Bringing her back

In 2008, the late Phil Davies bought two photographs of the Charterhouse, Fishguard’s lifeboat from 1909-1931. Intrigued, he researched its history and traced it to its later life as the Marian, owned by the Lomas family. He wrote a book to celebrate the lifeboat’s centenary.

During the book’s preparation, the Lomas family offered to donate the Marian to the towns of Fishguard and Goodwick. Phil travelled with John Butler to see the boat in Bangor.

Phil Davies (right) and three generations of the Lomas family. [David Davies]

A committee was formed, which made arrangements to have the boat returned to Goodwick. (>Article from Pembrokeshire Life 2009.) The committee included Richard Davies (chair), Gwilym Price (vice chair, and Mayor of Fishguard), Bob Wheatley (sec), Chris Williams (treasurer), Phil Rees, John Butler, Coxn. Paul Butler (RNLI), David Davies, Mike Ilse, Richard Goswell, Robert Rees, and Phil Davies.

The initial plan to sail the boat down the coast was abandoned as an inspection judged it to be in too delicate condition. It was indeed later discovered that the bolts holding the metal keel in place had rusted to almost nothing. Losing the keel in rough water would have been a disaster.

The Neil Lomas and Phil Davies (r) took Marian for a last trip. 

Road transport was arranged, and the boat returned to Fishguard & Goodwick on the 23rd June 2009. 


A party of local councillors, including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Charterhouse Returns committee members, Lifeboat Crew, Local Sponsors, local interested parties and the Press were present.

The ‘guest of honour’ was the grand-daughter of Tom Perkins [Bronze Medal for the Hermina rescue] who brought her family’s treasured medals and certificates.

[>More pictures]

The boat was moved to a long-term berth near to its original home in RNLI station, on the quay owned (and kindly provided) by STENA. It remained there for ten years while restoration work was done and discussions had about its future.

A ceremony of renaming and dedication was held in December 2009 to change the name back to Charterhouse.

Sadly, Phil died the following year, in August 2010. His website and blog about the return of the Charterhouse are preserved as he left them. But work on the boat continued.

Restoring the Charterhouse Lifeboat >