Previous names

  • St Cedd
Certificate no 1783
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Penarth
Vessel type Liverpool Class Lifeboat
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No


Builder Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes
Built in 1949
Hull material Wood
Rig Unknown
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Twin diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
10.59 feet (3.23 m)
Length: Overall
35.60 feet (10.82 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



WILLIAM CANTRELL ASHLEY is a Liverpool class lifeboat, built by Groves and Gutteridge of Cowes in 1949, . She served at Clovelly, North Devon,and remained in service until 1968, during which time she was launched 38 times and saved 24 lives.

Sold out of service to Essex County Council  and renamed ST CHEDD, she was taken to Bradwell Field Studies Centre where she operated as a rescue boat until 1994; then transferred to East Mersea Youth Camp  still under Essex County Council. In 1996 she was purchased by Claud Sharp who had her renovated and sailed to Scarborough where she operated as a trip boat.

In 2005 she was bought by Mike Darlington and fitted with twin Betamarine 35 hp diesel engines. She operated successfully along the Cornish coast between Looe, Fowey and Polperro. In  late 2011 she was acquired by a new owner, and she joined the Hoylake Lifeboat Museum. She was permanently moored in Liverpool's historic Albert Dock, where she was a floating exhibit for the Museum and operated for day trippers and enthusiasts. 

WILLIAM CANTRELL ASHLEY was purchased privately by the current owner in April 2013. She is berthed in Penarth Marina, and is used regularly by her owner throughout the spring/summer along the South Wales and North Devon coast.

Key dates

  • 1949

    Built by Groves and Gutteridge on the Isle of Wight for service at Clovelly

  • 1968

    Renamed ST CHEDD and taken to Bradwell Field Studies Centre for use as rescue boat

  • 1968

    Sold out of service following 38 service launches and 24 lives saved

  • 1994

    Transferred to East Mersea Youth Camp  still under Essex County Council

  • 1996

    Purchased by Claud Sharp, renovated and sailed to Scarborough for use as trip boat

  • 2005

    Bought by Mike Darlington and fitted with twin Betamarine 35 hp diesel engines

  • 2011

    Acquired by new owner and joined Hoylake Lifeboat Museum. Moored in Albert Dock, Liverpool


  • 2013

    Bought by current owner and berthed at Penarth Marina


  • January 2013

    Grant withdrawn due to the vessel being up for sale

  • January 2013

    A Sustainability Award for £1000 towards the costs of repainting in original livery was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

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