Auf Wiedersehen actor bids farewell to Lowestoft
One of Britain's best-loved actors bid Auf Wiedersehen to Lowestoft yesterday .
Continuing an epic adventure, Timothy Spall and his wife Shane have been sailing around Britain in a 30ft Dutch barge – the Princess Matilda.
And all this week the intrepid duo have been enjoying the 'wonderful' East Anglian coast. Having arrived at Wells, they have sailed through Sheringham and Cromer, towards Caister and Great Yarmouth, before arriving in Lowestoft on Wednesday.
As they prepared to continue their voyage around Britain – which has spawned the BBC Four documentary series Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea and its current sequel Timothy Spall: Back at Sea – on the barge which has been their home for the past few years, the couple are now closing in on the end of their journey. With just over 100 miles to go until they return to the Thames Estuary, their mini-odyssey around Britain is close to its start point.
The 54-year-old actor, famed for playing Barry Taylor in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and for gaining international recognition as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter film series, spoke fondly of his time at sea admitting he taught himself how to sail and use charts.
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Before heading off to Southwold yesterday, Mr Spall said: 'When we set out we knew it was going to be tricky. I knew that however much I'd prepared in advance that some times the sea does not like you.
'It has been wonderful and terrifying at the same time. We have seen nearly every part of the coast of Britain and it's been like living the Coast programme.
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'You get to realise just how beautiful the coast is,' Mr Spall revealed. 'In the midst of an age of social unrest and riots we live in a beautiful country, and we should be relishing the British Isles.
'Last summer we went through England, Wales, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Scotland all within a few weeks, which was fantastic.'
Throughout the Spalls' voyage, they've attracted a lot of attention, with many experienced sailors interested in their journey. And on Thursday, they were approached by two fishermen at Lowestoft who handed them some dover sole they'd caught – and the Spalls were keen to express their gratitude.
'East Anglia is beautiful, and some of my family does originate from here – so I do have a big connection with the region,' Mr Spall revealed. 'It is a lovely place to be. I love Norfolk, it is a rare place.
'I've never been to Lowestoft before and it is nice,' he added. 'But for us that has been a big part of the journey as we get to got to places we have never been before. Wherever we go we feel part of that place as we take our home wth us to stay there.
'You see some wonderful things out at sea and yet sometimes you can go three days without seeing anything – the solitude is both awe-inspiring and scary,' he admitted.