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‘Respected and active’ Coastwatch volunteer stepping down after 25 years service

PUBLISHED: 11:01 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:01 29 May 2020

Arthur Adcock is retiring afrer 25 years' service with Mundesley Coastwatch. Pictures: Marie Greer

Arthur Adcock is retiring afrer 25 years' service with Mundesley Coastwatch. Pictures: Marie Greer

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The longest-serving watchkeeper at a Norfolk Coastwatch station is stepping down after 25 years’ service.

Arthur Adcock receiving his 20-year service award in 2015. Pictures: supplied by Marie GreerArthur Adcock receiving his 20-year service award in 2015. Pictures: supplied by Marie Greer

Arthur Adcock has been with Mundesley Coastwatch since it started in 1995.

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) was established after two fishermen lost their lives outside a redundant Coastguard lookout. Bass Point in Cornwall was the first Coastwatch station to open at the site of that tragedy.

Mundesley Coastwatch was the second station in the country to open on May 19, 1995. Founder Richard May placed an advert for volunteers, and Mr Adcock took up his duties on June 1, 1995.

There are now around 50 Coastwatch stations and Mundesley has over 50 volunteers.

Mundesley Coastwatch tower. Pictures: Marie GreerMundesley Coastwatch tower. Pictures: Marie Greer

Mr Adcock said: “There have been many changes over the years. In the early days meetings took place at Richard’s house and there were only around eight watchkeepers.

“Equipment was sparse, just a compass rose, desk, pointer, telephone and an old valve radio that we listened to the weather forecast on.

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“With so few volunteers, shifts lasted as long as the next person turned up, if they did. Typically shifts lasted all morning or all afternoon and were single shifts. A far cry from today’s two watchkeeper, two-hour shift pattern.”

One of his proudest moments was when Mundesley was the first station to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Mr Adcock had joined the RAF aged 15 and served for 40 years. He then worked on the MacMillan cancer ward at Peterborough Hospital, before his Coastwtach service.

He said: “It has been a privilege working with such a diverse and interesting group of people. I thank Richard May for setting the station up. I would also like to thank the station managers Ray Amo, John Carpenter, Bob White and, currently, Duncan Mackenzie.”

Mr Mackenzie said: “Arthur has been a well-respected and active watchkeeper, always willing to offer his views based on his wealth of experience.

“The service is only what it is thanks to our early pioneers and our active volunteers, and Arthur is both.”

Mundesley Coastwatch is temporarily closed for the first time in its history due to the coronavirus outbreak.


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