27 lifeboatmen died in December gale

On 9 December 1886 the three-masted ship, Mexico left Liverpool bound for South America when she was caught out in a gale and pressed onto a lee shore at Southport.

The first lifeboat to reach her capsized drowning 12 of the 14 crew. A second lifeboat from Lytham St Anne’s turned out, but also capsized with the loss of all her 15 crew.

Eventually a third lifeboat successfully reached the ship and rescued all her 12-strong crew.

Britain went into shock and the equivalent of £2 million in today’s money was raised for the dependents of the lifeboatmen – nearly all fishermen.