Articles Launch of mural celebrating RNLI’s 200th anniversary

Launch of mural celebrating RNLI’s 200th anniversary

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Launch of mural celebrating RNLI’s 200th anniversary

A huge mural has been unveiled in Exmouth honouring the volunteers past and present of Exmouth RNLI. The mural on Manchester Road has been created by local street artist Gary Cook (Garf), and was unveiled on Wednesday (17th January) by the Mayor of Exmouth Olly Davey.
A new mural is unveiled in Exmouth in tribute of the RNLI’s 200th anniversary
 
This year the RNLI marks its bicentenary, and Exmouth was one of the earliest towns to have a lifeboat, in 1803. After ceasing to exist for a number of years, the RNLI re-established Exmouth lifeboat in 1858, with a station built the following year. A year of events are taking place throughout the south west to commemorate and celebrate the momentous occasion, and inspire the next generation of lifesavers.

The mural has been painted on the side wall of the Haldon House Surgery, thanks to their kind permission and support. It has taken five months to create the mural, which depicts a lifeboat crew member and the Shannon class lifeboat, and is a tribute to Exmouth RNLI and the RNLI’s 200thanniversary. It has been fully funded by a total of 26 local businesses.

On Wednesday, a number of dignitaries, sponsors and representatives from Exmouth RNLI, gathered on Manchester Road to officially launch the mural. Artist Gary Cook added his signature on the mural to officially mark its completion.

Councillor Olly Davey, Mayor of Exmouth said: ‘As a coastal town with a high number of visitors and a busy watersports and fishing community, we cannot value too highly the round-the-clock service delivered by the RNLI, which provides the offshore and inshore lifeboats and the lifeguard service to ensure that everyone can use our waters in safety.’

Exmouth RNLI volunteer chairman, Tim Baker, said: ‘We have been saving lives at sea for over 200 years in Exmouth and this has only been possible due to the continuing dedication and commitment of our volunteers and the generosity of our supporters. This mural is a long term tribute to our station and the volunteers who selflessly put themselves at risk to save others. Our grateful thanks go to everyone who has helped bring the mural to fruition, especially our many sponsors.’

Artist Gary Cook added: ‘It is a privilege to be involved with the RNLI in Exmouth and an exciting challenge for me to paint this mural. A painting this size is tricky but also the several storms that have passed by this month didn’t help. But it did make me think how courageous you have to be to head out to a rescue at sea in this weather. It’s either been too cold, too wet or too windy.’

David Wilson from Wilsons Paints kindly donated all the paint needed for the mural. He added: ‘Wilson’s paints are proud to have helped create this wonderful mural for the heroes at the RNLI.’

Author: David Preece