Cromarty Courthouse Museum
Known as ‘lifeboat boards’, these wooden records are an incredible resource showing details of lifeboat rescues within the community of Cromarty during the first half of the twentieth century.
Cromarty’s history is closely linked to the sea and the community was proud to host a lifeboat station from 1911 until 1968. The records are a testament to the courage shown repeatedly in the face of adversity and the dangers of the sea. The first lifeboat stationed here, from 1911-1923, was the Brothers; the coxswain (the person in charge of the boat) was Mr James Reid. Amazingly, it had been funded anonymously.
The John Wesley replaced it in 1923. The James Macfee (donated by a legacy from Dr James Macfee of Auchterarder, Perthshire) came on station in 1928. It was launched 51 times and rescued 17 people.
Between 1945 and 1951, relief lifeboats rescued 5 lives. The final lifeboat to be stationed at Cromarty was the new Watson cabin lifeboat, Lilla Marras, Douglas and Will. The lifeboat was funded by legacies from Mrs J L Marras of London, Mr J Douglas of Langbank, Renfrew, and Mr W Kennedy of Glenbar, Argyll. Under the command of Coxswain Albert Watson and his crew, this vessel rescued a total crew of 8 from the coaster Servus off Dunbeath Castle on 8th and 9th December, 1959.
Coxswain Albert Watson was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for bravery and seamanship in a full gale. The coxswain’s brother, John Watson, 1st Mechanic, was awarded the Bronze Medal. The remaining crew received the ‘Thanks of the Institution’ on vellum.
The Lifeboat Station was relocated to Invergordon in 1968 – a blow to community pride.