A SOCIAL club in one of the UK's furthest towns from the sea bought a lifeboat in November 1988.

A 24-hour sponsored darts marathon pushed Didcot's Marlborough Club over the magic £10,000 mark needed to buy and equip a D-Class inshore vessel for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The club took 18 months to achieve the mammoth task with all sorts of fundraising events, with 14 men and 14 women making £2,000 from playing darts around the clock.

Captain John Flood, a former merchant seaman and a member of the Didcot and District branch of the RNLI, threw the first dart to start the marathon.

The institution was close to the hearts of many Marlborough Club members, with at least six of the marathon darts players part of the club's thriving sea angling section.