HomeNewsBerrow shipwreck artefacts go on display during talk to mark 125-year anniversary

Berrow shipwreck artefacts go on display during talk to mark 125-year anniversary


Over 100 people flocked to a special history evening on Thursday (March 3rd) to mark the 125th anniversary of the beaching of the SS Nornen on Berrow Beach.

Burnham-On-Sea historian John Strickland gave a presentation about the shipwreck’s story at St Mary’s Church in Berrow, recounting the fateful day when it ran aground.

During the evening, several artefacts from the shipwreck were shown by local residents, pictured, and explained to illustrate the ship’s story.

Sandra Dunbar showed the ship’s bell, which has been owned by her family for 125 years. “My grandfather and great grandfather went out to the ship with a horse and cart and helped the crew, bringing their belongings for storage at Rose Tree Farm,” she said. “The captain gave our family the ship’s bell as a thank you for their help.”

Nigel Stokes displayed a sextant which may have come fron the shipwreck. He explained that it had been been gifted to his parents by the Anderson family at the time, who had given hospitality to the ship’s crew in Berrow after it ran aground.

Wendy Welland displayed an original wooden beam from the ship which had been salvaged by a member of her family at the time. “It’s in remarkably good condition – we keep it carefully stored outside.”

John said he was delighted with how the evening had gone, thanking all those who attended.

“We heard about her crew, the vessel, and the trade she was in; the damage to her from the storms that drove her into the shallows of our beach; the Burnham lifeboat and her crew that went to the rescue and then saving all the crew including their dog and the help and accommodation given to the crew by local families.”

“It was only after speaking to people that I became drawn into her history and how so many local families were involved. I felt we could not let this anniversary go by without making an illustrated slideshow to share her story – on the very day she was beached here 125 years ago.”

The story of the Berrow wreck will also be told by BBC Somerset between 6-7pm in a programme airing tonight (Friday).

Pictured: Top – John Strickland, Sandra Dunbar, Nigel Stokes, Wendy Welland and the Nornen Project’s Corrine Curtis; Centre – the packed church (Rev Philpott); and Above – the shipwreck (Alan Beech) 




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