We have a group of loyal volunteers and restorers, many within the Museum Trust, who gladly lend a hand and play an important and necessary role in the keeping the museum going and developing the means by which it can grow in a positive way.
Since 1949 Angus Heddle has had an important role with past Longhope lifeboats. He was a member of the Shore Crew and Winchman and still operates the winch when the Thomas McCunn is launched on special occasions. He is also a valued member of the Museum Trust.
Members of the Longhope Lifeboat Museum Trust
Pictured are the late William Lancaster, the late Geordie Taylor, Christine Bradshaw, Angus Budge, the late Michael Johnston, Kevin Kirkpatrick & Jamie Wild.
Current Trustees: Colin Bates; Maureen Bates; Angus Budge; Andy Dobrzynski; Andy Fellows; Lindsay Hall; Mary Harris; Angus Heddle; Karen Kirkpatrick; Kevin Kirkpatrick; Alan MacKinnon; Steven Rhodes and Jamie Wild. They are supported by Michael Webster.
Geordie Taylor was only 13 years old when he first became involved with Longhope lifeboat as a volunteer shore crew member and from then on he played an active role in the lifeboat team. He was our first volunteer curator and a very hard act to follow. Living next door to the museum, he would keep an eye out for visitors and stop what he was doing to kindly show folk around. Geordie is much missed since his passing in 2020.
The present museum curator is Mike Webster. Previous curators were Zane Uzklinge and Mary Harris. Christine Bradshaw and Mary Harris have prepared the extensive archival material which Andy Fellows is now in the process of digitising.
‘It was such an honour to be a curator in our museum and be able to show off our splendid vintage lifeboat, assorted curios and artefacts and to share the rich, colourful history with folk from far and wide.’Mary Harris
Our patrons are Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Brian Miles, former Inspector of lifeboats for Scotland and George Watkins of Longhope in Gloustershire. Princess Anne came to Brims and officially opened our museum on 28 May 2002. She has been a wonderful patron and has been up to visit three times, including a launch in the Thomas McCunn with a venture into the Pentland Firth and around to Longhope. She was a great sport and thoroughly enjoyed the passage despite the sea being rather lively.
Being a charity run museum we couldn’t continue without funding. The general public, local businesses and interested parties have been incredibly generous over the years. We raised over £50,000 with a crowd funding appeal to help us with essential restoration prior to the 50th Anniversary and Commemoration of the lifeboat disaster of March 1969. We now have a dedicated team looking at various ways of acquiring grants and funding to allow us to move forward with more essential renovations and developments.
image credits: Mary Harris / Andy Fellows / Longhope Lifeboat Museum archive