High quality boat building has been taking place for the RNLI on the banks of the River Medina during the last 190 years - and still continues today.

For the RNLI's 200th anniversary, the staff of East Cowes Heritage Centre will be filling the Town Hall with an exhibition recording the work of all the boatbuilders based on the River Medina, including the RNLI inshore works where all their RIBs are manufactured.

The exhibition will take place over the bank holiday weekend of May 25 to 27.

On the Saturday evening there will be a film illustrating the work, with interviews of some of those who have built the lifeboats.

The importance of all this work cannot be under-estimated. Boatbuilders from the Cowes area have built lifeboats for all the 238 RNLI stations around the UK coast plus a further 52 RNLI stations that subsequently closed or became independent.

In addition, in the 1850s, the Royal Navy placed an order with a local company for 500 lifeboats to be carried on their ships.

In 1860 the Admiralty took over the management of the Coastguard and ordered the replacement of 100 of their local boats, built by the J. S. White shipbuilding company.

Lifeboats are still overhauled and serviced on the Island, and the RNLI Inshore Centre is building inshore rescue craft.