Famous Cromer fisherman makes surprise appearance at exhibition

An exhibition of artwork by a Northrepps artist has had a surprising and welcome addition.

Pamela Gurney, 90, from Northrepps, who is part of the famous family dynasty who were founders of the Barclays Bank, is hosting an exhibition at Merchants' Place in Cromer until Sunday, October 31, as part of the Cromer and Sheringham Arts Festival (COAST).

On Monday there was a surprise for exhibition organisers when a portrait of famous Cromer fisherman, Henry 'Shrimp' Davies, done by Miss Gurney in 1977, was brought in by Mandy Wright, 39, who is a tenant in a home owned by the Gurney's, in Crossdale Street in Northrepps.

The picture had been in Ms Wright's living room since she moved to Crossdale Street in 2005. Her grandfather, Fred Rossin, had purchased it for �10 at a fete in the village back in 1977, the same year it was painted, and when he died it was passed down the family.

Ms Wright said: 'I went to the exhibition thinking there would lots of pictures of some of the famous fishermen but there was not, so knowing the picture I had at home I brought it along so they could use it in the exhibition.'

Eddie Anderson, a family member of the Gurney's who has helped collate her works for the exhibition at Merchant's Place in Cromer, said: 'This is now the most important picture we have in the exhibition with it being Shrimp Davies and the fact that Pam Gurney rarely did portraits.'

Shrimp Davies, who died aged 88 in 2002, was the nephew of the legendary Henry Blogg and followed him as coxswain of Cromer lifeboat for 29 years.

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During his illustrious service he helped save some 500 lives and earned a string of awards.

To find out more about the COAST Festival and the events taking place visit www.casaf.co.uk.