Photo gallery: Lifeboat legend Henry Blogg’s historic Cromer fishing boat is being restored by Broads museum volunteers
13:54 13 February 2015
Archant Norfolk 2015
An historic fishing boat that was worked by a lifeboat legend is being given a new lease of life by museum volunteers.
How you can help the appeal
Evocative black and white photographs are on sale via the Cromer office of the EDP and North Norfolk News at 31 Church Street (next to Jarrold) and the town’s information centre off the Meadow car park.
They are £45 for a 16in by 12in framed version (£35 unframed) or £25 for an 8x6 print (£20 unframed.)
The branded boat pieces will be available at a cost of £5 later in the year.
Call the EDP/News office for more information on 01263 513232.
But only the front half of Q J and J used by Cromer’s Henry Blogg is being saved - as the back section was too rotten.
The bow end however is being rebuilt, ready to go on public display in Blogg’s hometown, next to his bust that looks out over the sea where he harvested fish and saved hundreds of lives.
The aft end is being chopped up into souvenir pieces, which will be branded with an HB mark and sold to raise funds for the project.
Work to save the front half is being carried out by volunteers at the Museum of the Broads at Stalham.
Henry and his boat
Henry Blogg joined the crew of Cromer lifeboat in 1894 at the age of 18.
At 33, he became coxswain, a role he held for 38 years before retiring in 1947 at the age of 71.
During his 53 years’ service, the Cromer lifeboat launched 387
times and saved 873 lives.
The Q J and J - named after his wife Queenie and children Jimmy and Jack, was his fishing boat between 1931 and 1937.
Trustee and works director Trevor Bone said the boat was in a “very sorry state” when it arrived at the end of last year.
The rib cage of “timbers” were being replaced with green oak, which involved heating and steaming the 8ft lengths of wood to bend them.
The “very suspect” keel had been strengthened, and softwood planking would be replaced before the boat was given an authentic finish to make it look like it did in Blogg’s time.
“There is a lot to do yet - but we like a challenge and it is good to be involved,” he added.
Between 12 and 30 volunteers work working on the boat on Tuesday and Wednesdays led by Ivor Broughton, a qualified boatbuilder, and skilled woodworker Will Cox.
The museum is doing the work for free, and Q J and J rescue group is funding the materials. It has raised about £5,000 so far, and is looking to reach a target of £10,000-15,000.
One of the group Duncan Abel said he was pleased with progress and it was hoped to have the boat back in Cromer for later in the summer. It will be displayed in the garden behind the Blogg bust at North Lodge.
The group was also looking to join the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, as - while the Q J and J was not involved in the cross-Channel convoy in 1940 - it was a tender ferrying evacuated soldiers from bigger ships to shore at Ramsgate.
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