On Tuesday, as mentioned last week, Lord Ritchie of Dundee, the chairman of the Port of London Authority, unveiled a tablet commemorating the centenary of Southend Pier. After this ceremony he proceeded to the new lifeboat house on the Old Pier Head, where Sir Godfrey Baring, Be, chairman of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, formally handed over the house to the borough cf Southend-onSea, and Lord Ritchie then declared the new house open, and cut the tape across its entrance. The climax of the afternoon was reached when the lifeboat was launched, fully manned, to the cheers of a crowd of about 2,000 people.
The new lifeboat house is the most upto-date in the country. Built of concrete and wood, with bracing columns of castiron, it is 68 feet 6 inches by 25 feet 6 inches, while the slipway is 176 feet long with a gradient of ' in 6.
Civil screw! Gift Inside the house is a tipping cradle, so that when housed, the lifeboat lies on an even keel, but for launching, the cradle tilts to the gradient of the slipway. The latest type of electric winch is installed for hauling the lifeboat up, and for night launches the slipway is floodlit.
The present lifeboat—the Greater London— was the gift of the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund. She is of the Rantsgate type, a build specially designed for shallow water and for work amid the sandbanks which abound off the Thames Estuary, where the lifeboat must frequently travel considerable distances. A -twill screw boat, she can travel 140 miles without refuelling and is capable of carrying 90 people in the roughest weather.
The celebrations at Southend are continuing for a week and at night the pier is illuminated for the whole of its mile and a half length—a brilliant sight—which vies with the night illuminations of any seaside resort in England.