The RNLI celebrates 200 years since its foundation on 4 March 2024, and is launching its 200 Voices podcast with one episode a day for 200 days, exploring stories from the charity’s long history to the present day.
Among those featured in the new series alongside stories from those whose lives have been touched by the lifeboat charity are a number of famous faces including actors Timothy Spall and Ruth Jones, alongside Leeds-born comic and artist Jim Moir, aka Vic Reeves.
Moir, who is also an artist who exhibits his work, presents an episode of the new episode this month in which he discusses the perils of the sea - and charcoal.
Whitby features heavily in the series, including an episode with historian Pete Thomson in which he tells the story of how the SS Rohilla ran aground off the town’s coast in 1914, leading to one of the RNLI’s biggest rescue attempts.
Though 83 lives were lost in the wreck, the RNLI managed to save 146 people who were aboard the stricken ship, including Mary Kezia Roberts, who had survived the Titanic disaster just two years previously.
Whitby Lifeboat Museum curator Neil Williamson also explains why the museum has seen more than 15,000 visitors since its renovation was completed last year. The nine-month project saw new life breathed into the 124-year old boathouse at the edge of the town near the West Pier.
RNLI Strategic Content Manager, Rory Stamp said: “We knew we had to do something really special to mark the RNLI’s 200th anniversary, which is such a monumental milestone.
“200 Voices is an incredible collection of stories that are emotive, powerful, inspiring and heart-warming. The series gives us a chance to hear from a whole variety of amazing people who have played a part in or been touched by our lifesaving charity.
“200 Voices is the first in a programme of activity planned to mark the RNLI’s bicentenary as we celebrate the world-class lifesaving service we provide today, remember our remarkable history and aim to inspire the future generations of lifesavers and supporters as we move through into the next 200 years.”