Cromer RNLI History

Cromer Lifeboat Station was established in 1804 and was not taken over by the Institution from the Norfolk Shipwreck Association until 1857.  Since 1923 there have been two lifeboats at Cromer, the larger for working on the outlying sands and the smaller for working inshore. 

 

The outstanding figure in the history of Cromer is Henry George Blogg who became a member of the Cromer crew in 1894 at the age of 18.  He was coxswain from 1909-1947.  During his 53 years as a lifeboatman, the Cromer lifeboats had been on service 387 times and rescued 873 lives.  His record is without equal in the history of the Institution.  No lifeboatman has received so many decorations for gallantry.  He won the Gold Medal of the Institution, which is only given for conspicuous gallantry, three times.  He won the Silver Medal four times.  He also held the George Cross and the British Empire Medal.  He died on 13th June 1954 at the age of 78 years. 

 

A bronze memorial plaque commemorating him was unveiled by Lord Templewood in the Cromer lifeboat house in August 1955.  Coxswain Blogg’s portrait was painted for the Institution by Mr Thomas Dugdale RA and was exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1942, and now hangs in the offices of the Institution.  A copy by Mr Dugdale was presented to Coxswain Blogg by the Institution.

From left to right: David Hill, Tony Garwood, Laurence Conisbee, David Pope, Nick Lowe - 1985

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In Cromer there are two boathouses, one for the All-Weather Lifeboat "Lester" on the pier and the other for the Inshore Lifeboat on the east promenade. This boathouse was originally built in 1902 for the then rowing and sailing lifeboat Louisa Heartwell. You'll find more about the history of the station in other places on this site. Also on the east promenade you'll find the Henry Blogg Lifeboat Museum. The whole town is proud of the man referred to as 'the greatest of the lifeboatmen', who gained national fame in the first half of the 20th century when navigation around the Norfolk coastline was particularly hazardous in easterly gales.