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Cromarty Image Library

Cromarty Lifeboat
The Cromarty Archive
Cromarty Lifeboat

The coxwain of the Cromarty Lifeboat was Albert Watson and the Engineer was John Watson.
Picture added on 15 March 2003
This picture is in the following groups
Cromarty Lifeboats
The website mentioned by Wybe contains photos of the Lilla Marras Douglas and Will as she is now, including interior shots showing the luxury fittings including a wooden 2 person bath!

Another view of the lifeboat can be seen in picture #163.
Added by Garve Scott-Lodge on 06 August 2003
I suppose this lifeboat is the Lilla Marras. Today she is serving as a luxury, floating hotel-suite in Harlingen (the Netherlands).

See www.vuurtoren-harlingen.nl/.

Added by Wybe van der Wal on 06 August 2003
This is actually a reserve boat (probably the RNLB John Russell) which was stationed at Cromarty on several occasions when the James McPhee was at Buckie for servicing.
Added by Clem Watson on 29 September 2003
Clem I think this reserve lifeboat could be either "RNLB W and S" or "RNLB Julia Park Barry of Glasgow" or "RNLB City of Edinburgh" or "RNLB City of Bradford11" - certainly one of that class and the picture I am sure is taken about late 60's when orange paint was first used. I would be very interested to know exactly which boat it is as I know the owners of the first and last one very well. Could you check the station records?
Added by Quinton Nelson on 14 December 2004
Clem Why doesnt Cromarty still have a lifeboat - isn't it just as necessary now as it always was? I remember how many brave rescues she made and I cannot understand why it has been deemed not needed. Please can you enlighten me?
Added by Mary Harrison on 06 June 2005
Mary, The situation back in 1970 was that my father was coming up to retirement as Coxswain, and there was a decline in shipping and fishing in the Inner Moray Firth, coupled with a decline in the Cromarty 'seafaring age' population, there was no potential crew available. After a coastal review by the RNLI it was decided to close the Cromarty Station. Then with the arrival of the'North Sea Oil' effect, bringing a resurgence in coastal shipping back into the Cromarty Firth/Moray Firth area in 1972, it was decided by RNLI HQ to re-establish the Station at Invergordon in 1974, where it still is today.

In addition, another Station was established at North Kessock, to meet the pleasure yachting/boating in the inner Moray Firth in the 1980's. Kessock has a fast inflatable lifeboat, ideal for the shallows near the
entrance to Inverness Harbour, and the Caledonian Canal.
Added by Clem Watson on 07 June 2005
Thank you Clem for the info. Yes of course I can see what you mean and fully understand the logic behind it. I well remember the day the Lilla Maurice Douglas and Will was named it was a great day even for us kids. In my humble opinion I think its a shame that she had to go I've seen her as a Hotel Suite and grand as it is I dont think its a fitting end to such a grand old girl - just my feelings for what its worth.
Added by Mary Mackay Now Harrison on 07 June 2005
Clem i have come accross a postcard of this very picture and the writing on the stbd aft side is clearer than this one and it says Cromarty Lifeboat. I'm just wondering would a relief boat say Cromarty Lifeboat on it?
Added by Ronald Young on 23 June 2005
The PC displayed is unclear, but you are correct the reserve lifeboat would certainly Not have the words Cromarty Lifeboat on the stern. I've looked at the stern of this PC again and even checking the number of letter impressions, I can't pick out CROMARTY. I certainly remember this PC when produced and it had Reserve clearly written . We'll swap notes next time I'm down in Cromarty.
Added by Clem Watson on 23 June 2005
This is certainly a 45ft 6in Watson. I am almost certain she is marked "Reserve Lifeboat" but it's not easy to tell from the pic. If she is marked Cromarty Lifeboat then she must be the James McFee which was station boat at Cromerty from 1928 to 1955. If she is marked Reserve Lifeboat she isn't the City of Bradford as that boat was unique in having a frame built over the windscreen arrangement in front of the cockpit; the frame was used to drape a canvas sheet over for added protection for the crew, fitted when she was still station boat at Humber. She isn't the Julia Park Barry of Glasgow or the City of Edinburgh as they were of the later 46ft 0in Watson design which had a modified 3-piece windscreen and funnel. Given the list provided by Quinton it therefore seems likely that she is the W&S which was a Reserve boat from 1960 until being sold out around 1968-69. She is now a yacht.
Added by Tim Kirton on 19 April 2006
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Cromarty Lifeboats

RNLB Lilla Marras, Douglas & Will c1960??Lifeboat trip - c1959Cromarty Lifeboat tripLilla Marras Douglas & Will with MV EnterpriseLilla Marras Douglas & WillLilla Marras Douglas & Will - 1966Lifeboat Crew c1955Lifeboat Trip during the Regatta - 1960Harbour Scene - c1968Lifeboat & Enterprise - c1965??