Eileen Smith, Charlie Lansdowne: 1920s, 1930s

My parents lived briefly in a house in Alma Place that I dont remember, and then they moved to South Street, to a tall cottage with an attic. Originally that cottage was called ‘Rose Cottage’ but mother changed it to ‘Halfway’ because it was halfway between Sandhard and where my aunts lived.

My father, Charlie Lansdowne, was one of the first crew members of the Lifeboat, the B.A.S.P. powered by a petrol engine and a sail.
I can just remember her being christened by the Prince of Wales. She was tied up on the pontoon the shoreside of the pier. Someone trod on HRH’s toe ‘Somebody’s treading on my bloody foot!’ he was heard to say.

Lifeboat crew 1920s

Lifeboat crew 1920s . Charlie Lansdowne, back row, third from left. Walter Cotton, second from right, front row.

My father was signalman on the lifeboat – there was no radio, they had to rely on signals, semaphore and morse. His boots were kept just inside the door so if the maroon went he could be gone straight away. On one occasion when the lifeboat went out, I can remember my mother asking Mrs Cotton, the Coxswain’s wife where they’d gone, but they never knew, of course, when they’d be back. Walter Cotton, the Coxswain had come from Brighstone. My father said if Walter was moved, he’d go with him, he was such a good coxswain