New RNLI lifeboat is officially named

RNLI inshore lifeboat the - 'Robert Fergusson'
RNLI inshore lifeboat the - 'Robert Fergusson'

Arbroath’s inshore lifeboat the ‘D-759 Robert Fergusson’ will be the main attraction tomorrow (Saturday) when a formal naming ceremony takes place at the lifeboat station.

Members of the Arbroath volunteer lifeboat crew, RNLI officials and VIP guests will be present at the ceremony which is due to start around 1.45 p.m. with a piper providing the background music to the event.

Funding for the lifeboat was provided by Mr Andrew Ferguson, who has had a long association both with the RNLI and the lifeboat station at Arbroath.

The new lifeboat will be named by Andrew’s daughter, Gilly, who ran the London Marathon in April to raise funds for the RNLI.

Mr Ferguson’s first involvement with Arbroath RNLI dates from 1992, exactly 200 years after Lionel Lukin, designer of the first lifeboat, had been the Master.

In commemoration of Lukin’s pioneering designs, Mr Ferguson made the RNLI his charity of choice during his year of office as Master of one of the old City companies, the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers. The money raised was used to fund Coachmakers of London, a D class inshore lifeboat which went on station at Arbroath in 1993.

In 2005 the replacement D class was launched at Arbroath, and named Duncan Ferguson in honour of Andrew’s father and in commemoration of the family’s origins in Perthshire.

This time Andrew has decided to honour the memory of Scotland’s great but tragic poet, Robert Fergusson, who died shortly after, allegedly, falling heavily down a flight of stairs in Edinburgh in 1774. Robert Fergusson was one of the first Scottish poets to write in both Scots and English, and was the inspiration for Robbie Burns who commissioned and paid for a memorial headstone of his own design.