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Family surprise at value of North Sea harpoon

PUBLISHED: 08:24 28 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 06 July 2010

Amy Gray

The family of the Lowestoft fisherman who found a harpoon tip that proved East Anglia was once land linked to continental Europe had no idea of the significance of the discovery.

The family of the Lowestoft fisherman who found a harpoon tip that proved East Anglia was once land linked to continental Europe had no idea of the significance of the discovery.

Pilgrim Edward Lockwood, known to his family as Ted, found the 14,000-year-old deer antler harpoon when he dredged it up 25 miles off the coast of Cromer in 1931.

The 8in hunting tool fascinated historians, who realised it had not been dropped into the sea but used by hunter-gatherers during the last ice age.

His family knew Mr Lockwood had given some items to museums, but were thrilled to hear that the small tool was of such historical importance.

Last week, the EDP reported that a Norwegian TV crew were making a film on the origins of Norway and had travelled to Norwich to view the harpoon.

Jill Gorman spotted her grandfather's name and quickly informed her mother, Sylvia Harvey.

“My father found some things at sea and gave them to the museum and really that was all I knew,” said Mrs Harvey, 76, from Oulton, Lowestoft.

“It has been very exciting. Jill rang me and said: 'Mum, Grandad's in the paper'.

“It's wonderful when you think about it; it was all dry land all those years ago.”

The Lockwood family fished out of the town for at least three generations until the decline of the fishing industry and said Mr Lockwood, who died in 1966, was born and bred in Lowestoft.

The harpoon is on display in the Museum of Rural Life in Gressenhall and the family plan to visit as they have never seen it.

Mrs Gorman said she was delighted to read about the implications of her grandfather's find.

“It's been lovely. How we found it in the paper was lovely. It still amazes me how Granddad spotted it, because it isn't big, is it?

“He was a lovely man, a proper gentleman.”

As well as photos of Mr Lockwood's trawler Colinda, which was also the name of his house, the family has his original skipper licence made from pig skin. The antler was found in a part of the North Sea called Doggerland, which has long since disappeared beneath the waves.

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