A cheer went up from the watchers on the cliff as they saw the lifeboat John Fielden being rowed across the harbour towards the Spa Ladder – the bridge that joined East Pier to East Cliff.
Many helpers had been sent from the Lifeboat Station, on the West pier, round the harbour, over the swing bridge and out to the breakwater beneath the Spa Ladder.
With ropes, levers and shoulders they got the heavy, awkward and slippery vessel out of the water and up on top of the 8 feet high rough stone and concrete barrier.
Coxwain Langlands and his No.2 Second Coxwain Richard Eglon, were there anxiously supervising the arduous and difficult operation.
Then came the even more hazardous problem of lowering the boat down the other side restraining its dead – weight to stop it slipping down on to the sharp rocks from footholds that were wet and slimy.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981