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National honour for coastal campaigner

A 16-page full-colour lifeboat supplement has won a local newspaper a prestigious national award.

The twice-weekly Whitby Gazette picked up the prize for its work to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Whitby lifeboat station.

The supplement was included with every copy of the newspaper on May 3 and a further 2,000 copies were donated to the Whitby lifeboat museum, where they were sold for 50p each.

Deputy editor Nick Procter received the award from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at a ceremony at the London Boat Show at Earls Court.

Presenting the award RNLI public relations director Edward Wake-Walker said: “It was very much in character for the Whitby Gazette to push the boat out when Whitby lifeboat station celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2002.

“The paper produced a superb full-colour 16-page souvenir supplement to commemorate the event. A framed record of thanks is richly deserved.”

He also paid tribute to the Gazette’s support of the re-enactment of the lifeboat pull from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay in 1999.

He said: “The Gazette provided tremendous coverage and also produced T-shirts free of charge.

“One of the previous editors of the Gazette, Les Heath, doubled as lifeboat station honorary secretary, a post he still holds. The link might not always be quite as strong as that but the RNLI continues to enjoy great support from the paper’s staff.”

Previous winners of the public relations award include newsreader Michael Buerk and the Daily Telegraph.

Gazette editor Damian Holmes said: “It is a real honour to be recognised in this way.

“We are happy to support the fantastic work done by the RNLI in Whitby, and will continue to do so.

“We were delighted to be able to put together the 16-page souvenir supplement for them, and special thanks must go to deputy editor Nick Procter, who not only designed and subbed the supplement, but also did much of the writing and preparatory work.”

  • Award winners and charity staff with Gazette deputy editor Nick Procter on the right.
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