Film tribute to famous Lynmouth lifeboat launch

12:33 02 April 2014

The 1899 Louisa crew.

The 1899 Louisa crew.


The premiere of a new documentary on the famous Overland Launch is showing at Lynmouth on Friday, April 11 and a brand new feature film will be filmed in the area this autumn.

The crew of the 1999 Louisa re-enactment begin to wonder what they have signed up for.The crew of the 1999 Louisa re-enactment begin to wonder what they have signed up for.

‘We launch at Porlock…’

As he stared at the sea and uttered those words in 1899, Lynmouth lifeboat coxswain Jack Crocombe set in motion a superhuman effort of maritime rescue that is still celebrated today.

In the midst of a fierce storm the crew and helpers from the village dragged the lifeboat Louisa 13 miles overland, before launching at Porlock to go to the aid of the distressed ship Forrest Hall.

The premiere showing of a new film The Journey of the Louisa is taking place on Friday, April 11 at Lynmouth Pavilion, chronicling the amazing deed on the 160th anniversary of Jack Crocombe’s birthday.

Jack Crocombe, the coxswain of the Lousia on that night in 1899.Jack Crocombe, the coxswain of the Lousia on that night in 1899.

Plus a new feature film by Flat-Broke Films Ltd, in association with Next Dimension Entertainment, will begin on location in Lynton and Lynmouth, Exmoor and Porlock this autumn.

It will be directed by Simon J Miller, featuring Academy Award nominated Alexandra Bekiaris and produced by David and Maralyn Reynolds.

The Louisa had to be hauled on a carriage up the steep Countisbury Hill, across Exmoor and then down the infamous one in four Porlock Hill, accomplished entirely by the efforts of men and horses.

A faithful recreation of the famous rescue was staged in 1999 and demonstrated just how awesomely difficult such a trek must have been.

The new film showing next week has been produced by Ken Blakey of Lynton, using state-of-the-art computer graphics mixed with real-time footage along the route as well as narration.

Copies of the film will be available to buy from Saturday, April 12.

In addition to members of the RNLI, as many descendants of the original team as possible have been invited as special guests to the evening celebration, including the great granddaughter and great grandson of Jack Crocombe, together with the re-enactment crew.

The granddaughter of the telegraph boy who ran the message from Porlock Weir to Porlock post office for transmission to Lynmouth has just been discovered and will join the grandson of the man who received that telegram which instigated the haul.

The event is supported by the Heritage Lottery Funded Lynmouth Pavilion Project. For more information please contact Jo Backhouse on 01598 753562 or


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