2010 International Model Lifeboat Rally
DAVE WOOLEY reports from Stockport
Thus, the event was resurrected by Etherow MBC and moved to the superb surroundings of Etherow Country Park. Up to 2008 the event was in two parts; Saturday was traditionally a general scale model day and Sunday was reserved for lifeboats. The format was changed for 2010 with just the Sunday for the rally. Previously there were OTW (On the Water) and Static competitions, but in 2010 there was only the static element for competition awards. So, now the rally is in many ways a new event, at a new venue and under new management.
Etherow Country Park is in Compsall, an area on the fringes of Stockport, Cheshire and it can boast not just one lake, but two. The larger of the two lakes is also used by the local dinghy sailing club. The second, reserved for model boating activities, has a jetty for launching models with purpose built tables for the preparation of models. Close to the two lakes is a clubhouse where both the model boat club and the dinghy sailing club share the facilities which are excellent and very comfortable. Other facilities including parking and a café, all within easy reach. The approach to the lakes is via a wide path and grassed area, which was used on this occasion for the display of models.
One of the smaller models was the rubber inflatable shallow water boat RNLB Y-139, modelled by Bryan Johnson. Perhaps these smaller craft haven’t the appeal of the bigger boats, but none the less, this was an excellent example of this type of small RNLI rescue craft.
Etherow MBC followed the tradition started by Des Newton some 30 years previously by enlisting the support of the local authority and the services of a local dignitary to present the prizes, namely the Mayor of Stockport.
In recent years there has been a trend away from modellers presenting scratch built models for competition judging and today was no exception. However, some still build everything from scratch and there were entries that were not just outstanding for their level of craftsmanship, but also originality. Les Jones from Holyhead rose to the occasion with his exceptional 1:12 scale rowing and sailing RNLB Princess of Wales together with its Robinson Napton carriage. For those that have not had the chance to see this model then I can only apologise if the pictures do not do this model justice. The work on the model is exceptional and the detail lavished on the carriage is remarkable. She was stationed at Holyhead from 1864 to 1875 and saved 128 lives. Les recently gained a Silver medal with his model at the Harrogate International Model Engineering Show in the Spring of 2010.
My apologies for not mentioning all the models on display or that were active on the water as space does not allow it. From a personal viewpoint, I would like to congratulate not only Chris Gutteridge for all his efforts in resurrecting the event but Etherow MBC and all the modellers that attended on the day, as well as the support of the general public. It’s not always possible to relocate an iconic event of this type, but these guys made it work in 2010.
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