Photo: Illustrative image for the 'LEN PATTEN' page

Lifeboat Coxswain

By Rob Patten

Sad to report the passing of my father Len Patten.

He was a familiar face around Newhaven having arrived here in 1964 from Southampton with his wife Fran and son David, joining his mother Minnie, and brothers George, Jack and Brian. Len originally worked for Reg Gittings as a painter and decorator before being appointed full time Coxswain Mechanic of the Newhaven Lifeboat in 1976 a position he held until his retirement in 1988.

He continued to paint 'part time' around the town during his time as Coxswain Mechanic and would often been seen jogging towards the lifeboat house with his radio slung over his shoulder to fire off the maroons and call out the crew. He originally joined the lifeboat as a volunteer signalman in 1968 when the family moved from Meeching Road to Fort Road. At this time his brother George was 2nd Coxswain to Edgar Moore.

As the full time RNLI Coxswain he generally had a good working relationship with most of the characters around the harbour and was also used to promote the RNLI charity on national media because he looked like a lifeboatman.

This page was added by Rob Patten on 16/02/2015.
Comments about this page

Sad to hear the news, Rob. My condolences to you and your family.

As well as knowing him through his work with the Lifeboat, he was also a Chief Petty Officer, then Sub Lieutentant at Newhaven Sea Cadets (which became T.S Defiance) when I was a young cadet there in the late 60s and early 70s. Always there to lend a hand to a cadet whenever it was needed.


By Andy Gilbert
On 20/02/2015

Very sorry to hear of Len's passing, I also knew him in the Sea Cadets and also on the Life Boat, he was a very kind man and always willing to teach you something new.

By Don Waller
On 22/02/2015

Thank you, and yes, of course he spent a number of years with TS Defiance as an instructor. He originally worked in Newhaven for Sylvestors as a painter and decorator and there's probably quite a few homes in Newhaven that have his initials LCP on a living room wall under wallpaper.

By Rob Patten
On 06/03/2015

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