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Crossing the Bar


Tales of Wells Harbour
by Robert Smith MBE, Wells Harbour Master

The stories Robert Smith tells in this landmark book capture the soul of Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast. As long-serving Harbour Master and former lifeboatman, Robert reveals the characters and events that have shaped the history and spirit of this historic coastal town. The book also reveals Robert’s personal connections to the harbour and its landscape, begun with a childhood spent on the marsh and continuing with a working life managing the harbour for its many users. Some of the stories have been passed down through the generations of his own family – resident in Wells since at least the early 1800s – some are from the harbour archive, and some from the memories of local people. Many have never been told in print before. They include maritime disasters ‘crossing the bar’, secret wartime experiments, smuggling, ghost stories, scrapes involving the author himself, and dodgy dealings by landowners and early harbour commissioners. The book is packed with rare historical photos, beautiful illustrations and specially commissioned full colour photographs. All proceeds to the Wells Harbour Maritime Trust and other local charities.

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Book Author

Robert Smith MBE


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