History of Poole Lifeboat Station: 1865–89



The RNLI established Poole Lifeboat Station on 19 January.

Poole Lifeboat  (8)

A boathouse was built at North Haven Point by local builders Dunford and Saunders for £252. The 32ft lifeboat Manley Wood was a gift of an anonymous lady and was built by Forrest of Limehouse. She cost £210. She was the 139th lifeboat in the country.

Next door to the boathouse were the stables of Colonel Waugh, the owner of Brownsea Island. The horses kept in the stables could be used to pull the lifeboat when she had to be launched to the seaward side of Sandbanks, Bournemouth or Christchurch.

Poole Lifeboat  (95)Every time the first Poole lifeboat launched, the crew had to be taken by coach from the Antelope Hotel in the High Street in Poole to Sandbanks where the lifeboat house had been built.


Poole Lifeboat  (9)

First service launch of Manley Wood on 11 February 1866.

Assistant Inspector visited the station and attended a public meeting for the enquiry into the loss of life which took place from a shipwreck off Poole Bar on 16 January (not sure why Manley Wood didn’t launch).


Silver Medals were awarded to The Right Hon The Viscount Bury MP and Mr Charles Pride for their gallant conduct in going off in an open boat on 6 October 1868 and saving, at the risk of their lives, one man from the fishing boat Alarm, which had capsized on Christchurch Bar.


Arranged to pay £5 for the services of a tug each time it was required by the lifeboat to tow the lifeboat to the scene of a service. The tug Royal Albert was ’employed’.

(Précis Life-Boat Book G page 235):

Feb 7 Inspector … saw Mr G V Pewsey, the part owner of the steam tug, who agreed to accept £5 each time the Lifeboat required the services of the tug’

Manley Wood was renamed Joseph and Mary. She had no further service launches.


New, 34ft lifeboat built by Woolfe of Shadwell. Known as Joseph and Mary until her official naming in 1882.


Poole Lifeboat  (118)    The new lifeboat was named Boy’s Own No. 2.

Poole Lifeboat  (40)

The lifeboat house was moved to a new site (leased by the Corporation) on Poole Quay at Fisherman’s Dock. The new boathouse cost £165.

The boat came out of boathouse on a carriage on the land side and was launched down the corporation slipway next to the boathouse.

A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain Richard Stokes for ‘gallant services’ over 15 years. He retired in March.


memorial6Crew Member James Hughes was tragically killed when he fell in front of the main wheels of the carriage whilst getting out of the lifeboat after an exercise on 9 October. The Committee of Management voted £50 to a local fund in aid of his dependants.


A flagstaff was erected to answer signals from the sand hills at the entrance of the harbour.


Gas service was provided to the boathouse with a lamp outside to facilitate hauling up. The tender for the work amounted to £9 Os 9d.