RNLI B-553 “Kirklees” (The early years)

In 1979, Cllr Donald White Mayor of Kirklees chose the RNLI as the Mayors Charity and within the year raised sufficient funds to provide a new Atlantic Class lifeboat, which was stationed at Newbiggin in Northumberland. Not only was this a massive achievement at the time but Huddersfield continued the link and provided funding for operational costs and maintenance for many years after.
The vessel which had the number B-553 was built by the RNLI in 1981, after funds were raised by the Kirklees Lifeboat Appeal for the RNLI the vessel B-553 She arrived on station on February 11th, 1982 and would be named later that year.
On Saturday July 3rd ,1982 the Atlantic 21 class Lifeboat ‘Kirklees’ was named at Newbiggin. Before a gathering of about 500 people Donald White from Kirklees Metropolitan Area named the new Lifeboat.She was funded through generous support of the residents of the Kirklees area and among the guests many were from that locality. It stayed on service at Newbiggin until 1998. During this time ‘KIRKLEES’ launched 112 times, saving 75 lives.