It was a packed room of Stanhoe and Barwick WI members and visitors at their September meeting who heard Rob Smith MBE talk about his work as the Harbour Master at Wells for the past 28 years.
At the start of his tenure just two people were employed to bring boats up the channel to the quay. Nowadays there are 13 people involved in duties encompassing the harbour and its environs.
We learnt of the historical background to the formation of the harbour and the quay as we know it, and about the responsibilities of the appointed Wells Harbour Commissioners who oversee everything.
In a more lighthearted vein we heard why Wells seamen are nicknamed “Bitefingers”; about smuggling now and years ago; and how the nature of the use of Wells harbour has been changed by the increase in tourism, and with the coming of the wind farms.
Rob finished with some funny stories of real events in his working life.
WI business, including a report from the Liverpool National Federation AGM, brought to a close a busy and very enjoyable afternoon.
Wells Harbour website, with live (moving and zooming!) webcam
EDP report from 2013 on the 350th anniversary of the Wells Harbour Commissioners