Q&A - Wells harbour master on his love for the Norfolk coast

Wells Harbour master Robert Smith. Picture: Ian Burt

Wells Harbour master Robert Smith. - Credit: Ian Burt

It should come as no surprise that Wells-next-the-Sea's harbour master, Robert Smith's perfect day includes a trip out on the water.

Mr Smith is the latest person to take on our set of burning questions.  

What is your name, age, job title?

Robert Smith MBE, 61, and I am the Harbour Master Port of Wells-next-the-sea.

Robert Smith, left, Wells Harbourmaster and Simon Cooper, Wells Harbour administrator, at the new We

Robert Smith, left, Wells Harbourmaster and Simon Cooper, Wells Harbour administrator, at the new Wells Harbour Hatchery, who are hoping their first berried hens (female lobsters with eggs known as berries) will arrive in a few weeks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

How would you best describe your job or role in the community?

Serving the community and its harbour users and visitors by managing the harbour and estate for the benefit and enjoyment of all those who come along.

How long have you lived in our area?

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I was born and raised in Wells-next-the-Sea, with my ancestors dating back to the mid-1700s.

What would you do if you were mayor of Wells for a day?

I would put my energy and resources into providing additional car parking on the edge of Wells’ town, to alleviate the constant parking issues with visitors during peak times.

What is your favourite landmark (in north Norfolk)?

For me, it has to be Holkham Hall and its beautiful deer park.

Red Deer grazing in the park with the magnificent backdrop of Holkham Hall. Picture: Richard Brunton

Red Deer grazing in the park with the magnificent backdrop of Holkham Hall Picture: Richard Brunton/iwitness24 - Credit: Richard Brunton/iwitness24

What is your favourite pub (in north Norfolk)?

The perfect pub in my opinion would be the Crown on the Buttlands at Wells. 

Which shops do you rely on (in north Norfolk)?

Howells Deli in Staithe Street in Wells-next-the-Sea and the local Co-op in the town.

What is your favourite place to go and eat (in north Norfolk)?

In my opinion, a great place to eat is the Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham.

What is a perfect day in north Norfolk for you?

A walk along the coastal path with my dog, or sailing along the North Norfolk Coast in my Stiffkey Cockle. 

The Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham

The Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham - Credit: Dabbling Duck

Which places (in north Norfolk) would you recommend to visitors?

I must say Wells harbour, Binham Abbey, Holkham Hall, Wiveton Hall Cafe. A trip on the Wells to Walsingham railway and finally explore the great town of Sheringham. 

Who is your north Norfolk hero?

For me, it has to Lord Horatio Nelson, a true proud Norfolk man. 

What do you most love about north Norfolk?

North Norfolk is a little like stepping back in time having a slightly slower pace of life, with the amazing countryside and coastline that are second to none. 

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