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Who was Blogg book compiler E J Waller?

PUBLISHED: 16:36 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:56 13 July 2010

A pair of watches saved for a lifeboat museum thanks to a public appeal have gone on display next to the boat skippered by their heroic owner.

But now museum officials at Cromer are starting some detective work over a book they also bought with the fighting fund.

A pair of watches saved for a lifeboat museum thanks to a public appeal have gone on display next to the boat skippered by their heroic owner.

But now museum officials at Cromer are starting some detective work over a book they also bought with the fighting fund.

The watches and book were presented to lifeboat legend Henry Blogg, whose tally of three gold and four silver RNLI medals during 53 years of service is unrivalled in the Britain.

The timepieces were given by a grateful Dutch government and local people after Blogg's crew braved gales for saved 15 men from the tanker SS Georgia which split in two on the Haisborough Sand in 1927. They are now on show in a case next to Blogg's boat the HF Bailey in the Cromer RNLI museum, where helper Molly Girling said they were already attracting interest and were “where they should be.”

Shortly they will be joined by an illuminated album presented to Blogg after his retirement in 1947, which charts all his award winning rescues, the 873 lives he saved in 387 launches, on beautifully crafted pages which also feature drawings of the boats, beaches, crabs and the family's deckchair business hut.

The text tells Blogg how the community “salutes you” for his “unrivalled devotion”, and lists subscribers to his retirement fund headed by the Duke of Edinburgh and ranging from local gentry to an anonymous donor from as afar afield as Wisbech.

Museum manager Jacqui Palmer said the book yet another fascinating insight into Blogg, and the appreciation of what he did. It would be displayed open at one page, but with copies of others nearby.

Researchers were keen to delve more into the list of subscribers and to find out about E J Waller, whose name appears on the pages, and appeared to be the man who compiled the album and did its art work.

The items were bought for a total of about £5,000, using a £7,000 fund from public donations - well above the £2,000 originally sought to meet estimated value of the watches, which went under the hammer at Aylsham last week. They were bought for £2,300, but the museum also had enough in its kitty to also buy the album for £1,850, more than double the guide price.

Leftover money is either being returned or used on other heritage and conservation work, depending on donors' wishes.

Anyone with information about the book or Mr Waller should contact the museum on 01263 511294.

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