Friday, November 16, 2012
A desperate plea is being made to find a home for a fishing boat that was owned and used by legendary Norfolk lifeboatman Henry Blogg.
The QJ and J is in danger of being broken up because it can no longer be stored at its home for the last four years, at Lowestoft.
Named in honour of Mr Blogg’s wife Queenie and children Jimmy and Jack, the vessel has had a nomadic recent life, with three homes in the last decade.
And now its custodian, Cromer Town Council, is appealing for someone with a large, airy outbuilding or significant outdoor space to adopt it.
At its meeting on Monday, a letter was read out from Nat Wilson from the International Boatbuilding Training College, which has stored the QJ and J free of charge.
In it, he said the landlord wanted to develop the area where the boat was stored and asked: “Is there any news on her funding or do we have to consider breaking her up?”
Councillor Greg Hayman said: “I wonder if we can put out an appeal for people who have a suitable location to house it for free as an act of goodwill for the town and its heritage?”
Tim Bartlett said it might be the “perfect time” to act on his idea to put the QJ and J on the top of Cromer Museum. He also suggested that the Muckleburgh Military Collection at Weybourne might have space to house it temporarily.
Councillors hope it will be a temporary solution as they beaver away to raise the £50,000 needed to restore it and establish it beside the old lifeboat house at the bottom of The Gangway at Cromer.
The QJ and J was used by Mr Blogg for his main business of crab fishing. The most decorated lifeboatman in history was Cromer coxswain for 38 of his 53 years’ service, during which time he launched 387 times and rescued 873 people.
In recent years it has been looked after by Jim Lingwood, on his land between Sheringham and Weybourne, then by the late former Cromer lifeboat coxswain Richard Davies. In 2008, it was moved to its current home.
In 2008, the town council was close to realising its dream of refurbishing and displaying the boat in Cromer.
It thought it had secured £17,730 from Prism, which was to go alongside £10,000 of council cash and other donations to go towards the expected £35,720 cost.
But the Prism funding was not forthcoming because of disagreement about how best to store the boat, and the scheme was put on hold.
● To offer help, call Cromer Town Council on 01263 512254.