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-This year is a noteworthy one
-in the RNLI's history.
-The charity is celebrating
-its 175th anniversary.
-There has been a great emphasis
-on church services.
-The old church at Nefyn
-is now a maritime museum...
-..chronicling the sea's influence
-on the area.
-The thanksgiving service
-is held in the new church.
-It's my pleasant duty to welcome you
-to this unique service.
-Your presence underlines
-your support for the Institution...
-..and for the important work carried
-out by lifeboat crew members...
-..here in Porthdinllaen and around
-the whole of the British Isles.
-We welcome the children
-of Ysgol Nefyn...
-..and thank them again
-for their presence here tonight.
-The Anglican church and the RNLI
-have always been closely linked.
-often serve as chaplains.
-the charity's status...
-..and the emphasis it places
-on religious services.
-Sir William Hillary established
-the first lifeboat in 1824.
-Since then, 400 RNLI members have
-died while trying to save others.
-It's perhaps surprising
-that this figure is so low.
-Lifeboats around Britain
-answer 18 calls every day.
-The Institution is held
-in great esteem by the public...
-..because of the dangers faced
-by the volunteer lifeboat crews.
-Lifeboats work in tandem
-with Government agencies.
-One might expect RNLI supporters
-to feel disgruntled...
-..at having to raise
-their own money for this work.
-But they feel their independence
-from Government control...
-..is an advantage.
-I feel the Institution works
-under the charity system.
-Things should remain as they are.
-I'm sure lifeboat members
-and the RNLI feel the same.
-Most of them are happy
-to raise money voluntarily.
-We prefer to keep it as it is.
-People work very hard,
-and we appreciate this very much.
-It costs the RNLI 80 million a year
-to maintain the lifeboat service.
-They never charge money
-for saving lives at sea.
-Doing so might well make people
-who are in difficulty...
-before calling for help.
-A lifeboat answers every call,
-at any time, whatever the weather.
-A small boat is in trouble
-near Nant Gwrtheyrn.
-A coastguard saw an empty rowing
-boat drifting towards rocks...
-..and there is concern
-for its owner.
-As the situation could be serious, a
-helicopter has also been called out.
-is the first to spot the boat.
-They see someone carrying oars
-on the beach.
-Hopefully, all is well but they
-cannot take anything for granted.
-will land on the beach...
-if this man is the boat's owner.
-Peter and the crew
-remain on stand-by.
-Peter directs the helicopter
-towards the man...
-..and the helicopter pilot
-decides where to land.
-For some reason, the man doesn't
-wish to meet the helicopter crew.
-They get the message
-that all is well.
-The helicopter crew takes over...
-..and the 'Hetty Rampton'
-returns to Porthdinllaen.
-Trouble has been averted
-Not all the Porthdinllaen
-..may be comfortable
-with singing hymns in a church.
-But they would never refuse
-They know too that most
-of tonight's congregation...
-..have contributed generously
-to the lifeboats.
-There are 2,000 women's branches
-..and they organise collections
-to finance new developments.
-There have been many changes.
-The new lifeboats can
-roll back up safely if they capsize.
-They have radio
-and satellite navigation.
-They're very sophisticated.
-Our present boat
-has the best possible equipment...
-..and therefore is just the same
-as any of the big ships.
-I'd say Porthdinllaen's future
-Any decisions concerning
-the Porthdinllaen lifeboat...
-..will be made here at Poole.
-We joined Robert Jones,
-Porthdinllaen's second coxswain...
-..and Lieutenant Commander Brian
-Miles, RNLI Director at that time.
-He appreciates the level of
-financial support the RNLI receives.
-The RNLI gets strong support
-even in areas far from the sea.
-Cities like Birmingham are just as
-supportive as Swansea and Cardiff.
-The administrative offices
-are located at Poole.
-The stores and workshops
-are here too.
-Plenty of spare parts and equipment
-must be kept in stock.
-No lifeboat can afford to wait
-for days for new parts.
-has five mobile units...
-..which provide training for crews.
-All lifeboats must be ready
-to be launched at any time.
-This demands a regular stock
-of spare parts.
-New parts can be ordered by phone
-when they're needed.
-They can be delivered anywhere
-by the following day.
-The RNLI itself
-produces a lot of the equipment.
-It's cost-effective and much of
-the equipment is very specialised.
-employs many craftsmen...
-..including boat designers
-and rope makers.
-The Poole workshop
-has a heavy workload.
-The lifeboats' equipment
-is used to the limit.
-Everything must be kept
-in good condition at all times.
-their own requirements...
-..the RNLI are not at the mercy
-of outside suppliers.
-Many of these crafts
-are rare these days.
-Something had caught Robert's eye.
-It was this model
-of the 'Charles Henry Ashley'.
-It had been Porthdinllaen's
-lifeboat for 30 years until 1979.
-Robert wants to bring it back
-I'll try and arrange that for you.
-I'll try and arrange that for you.
-Most of the parts and equipment
-are bought in.
-Everything is checked rigorously
-by the technical team...
-..for suitability and safety.
-The RNLI has strict requirements.
-The boats must be able to withstand
-must be completely reliable...
-..in the worst possible conditions.
-Electronic gadgets must
-function properly at all times.
-For Robert, the Poole storehouse
-is an Aladdin's Cave.
-This is the standard issue now,
-There are items here which will
-keep Robert warm and dry...
-..and much, much more.
-At any time, his life may depend
-on this equipment.
-He has complete faith
-in his colleagues at Poole.
-Porthdinllaen was always
-a busy haven for ships.
-It's on the main route between
-Liverpool and St George's Channel.
-The early ships were sailing ships.
-It was a busy place.
-In one year
-in the mid-eighteenth century...
-had anchored in this bay.
-They came here
-to shelter from the wind.
-In the foreground is a manor house
-which became the Tanrallt Inn.
-People who had walked miles with
-their carts would call for a pint.
-There's a song which goes...
-is both food and drink...
-..I drank it until I reeled
-like a cartwheel!"
-Beyond the manor
-stands a warehouse.
-This is where the 'Dora',
-the first steam ship, brought coal.
-Further on is the first hotel,
-the Whitehall Transit Hotel...
-..built at the start
-of the 18th century.
-People stayed there
-on their way to Dublin.
-There's the Ty Coch Inn
-and the Ty Gwyn Inn.
-Pencei stands at the end of the bay.
-A large smithy stood there.
-It produced metal parts
-for the ships.
-works for the National Trust...
-..to preserve the character
-of the Trust-owned village.
-We were offered Porthdinllaen
-by the Cefnamlwch estate.
-We had to do something about it.
-Money from the Coasts Appeal
-helped us to buy the village.
-If we hadn't, it could have been
-spoiled by tourism.
-The Trust wanted to keep it
-just as it was.
-The Ty Coch is an interesting inn.
-It must be over 300 years old.
-There are many tales about it.
-The best story concerns
-the Ty Coch landlady...
-..who kept the tavern
-between 1870 and 1929.
-Everyone called her
-Mrs Jones Ty Coch.
-She'd had six children
-and three husbands.
-The Ty Coch was a very busy inn at
-that time, visited by many sailors.
-She was the harbour master and the
-'Shipping Gazette' correspondent.
-At the same time,
-she ran a private school here...
-of rural finishing school.
-She was a very accomplished woman.
-the Customs Officer's house.
-A boat called the 'Revival',
-built in Porthdinllaen...
-..had an evangelist with
-an open Bible as a figurehead!
-It attracted a lot of attention
-She was wrecked on those rocks.
-She carried many barrels of brandy
-and the locals spotted these.
-They stole the barrels but the
-Customs Officer confiscated them.
-He stored them
-on the first floor of this building.
-Local men broke into the cellar...
-..located the barrels
-on the floor above...
-..and drilled through the floor
-and the barrels' bases!
-There was once a large ship on her
-way to London with a cargo of linen.
-She was wrecked
-but the crew was saved.
-The linen was shared
-between local people, to be washed.
-The captain wrote in praise
-of the people's honesty.
-They had returned all the linen,
-apart from three packs...
-..which he believed had not been
-put on board at the start!
-The Morfa Nefyn golf club
-owns the land above Porthdinllaen.
-Some years ago, the RNLI
-had permission to build a road...
-..across the course
-to reach the boathouse.
-Today, the golfers and the RNLI
-have a good understanding.
-It was not always so.
-Building this road
-caused a rift in the community.
-The RNLI spent a fortune
-in persuading the golf club.
-Gwyn Jones was the lifeboat
-secretary at the time.
-We wanted to make things easier
-for the boys.
-We felt sorry for them...
-..because they had to walk a mile
-from the village, a fair distance.
-Something or other
-always seemed to happen on the way.
-But not everyone
-agreed about the road.
-This was a golf course.
-We realised that.
-But we succeeded with our plans.
-I think it was the right thing.
-We need the club's agreement to do
-maintenance or alterations.
-We have a good relationship with
-the local committees, on the whole.
-I've been Nefyn golf club's
-chief groundsman for 18 years.
-I enjoy the work.
-I was with the lifeboat crew
-when I started.
-It was convenient for the boathouse.
-But work commitments
-meant I had to give up the lifeboat.
-If they were ever short of a crew,
-I'd still go out on the boat.
-The road has certainly made life
-easier for the lifeboat crew.
-Golf club officials and members
-plainly support them.
-The road enables the crew
-to get there more quickly.
-The boys used to have to run
-from the gate near Ty Coch.
-They can now drive
-all the way down to the boathouse.
-Before the road was built...
-..we had to carry huge drums
-of diesel down to the lifeboat.
-Now, the lorry can drive across...
-..and fill up the boat directly.
-was nearly spoilt at one time.
-There were plans to make it
-the main access port...
-..between Britain and Ireland.
-It was a tough battle, dirty
-at times, that lasted 50 years.
-This was in the early 18th century.
-The Porthdinllaen Harbour Company
-was formed in 1806.
-Its aim was to develop the place...
-..and build hotels,
-jetties and wharves.
-They planned to build
-a large embankment.
-They wanted to create a huge quay...
-..going across to where
-the boathouse stands today.
-That would be the site
-of a deep water basin.
-The harbour at Holyhead
-had a difficult approach.
-The headland at Penmaenmawr and
-crossing the Menai caused problems.
-Over two centuries, 180 people
-drowned while crossing the Menai.
-A ferry overturned on her way
-to Conway and 13 lives were lost.
-had praised Porthdinllaen.
-They thought it was a far better
-natural harbour than Holyhead.
-Holyhead became the main port in
-the north for crossings to Ireland.
-Porthdinllaen was saved from
-the threat of further development.
-The Britannia Bridge
-was completed in 1849.
-This ended Porthdinllaen's role
-as the main port for Dublin.
-Shipbuilding continued here
-for some years...
-between 1840 and 1880...
-..when the last great ship
-was built here.
-It's hard to believe now
-that they built huge schooners here.
-It's important that the RNLI
-and the National Trust work together.
-We want things to continue
-as they are.
-The Trust doesn't want to change
-They want to preserve Porthdinllaen.
-The lifeboat is part of its history.
-Nia Melville, Elidir