‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 29th June 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

Isle of Wight Observer May 8 1869

With the circumstances under which the “Hans Busk” lifeboat has been presented to the town of Ryde our readers are familiar, inasmuch as we have on several occasions of late drawn attention to the generosity of its noble donor, Capt Hans Busk, who met with such a reception in the town of Ryde, on Wednesday last, on the occasion of its public presentation, which must convince that gentleman how highly the gift is esteemed by the inhabitants at large. We may briefly state that a subscription was made in order to present Capt Hans Busk, the originator of the Volunteer movement of 1858, with a testimonial of regard, that this gallant officer declined any such recognition of the invaluable services he had rendered to his country, and that the money subscribed has consequently been lying idle ever since. The terrific storms of last winter suggested the idea of a lifeboat for Ryde. Mr A F Leeds, with the desire which actuates all his public conduct, conceived the idea of utilising this fund, and having communicated this idea to Capt Hans Busk, that gentleman, without the slightest hesitation, acceded to the request that the amount should be devoted to the purchase of a lifeboat for the Borough of Ryde. A committee was formed, and the order given to Mr White, of Cowes the formal presentation of which to the town took place on Wednesday last, when the principal streets presented a very gay appearance, most of the houses having been gaily decorated with a profusion of bunting. The boat was conveyed by land from Cowes, and was met on the Newport-road, near the site of the proposed new Parish Church, by the first Isle of Wight Rifle Volunteers, under the command of Capt Newman, accompanied by the band, by the officers and men of the Coastguard station at Ryde, and by the crew of Her Majesty’s ship Marten, who took part in the proceedings by permission of the Lords of the Admiralty. The crew of the boat were in their uniform – white Guernseys, with her name in red letters on their chests, and red caps – when the vessel was drawn on her carriage through the town, headed by the Volunteers and the band. On arriving at Pier-street, the boat was received by the committee at the hands of its generous donor; after which, she was conveyed to the slipway on the pier, where she is in future to be stationed. An immense concourse of people were at this time assembled, reminding us of one of the regatta days of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. At the presentation we noticed the Mayor and several members of the Corporation, Mr Barrrow, A F Leeds Esq, JP, H D Brown Esq, JP, the Vicar of Ryde (Rev A Poole), Capt Tatnall, RN, Capt Robinson (Coastguard), the Countess of Ranfurly, and a number of ladies.
Capt Hans Busk, who was received with cheers, came forward, and requested the committee’s acceptance of the boat, trusting that launched under such auspicious circumstances she would, in case of need, be ever ready to do good service in that best of undertakings – the saving of life.
The Mayor accepted the boat so generously given by Capt Hans Busk, and while he trusted its service would seldom be required, he hoped it would be always ready for use. In the name of the people of Ryde he accepted the gift. (Cheers)
Appropriate prayers were offered up by the Rev A Poole, vicar of Ryde; after which, the ceremony of christening was performed by
THE COUNTESS RANFURLY, who, amidst considerable cheering, which having subsided, expressed the pleasure she experienced in naming the lifeboat after that of its noble donor. “Though its workmanship is not rough, may this lifeboat ever be ready, and though ready may its service never be required. May God protect and guide its gallant crew, and may success ever attend it and them. I name this lifeboat the Captain Hans Busk; go forth, and may success ever attend it (renewed cheers).
Immediately after this, the Marten, which was anchored off the pier, fired her guns. The crew tried a number of experiments without being able to upset the boat.
After the proceedings of the day, Capt Hans Busk ‘was entertained at luncheon at the Pier hotel. All the members of the Press were refused admission. We are, therefore, unable to give the public the benefit of what was said on this occasion. We understand that a tablet, bearing the following inscription, will shortly be fixed in a conspicuous position on the pier: “The Captain Hans Busk Lifeboat, stationed on the Ryde pier, was given by him whose name she bears to the town of Ryde on the 5th May, 1869. The cost of the boat and of her equipment was defrayed by contributions subscribed for the purpose of presenting Capt Hans Busk with an adequate testimonial in recognition of his universally-acknowledged and arduous public service as the originator of England’s Volunteer Army of 1858’.