WEYMOUTH Lifeboat Station is gearing up to celebrate a landmark anniversary – and the team behind it need your help.

Weymouth RNLI station celebrates its 150th anniversary next year.

As part part of the celebrations a book is being produced about the history of the station.

Author of the book, Nicholas Leach, is keen to include photos of the station's old lifeboats and past crew members.

Station press officer Ken Francis said: "The number of photos held at the station is very limited.

"Nick is asking that any past crew members, families of former crew or other station personnel or local members of the public who might have any photos, look into their old family albums for any photos that he can use.

"They can be of either the lifeboats themselves or crew members. He is especially keen for any photos of the 'Samuel Oakes' and the 'Lady Kylsant' or any of the older boats. "Dates and names of any crew in the photo would be much appreciated."

The station at Weymouth came into being after the the Earl of Strafford offered to fund a lifeboat to replace the one that had been at Portland between 1826 and 1851.

The offer was accepted and on January 26, 1869 the lifeboat station was opened and the town's first lifeboat, the Agnes Harriet, was named at a ceremony held on the sands in front of a large crowd. Ten lifeboats have followed, including the present vessel, the Ernest & Mabel.

The early lifeboats at Weymouth were kept in the lifeboat house and launched down a slipway into the harbour when required. In 1924, the centenary year of the RNLI, Weymouth received its first motor lifeboat and the lifeboat house was rebuilt.

The first inshore boat to serve at Weymouth was the relief Atlantic 21, Elizabeth Bestwick, which arrived in 1995.

Weymouth lifeboats are ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with a doctor if required, to go to the aid of those who find themselves in danger at sea.

The lifeboats work closely with the coastguards and a search and rescue helicopter as and when the need arises. Since the lifeboat station opened in 1869 Weymouth lifeboats have launched some 1,700 times and have saved more than 800 lives.

The station has a full-time coxswain and mechanic plus 23 volunteer crew to man the all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

If anyone has any photographs that could be used they are asked to make contact with the lifeboat station on Nothe Parade or ring the station on 01305 785817.