December 21 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 12, 2014
This Friday marks 60 years since the death of Cromer’s legendary lifeboatman Henry Blogg.
He won more bravery awards than any RNLI rescuer before or since during more than half a century of seafaring service.
But he was also part of a fishing family whose relatives still harvest the local waters for crab and lobster.
And campaigners are currently appealing for public funds to save part of Henry’s workaday fishing boat.
Special photographs of the boat in its current, dilapidated state are being sold for the cause.
And soon people will be able to buy pieces of the boat itself with certificates of authenticity and branded marks.
For only the front part of his old hoveller, the Q J and J, can be saved because of the amount of rot that set in as she sat awaiting restoration.
The rest is being sawn up for souvenirs as volunteers seek to raise £10,000 to turn the bow end of the vessel into a heritage reminder of Mr Blogg’s “day job”.
It will be placed next to the hero’s sou’wester-wearing bust which looks out over the sea from North Lodge Park.
Henry served on the Cromer lifeboat for 53 years.
He joined the crew in 1894 at the age of 18.
During his time on the rescue boat it launched 387 times and saved 873 lives.
He was awarded seven RNLI medals for gallantry; three gold and four silver - along with the George Cross and the British Empire Medal, making him the most decorated lifeboat ever.
He retired in 1947 aged 71, 11 years after the normal retirement age.
Henry learned his seamanship skills after leaving school at the age of 11, joining his stepfather in the family crab boat.
The Q J and J hoveller was made by Sheringham boatbuilder Robert “Calla” Emery.
The boat was used by Mr Blogg for five years in the 1930s and was named after his children Queenie and Jack and nephew Jimmy.
Henry died on June 13 in 1954. More than 1400 people attended his funeral
One of the campaigners Duncan Abel said they already had £5,000 from previous private donations during a previous rescue attempt which was dropped by the town council as costs escalated, and lost its grant funding.
The evocative black and white photographs are on sale via the Cromer office of the EDP and North Norfolk News at 31 Church Street (next to Jarrold) and the town’s information centre off the Meadow car park .
They are £45 for a 16in by 12in framed version (£35 unframed) or £25 for an 8x6 print (£20 unframed.)
The boat pieces will cost £5.
Call the EDP/News office for more information on 01263 513232.