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RNLI Rye Harbour Lifeboat crew in the 1960s

Ted Caister was born in Rye Harbour in 1932. He was one of the eight children of Jane Ellen and Albert Edward Caister. He died peacefully at home aged 87 on September 18, 2020.

He enjoyed an idyllic childhood in the Harbour with his siblings and friends. They ran free and made up games using old pram wheels and any bits they could get hold of. And of course he played cricket, one of his great sporting passions. He loved sport and this carried on throughout his whole life. He played cricket, football for Rye Seconds and swam locally. During the second world war he was evacuated to Bedfordshire. He was a keen pupil at school and got on well, managing to play lots of sport.

In 1948 he joined the navy and was honoured with a medal for serving in the Far East. He left the navy on his birthday in 1957 and there followed a wide variety of occupations including working in a foundry and then as a postman. He didn’t like the latter’s early starts but enjoyed the early finishing times. In the afternoons he played golf with his friends and continued to do so until two years ago.

Ted married Jenny and they had 59 wonderful years together. He was a family man and loved his four children, Wendy, Sarah, Peter and Emma. He was a very modern father for his day and was often found in the kitchen cooking. He loved days out and holidays with the family exploring and making memories which the children talk fondly of now.

In 1966 he was one of the founding members of the reinstated RNLI Rye Harbour lifeboat station alongside Keith Downey and Alan Haffenden. The village was united in wanting to restore the lifeboat station after an absence of 38 years following the Mary Stanford disaster and local families came together to man the lifeboat and help to launch it too. There were three Caister brothers involved: Ron, Ted and Dave. Ted’s professionalism and willingness to go the extra mile for the RNLI and those in distress at sea is well remembered. Ted was also a valued member of HM Coastguard from 1958 until 1993.

His children talk affectionately of the “hands-on dad” who gave their childhood such magic and so many memories to cherish and Jenny, his wife, has many stories to tell. He will be sorely missed by many.

Image Credits: kt bruce .

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