Certificate no 2662
Status Registered


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


Builder White, J Samuel & Co Ltd, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1964
Hull material
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Unknown
Primary engine type None
Boiler type
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
37.00 feet (11.28 m)
Breadth: Beam
11.50 feet (3.35 m)
Air Draft
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Tonnage: Gross


The WILLIAM HENRY & MARY KING is an Oakley class lifeboat, built in 1964, by J S White from money provided out of a legacy from a Miss Jane King of Sutton, Surrey, in memory of her father, and also the Institutions' funds. 

She was sent to serve at Cromer as a station lifeboat.  While there, twelve launches took place and one life was saved.  The station closed on 22 June 1967 and the boat was withdrawn. 

The vessel was then re-allocated to Bridlington where she spent most of the rest of her career.  During this time the historic vessel was launched more times than any other Oakley, saving 84 lives and her crew received eight RNLI awards.

Following her retirement, the vessel was donated to Drayton Park School in 1991, since when the boat has worked her way into the affections of hundreds of children and parents and has become a popular, if quirky, Highbury landmark.  Drayton Park features the lifeboat in its logo and has become known as 'the school with the lifeboat'.<


Classic Boat: Appeal to restore london school's lifeboat, December 2012

Key dates

  • 1964

    Built by J. Samuel White, Cowes, Isle of Wight

  • 1965

    Vessel named at Cromer by HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent

  • 1967-1989

    Station lifeboat at Bridlington: received bronze medal service to the coaster MARIA F, from Hamburg; bronze medal service to the fishing boat MY SUSANNE of Bridlington; silver medal sevice to the cobles CALAHARIS and MOSS ROSE and the motor vessel WHIT

  • 1991

    Arrival at Drayton Park Primary School

  • 2012

    Extensive conservation undertaken as Shipshape Thames Estuary Project

  • 2014

    Conservation complete and located in themed pierside play area


  • 2012-2013

    The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £13,300 for an education package

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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