Death of Kitty Lee from well-known Cromer fishing and lifeboat family

Kitty Lee at the family crab stall in New Street, Cromer. PHOTO: submitted

Kitty Lee at the family crab stall in New Street, Cromer. PHOTO: submitted - Credit: Archant

Kitty Lee, a well-known member of a Cromer crab fishing and lifeboat family, has died a day before her 76th birthday.

Mrs Lee was the daughter of famous lifeboat coxswain Henry 'Shrimp' Davies, and great niece of the legendary Henry Blogg.

It was a link she was proud of, and which saw her write a history book about the Cromer lifeboat during the second world war when the two men were at the forefront of many daring rescues.

She was born on November 19 1937, at 5 New Street. One of her first jobs was to run and alert lifeboat crewmen for her father, who had one of the first telephones in Cromer, so was aware of the lifeboat launch before the maroons went off.

The dashing about helped her become a talented runner and hurdler as a youngster.


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Summers were spent working on the family deckchair and beach hut business, where she loved helping with the horses, and was 'bitterly disappointed' when they were replaced by tractors and motors, said her fisherman son John.

When her two uncles were drowned in a 1953 fishing boat tragedy, she shared the shock of the whole town and her mother was keen for her not to marry a fisherman - but she had already fallen in love with John 'John'o' Lee, who was on her father's crab boat crew.

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They married on November 24 1956. Their first child Teresa was born June 6 1957. They moved into 13a New Street, where she remained, thereby living her entire life in the same street.

They opened a crab stall in the front yard in 1957, which she ran while bringing up four more children - Patricia, Joanna, John, and Katherine. John still runs the family business from there.

He said: 'The small cottage was cramped but full of love and laughter.'

Kitty's book on Cromer's H F Bailey lifeboat, published in 1991, sprang from her love of writing, and fascination with the history of the crew, including her family.

Her son added that she had partially done another book, which the family hoped to complete and publish.

Kitty was heartbroken when her husband died in 2007, and 'never really got over it,' he added.

She had 13 grand-children and five great grand-children who were all shown the same love and devotion as her own children.

Another passion where her dogs, especially Alsatians and more recently her terrier Toffee. She was a regularly seen walking her up the cliff or on the beach, never too far from the sea.

Mrs Lee died peacefully at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on November 18 after a sudden illness, surrounded by her family.

A funeral will be held at Cromer parish church on Thursday November 28 at noon.

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