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We’ve had our first trip out to the Seaside for the Secret Catch. On a very windy Wednesday afternoon we started off near the Sea Beaches and walked to the Redoubt to try and locate the buildings that Ted Hyde has in his photograph collection from 1884.

secret catchAs part of the investigation we found a secret plaque that has been left on the seafront in addition to finding some of the old buildings. We took photographs of the Sea Beach Hotel and visited the house that Ted’s family owned and listened as he talked to us about the changes to the Seafront (including an old ghost story).

We then ended the afternoon with an ice-cream!

The following week we welcomed Paul Metcalfe MBE to Causeway School as he shared a presentation on the history of RNLI in Eastbourne and how it was the brave fisherman that would volunteer to run the lifeboats in Eastbourne and rescue people from the sea..

“This week at the Secret Catch Meeting, we had a very pleasant visit from Paul Metcalfe MBE, who came to talk to us about lifeboats. He worked for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) 1980-2016. The talk he gave us was informative and interesting. He told us some very interesting facts about the history of the Eastbourne lifeboats. The lifeboats are not funded by the government; however, they cost £200 million to run each year. We were informed of the evolution of lifejackets. We were also told about lots of lifeboats and their names, for example Beryl Tollemache which was launched in 1970. It was Eastbourne’s ninth lifeboat. Ladies were only recently allowed to join the lifeboats. The only thing they could do was fundraise, which was however, very much needed to keep the lifeboats running.” Amy Briffitt. Year 9.

“We found out about the fishing family’s link with the RNLI. He was talking about the wreak of east Indian ‘Thames’ on the 3rd of February 1822 that caused Jack Fuller MP to create the first lifeboat that was crewed by fishermen at the time. It mostly always voluntary. It was called the ’Samaritan’ or the ‘the rose’ the first rescue it had completed saved 29 people and the sailors They wore cork jackets as life vests. Paul was very interesting and knew a lot about the boats mainly because he was working with the lifecoast for 36 years”. Reece. P year 10

“Today, we were visited by Paul Metcalfe MBE. He talked to us about the lifeboat team and the lifeboats themselves. He spoke about different aspects of the lifeboats as well, such as the accidents and the life jackets. There were many accidents which included fires, shootings and crashes. While most of them were recovered, and sometimes repaired, there were a few that didn’t make it. Paul was a member of the lifeboat team from 1980 to 2016.” Arthur Carter, Year 8.

“Today was very interesting, Paul Metcalfe MBE had presented a 70 slide presentation. Which was all bout the history of lifeboats, fires and the change of lifejackets.

The change of lifebout jakets had changed from cork to canves to the nirmal one we have now. Also changes in the hats from red to pointed to yellow to the ones we have is a short bullet point of the information.

  • MBE – Member of the British Empire
  • Jack Fuller MP funded first lifeboat
  • Lifeboatmen allways had nicknames
  • Troes/skids used for rolling the boats out to sea
  • Driscilla MacBean had the first motor engine in the lifeboats

You can view photos from the RNLI talk here.