Weekend premier for new DVD telling story of north Norfolk fishing industry

The crabs who have become film stars through their underwater camera appearance on the new Crabs and

The crabs who have become film stars through their underwater camera appearance on the new Crabs and Shannocks DVD. - Credit: Archant

The story of the fishing industry in north Norfolk from Domesday to the present day is featured in a new DVD release.

Fisherman Willie Cox mending pots

Fisherman Willie Cox mending pots - Credit: Archant

Crabs and Shannocks uses historic photos, animations, interviews and archive footage to update a book first printed 25 years ago.

It will premiered at Cromer this weekend during the local crab and lobster festival.

And its final sequence gives a crab's eye view of being hauled up in a pot - using a waterproof camera.

Due to murky water only the last few feet provided usable footage, but made instant film stars of the crabs inside the pot.


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Taking its name from the old-time residents of Cromer and Sheringham, particularly the fishermen, the DVD charts the use of double ended wooden vessels echoing the times of Saxons and the Vikings.

The design, seen on shores at Cromer, Sheringham, Mundesley and Weybourne endured to the 21st century, before change arrived through new construction methods, new materials and new sources of power.

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Naval records also show that Edward III and Henry V had Cromer men and Cromer vessels in their battle fleets, said director and producer Peter Stibbons of Poppyland Productions.

Roger Bacon of Cromer, seen by some as an explorer but by others as a pirate, ranged as far as the coast of Iceland in his maritime exploits, while Daniel Defoe described the coast as 'the most dangerous that he knew' – though he did appreciate the Norfolk lobsters, added Mr Stibbons.

More modern sea-goers look back on stories of their predecessors and talk of the fishing today. Four generations of one family contribute to the story, with the late Jack Davies, recorded in 1965, contributing first hand memories from the 19th century.

Brian Coe's footage of Sheringham fishermen at work in the 1950s is featured in the 67 minute DVD, as is a 1961 Anglia TV interview with Henry 'Shrimp' Davies.

Mr Stibbons added: 'The fishing story is at the very heart of the heritage of both Sheringham and Cromer. We've collected video over the last 12 years to help tell the tale; together with photographs and film from the previous 150 years and other resources beyond that, we hope we've been able to do justice to the remarkable story of the mariners of our part of the Norfolk coast.'

Crabs and Shannocks, The Longshore Fishermen of North Norfolk, narrated by Eddie Anderson, is in the shops from Saturday May 18, priced £12.95. Its premiere is at the Cromer Community Centre in Garden Street at 8pm on Saturday - tickets £2.50 from Randalls Electrical.

It can also be ordered from the Poppyland website www.poppyland.co.uk which also features more details and a trailer.

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