Now and Then 1979 – lifeboatman and local fisherman Shrimp Davies talks about life and work at Cromer

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Now and Then film Shrimp Davies

The East Anglian Film Archive has some cracking stuff. Here’s a 1979 film in which local fisherman and legendary lifeboatman Shrimp Davies talks about life and work around the beaches of Cromer in Norfolk, and finishes up with some singing and stepdancing in a favourite pub. We’ve seen the last bit before, but the rest is new and it’s all interesting.

Here’s how the archive describes the short film:

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‘Shots of the streets of Cromer, guided by Henry ‘Shrimp’ Davies. He shows Cromer town centre, Bob Davies’ Crab Shop, and the bust of lifeboatman Henry Blogg. He walks down to the beach to the crab boats which gives clear views of Cromer and its major buildings, including the Church and the Pier. A stills sequence, compares various scenes of Cromer in the 1970s with how they appeared in 1890. There seems to have been very little change. An interesting feature from this sequence are the bathing machines sitting on the beach. Crab boats are winched onto a trailer and then pulled up the beach by tractor and the crabs unloaded. There are shots of children playing on the beach and of a Punch and Judy man setting up. Concludes with shots of the interior of the Bath Hotel. Fisherman are singing and step-dancing to the accompaniment of Percy Brown on the accordion.’

I’d call that accordion a melodeon, but it’s still a great thing…

Btw, I love this photo of Blogg.

While we’re looking at the EAFA’s material, there’s a fabulous piece of 1902 footage showing herring drifters returning to port and Scottish fisher lassies on the Great Yarmouth’s quays, and a 1930s piece showing bad weather at Clacton in Essex – including a paddle steamer leaving Clacton Pier, probably in order to take holiday makers home to London despite the storm.

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