Sat/Sun 3rd/4th Nov 2012

5pm - 8.30pm, free


Flash Fog

Colin Priest


flash fog and boat


Robert Oliver is the 7th generation of his fishing family in Cullercoats and the 6th generation as coxswain of the lifeboat. He became a lifeboat crew member a week after his 17th birthday and followed his father, Raymond, taking over as leading helmsman in 1996. This family connection goes back to at least 1852 through Robert’s grandfather, James Taylor, whose daughter, Lillian, married Raymond Oliver in 1962.  Robert’s great-grandfather Joseph Taylor and great-great grandfather Francis Taylor were coxswains - back another generation were Andrew and Robert Arthur Taylor. Robert has been involved in nearly 800 search and rescue incidents and has been awarded an MBE in the 2013 New Years Honours List.

The boat is named after James Denyer – Robert’s godfather and close friend of Raymond Oliver. Raymond had the boat built in 1969 at a cost of £1500. During the making of the boat, Jim suggested installing hydraulic lifting gear – new technology at that time. This was added at a further cost of £800 which James paid for. The proposed name for the boat had been ‘Nonpareil’ – something or someone of no equal - but was then named ‘James Denyer’ in gratitude for his generosity. The boat cost a total of £2300 compared to the new family home – a 5 bed maisonette house for £1900. This boat is a traditional handmade, wooden coble and is used to fish driftnet salmon, lobster and prawns. Boats of this type are no longer made in this way and it is one of the few remaining of its kind.

James Denyer was a former RAF pilot and was appointed Newcastle Airport Commandant in 1952. He was manager of the Newcastle Airport for 37 years, in which he oversaw the development and expansion of the Airport’s services and facilities and the diversification the domestic and international flight program. Initially an aero club set up in 1925, it was opened as a public and commercial flight hub in July 1935 and consisted of an unpaved runway, a clubhouse and a few hangars and repair workshops. By 1966, a new terminal building was constructed and passenger numbers jumped to 700,000 per year – today, the airport caters for more than five million passengers a year.


Raymond and Robert Oliver

Raymond Oliver (above left) was born in 1928 and died in April 2011, aged 83. He joined the RNLI’s Cullercoats lifeboat station as a 17-year-old in 1945. As well as lifesaving heroics, he was an outstanding amateur footballer, playing as a centre forward for Whitley Bay Athletic and scoring 106 goals. He also played for Bishop Auckland, one of the top amateur sides in the 1950s. They were winners of the FA Amateur Cup three times and runners-up three times in the period 1950 – 1956, and Ray played in four consecutive FA Amateur Cup finals from 1953, winning three and losing one, including playing in front of 100,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium. He also gained international honours for England between 1954 and 1956 but turned down a number of offers from professional clubs as he would not give up his fishing and his commitment to the lifeboat.

In August 2008, Robert (above right) and other members of the Cullercoats crew featured in the recreation of a famous rescue from 1861 when the lifeboat could not be launched in bad weather and had to be pulled more than two miles along the coast to rescue the crew of a stricken boat. This was filmed for the BBC series ‘Coast’.


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Check out the other works at Shimmer 2012;


Diversiónby NOVAK Collective

Rainbow Glowing Wheels by Aether and Hemera

Flash Fog by Colin Priest

Concrete Waves by Realtyne

Whitlath Exegesis by Robin Webb

Chronobooth by Joe Pochciol

Spark!by Worldbeaters Music


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