DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
TONIGHT on Coast it’s the sandy beaches and salt marshes and mud flats of East Anglia, Neil Oliver announces at the start of the show, wind in his hair.
Do you think he got the job on account of his hair? I mean, yeah, sure, he’s an archaeologist and a historian, but have a look at that hair. It’s partying like it’s 1992.
is a 200km journey from King’s Lynn to Felixstowe, and there’s plenty of history there. Some of it’s boring (‘‘And if you weren’t fishing for herring in Great Yarmouth, you were processing the catch . . . ’’), but some of it is very boring. (A toss-up here between Cromer’s crabbing competition and the abandoned US military installation at Orford Ness.)
But if you’re interested in how, say, a massive flood can come out of nowhere and cause massive damage, there’s something here for you on that. January 1953. High tide, low atmospheric pressure, 300 end up dead. Dave Hocking lives in Snettisham. He was 18 at the time; he lost 29 of his closest friends and says he still goes down to the beach and cries even now.
‘‘ The sea has no friends,’’ Dave says, looking a bit delicate. Everyone thought it was
Host with the coast: Neil Oliver going to happen again in September 2006, but it didn’t, and two men with a bucket and a length of plastic pipe show us why not.
You might also be interested in the yarn about WWII Y-stations. Joy Hale used to intercept German signals, and says one key thing she listened for was the first name of the commanding officer: ‘‘ Friedrich, this is Gunther, and Gunther, this is Wolfgang,’’ she says. Exciting, isn’t it? Kind of reminds me of Dad’s Army.
There’s also a story about piers. Some of them are very old, and clearly not built by the Brisbane City Council.
Coast is like a package holiday. You won’t care about some places, while wishing you could stay longer at others. Coast SBS, 7.30pm