(c) Into the 20th Century

Following the closing of the lifeboat station at Thorpeness (1900) and then at Dunwich (1903) the RNLI decided to open a second station at Aldeburgh; so during the opening years of the twentieth century there were 2 lifeboats here, the City of Winchester and the Edward Z Dresden.

The City of Winchester: a gift from the people of Winchester

Nation-wide publicity about the Aldeburgh disaster resulted in a great wave of sympathy and collections were taken up in many places for the families of the bereaved. Winchester’s generosity provided a new lifeboat, named after the city. The new boat arrived in Aldeburgh in the summer of 1903 and was the largest sailing lifeboat in England at that time. According to James Cable; ‘It weighed about eighteen tons with all on board, and was very strongly built of oak…..We had a grand day in Aldeburgh when the boat was christened by the Marchioness of Winchester.’

Invitation to the christening of the City of Winchester, July 1903

A collection of old images : the titles are original


Building the City of Winchester



Fishing net arch 1903

Lifeboat procession 1903

A record launch 1903

Running ashore with the Lifeboat 1903. (The flag flying from the mizzen mast displays the five castles of Winchester. The young man on the left seems set to make a dry landing.)

Willing hands man the capstan to haul up the life boat

The Edward Z Dresden under full sail