|Abstract||Norman 'Joe' Burgess interviewed by Dennis Chatters. He talks about the MOLLIETTE, a coaster built in Kent, of reinforced concrete. She was not very successful as a coaster - equipped with sails and a Bolinder semi-diesel, but was underpowered. She ended her sea-going career at Mersea, used as a clubhouse. Pulled into the dock and she broke in half. To get her to float they put watertight bulkheads each side of the crack. Requisitioned by the government and used as a target.
Norman has been interested in boats since he started as a young lad at Wyatts, but he went into the gravel trade and had an interest in the motor barges they used. A lot built were WW1 for use at the Dardanelles, known as X-lighters. He has a painting of PETER P which was also used also in WW2.
He Worked for Bill Wyatt building punts - they all had WW carved underneath the thwart. They were built in the shed that is now the site of the Dabchicks. One day they rowed up to Tollesbury to look at a boat. The tide had gone when it was time to leave - they had to come back by bus - complete with Bill's gun, which caused a bit of concern. George Stoker was oyster dredging and brought the dinghy back next day.
In 1954 Norman left Wyatt's and went to the sand and gravel works at Fingringhoe - and has been there ever since, doing the same job driving an excavator. Norman's father [ Herbert ] was in several bands - Mersea Band, British Legion Band, Miss Jones's orchestra (used to practice in the High Street), Elite Dance Band (along with Harold Cutts), Brotherhood Orchestra used to play in the Legion on Sunday afternoons, South Adams orchestra in Colchester. During WW2 he was a full time fireman and played in the Fire Brigade Dance Band in Colchester. After the War, the British Legion Band never reformed; when the Sea Cadets started, Herbert was asked to take the Sea Cadet band on. Sea Cadets used to play 'Jellicoe' and 'Marching Strings'. He was a Forester.
Norman Burgess contd. Having done a bit, Norman became a signwriter - he went to Colchester Tech. to learn. Bob Woodward was another. He did signwriting work for Council - putting WMUDC on dustbins for the beach, gold leaf lines round boats, boards outside churches, shop fronts. He lived in one of a pair of 1936 bungalows (near the letter box) named after J Class racing yachts - Enterprise and Endeavour - and painted signs with yachts on them, and the name underneath.
Norman was born City Road, now Holman and Pye's design place.