The Longhope Lifeboat Museum Trust

Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Sept 2013

The 80th. anniversary of the arrival of the Thomas McCunn was celebrated. Bunting, barbecue and beer tent was just part of the fun. A launch down the slip with the crew in period costume was greeted by Longhope's newest lifeboat the "Helen Comrie".

Lots of great pictures here.

May 2013

Sadly our chairman Anthony Robert Trickett MBE LL passed away in May and will be much missed.

An obituary can be seen here.

July 2002

The Princess Royal officially opened our museum on the 28th. May 2002.

After meeting past and present crews, all the people who gave their time to this project and many local folk who came to greet her the Princess Royal made a thorough tour of our museum and the Thomas McCunn.

She then bravely accepted the chance to be launched down the slip for a one hour cruise back to Longhope in a force 5 to 6 S.E. wind.

Click here for photos

Please report any errors or corrections in these pages to (boathook at longhopelifeboat dot org dot uk)


Below is a brief history of the Thomas McCunn and how she came back to Longhope after 38 years


RNLI Lifeboat Thomas McCunn ON 759 Longhope 1933-62

Watson class Length: 45' 6" Beam: 12' 6" Draft: 4' 6" Speed: 9 knots

Launched 101 times 308 lives saved

Built 1932-33 by Groves-Guttridge in Cowes, I.O.W.

Originally 2 Weyburn petrol engines - Re-engined in 1973 with 2 Mermaid diesels

The last of the petrol engine LBs designed by Watson himself

Coxswains: John Swanson 1900-34 William Dass 1934-46

Alfred Johnston 1946-54 Dan Kirkpatrick 1954-69


1936 - William Dass - RNLI bronze medal for the service to the Neptunia. 41 lives were saved. The French Government also awarded him a silver medal and the crew bronze medals.

1951 - Alfred Johnston - RNLI bronze medal for the service to the Oljaren saving 40 lives, plus an award from the Swedish Government.

1959 - Dan Kirkpatrick - RNLI silver medal for the service to the Strathcoe during which 14 lives were saved.

1960 - Dan Kirkpatrick received the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on vellum for the valiant attempt to rescue the crew of the George Robb.

The Thomas McCunn was replaced by the T.G.B. in 1962. She then served as relief LB at several stations and was finally decommissioned and sold in 1972 to retired Diplomat Bill Speares OBE. He renamed her Pentland Speir (Watch on the Pentland) and she was cruised extensively on both sides of the English Channel until 1992 when he sold her to his cousin Peter Roberts, the generous donor.

The Trust purchased her for 1 Scots from Peter Roberts on 29th July 2000 and she was sailed to Longhope by lifeboat stalwarts Freddie Johnston, Billy Budge, Billy Mowat, Angus Budge, Jimmy Groat and George Taylor. On passage they visited lifeboat stations at Ramsgate, Lowestoft, Wells-next-the-sea, Bridlington, Sunderland, Eyemouth, Aberdeen and Wick, arriving home in Longhope on 7th August.

She is now housed in the Lifeboat shed in Brims where she forms the centrepiece of our museum.

If you would like to help us in this project donations will be greatly appreciated by

The Longhope Lifeboat Museum Trust, Longhope, Orkney. KW16 3PG

Registered Charity SC032029

President: Capt. Fred Johnston

Chairman: TBA

Secretary: Lindsay Hall

Treasurer: Kevin Kirkpatrick

Publicity Manager: Angus Budge


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