Bill was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He served in the army in Germany, Sudan and Korea from 1950 to 1955. He came to live in North Shields in 1955, married and moved to Cullercoats in 1957. Bill helps with fundraising for the RNLI and maintains contact with retired RNLI crew.
Bill was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 1 March 2006. The interview took place at Cullercoats Community Centre and lasted 9 minutes and 55 seconds.
The importance of the RNLI
"Why is it important to me? Well, Iíve been down there when the boatís been out"
Why is it important to me? Well, Iíve been down there when the boatís been out, and Iíve seen them come back, tow boats back and theyíve had people who have been hurt, unfortunately people who they havenít got to in time.
Not long ago, about two years ago they brought a young lad in who to all intents and purposes was dead. But the lifeboat men had pulled him out of the water along Whitley Bay and they worked on him all the way back and the ambulance picked him up and he survived. Thatís the sort of thing, you know, itís there when people need it, itís there. And itís voluntary, and nobodyís, if the pager goes, thereís nobody saying, ďthe weatherís bad, Iím not going,Ē you know, thereís- itís just short of a fight to get into the boat.
But years ago we had a big boat, you know. You read about the family history and the things that weíve got in there, and from the big boat that they used to row, they didnít retire from the boat, the old men until they couldnít climb into it. If they couldnít climb into the boat, they retired. And when they did climb into it, they had to pull oars. But there it is, but itís dedicated, and itís in them, itís not just somebody saying, ďoh, Iíll have a try at this,Ē itís something thatís there.
Bill has 8 memories in the memorynet: