Margate lifeboat members’ Christmas video message for a loyal supporter with memories of wartime crews

Pam Roysen remembers the Margate lifeboat crew from the war Photo Sami Webster

Margate’s RNLI lifeboat crew have recorded a festive thank you video message to a loyal supporter living over 300 miles from the town and still treasuring fond memories of the lifeboat crew during the Second World War.

The station was contacted by Sami Webster, a carer for 91-year old Pamela Roysen who lives in supported living flats in West Wales. Pam, along with her mother and grandmother (both Mrs Avis) ran The Fountain pub in Fort Road, Margate.

Pam remembers that when she was around eight-years old her mother would lift her up on to the bar so she could pull pints for the lifeboat crew who were frequent visitors to the pub, including during the period of the Second world War. She remembered in particular when they went straight to the boat from the pub to take the lifeboat to assist in the evacuation of British and allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Pam’s mum (second left) with the lifeboat crew and others in The Fountain pub Margate (Source unknown)

Pam is living with dementia but has a crystal clear long-term memory of the period and Sami says the lifeboat crew were an important part of her life and is the subject she talks about most. A photo of the lifeboat crew of the time has pride of place in her doorway.

Sami asked if the current lifeboat crew could make a video just saying hello and thanking her for her support and thinking about them from so far away, adding: “It would mean the world to her, she doesn’t have any surviving family.”

Members of the crew were delighted to be asked and, togged-up in their seagoing gear, recorded a festive message which was played to Pam.

Thanking the crew, Sami said: “Pam was absolutely made up, she couldn’t have been more delighted, I’ve never seen her so excited, I’m going to show it to her again later on a big screen.”

Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, RNLI Margate, said: “This was a fantastic story and a request we were more than happy to honour.

“We are proud of our history and it is amazing to think that a supporter from so far away and with memories of the wartime lifeboat crew is still thinking about us.

“We thank Sami for bringing her story to us and wish Pam, Sami and Pam’s friends a peaceful Christmas and a happy and fulfilling New Year.”

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