Exmouth RNLI pays tribute to Bernard Bradford

EXMOUTH RNLI has paid tribute to retired lifeboat mechanic Bernard Bradford, who has died.

EXMOUTH RNLI has paid tribute to retired lifeboat mechanic Bernard Bradford, who has died.

Mr Bradford worked for the sea safety charity for more than three decades, following the footsteps of his father, Trinity House chief pilot Percy Bradford.

Bernard Bradford's 38 years service included four years as bowman, 14 years as assistant mechanic and 13 years as full-time mechanic on the Solent class City of Birmingham, in the 1970s.

Exmouth RNLI coxswain Tim Mock, who took over from Mr Bradford in 1983, said: "As a young lad, long before I joined the lifeboat crew, I had the privilege of often accompanying Bernard aboard the lifeboat, and helping him carry out the maintenance, including polishing the numerous copper and brass pipes.

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"I only had to ask, and he would show me how to tie knots, coil ropes and how all the equipment aboard worked.

"During this time Bernard was the Trinity House buoy keeper and had a motor launch that he used in his duties.

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"He would allow me to helm the boat, whilst passing on his extensive maritime expertise, which over the years I have found invaluable.

"He was a dedicated lifeboatman, and a good teacher, and I am pleased that Bernard was able to visit our new station, go aboard the lifeboat and enjoy an afternoon of nostalgia reminiscing."

Mr Bradford enrolled for the crew of Exmouth's first motor lifeboat Catherine Harriet Eaton in 1946.

The RNLI said it was considered a 'unique' achievement within the charity for one man to have worked alongside each of the full-time lifeboat mechanics employed at a station.

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