Sam Larner and his community

I’ve been interested in the life and songs of Winterton fisherman Sam Larner for a great many years, so was very pleased to come across this weblog about old Sam and his community, and which describes so clearly how singing and step dancing were an important and respected aspect of life.

Sam was an outstanding singer and raconteur, as these YouTubes show: Sweet Lives and Lawless Billows and Two Norfolk Singers: Sam Larner and Harry Cox.

It’s longish (for weblog) but interesting and informative, and strongly recommended if you have any interest in the old times.

There must have been great times in Winterton’s pubs, for almost more than any other activities, singing and dancing together generally strengthen a commonity’s sense of belonging.

It seems clear too that there were quite a few other singers of note in the area, and it is perhaps a shame that recordings of them are not currently available as far as it can tell. Certainly, I have been able to hear them so far.

For more on Sam Larner on this weblog, click here, and for another article on this topic, click here.

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The Brightlingsea Tiles: an unusual and touching memorial to lost sailors

The History House website has the story about the remarkable Brightlingsea Tiles. (Images reused under the Creative Commons Licence.)

Malcolm Woods has alerted me to these memorials to local fishermen and sailors who died at sea in All Saints Church, Brightlingsea. They include 213 memorial tiles placed in frieze that runs around the nave.

The local custom of placing the tiles on the church wall was begun by All Saints vicar Reverend Pertwee following a big storm in March 1883 in  which 200 mariners from the counties bordering North Sea were lost, including 19 from Brightingsea.

Pertwee decided that a memorial tile should be made for each of his lost parishioners going back to 1872, when he first became vicar at the church. The first tile is dedicated to William Day and his son, David, who were drowned off Hartlepool.

The tiles were continued in later decades, and later tile memorials are to sailors killed in various storms, the loss of the Titanic and the World Wars.

I’ll make a point of taking a look when I get the chance – last time I was in the area the church was locked, as usual in a town.

Thanks Malcolm!

North Landing, Flamborough, 1933

Here’s some stunning footage of fishing cobles around Flamborough Head, including fishermen bringing in their daily catch, and climmers collecting birds eggs from the Bempton cliffs.