Patrick Moreton, who runs Moreton Marine at Cowes (Isle of Wight), was the man behind the handsome mahogany plaque which the Queen unveiled when she officially opened the new Cowes RNLI lifeboat station last week.
Patrick, who is one of the station’s volunteer prospective helms, had somehow found time to fulfill his ‘by royal appointment’ task, from his busy every-day responsibilities, working on classic boats and bespoke furniture at his premises in the old J Samuel White yard.
Besides incorporating a new board marking the Queen’s visit, the huge plaque also had an the royal cipher ‘EiiR’ on a backboard which had been on a Customs launch that operated in Cowes until 1986. Both boards are mounted on the same carbon fibre used on the station’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Sheena Louise.
Station operations manager Mark Southwell said, “Patrick has done a really fantastic job with the plaque. It clearly impressed both Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh who told me to tell Patrick ‘he’s a very clever man’. It has now been mounted by Patrick on the station’s lobby wall, directly in front of the main door, for everyone to admire as they enter the premises.”
It is the second Customs back-board displayed at the station; another showing ‘VR’- from the days when Queen Victoria was on the throne – forms part of the old Customs memorabilia covering a wall of the upstairs crew room. All further reminders that Customs had formerly occupied the site.
Although regarded by the authorities as surplus to requirements they were retained because of their historical interest by Mark on his retirement as a customs officer.
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