AN RNLI charity shop reached a major milestone this week as it hit a fundraising total of £5million.

The lucky customer who helped the Whitby RNLI shop achieve the total was Stephen Bakewell who bought £10.75 worth of souvenirs and had no idea of the significance of the sale until after it was rung through the till.

The achievement also marks the start of Honorary Curator Pete Thomson's retirement and it was Mr Thomson who presented Mr Bakewell with glass of bubbly to celebrate hitting the £5m mark.

The RNLI also gifted Mr Bakewell a teddy bear from the shop to say thank you.

Former crewman Mr Thomson has been honorary curator at the Whitby shop and museum for over 60-years and said how proud he was of the achievement:

He said: "I have watched the shop grow over the years from taking £500 a year to now taking £1million annually.

"The support we get from the public is phenomenal.

"I have loved every second of being involved with it, and can't thank all the hard-working volunteers enough for the hours of time they give to help make it all possible."

Mr Thomsonwon't be saying goodbye to the role completely as he plans to handover to the new curator, ex-crewman and deputy launch authority, Neil Williamson and still wants to take an active support role.