Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers welcomed 200 of our supporters to the station for the naming and dedication of the station’s new Atlantic 85 and D Class Lifeboats. Special guests were Terry Baker, representing the Howard family and Beryl Pickering, representing the Pickering family; these being the donors whose generosity has funded these two lifeboats.
At 2:00pm Philip Smith (chairman of Happisburgh’s Lifeboat Management Group welcomed everyone to the Naming Ceremony. Terry Baker (nephew of Howard Bell) handed over the Atlantic 85 lifeboat to the RNLI followed by Beryl Pickering (mother of Russell Pickering) who handed over the D Class lifeboat. These were accepted into the Institution by David Squire (RNLI Council Member) before then being handed over to Cubitt Siely (Happisburgh’s Lifeboat Operations Manager) and into the care of Happisburgh Lifeboat Station.
Our Honorary Chaplain, the Reverend Catherine Dobson, led the service of dedication.
Terry Baker was invited to formally name the Atlantic 85 ‘Howard Bell’ in memory of Howard and Maureen (Poppy) Bell, followed by Beryl Pickering formally naming the D Class ‘Russell Pickering’ in memory of her son Russell Pickering.
Philip Smith then gave a vote of thanks to all the supporters and a huge thank you to Terry and the family of Howard and Poppy Bell and to Beryl and her family for attending and supporting Happisburgh Lifeboat Station. Thanks were also given to Fakenham Town Band for their excellent music at the ceremony.
Then both Lifeboats were launched with the crew giving a demonstration of both boat’s capabilities.
Everyone joined together for light refreshments in the boathouse to conclude the afternoon.
B Class B-899 Howard Bell
Howard and Maureen (Poppy) Bell
Howard and poppy had a great heart for the RNLI. After Howard’s eldest sister tragically drowned at Earlham’s Beach, Dovercourt in the early 1950’s Poppy and Howard set about raising funds for the RNLI; during their lives they raised vast sums of money.
In the 1960s they started fundraising on Fred Olsen cruise ships to encourage fellow guests to help the RNLI to save lives at sea. They enjoyed many happy years cruising and raising funds. Poppy was always knitting gloves and hats, plus making gifts for folk to buy.
Howard helped the RNLI at Harwich and then became Liaison Officer for Cromer and areas further down the coast. He received an MBE for his services to the RNLI.
Howard passed away on 31st October 2006. Shortly afterwards Poppy moved back to her beloved Dovercourt, from Norfolk. Still the RNLI was in her heart, and she continued to help and support them. Poppy passed away on 1st June 2012.
Howard’s and Poppy’s ashes were scattered at sea from the Harwich lifeboat.
In their wills they wanted to support the RNLI and through their generosity others will be helped in the future.
D Class D-813 Russell Pickering
As a long-standing member of the RNLI, the Pickering family would like to dedicate this Lifeboat in loving memory of our son and brother, Russell Pickering, who died 2 years ago from cancer at the age of 50. We believe he would approve of our decision as he had a lifelong interest in sailing and outdoor pursuits.