A RHYL RNLI volunteer of more than 40 years will be borne by his crewmates on his final journey.

The funeral of Gordon Williams, who died on Friday September 6 aged 76, will take place at St. Thomas’ Church, Russell Road, on Tuesday 24 at 2pm.

The funeral will follow the process of previous crew funerals, Mr Williams will arrive at the boathouse by hearse at 1.10 pm, where the crew and bearers will be formed up, and place the coffin on the inshore lifeboat.

A short silence will be observed at the station, and the cortège will start from the station at 1.30pm and travel to the church, where he will be borne by crew members as per the RNLI tradition. This will be followed by cremation at the St Asaph crematorium at 3pm.

Gordon – known as Gordy to his crewmates and family - had been a crew member of the Rhyl RNLI since the early 1970s on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats, and was well known in the harbour for owning a succession of boats - including a catamaran that looked like the conning tower of a submarine.

Paul Frost, volunteer press officer at the Rhyl station, said: “Gordon was well known for his wit and sharp tongue, getting into many ‘discussions’ with the crew, but always ending with an impish grin, so we all knew we had been duped.

“He had the embarrassing moment that he was rescued by Rhyl lifeboat once when the boat he was on broke down.

“Gordon would always be cheeky in his actions, for instance, if the head launcher wanted the tractor driver to stop on a certain point, Gordon would stop it about 50mm past, just to be different. However, when anyone wanted a hand, Gordy was always there.”

During his service with the RNLI, Gordon was instrumental in raising funds for the crew to obtain one of the first paging systems in the UK for calling out lifeboat crews, which has been adopted by the RNLI and this was the birth of the UK-wide call-out paging systems in use today.

Mr Frost added: “The whole crew are devastated that Gordon has passed away. He is now probably discussing with his old foreman and crew member Gerald Hughes about history before they both passed away.

“The crew room at the station will be the poorer for Gordon being there with his choice language and cheeky wink.”

About the same time he began volunteering with the RNLI, keen dancer Gordon was part of the Rhyl formation ballroom dancing team, at which time he was described as having “always had an eye for the ladies” before he settled down with long-term partner Ruth Jenkinson.

As well as stalwart of the Rhyl’s harbour and dancefloors, Gordon was also well known as a carpenter and joiner in the Rhyl area, being initial apprenticed to Anwyl Construction before becoming self-employed and latterly working for Anglia in Dyserth.

An invitation is open to all who knew Gordon in his RNLI capacity.