THE LIFEBOAT SERVICE IN ENGLAND: THE NORTH EAST COAST, STATION BY STATION, by Nicholas Leach. Published by Amberley Publishing (www.amberley-books.com). £17.99. Softback.

Beswick Crew

SOME of the oldest and most famous lifeboat stations can be found in the north-east of England. While the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was established in 1824, many lifeboats were operating on the north-east coast before the 1820s. It was on the Tyne that the first proper design of lifeboat originates – Henry Greathead’s ‘Original’ lifeboat built in 1789.

Today the volunteer lifeboat crews of England’s east cost operate high-tech state-of-the-art lifeboats saving lives at sea in and around some of the busiest sea lanes in the world.

The RNLI currently operates 16 lifeboat stations between Berwick and Skegness in Lincolnshire, and this comprehensive book has details of every one, with information about histories, rescues and current lifeboats. It also includes details and outline histories of old stations that have been closed.

Active lifeboat stations in Northumberland which are featured include Berwick (first opened in 1835), Seahouses (first opened in 1827), Craster, Amble, Newbiggin, Blyth, Cullercoats and Tynemouth.

Old stations now closed include Holy Island, Bamburgh, Boulmer, Alnmouth, Hauxley, Cresswell, Cambois, North Shields and South Shields.

Many dramatic, courageous and daring rescues have been performed by the lifeboat crews and these are brought to life in the historical introduction which traces the history and development of the lifeboat service in the region, looking at the early pioneers of lifesaving.