Then & Now

1901 - 2021 Hilbre Island Lifeguard station. Lifeboats were stationed on Hilbre Island from 1848 to 1938, and were crewed by Hoylake volunteers who could launch at any state of tide. Pictured with her crew is the ‘Admiral Briggs’ (1895-1914), which saved 16 lives during her service on Hilbre. Isolated and without electricity or running water, the crew would wait by the open fire for a signal to head out on a rescue mission. During WW2 the island was chosen to install defensive measures and personnel against a possible invasion by water, and although they were never put into action, the station would not reopen after the war ended. With a new station on the north parade of the Wirral taking its place today. If you can time it right with the tides, you can still make the walk from the mainland, and the original stone lifeboat station with its slipway leading towards the Irish sea can still be seen today, battered by more than 80 years of weather after being left to the elements.