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Warm tributes to true lifeboat legend who 'knew everyone and loved a pint'

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Like many of his seafaring kind his horizons rarely stretched beyond his village and the workplace waves he knew like the back of his hand.

Billy Read, a lifeboatman for 60 years, has died in the same Caister cottage he was born in. He was 85.

Possessing the kind of seafaring knowledge that has all but gone, he was among the last of a great generation of Caister characters - modest men, always ready for a yarn, and thinking little of the matter-of-fact bravery that saw them launch in all weathers.

Billy Read aboard his last boat The Comet. - Credit: Philip Crowe

"He was like a magnet," said Dick Thurlow, a former coxswain.

"If he was sat on a bench you had to stop and have a yarn. He was as dry as they come.

"We used to give him grief when we were youngsters, although we were never nasty - devilish was the word.

"He was a proper character - and to us, a legend."

Mr Read was born in Beach Road, one of six children to William Benjamin Read, a maritime engineer, and Mary-Anne Read.

After leaving school he worked as an apprentice with Lacon's Brewery........

© Eastern Daily Press

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