Pensioner who lived in London wanted to help rescue service

Leslie Betty has left a legacy for the RNLI
Leslie Betty has left a legacy for the RNLI

A former Fleetwood man has left a legacy of £160,000 to the RNLI in his will.

And Leslie Betty, who lived in Finchley, North London, for many years, wanted the money to specifically go to the Fleetwood branch after his death on December 23.

Uncle Les grew up in Fleetwood and he felt strongly about giving his money to help people out at sea

Cliff Betty

The 89-year-old had been living in Greenhill Care Home, Barnet, for 18 months but died of pneumonia.

His nephew, Cliff Betty, who lives on Bispham Road, Bispham, said the family were proud of his good deed, which he did to honour his late father, Charles, a fisherman.

Cliff, 63, who used to live in Fleetwood himself, said: “Uncle Les grew up in Fleetwood and he felt strongly about giving his money to help people out at sea.

“This year Fleetwood is getting a new lifeboat so his money will now help pay to for that new boat.

“I had no idea he was going to leave money to the Lifeboat but it doesn’t come as a surprise, because of how he felt.”

Mr Betty did not marry and had no children but had a busy life, frequently playing golf in Finchley and all across Europe, and also volunteered in a hospital.

He later worked for Jaguar test driving cars – but did not buy a car himself because he enjoyed keeping fit.

He was also a talented ballroom dancer.

Another nephew, Mark, said Mr Betty was very kind, gentle and caring.

He was also described as being a very private person who always walked everywhere and hardly took public transport.

Fleetwood Lifeboat is set to get a new Shannon-class vessel this summer.

Captain Dave Eccles, operations manager of Fleetwood Lifeboat, said: “We have not had confirmation yet that this money will go to Fleetwood, but it’s a magnificent gesture. Any help to the Lifeboat is always welcome and these kinds of legacies are vital to the service. When people specify that they want a legacy to go to Fleetwood, it will go to Fleetwood, so it would be wonderful if that is the case here.”

Mt Betty’s funeral will be held on January 15 at Chelmsford Crematorium at 2pm and all are welcome.