Poole Lifeboat crews on parade!
Thank you former crew mate Andrew Hawkes for sharing this clipping of the Poole Lifeboat crew who are on their way to the Coronation service, parading from the Civic centre, the occasion being the coronation of King George VI which took place at Westminster Abbey, on 12 May 1937.
HM The Queen has been Patron of the RNLI since 1952 and in the documentary that aired on Sunday evening, Queen Elizabeth recalls witnessing her father’s 1937 coronation when she was just 11 years old.
The crew in this picture are wearing their kapok lifejackets, the same style of lifejackets are on display in the Old lifeboat Station in fact they could be the very same lifejackets! The boats officers are wearing their peaked caps just as they do today and the Lifeboat flag is proudly held high.
In the early 1900s, kapok (used for stuffing cushions before its buoyant qualities were discovered) lifebelts came into use. Some crews refused to wear them, saying they were too cumbersome, so the design was modified several times. In spite of the early design problems, the brown canvas-covered kapok lifebelt remained in use until the late 1960s.
When the museum re-opens at easter why not pop down and have a look at them.