RNLI – Paul Manners, Bill ? & George Osborne

Alias: RNLI  Paul Manners, Bill ? & George Osborne
Years of involvement:1967-1969
Home Location:  Benfleet, Leigh-on Sea & Southend-on-Sea
Types of involvement: Maritime services
Comment / History:- 

The local fishing community often doubled as volunteer life-boatman. George Osborne would also help ferry supplies out to Radio Caroline from Leigh-on-Sea cockle sheds.

When the weather was bad boat trips from Leigh-on-Sea or Burnham-on-Crouch were in regular contact using SW radio commonly known as the “Fish Phone”, it was very reassuring to know that we were not alone.

However we always maintained total discretion about our trips to Radio Caroline and deliberately avoided all radio communications, but when our skipper of “Mr Toots” a former RN launch ran aground in bad weather close to Maplin sands I thought we were doomed, suddenly the Radio burst into life on 2.182MHz with the RNLI calling “Mr Toots do you require assistance?”.

So much for our discretion! and thank you so much RNLI.

RNLI - Southend Pier head

RNLI Lifeboat Station Southend-on-Sea Pier head



The boat “Mr Toots” was received without any engines.

The original Rolls Royce marine Engines had been removed from Mr Toots, but thanks to Jack Williams (former WWII veteran, D’Day Soldier) and Les Noble of the Eastern National Bus company, Victoria Roundabout, Hadleigh. Two re-built Gardner Bus engine were provided and dispatched to the boat yard however the bus engines sat higher than expected, requiring some wheelhouse flooring modifications to help accommodate them.

Jack Williams and the Eastern National Bus company – Hadleigh Essex 1970’s