Neville John William Day 7 March 1922 - 26 November 1990
Dad's Butt pricking (No, not yours Madam. Kindly sit down please!)
Labels in the above aerial photograph can be clicked to reveal additional information.
Surmounted by inseparable Harris Tweed flat cap. Clad in olive green
Barbour wax jacket. Oversize, ex Army & Navy Stores baggy khaki shorts
and enormous black rubber wading thigh boots that he himself complained were a little tight under the armpits. Dad's Butt pricking adventures were unlikely to result in his photo appearing on the cover of Vogue magazine.
Before sensitive ladies start penning and signing their complaint missives 'Disgusted from Two Mile Bottom, Thetford' perhaps I should explain Butt, more commonly known as Dab, are a type of flat fish, relatives of Sole, and which prefer not to be 'pricked' out of their habitat just beneath the submerged sands of North Norfolk's endless and spectacular beaches.
Grockles not to do so on incoming tides. Tides which as any Norfolk yokel could tell you come in "Quicker 'un 'os cun trot!".
You'll probably be ahead of me at this point won't you?
Rounding the turn north into 'The Hole' the large ten acre tidal low water lagoon between Brancaster Staithe and Scolt Head island Dad notices, wisely, that the ten acre low water lagoon is now approaching around fifteen acres in size. Then twenty.
Wisely again and with sadly still empty both shrimp net and keep net Dad decides to make a hasty retreat back up Mow Creek. Unfortunately, perhaps unwisely, choosing its north bank. The bank the opposite side of which stood the hard standing in Brancaster Staithe harbour.
By the time Dad arrived the quarter mile or so back opposite the safety of 'The Hard', the water level between that and him was about two feet deep. By the time he approached the middle of Mow Creek it was three feet deep. No problem, Dad had waders.
By the time Dad reached the southern bank by The Hard it was four feet deep. Leaving just a little over a foot and a half or so of Dad still exposed to the sky.
Grockles, still sat, lined up in rows of cars they had come for a walk in and from which only rarely did they ever get out, Dad's giant waders had swelled with sea water to the size of those in Mr Michelin man's famous logo.
As Dad said later. "The secret is not to panic and for the sake of appearances pretend you do it on purpose."
A cautionary note: For anyone perhaps thinking of imitating Neville Day's adventures. I am informed that Butt pricking (as described above, in case there are any other sorts) is now illegal. On account of it being considered cruel to fish. Though what methods of murdering fish are not cruel I have not yet been made aware.
Chris Latham-Smith 2022.
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