Life-long supporter of Redcar lifeboats passes away

Vera Robinson MBE, one of the RNLI’s oldest fundraisers, has passed away at the age of 101.

Vera had been raising funds for the Redcar RNLI lifeboat station since the age of 16. She was president of the Redcar Lifeboat Ladies Guild, and attended the ladies guild annual general meeting in May this year.

She began collecting funds for the lifeboats at Redcar in 1930.

Dave Cocks from Redcar RNLI says: ‘It is a well-used cliché, but Vera really was one of a kind.

‘When she started raising funds, the lifeboat at Redcar was oar-powered, and horses were used to launch the lifeboats. Sometimes, the womenfolk of the town would help to get the lifeboat into the sea.’

‘Vera saw so many changes in lifeboats during her time, and she always had the greatest of respect for the volunteers who crewed the lifeboats.’

Vera Robinson was a teacher at Zetland Primary School in Redcar, and was awarded the MBE for services to teaching in 1971. In 2001 she was granted the freedom of Redcar and Cleveland.

Invera_robinson_2 2014 Vera became an internet sensation when news of her centenary was posted on social media.

Dave Cocks says: ‘Generations of lifeboat volunteers have grown up in Redcar knowing Vera, either from school or from her fundraising efforts. Then in 2014 she became known world-wide through social media and received literally thousands of greetings for her 100th birthday.

‘Everyone at the lifeboat station is saddened at her passing and we offer our sincere condolences to her family.’

Vera died in hospital in the early hours of Friday 31 July 2015 after a short illness.