"Their Last Launch" Penlee, Mousehole
It’s impossible for me to walk past the old now abandoned lifeboat house at Penlee, Mousehole without stopping to remember, with great sadness the loss of so many brave, amazing men from one small community.
The Penlee lifeboat disaster occurred on 19 December 1981 off the coast of Cornwall. The RNLB Solomon Browne went to the aid of the vessel Union Star after its engines failed in heavy seas. After the lifeboat had rescued four people, both vessels were lost with all hands; in all, sixteen people died including eight volunteer lifeboatmen. (From Wiki)
I was living in Falmouth at the time and the shock across Cornwall and indeed Britain was deep and heartfelt. In school we had assemblies to talk about what had happened to these brave volunteers who risked and lost their own lives to save others. Our communities all felt deep sympathy for the families shattered by the loss of these men.
To stand above this lifeboat house which was abandoned just two years after the disaster is a direct flashback to that shocking time in my childhood.