Open again for the new season

The Fishermen’s Lifeboat Museum and the Peter Coke Shell Gallery will be open again from Saturday 1st April. For details see our Opening Times page.

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David Cooper, Former Trustee

The Society was very sorry to learn of the death of David Cooper, a former Trustee of the Society, who with his wife Maureen, also a former Trustee, worked tirelessly on the Art Exhibitions which were run annually from the beginnings of the Society. His funeral was held on 24th March. We send our sincere condolences to Maureen and the rest of David’s family.

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Mick Bensley RIP

The Sheringham and District Society is very sorry to learn of the death of artist Mick Bensley. He did much to convey Sheringham’s “seaside spirit” to a wider audience and generously allowed us to reproduce some of his work in our publications. We express our sincere condolences to his family.

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Promotional videos

During the winter we commissioned short films about what you will be able to see when you visit the Fishermen’s Lifeboat Museum and Peter Coke Shell Gallery, open again as normal from 1st April. The first two of these have now been completed. They feature the Fishermen’s Lifeboat Museum and the Henry Ramey Upcher lifeboat (otherwise known as the Fishermen’s Lifeboat) the main exhibit in the museum’s boat shed. Both were produced by Sheringham photographer and film maker Chris Taylor and can be accessed via the following links: and

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New Book

Three members of the Emery family have come together to write a book about their family’s boat building business in Sheringham. The book, entitled “I Wanted a Boat – So I Built One” was published by Poppyland Publishing on 1st September 2022. The authors are justifiably proud of their family’s boat-building achievements and have delved into a mass of preserved photographs, records and memories which are reproduced in the book. The story starts in 1850 when Lewis “Buffalo” Emery built his first boat and finishes just over a hundred years later when Lewis’s great grandson, Harold, completed the last. In the years between, Emery boats had such a good reputation that they were acquired by fishermen up and down the East Coast, from Kent to Yorkshire.

For a chance to view Lewis “Buffalo” Emery’s handiwork, a fine testament to his skill, visit the Fishermen’s Lifeboat Museum at Sheringham where the Henry Ramey Upcher, the lifeboat he built in 1894, is preserved and is on display during the spring and summer. Group visits can be arranged at other times.

Two of the book’s authors, Malcolm standing and Michael, with the lifeboat.
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Great review of the shell gallery

We are very grateful to Nelson Hammell, a visitor from the USA, for the review of his visit to the shell gallery recently posted on Instagram – “I had the best time this afternoon ….. what a very special visit”. For the full review follow this link:

Hot on its heels came a recommendation from the famous fashion designer, Lulu Guinness OBE, “If you don’t follow @petercokeshellgallery on Instagram you are missing out on so much wonder.”

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AGM 2022

The society’s AGM was held on 29th April. As indicated beforehand, both our long-serving Chairman and Treasurer (Peter Strudwick and Barbara Emery, respectively) resigned from their posts. Peter continues as Vice Chairman and we are currently without a Chairperson. Barbara continues as a Trustee and has been replaced as Treasurer by Barry Blacklock ( Anne Strudwick is no longer Vice Chair but continues as a member of the committee of management.

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East Anglian Air Ambulance Donation

At November’s Coffee Morning talk 2021, the first to be held since Covid restrictions were introduced the previous year, a cheque for £600, the profits from the 2021 Art Exhibition, was presented to the speaker, Nick Siragher, from the East Anglian Air Ambulance by our chairman, Peter Strudwick.

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Finding the SS Commodore

Sheringham photographer Chris Taylor, who also forms part of the current RNLI lifeboat crew and is a member of the Sheringham Shantymen, had a long-standing ambition to find the remains of the SS (steamship) Commodore.

The SS Commodore, carrying a cargo of coal, was blown ashore just to the west of the town during a storm in November 1896. The Henry Ramey Upcher (HRU) lifeboat, preserved in the Fishermen’s Lifeboat Museum, described on this site, was launched to rescue the crew of 14 and three Sheringham fishermen who had been taken aboard to offer support. The HRU had been in service for just over two years. As the storm intensified the Commodore was wrecked and subsequently was blown up by Trinity House as it constituted a danger to shipping.

Chris knew roughly where the Commodore’s remains were but had never found them until he chanced upon them recently. His discovery made the local and national news and he was even interviewed on an American television station. Views of the wreck can be seen in the promotional video he has produced about the Henry Ramey Upcher lifeboat, see above.

The winter of 1896/97 was an exceptionally stormy one. In the January following the wreck of the Commodore the slipway from the RNLI lifeboat station (now Oddfellows Hall) was washed away in a storm, rendering the lifeboat station no longer usable. In the same month the Henry Ramey Upcher lifeboat carried out its most famous rescue, of the crew of the brig Ispolen, which was carrying a cargo of ice from Norway and was also wrecked off Sheringham.

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