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News > General > Dr Noel Stimson Celebrates the Lifeboats of The Isle of Wight

Dr Noel Stimson Celebrates the Lifeboats of The Isle of Wight

Old Waconian, Noel (Class of 1954), tells us more about his passion project as the RNLI celebrates its 200th Anniversary.

"When five years ago I became the heritage officer for the IW lifeboat board, I was presented with a large number of amazing photographs of 19th and 20th century lifeboats being launched with horses, and crew photographs in their cork lifebelts, etc.

I thought - I do not want to archive these away! They should be enjoyed by people! So, should it be an exhibition or a book? The book won the day as infinitely more long-lasting and enjoyable, and that is what I did.

At that time, the RNLI had unfortunately just discontinued their book publishing facility, but we were most fortunate in that one of our local supporters had a book publishing company! John Dennis, of Crowood Publishing, most kindly took care of that side of things, and a few months later 700 copies arrived! The whole process took about two years.

The book was launched at the Medina Bookshop in Cowes with a very successful book signing in November 2023, and it continues to sell steadily. We had planned to time the launch for the RNLI’s 200th anniversary on 4 March this year, but the Board decided to take advantage of the pre-Christmas sales opportunity! Turned out to be a good move.

I tell people who ask me for a (signed) copy that the book is free to anyone who makes a £25.00 donation to the RNLI. When we have sold them all, they will have contributed almost £15,000."

Purchase your copy online today via the Medina bookshop.

About Dr Noel Stimson, Class of 1954.

Dr Noel Stimson is a retired general dentist/orthodontist from Bembridge, Isle of Wight, where he has lived for the last 45 years.

He was educated at Cheadle Hulme School from 1942 to 1954, after which he went to the Sutherland Dental School in Newcastle on Tyne and graduated in 1960. After serving in the Royal Navy as a dental officer in the 1960s, he was in dental practice in Surrey, Norfolk and, since 1978, Bembridge, Isle of Wight. For the last 20 years he has been a member of the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Naval Air Service Association, which has its roots in the 1st World War. He holds a Private Pilot's License.

He is also an enthusiastic member (Governor) of the RNLI; he is Vice Chairman of the Bembridge RNLI Guild and Lifeboat Heritage Officer for the IW, a Visits Team guide at both Bembridge Lifeboat Station and the Inshore Lifeboat Centre at East Cowes, and a tour guide at Brading Roman Villa, the centre of a 1st century Romano-British community.

As a sailor/yachtsman, he was a member of the RNSA and BHYC in the 1980s and 1990s, being chairman of Cadet Week for eight years.

Dr Stimson is a dental journalist and an author. He is a founding member of the British Society for Integrated Dentistry (BSID), which he leads, and has been editor of their journal ‘Cranio UK’ since 1992.

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