Photo gallery: See stills from Cromer fishing industry films handed to local museum

Fran Weatherhead, from Cromer Preservation Society, hands over her films about the town's fishing industry to Cromer...

Fran Weatherhead, from Cromer Preservation Society, hands over her films about the town's fishing industry to Cromer Museum curator Alistair Murphy. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A fishing enthusiast has captured details of the tradition along the Cromer and Sheringham coast on film for future generations.

Billy Davies boiling crabs in a still from one of the films.

Billy Davies boiling crabs in a still from one of the films. - Credit: Archant

Retired archaeologist Fran Weatherhead, from Cross Street, Cromer, created 13 one-hour films between 2003-2009.

The features, which focus on the different and changing types of boats and dying arts including crab pot making, have been handed to the Cromer Museum.

Ms Weatherhead said: 'About 10 years ago I noticed the fishing industry at Cromer was in a state of transition. There were changes in the boats, from the traditional wooden crab boats to one-man fibreglass skiffs.

'There were some changes in the gear, from traditional crab pots to parlour pots, and there was some uptake of GPS to help locate pots.


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'Some of the boileries were closing down in the town, so the face of fishing was becoming less obvious in the town.

'Some of the older fishermen were retiring or leaving Cromer and fewer fishermen's sons were becoming fishermen.'

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Visitors to the museum can request to look at the films but curator of the attraction Alistair Murphy said it was hoped the films could be viewed online through the museum service website in a few years time.

Ms Weatherhead first started taking pictures of fishermen in the Cromer area in the 1980s and in 2011 she published a book called North Norfolk Fishermen.

She is also hoping to turn interviews with fishermen into another film.

'Being an archaeologist, I'm interested in material culture and traditional ways of life. I love going out fishing.

'Fishing is very important to the tourism of Cromer,' Ms Weatherhead added.

She wanted to film the traditional areas of fishing in detail so they could be used by researchers and historians in years to come.

Fishermen included in the films are John Balls and John Jonas.

Mr Murphy said: 'Museums are moving to more online content and these dvds are an important way of using this kind of information.'

'It is a real opportunity to have these films. We have got television footage of fishing from 30 years ago but it is not recorded in such depth.'

He added one of the main reasons why people visited the Cromer Museum was because of the town's fishing heritage.

'People are still fascinated by fishermen,' Mr Murphy said.

For more information about Cromer Museum and its opening hours visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Cromer_Museum/NCC083984.

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