When the VLB were called out and attended or assisted in a shipping casualty such as a shipwreck they received a wreck token for services rendered.
Payment was then made by the presentation of the token which was exchanged for the appropriate payment. Over the years the payment was modified as appropriate; this payment seems small today but was fairly substantial at the time. 25 wreck tokens were issued to each coastguard station and were stored in a canvas bag and held at the station.
The tokens were commissioned by the Board of Trade (latterly the Coastguard). An initial order for 3,000 was delivered in 1877 at a cost of £10. A subsequent order for 1,000 was delivered in August 1883. The tokens became obsolete in 1972 and were subsequently recalled.
The Rescue Equipment
The Rocket Wagon was loaded with all of the equipment detailed in the following illustration.
This ensured that there would be no delay in case of enmergency. The wagon was pulled either by horses or manpower along the shore to get as close to the shipwreck as possible. The apparatus comprised:-
1. Whip block and tally board. 2. Hawser cutter. 3. Heaving cane and line. 4. Rocket machine. 5. Fuse box. 6. Rocket. 7. Breeches buoy. 8. Cliff ladder. 9. Wagon. 10. Light. 11. Rocket line box. 12. Portfire for igniting the rocket. 13. Rocket line "faked " in box. 14. Triangle. 15. Anchor. 16. Cliff helmet.