A MAN who first suggested the RNLI should open a shop in Dart­mouth has stood down from the helm of fundraising.

Ed Featherstone has resigned as chairman of the RNLI Dart fundraising branch due to personal reasons. He announced his decision at the annual meeting last Thursday.

Mr Featherstone had held the post for the last two and a half years. He was thank­ed by Commodore Jake Moores, chairman of the RNLI Dart Lifeboat management group, for the time, effort and enthusiasm he had given in moving the branch forward.

In particular, recognition was given for his initial idea that the RNLI should open a shop in Dartmouth.

In less than a year, the visitor centre has moved up to become the 22nd most successful of the 150 main retail outlets the RNLI in the UK and Eire.

Two other members of the committee have stepped down, Anne Walton as membership secretary and Alan Makepeace as events secretary.

Jenny Gould, secretary of the branch, said she would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to join the committee and even be prepared take on one of the vacant posts.

The RNLI national May Day campaign begins today with a collection in Dart­mouth’s Sainsbury’s store.

This has taken the place of SOS week that used to be at the end of January each year.

Tomorrow, the Dart lifeboat crew will be staging their Sink Our Ship event in the Boatfloat from 11am and 12.30pm.

Throughout the campaign yellow welly pin badges will be on sale to support the Dart lifeboat in the visitor centre and at other outlets around town.