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Frank Kilroy a dedicated supporter and worker for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has died

Date: 20/02/2012

Author: David Forshaw, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

The Lytham St Annes lifeboat station Visits Officer and former station Lifeboat Operations Manager passed away in Blackpool Victoria Hospital after a short illness.

Frank was one of those people who seemed to be able to pack more into life than most other mortals. He had a wide range of interests but his main passions were the lifeboat service, railways and model making.

Born in Lytham in 1939 Frank Kilroy lived most of his life in the town apart from periods doing national service in the army and working for the HM Customs & Excise in the Midlands. Returning to Lytham with a transfer back to the Fylde Coast, Frank worked at Fleetwood Docks and then at Preston Dock, even at times doing customs duty at Squires Gate (Blackpool International) Airport.

He was a great sailor owning numerous boats over the years and a member of the Ribble Cruising Club for over 20 years.

Growing up in Lytham Frank naturally had an interest in the lifeboat station and started fund raising for the RNLI and researching into the history of the Mexico disaster. This led to him organising talks and exhibitions on the lifeboat service and inevitably to his call up in 1986, the centenary year of the Mexico disaster, to organise the forming of the lifeboat museum which ran in the old boathouse next to the windmill until closure in 2004.

A number of the models displayed were built by Frank, model-making being one of his many other talents. He was interviewed on BBC's Songs of Praise in 1986 by Cliff Mitchelmore as part of the centenary commemorations.

When the Lytham Heritage Group was formed in 1987 he was a member of the first founding committee. The last of many exhibitions that Frank contributed to was the Mexico disaster exhibition, which is at present taking place in the Lytham Heritage Centre until 4 March.

Complementing and running alongside his RNLI fundraising and publicity work, Frank volunteered to join the operational side of the Station in 1984 as a launcher (shorecrew), becoming Head Launcher between 1986 and 1990. He then became Station Honorary Secretary (later re-named Lifeboat Operations Manager) and voluntarily ran the administration of the station between 1990 and 2005, combined with a period as Press Officer. These jobs required a great deal of management skills and dedication, especially when having to turn out in the middle of the night or administer the rescue of multiple casualties occurring at the same time.

In 2005 Frank retired as the Lifeboat Operations Manager but threw himself, ably supported by his wife Irene, into the job of Lifeboat Visits Officer overseeing and talking to the numerous school and group parties that visited the all-weather lifeboat station each year.

Frank was still volunteering his time and energy as Lifeboat Visits Officer when he sadly died on Saturday 18 February 2012. He will be greatly missed by all who met or worked with him.

Notes to editors

  • Lytham St Annes lifeboat station was founded in 1851
  • To learn more about the station, go to: www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/north/stations/LythamStAnnesLancashire/

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Peter Whalley, Lytham St Annes Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07872 026395 or David Forshaw, Lytham St Annes Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07904 685 206 or Alison Levett, RNLI Media Relations Manager, North, on 01642 750585 or 07786 668912 or at alevett@rnli.org.uk

 

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