Toasting donation by local brewery

Bill and Anna Scantlebury and son Ben receive a plaque from Cullercoats RNLI volunteers to thank them for their fundraising efforts. Picture by RNLI/Michael Scott.
Bill and Anna Scantlebury and son Ben receive a plaque from Cullercoats RNLI volunteers to thank them for their fundraising efforts. Picture by RNLI/Michael Scott.
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Lifesavers have been raising a glass to a brewery after their latest donation.

Cullercoats Brewery has raised £25,000 for Cullercoats RNLI with the sale of more than 835,000 pints of beer.

The brewery, established by Bill and Anna Scantlebury in 2011, is a staunch supporter of the lifeboat charity and donates 3p for every pint sold.

Bill said: “Having lived in Cullercoats for over 20 years and seen the RNLI crew in action and training every week, I’ve always admired their dedication and bravery.

“Those who live by the sea are always in awe of the RNLI volunteers and we can all do our bit to support their critical work saving lives at sea.

“I’ve surfed in the past, been caught in a rip tide and am all too aware of how easily I could be that person hoping the RNLI will reach me in time.

“Hats off to them – corporate fundraising is a financial challenge for such a small business but it’s easy compared to the work the charity’s volunteers do.”

David Wakenshaw, chairman of Cullercoats RNLI, said: “We are extremely grateful to Bill and Anna for their continued support, which really does make a huge difference to the work of our charity.

“The RNLI relies on fundraising and donations so contributions like this are vital if our volunteer crews are to continue saving lives at sea.

“We love the fact that the beers are inspired by the history and bravery of Cullercoats lifeboat crews in the past, and hopefully everyone who buys a pint pauses to think about the work of the RNLI before they take a sip.”

Two of the beers, Lovely Nelly and Jack The Devil, draw on the history of RNLI lifeboats at Cullercoats, particularly the stormy events of New Year’s Day 1861 when local fisherwomen pulled the lifeboat two miles to launch it at Whitley Bay.

The lifeboat was launched into rough seas to rescue the crew of the Lovely Nelly which had run aground off Cullercoats Bay.

Among the lifeboat crew was bowman John Chisholm, whose nickname was Jack the Devil. All lives on board the Lovely Nelly were saved except one 12-year-old cabin boy, Thomas Thomson.

The brewery supplies its real ales to pubs in the Newcastle and Northumberland areas and around the UK and has won awards for Jack the Devil, as well as other beers Rocket Brigade IPA and Polly Donkin Oatmeal Stout.

For more information about Cullercoats Brewery and its links with the RNLI, go to www.cullercoatsbrewery.co.uk