DORSET’S oldest lifeboat station welcomed the RNLI’s 200th anniversary scroll, with a stalwart of the station signing it.

The scroll is being passed through RNLI communities as the service celebrates the landmark, reaching Poole on Saturday, March 23.

Poole lifeboat’s longest serving volunteer, Jonathan Clark, signed it on behalf of the station, with the scroll bearing the RNLI pledge.

Jonathan is from a fishing and lifeboat family in the town, following his father into the crew when he was aged just 16 in the early 1980s.

Bournemouth Echo: Jonathan attended the thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey.

He has worked in the harbour all his life, and has helmed a number of lifeboats, since he was 18 years old.

Jonathan said: “I had the privilege of being at the RNLI Westminster Abbey Thanksgiving service where the scroll was carried in by lifeboat volunteers, including fellow Poole lifeboat crew Max Underhill.

“To know that I am signing on behalf of the station is a great honour and I sign for those that went before, for those here now and for those that will follow, like my daughter, who is third generation lifeboat crew.”

He said he had seen a lot of change in the service throughout his more than 40 years of service.

Bournemouth Echo: The RNLI 200th anniversary scroll

“What hasn’t changed is the commitment and dedication of volunteers, the support of families, employers and the public who donate the money, our desire to help others has not changed,” Jonathan said.

“To be able to bring someone’s loved one safely back is something very humbling, when we launch, we go with humility, to help people who are strangers to us, that reach out and have called for help, in sometimes very harrowing conditions.

“I have launched and taken part in over a thousand plus shouts and have saved many lives, and sometimes, we can only do all that we physically can and sometimes its hard, but we go and I will continue to go when someone needs help, because I can.”