Friday, 26 September 2008

Storm Warriors of the Goodwin Sands

I have just put some more pages of John Gilmore’s book about the work of the Ramsgate Lifeboat on the internet for you al to read click here to do so.

Ramsgate can boast one of the first lifeboats in England, we had a lifeboat before the formation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. In the days before it was practical to build a boat that was both small enough to use in sea rescue, but with an engine powerful enough to resist storm and tide, the combination of a steam tug and rowed lifeboat was used in many rescues. Most of the rescues were of ships that had gone aground on the deadly Goodwin sands where it would be far too shallow for the steam tug to venture. Often the combination of storm and tide made it impossible for the lifeboat powered as it was by oars and sails to get to the vessel that had floundered. So the tug towed the lifeboat round the outside of the sand until it was upwind of the wreck and then let it go across the Goodwins. While the lifeboat was doing its work the tug would steam round to the other side of the Goodwins in the hope of picking up the lifeboat with those rescued aboard.

The picture is of the tug “Aid” towing the Ramsgate lifeboat.


  1. what a marvelous tale
    i'll be comming to your bookshop monday to puchase a copy
    thanks richard
    all the best john

  2. Derick97 isn’t it just, the original book is very hard to get and I don’t think many local people had read it before I managed to track one down and reprint it, I hadn’t even heard of it until Don Long told me about it.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.