Now and Then with Shrimp Davies – Cromer, Norfolk in 1978

Fishing and fishermen at Cromer in a TV programme from 1978 – including footage of how they handle their beach boats up there…

My thanks to Katie Howson of the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust for spotting this.

Henry Blogg’s boat arrives at the Museum of the Broads for restoration

The hoveller fishing boat used by Cromer’s legendary lifeboat coxswain Henry Blogg this week arrived at Stalham for restoration by volunteers working with the Museum of the Broads, Stalham.

Old Henry was heavily decorated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and like all RNLI lifeboatman was a volunteer – he made his living catching the famous Cromer crabs.

The hoveller fishing boat differs from other fishing boats as it had a small deck at the bows enabling the fishermen to carry a small stove to boil water and make tea – which is of course essential for any boat belonging to Englishman, particularly if they’re working on the cold North Sea.

The boat is named the QJ&JQueenie, Jack and Jim – and was named after Henry’s family members.

There have been a number of attempts over the years to save the historically important boat made from ash, larch and oak. Sadly, by the time it reached the museum, the stern was too bad to restore.

The plan is to restore the bow and return her to her Cromer home for exhibition next year.

Lifeboat hero Henry Blogg passed away 60 years ago today


When Henry Blogg retired in 1947, after 53 years service and at age 71, 11 years past the usual retiring date, he had been coxswain for 38 years of his service, during which he had launched 387 times and rescued 873 people. The photo above is from the Wikimedia.

Blogg is often referred to as ‘the greatest of the lifeboatmen’. Through a career that began in 1917 and included his near drowning in a service to the SS English Trader in 1941, he was awarded the gold medal of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution three times and the silver medal four times, the George Cross, the British Empire Medal, and a series of other awards.

On his retirement, Blogg’s nephew ‘Shrimp’ Davies took over as coxswain. Here’s a link to Shrimp talking… And here’s another to Shrimp and the rest of his crew having a beer and a bit of step dancing.

Old Henry is still remembered in Cromer – there’s the splendid monument pictured above, and the town also has its RNLI Henry Blogg Museum.

My thanks to Malcolm Woods for reminding me of this anniversary.