Cromer fisherman fronts international tourism campaign

Richard Davies fronts the Visit Britain 'I Travel For...' Campaign. Picture: Cromer, Norfolk, Englan

Richard Davies fronts the Visit Britain 'I Travel For...' Campaign. Picture: Cromer, Norfolk, England Getty Images ©Dan Burn-Forti - Credit: ©Dan Burn-Forti

The family of a 'larger than life' character who epitomised the cheer and charm of north Norfolk has welcomed seeing him front an international campaign.

Richard Davies was a hero to many residents of his home in Cromer, best known for his work as a fisherman in his family business, and serving as the coxswain on the RNLI lifeboat.

Although the father-of-two died aged 65 in 2010, his image is being used to promote a VisitBritain campaign, and it still raises a smile from those who knew him.

'You can just hear him laughing when you see that picture,' said Mr Davies's widow Julie. 'He was larger than life; if something was going off down on the shore I could hear him shouting from up on the cliffs.'

Son John Davies said: 'He was born and bred in Cromer, he loved this place and I don't think he would've wanted to live anywhere else.

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'I was very, very fortunate because he was my father but he was also my mate. We had a very close bond.'

Mr Davies was recognised many times for his tireless work keeping lives at sea safe, winning a bronze medal and three vellum certificates of thanks for rescues in 1975, 1988 and 1999.

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Just after his retirement in 2000, Mr Davies was also asked to carry the RNLI standard at the annual national Festival of Remembrance in London.

Mrs Davies continued: 'He never wanted fuss, when people asked him 'Why you?' when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour he would say: 'Why not me? I've done a lot in my life.' And he had. He couldn't even remember this photo being taken!

'He was always up to something. He'd some in and say: 'I've been thinking Julie' and I'd think: 'Here we go!' You never knew what he was going to do next!'

Mr Davies' legacy lives on now that his son is the coxswain of the RNLI boat, and continues to work for the family business based in Cromer.

Mr Davies' image has been used in many campaigns already, from cod liver oil tablets to bank campaigns.

'Our local library had clips of him in an interview, but I love seeing him and I love hearing it,' Mrs Davies said.

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