A long heritage of the fishing economy is still celebrated in Sheringham and Cromer

Crabs being measured for size by fishermen, Philip Grahame Everitt (right) and Richard Davis retired

Crabs being measured for size by fishermen, Philip Grahame Everitt (right) and Richard Davis retired coxswain of Cromer lifeboat. pic taken 18th april 1975 c12043 pic to be used in edp dml 27th august 2009

Fishing has always been one of the mainstays of the north Norfolk economy, and these archive photographs show how much it has featured in the region's daily life.

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Whelk fishing at Cromer
Dated 23rd November 1954
Photograph C1709 N

Places - C Occupations Whelk fishing at Cromer Dated 23rd November 1954 Photograph C1709 N. Taylor

The crab has always been associated with Cromer and the lobster with Sheringham, and the rivalry between the coastal towns is still intense.

Legendary worldwide for their sweet flavour, Cromer crabs, served up in a crusty brown-bread sandwich, have been a prized Norfolk delicacy for decades. Renowned for their delicate flavour and their higher proportion of white meat to dark, an early guidebook, published in 1800, mentions that 'lobsters, crabs, whiting, cod-fish and herring are all caught here in the finest perfection'.

By 1887, there were 450 men and 94 boys fishing for a living in Sheringham and Cromer. The beaches to the east and west of Cromer pier were crowded with fishing boats, and there were once 150 crabbing boats in Cromer.

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Cromer fishermen attend to their boats, including the Peggy (owned by George "Crow" Roo

Places -- C Cromer fishermen attend to their boats, including the Peggy (owned by George "Crow" Rook), Boy Leslie (Leslie Harrison jnr), Lewis James (Lewis Harrison), Silver Spray (Jack Davies) and Boy Jimmy. The last named was involved in one of the most moving tragedies in Cromer's recent history, when in June 1953 it was swamped just 150 yards off shore, claiming the lives of Ted Bussey and brothers Jim and Frank Davies. Veteran lifeboatman Henry Blogg collapsed as he tried to top reach the rescue boat and Frederick Wells, son of a Cromer greengrocer, plunged fully clothed into the sea in a desperate attempt to reach the three. The accident stunned the town, and the poignant reports in the EDP of the aftermath still make moving reading. More than 1700 people packed ever nook and cranny in the parish church for the funeral, with another 1000 lining the streets in silent tribute. Coroner L. H. Allwood spoke for the whole of Norfolk when he said: "it is a dreadful thing that this accident has taken away thre

Occupations -- Miscellaneous Occupations
Cromer fishermen Dick Davies and Peter Mayes hoist bags

Occupations -- Miscellaneous Occupations Cromer fishermen Dick Davies and Peter Mayes hoist bags of steaming hot whelks, destined for the London market from boiling coppers. the fishermen had returned with their shellfish from a six-hour trip to the Bacton grounds. the average catch of whelks was around 13 skeps (bushels) for which the fishermen received around 9s (45p) each skep. But the whelking described as a "filling-in activity" -- was never very popular with the fishermen of the time as prices were low and the chances high of losing valuable pots to late-season bad weather. Photograph and caption used in EDP "North Norfolk Images" book, published in 1998 Dated -- 23 November 1954 Photograph -- C6468

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John Lee with the enormous nine-pound crab which he and his father-in-law Coxswain Hen

Places -- C John Lee with the enormous nine-pound crab which he and his father-in-law Coxswain Henry Davies, of Cromer No. 1 lifeboat, hauled up. The crab, the claws of which measured more than 16 inches was too big even for the crab pot -- it was found clinging to the side Photograph and caption used in EDP "North Norfolk Images" book, published in 1998 Dated -- 6 September 1958 Photograph -- C6482

Caption: SHERINGHAM FISHERMEN Used in Let's Talk first issue p20 Richard Little was able to tell

Caption: SHERINGHAM FISHERMEN Used in Let's Talk first issue p20 Richard Little was able to tell us lots more about the photograph of Sheringham fishermen - simply because he was the man in the picture holding the lobster! He thought the year was around 1952 and also identified the man sitting in the boat as his late father, Stanley little. To the far left in the peaked cap was Bob Rushmer, a fisheries officer, and the man leaning on the boat is Lennie �Teapot� West, a fact confirmed by his wife who called into our Cromer office. The picture was taken on the east beach, said Richard, and the Sheringham-built boat, called Pansy, was owned by the late �Downtide� West. Dated 1950s Photograph C7856


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