Cat no. 7

Gale Warning

Running time20:08 Sound 1956 British Isles

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Part of the history of the Lifeboat service.


DocumentaryPublic Information Film

Interior domestic scenes of a family sitting round the fire, listening to the gale warning on the wireless. There are scenes of the storm cone being hoisted. The Cromer lifeboat Henry Blogg is shown going to the rescue of a boy in a dingy. There is a close-up shot of the former coxswain of the lifeboat, Henry Blogg. Later in the film the Cromer lifeboat is shown attending an explosion out at sea. There are scenes of Cromer in the background. Other East Anglian interest in this film is of the Southend lifeboat on the end of Southend pier. There are shots taken from the electric train as it takes its passengers along the pier to the lifeboat. The history of the lifeboat service is traced. The film shows scenes from the construction of a lifeboat with emphasis on techniques used to ensure serviceability. Interior shots and shots of lifeboat crews at work in their ordinary trades, responding to a call, emphasising the voluntary nature of the RNLI. Other interesting features include scenes of the crews of the lifeboats at Yarmouth (IOW) and Lytham using a boarding boat to gain access to a lifeboat moored offshore. The Lytham crew rigging the sails of the lifeboat. Women helping to launch (and later to pull up) the lifeboat at Dungeness. The Whitby No. 2 lifeboat in action; the last pulling lifeboat left in service. Other lifeboats mentioned are Peterhead, Portrush, Aranmore, Baltimore and Beaumaris.

Background Information:

The Henry Blogg was Cromer's No. 1 lifeboat coxswain between 1945 and 1966. It was a Watson Motor 46ft Forward Steering boat built by the Sussex Yacht Company. Henry Blogg himself was born on Feb. 6th 1876. He entered the family fishing business and remained in it all of his life with his step-brothers Jack and Billy Davies. For many years they also owned bathing machines and deck chairs. He joined the lifeboat crew in 1894. He became the coxswain at Cromer No. 2 Station from 1909, taking over from his step-father, Jimmy Davies. He took over both stations in 1923. He served in the Cromer lifeboat for 53 years, the last 38 as coxswain. He assisted in saving 873 lives. He was awarded the gold medal of the RNLI three times and the silver medal four times. The second of these gold medals was for his part in the rescue of the Georgia on 23rd November, 1927. The Georgia was a Dutch vessel carrying a cargo of crude oil to Grangemouth. The ship broke in two. Half of it remained, with half of the crew, on a sand bank. The other half, with the other half of the crew, floated towards Cromer. It was this latter half that Blogg and his crew rescued, despite heavy storms and the boat gushing crude oil. A local appeal awarded a gold watch to Blogg and silver watches to the rest of the crew. There was a cheque for £300 and a cheque for £50 from the owners of the Georgia. Blogg's reaction was, 'What's all the fuss about? We had to do it...' (See The Strange Saga Of the Georgia, by Steve Snelling, Eastern Daily Pres, 16th January, 1998.)
Henry Blogg was awarded the George Cross in 1941. He continued to serve until 1947 and died in Cromer Hospital on June 13th, 1954; See: East Anglia, 1982, Maritime East Anglia.

Featured People:

Henry Blogg, Coxswain of the Cromer Lifeboat

Featured Organisations:


Featured Buildings:

Cromer Pier; Southend Pier


Ace Film Productions

Frank Green

P. Cartwright; E.V.A. Lindeman; H. Orchard; Leo Waller; L. Cave-Chin; John Miller (director of photography)

Douglas Dale

J.S. Green

S.W. Harris (president); R.H. Callender (production manager)

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