Peter CheneyWe have to bring you some sad news. Many will have heard that last week we lost a major figure in the history of our lifeboat station.

When the RNLI decided to re-establish a lifeboat station in Littlehampton, it was to Peter Cheney that they turned. The previous station had been closed in the 1920s with the advent of motorised lifeboats, which meant that the lifeboat station at Selsey could cover our stretch of the Sussex coast. However, by 1966 the increase in leisure boating coincided with the introduction of small, fast inshore rescue boats, and the time had come to expand the lifeboat service. Peter recruited a crew, and made arrangements for a boathouse to be made available at Fisherman’s Quay. So was born the modern day Littlehampton Lifeboat Station, which was allocated the very first Blue Peter lifeboat.

Peter served as Honorary Secretary for 25 years, running the station and was the primary launching authority, receiving the call whenever a launch on service was requested. When he handed over the reins as Hon Sec, he supported his successor, becoming a deputy launching authority for the following five years, and then became chairman of the lifeboat station branch.

Peter remained chairman of what is now known as the lifeboat management group, and was actively involved in station business until he passed away. Those who served with him, as crew or in one of the many other roles that make a lifeboat station work, all have the same story to tell. He had their respect. Peter was a leader, he had warmth and personality, and he was one of us. We will miss him.


1 Comment

  1. BobMacwester says:

    Very sorry to hear that.
    Peter was a guiding figure to all of us.
    Fond memories of the (too short) time in the ’70’s, when I was with Macwester’s in River Road. As Ernie from the coastguards said, if I was not first at the boathouse during office hours , I must have parked my bike pointed up river!
    Best wishes to past and present crew and supporters.
    Bob Tuffnell (Rochefort France)