LYNMOUTH OVERLAND LIFEBOAT RESCUE.
Below this picture shows Countisbury Hill as it is today, the road has been cut into the bank a lot lower than the original track, even so look at Lynmouth foreshore in the distance to give you an idea of this epic journey.
This photo below shows the rough route taken the 13 miles up over Countisbury hill. Obviously there was not a road as such in those days it would have been a narrow "Cart track".
This picture was borrowed from this site, it shows a rowed lifeboat but doesn't actually say if this was the one either used at the time or in the re-enactment. http://www.everythingexmoor.org.uk/_L/Lynmouth_Lifeboat.php
This boat below stands in the centre of Lynmouth and is a replica of the original "Louisa", I believe this was the boat used by the current lifeboat crew and villagers whan doing the 100th anniversary reconstruction.
So there we have it I think that was amazing. Now a really good (but Long) poem
On the 12th of January ’99, a horrible gale blew
and our lifeboat went to Porlock to save a helpless crew.
Never had a storm so cruel swept our village by the sea
for the waves roll in like thunder and the hills shook violently
Brave men crept to their firesides and barred their doors that night
children drew close together and women trembled with fright
For hours the storm was raging no sound of life was heard
it hushed all human voices with a silence still and weird
But hark from out of the darkness a signal rocket fired
A call for the Lynmouth lifeboat the lifeboat men required
And barred doors were unbolted and timid hearts grew brave
A ship in distress they murmur to save from a watery grave
And soon the deserted village was thronged with hurrying feet
and willing hands pressed forward the lifeboat down the street
To the waters edge they brought her manned by her faithful crew
But the waves rolled in like thunder and the wind more violently
For and hour or more they battled with each high and awful wave
oh! can they never launch her and the sinking vessel save?
Stout hands grew sick and fearful and hands were rung in pain
As the men were driven backwoods they tried and tried in vain
Then a voice was heard, and strangely the crew strained ears to hear.
Carry the boat up yonder, she’ll launch from there ne’er fear.
Up yonder? A thousand feet above? And then 10 miles or more,
before we get her to the sea to launch her from the shore.
Nay; Nay; our lifeboat crew are brave and Englishmen are strong.
But they cannot risk that journey, so perilous and long.
Then through the crowd all hurriedly, a women pressed her way,
And when the crew saw her white face, they knew what she would say.
Oh lads, we fair would keep you, we need our husbands sore
but on that wreck out yonder they surely need you more.
On and save the fathers, that perish but for you,
And mothers may be on that ship, And little children too.
Can you leave them to perish, and seek your homes again.
Must it be said tomorrow our crew; was called in vain?
No never, never cried the crew we’ll go, cost what it may.
And ‘ere another hour was passed and the boat was on her way
That strange and awful journey when fifteen horses drew
The village lifeboat up that hill manned by her faithful crew
Can never be forgotten for old and young were there
And each man took a lantern and all the work did share
On and on and upwards and then the bleak, bleak moor
Is reached without a murmur with footsteps firm and sure.
No thought of cold and hunger could stay those men that night
Only a lamp rekindled or a loose wrap drawn up tight
And then a moments halting for as they climbed before
They now descend for three long miles before they reach the shore
The horses are growing weary Ah! Can they take the bend
Where the hill is steep and narrow and safely reach the end.
Words cannot tell the anguish ‘tis better veiled from sight
What men and horses suffered during that awful night
Only this, hour of hardship and then the sea at last
The lifeboat launched in safety peril and danger passed
What of the wreck the drowning? They saved them everyone
They saved the children’s father they saved the mothers son.
Me thinks the heart eternal throbbed with compassion then
And bestowed a benediction on our brave lifeboat men.
30 September 1938
This poem was obtained by Robert E. Webb. He copied this one on holiday in Lynmouth..Who the Author is I'm not sure.
It was three weeks after the season closed! Whom should he meet at the end of the wharf but the Federal Fisheries Officer who, upon viewing the live and wiggling lobsters, says: "Well me Laddie I got you this time - with two live lobsters three weeks after the season Closed!"
The Newfie says, "No - My Son you are wrong! These are two trained lobsters that I caught two weeks before the season ended."
The Fisheries Officer says, " Trained like how?"
"Well my son, each day I takes these two from my house down to the wharf and puts them in the water for a swim. While they swim I sits on the wharf and has me a smoke, or two. After about 15 minutes I whistles and up comes me two lobsters, and I takes them home!"
"Likely story", the Fisheries Officer says! "Lets take them on down the wharf and see if it`s true."
So, the Newfie goes ahead of the Fisheries Officer to the end of the wharf where, under supervision, he gently lowers both lobsters into the water.
The Newfie sits on a wharf piling and lights up a smoke, then another! After about 15 minutes the Fisheries Officer says to the Newfie, "How about whistling?"
The Newfie says " What For?"
The Fisheries Officer says, " To call in the Lobsters"
The Newfie says, " What Lobsters?"