Volunteer remembered with bench outside Portishead RNLI station

PUBLISHED: 14:01 31 October 2015

The bench has been donated in memory of Ray Herbert.

The bench has been donated in memory of Ray Herbert.


A bench has been placed outside Portishead RNLI Lifeboat Station as a tribute to a man who dedicated years to the operation of a lifeboat service from Portishead.

Joan Herbert bought the bench as a tribute to her late husband Ray who helped organise a rescue service as part of the Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club in the 1960s.

Ray remained part of the crew while the rescue service continued and then in 1995 when the Portishead Lifeboat Trust was formed Ray became a trustee, remaining as such until his death in 2001. In addition to being a crew member, Ray, along with Joan, and other volunteers, was heavily involved in fundraising for the lifeboat.

In those early days Joan and her daughter Christine would take the phone calls at home when assistance was needed in the Bristol Channel and would ring around to get a crew up together.

Ray and Joan’s son Dave joined the lifeboat crew as a teenager and has recently hung up his life jacket after serving for about 40 years.

In December 2011 after two years of training, Dave’s daughter Samantha followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps and became an official crew member, serving for almost a year before heading off to university.

Joan said: “With Dave standing down from the lifeboat service I feel we have reached the end of an era.

“I know the service is now under the wings of the RNLI but I really hope the Herbert family’s involvement in the Portishead lifeboat will be remembered as part of its history.”

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