Year in Review: April

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The crew at Skegness RNLI revealed that it looked set to gain a new lifeboat worth £1.5m which would be made possible through funding from the legacy of a life-long volunteer.

The new 25 knot Shannon lifeboat is expected to go on service in 2016. It will replace the current Mersey class lifeboat, Lincolnshire Poacher, when she comes to the end of her operational life.

The new vessel will be named after long-serving volunteer Joel and his cousin April Grunnill.

Joel was a life-long volunteer helping to raise funds from as young as three-years-old and served as a lifeboatman for 45 years.

He Joined the crew aged 15 at the start of the Second World War and later became the second Coxswain, holding the position for 33 years and helped to save 197 people.

In later years, Joel became the Skegness Lifeboat Station Honorary Secretary until his death in May 2011 at the age of 86.

He was also awarded an MBE for services to the RNLI in 2008.

April Grunnill, who ran a motor mechanic business in Skegness with Joel until their retirement in 1989, also made a large donation to help fund the lifeboat.

MEERKAT TRIO WELCOMED TO NEW HOME AT NATURELAND...

Three inquisitive meerkats were introduced to Skegness’s Natureland Seal Sanctuary where visiting guests were delighted to see their cute faces as they settled in.

A male was brought over to the sanctuary the previous week prior to the new male and female’s arrival.

Curtis Jones, meerkat keeper, speaking at the time, said: “We didn’t know how they were going to quite react to each other but they seem to be getting on fine.

“The female will be the dominant one out of the three and she will choose a mate hopefully out of the two males.”

The meerkat mob were released into the outdoor enclosure a couple of days later, which had been refurbished in time for their arrival.

Visitors were able to see the meerkats before their release because a viewing window had been created so people could get up close to the fascinating animals, which are normally found in sunnier climes, in Africa’s Kalahari Desert.

It is still hoped the meerkats will breed adorable pups to create their own little colony, but as of yet the little scamps are still keeping Natureland and the community waiting on their arrival.

HOSEPIPE BAN SPARKS FEARS FOR £90,000 FLORAL DISPLAYS IN SKEGNESS...

East Lindsey District Council feared that up to £90,000 of taxpayers’ money could have been wasted if Anglian Water didn’t reconsider lifting a hosepipe ban.

The district council had spent around £90,000 on new plants and floral displays in Skegness as part of its £600,000 regeneration of the foreshore and boating lake.

And it hit out at Anglian water for refusing to grant it an exemption from the ban so it could use hosepipes to water the huge number of new plants. It feared many could die.

The hosepipe ban was imposed in April after months of record-breaking drought but exceptionally wet weather followed and Anglian Water were able to lift the ban on June 14.