HRH THE Princess Royal visits NCI Torbay

The National Coastwatch Institution station at Torbay welcomed our Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal who visited the station on 10th February 2022.

On arrival at Daddyhole Plain in Torquay, Her Royal Highness was received by the Deputy Lieutenant of Devon, Rear Admiral Chris Snow, who presented NCI Chairman Clive Pouncey, NCI Trustee Dr Chris Aps, and Chris Arkell, the Station Manager of NCI Torbay.

Her Royal Highness was accompanied to the Lookout where she met the on-duty watchkeepers, received a comprehensive briefing on watchkeeping life at the tower and took in the commanding view of an area of sea and coastline that in terms of incidents involving NCI Torbay, HM Coastguard and local Search and Rescue assets, is one of the busiest in the UK.

HRH The Princess Royal at NCI Torbay

(Photograph by Stuart Chapman and Alex Hamer)

Her Royal Highness was then escorted to NCI Torbay’s Visitors’ Centre, where she met senior members of NCI Torbay before graciously presenting a Long Service Award to Senior Watchkeeper Brian Pinnigar and a Special Service Award to former Station Manager Andy Milner.

Her Royal Highness then proceeded to a reception held at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club where further members of NCI Torbay were presented, along with officers from the other four NCI Devon stations, HM Coastguard Rescue Team, RNLI Torbay and local supporters.

Before leaving, Her Royal Highness graciously unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit to NCI Torbay.

NCI 5 Year Business Plan Launched

On Tuesday 22 February the National Coastwatch Institution held a reception in London in the presence of their Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, to mark the launch of the charity’s Business Plan 2022-2026.

The photograph shows HRH the Princess Royal with NCI National and Sector Managers. (Image courtesy of Mr Mark Dalton) Click on the image to find out more.

HRH The Princess Royal hosts Trinity House reception

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons

Queens Platinum Jubilee

Click here for more information about how National Coastwatch joined in the celebrations for our Sovereign's Platinum Jubilee.


NCI Hengistbury Head take the 'Zip Wire Challenge'

Members of NCI Hengistbury Head recently took part in a sponsored zip wire challenge at Bournemouth pier. The station has been nominated by Westbourne Rotary Club as one of this years good causes. Chris Colledge, President of Westbourne Rotary Club, is also a watchkeeper at Hengistbury Head and invited the Station Manager, Peter, PR/Media Officer Caroline and Watchkeeper Tim to join the Rotary Club on the PierZip at Bournemouth. This is the world’s first pier to shore zip wire, and launching from the Zip Tower platform 25 meters above the sea, you “zip surf” 250 meters over the top of the waves to land on the beach.

NCI Hengistbury Head

Former NCI Honorary President Jon Gifford 1929-2022

John Gifford

Jon Gifford OBE was born in Gibraltar in 1929 and was educated at Kings School, Bruton and Peter Symonds College, Winchester. He served with the Royal Tank regiment for 15 years and retired as a Captain but remained in the Territorial Army with the Yeomanry. A career in engineering followed, working as an Export Manager and gaining two Queen’s Awards for Export, before forming his own company supplying heavy equipment. Jon retired to Devon in 1997 and joined the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) as a watchkeeper at NCI Prawle Point in 1999. His abilities were immediately recognised, and he was soon elected as the Station Manager, followed shortly afterwards by election to the Board of Trustees. In 2002 he was elected Chairman of NCI and as such, oversaw the opening of some 25 NCI lookout stations resulting in a significant expansion of the Charity to many parts of England and Wales. His hard work resulted in a group of Cornish Stations being among the first to gain the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and in 2006 he received a Nationwide Award for his voluntary work. In 2011 Jon was appointed Honorary President of NCI and the following year he was awarded the Order of the British Empire. As Honorary President, he remained an active, stalwart member of the Charity, visiting stations far and wide and providing inspiration to a new generation of watchkeepers. Jon retired from NCI in 2021. Jon was one of the prime movers in the early days of NCI and much of our current success owes a great deal to his early influences.

East Cornwall National Coastwatch

at the

Royal Cornwall Show

National Coastwatch at the Royal Cornwall

Several stations in East Cornwall joined together to represent the NCI at the Royal Cornwall Show which ran from Thursday 9th June to Saturday 11th June. Well done to all the volunteer watchkeepers from NCI Boscastle, NCI Charlestown NCI Rame Head, NCI St Agnes Head and NCI Stepper Point who pooled their resources at the Royal Cornwall grounds at Wadebridge to spread the word about what the NCI does.

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