20550972121).jpg
Cromer Lifeboat Station is located in Norfolk
Cromer Lifeboat Station
General information
TypeRNLI Lifeboat Station
LocationCromer Lifeboat Station, Cromer Pier, Cromer, Norfolk
Coordinates52°56′3.4″N 1°18′5.84″E / 52.934278°N 1.3016222°E / 52.934278; 1.3016222Coordinates: 52°56′3.4″N 1°18′5.84″E / 52.934278°N 1.3016222°E / 52.934278; 1.3016222
Opened1804 as Norfolk Shipwreck Association
OwnerRoyal National Lifeboat Institution
Technical details
MaterialFabricated steelwork and concrete

Cromer Lifeboat Station is an RNLI station located in the town of Cromer in the English county of Norfolk.[1] The station operates two lifeboats - one for inshore work and the other for offshore work.

The current lifeboat station on the end of Cromer Pier was re-built between 1997 and 1999 to replace the smaller 1923 one which was re-located to Southwold in Suffolk where it is used as a lifeboat museum. The new boathouse cost approximately £3 million which was funded by bequests and private donations.[2] Cromer Lifeboat station is one of the most famous of the lifeboat stations operated by the RNLI.[3]

There has been a lifeboat service operated from Cromer for two centuries - predating the establishment of the RNLI. The volunteer crews at Cromer have gained a record of gallantry stretching back to the beginnings of the RNLI. Some of the most notable rescues and service have been carried out by famous coxswains such as Henry Blogg and Henry "Shrimp" Davies and their crews. To date there have been awards of 45 Bronze medals, 8 Silver medals and 3 Gold medals.


In the early days of the station the lifeboats were kept outdoors on the east jetty. From 1804 the privately operated service was funded by a subscription fund which was administered by a local committee led by Lord Suffield, the third baron of Gunton Hall.[3] Other dignitaries on the committee included George Wyndham of Cromer Hall, Thomas Mickleburgh, a local merchant, Joseph Gurney, a Cromer draper and Benjamin Rust who was a grocer.[3] This was the situation of the service until 1857, when with the lifeboat organisation falling into financial troubles and the lifeboats falling into a bad state of repair, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution took over the Cromer station along with other Norfolk Association stations.[3] By this time the association had built a lifeboat house which once stood some 100 yards from the high-water mark close to what is now the inshore lifeboat station. The RNLI altered and renovated this station at a cost of £46.2s.7d.[4] but by the mid-1860s this station had outlived its usefulness and a new boathouse was planned. The new site was on the east gangway and in 1867[3] work started on the new station. The new boathouse work also included building an extension to the sea walls and a slipway across the top of the beach. The work cost £476.4s.0d[3] and was carried out by a local builder by the name of E. Simmons.[3] The cost of the station was met by Benjamin Bond Cabbell[3] who had also bought the new lifeboat for the station.


The station operated two offshore boats from 1923. The second boat was replaced by an inshore lifeboat (ILB) in 1967.

All-Weather lifeboats[edit]

Dates in service Class ON Op. No. Name
1804–1830 Greathead-class
1830–1858 Greathead-class
1858–1868 Peake-class
1868–1884 34ft Self-Righter Benjamin Bond Cabbell
1884–1902 Cromer-class ON 12 Benjamin Bond Cabbell II
1902–1923 Liverpool-class ON 495 Louisa Heartwell
1923–1924 Norfolk and Suffolk-class ON 670 H F Bailey (renamed to John and Mary Meiklam of Gladswood when transferred)
1924–1928 45ft Watson-class ON 694 H F Bailey
1928–1929 45ft 6in Watson-class ON 714 H F Bailey II
1929–1935 45ft Watson-class ON 694 H F Bailey
1935–1945 46ft Watson-class ON 777 H F Bailey III
1945–1966 46ft Watson-class ON 840 Henry Blogg
1967–1984 48ft 6in Oakley-class Mk.II ON 990 48-03 Ruby and Arthur Reed
1984–1985 46ft 9in Watson-class ON 926 Guy and Clare Hunter
1985–1996 Tyne-class ON 1097 47-006 Ruby and Arthur Reed II
1996–1999 Mersey-class ON 1189 12-30 Her Majesty The Queen (Carriage launched during boathouse rebuilding)
1999–2007 Tyne-class ON 1097 47-006 Ruby and Arthur Reed II
2007–2008 Mersey-class ON 1162 12-004 Royal Shipwright (Carriage launched during slipway rebuilding)
2008–present Tamar-class ON 1287 16-07 Lester

No. 2 lifeboat[edit]

When the station received its first motor lifeboat, a No. 2 station was established located in the old boathouse. It was closed in 1967 when the station received an inshore lifeboat.

Dates in service Class ON Op. No. Name
1923–1931 Liverpool-class (P&S) ON 495 Louisa Heartwell
1931–1934 Liverpool-class (P&S) ON 514 Alexandra
1934–1964 Liverpool-class ON 770 Harriot Dixon
1964–1964 Liverpool-class ON 834 Jose Neville
1964–1967 Oakley-class ON 980 37-13 William Henry and Mary King

Inshore lifeboat[edit]

Dates in service Class Op. No. Name Photo
1967–1970 D-class (RFD PB16) D-101 unnamed
1970–1971 D-class (RFD PB16) D-26 unnamed
1972–1984 D-class (RFD PB16) D-197 unnamed
1984–1992 D-class (EA16) D-307 Spirit of Roundtable
1992–2002 D-class (EA16) D-436 Chloe
2002–2011 D-class (EA16) D-568 Seahorse III Cromer Inshore Lifeboat 15 March 2009.JPG
2011–present D-class (IB1) D-734 George & Muriel


See also[edit]


  1. ^ OS Explorer Map 252 - Norfolk Coast East. ISBN 978-0-319-23815-8.
  2. ^ Cromer lifeboat history Archived 28 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2 March 2010
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Cromer Lifeboat, A pictorial history, By Nicholas Leach & Paul Russell, Pub; Landmark Collector’s Library, ISBN 978-1-84306-363-6
  4. ^ "Cromer Lifeboats 1804-2004", Leach, Nicholas & Russell, Paul, Pub: Tempus Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-7524-3197-8