Can you solve riddle of historic Norfolk pub with a sculpture as mysterious as its maker?
- Credit: Ian Burt
Set in the heart of a Norfolk coastal village, the Ship Hotel in Brancaster is steeped in history.
But little is known about the imposing ship which decorates its entrance off the main coast road.
Matthew Jones, the hotel's general manager, wants to keep the building's heritage alive. He is appealing for information about its familiar emblem.
'We think it is around 120 years old,' he said. 'We are having it taken down to be restored and repainted because we want it around for another 120 years.
'According to the Norfolk Pubs website it is 6ft long and called Black Diamond but that's all we really know.'
Mr Jones, 33, is appealing for people to come forward with any information or stories they may have about the ship or the hotel.
'Since coming under new ownership in June last year, we are at the start of a revamp, and that includes preserving the heritage.'
- 1 Woman in her 50s who died in A11 crash named locally
- 2 Norfolk festival cancelled amid 'challenging year'
- 3 Roads closed as armed police and dog units swoop on Norwich home
- 4 North Norfolk pub re-opens as a hotel
- 5 Mum trying to find lost 'heart' of daughter who died days after birthday
- 6 North Norfolk glamping site named among best in the UK
- 7 Lakeside proposal gone wrong watched by millions on TikTok
- 8 Train travellers set for another weekend of rail disruption
- 9 Traffic easing on first day of Royal Norfolk Show after earlier delays
- 10 The school where boys can wear skirts - but not shorts
The work is attributed to Scottish sculptor John Moray-Smith (1889 - 1958), who produced a number of sculptures and murals around Norfolk when he moved to Norwich in the 1930s.
MORE - the lives and work of mysterious Norfolk artist John Moray Smith Cromer Museum houses a number of Mr Moray-Smith's works. They include a mural of a beach scene, which once adorned a local hotel also named The Ship, a rescue by the oar-powered Cromer Lifeboat and a sculpture of its legendary coxswain Henry Blogg.
Alan Tutt, the museum's visitor services assistant, said the artist's life was shrouded in as much mystery as the sculptures themselves.
'The thing with Moray-Smith is his life is shrouded in so much mystery that only now historical things we thought we knew about him are being debunked,' he said.
'We do know that he used to work for Morgan's Brewery making sculptures for inside and outside pubs as an early form of branding, Morgans' pub's trademark. I assume The Ship Hotel was a Morgan's owned pub around the time Moray-Smith worked for them, but I know very little about that specific sculpture itself.'
If you have any information or stories about the sclupture or the Ship Hotel, e-mail Matthew Jones at email@example.com.