BeachLife kids’ activity week set to return to Sheringham

Final preparations are underway for this year’s BeachLife activity week on Sheringham’s cliff top and beach later this month. Bumper crowds are expected, and there is no charge to join in the fun.

BeachLife is a joint venture by the churches in Sheringham, aimed at engaging with local youngsters, as well as holidaymakers, and this will be its sixth summer. It will run from Tuesday August 29 to Friday September 01. The event is open to all ages up to 17.

Daily activities will start with the “Beach Special” at 10.30am every day except Friday, where all ages come together at the cliff-top marquee on The Leas for music, games, drama and fun, and to introduce the day’s theme, which this year is Streetwise. The children and young people then split into age-groups for their “Going Deeper” sessions to explore that day’s theme in more depth before breaking for lunch. On the Friday, the morning starts at 10.30am with the Going Deeper sessions.

The afternoons and evenings comprise of beach games and sports, giant inflatables including the Demolition Ball, a family picnic, junk modelling, the tide fight, a “Sheropoly” challenge around the town, and swimming at “The Splash”.

“This has become one of the major events in the town’s calendar” said Peter Skivington, one of the organisers. “Not only does this provide an opportunity for the churches to engage with local youngsters, but we provide a great week for visitors as well. We already have people asking when next year’s BeachLife is so that they can plan their holidays to Sheringham”.

Anyone wishing to join in the fun can just come along and register on the morning, from 10.15am.

Visit for more information about the event, and contact details.


Review: The Business of Murder at Sheringham Little Theatre

No-one can accuse Sheringham Little Theatre of playing it just for laughs.

This intense, psychological thriller features in a line-up of comedies, farce and review which form the theatre’s summer rep season.

And it will have you on the edge of your seat as you try and work out exactly what happened – and indeed, what is happening.

A winning cast of three play three quite unpleasant characters: Stone, the aptly-named surly flat owner, local “grass” and either the perpetrator or the victim; Hallett, the menacing police detective; and Dee, the pill-popping, chain-smoking, alcoholic writer/journalist.

All three are engaged in profiting from the business of murder, whether as a bent copper, manipulative TV writer or calculating individual.

In a plot with more twists than a bowl of fusilli pasta, the three protagonists ponder the intellectual and discursive nature of justice.

Set in a London flat in 1981 (the period is evoked by the telly running in the background screening episodes of Are You Being Served, news bulletins and trailers for iconic ’80s TV programmes), this traditional cat-and-mouse thriller builds on the principle that the end justifies the means.

There is little action and much relies on dialogue.

Thankfully, director Nick Earnshaw successfully cranks up the tension and pace. And all credit to the cast, particularly Joey Herzfeld, from Norwich, who plays Stone, and seems to be talking continuously (how he remembers all those lines without drying is incredible) bringing some sharp comic touches to what is essentially a tense, edgy drama.

When the laughter dies down, though, you could hear a pin drop.

Sheringham lad Steve Banks as Hallett and, making her professional debut at the Little Theatre, Lesley Ann Acheson as Dee help turn this complicated script into a gripping and believable production making the unpredictable ending more satisfying and effective.

This is one of three plays featuring Steve Banks in SLT’s summer rep season, a theatrical tradition that is fast disappearing from the provinces. The Little Theatre should be justly proud to be staging stuff like this and “doing its bit” to keep seaside rep alive and flourishing.

-Patrick Prekopp

Sheringham lad Steve Banks as Detective Hallett.

A Sheringham summer holiday in the 1800s

Here is a lovely diary of eighteen year old Helen Richmand who had her family holiday to Sheringhm in 1888. Thank you to Tim Groves at Sheringham Museum for supplying it for our readers to enjoy. You can read his column every month in Just Sheringham magazine

One of Sheringham museum’s gems are the notes of an 18-year-old girl writing in 1888 with memories of a summer holiday that she and her London family took in Sheringham. This is a Sheringham that had only just started to develop from a sleepy seaside village, with the railway finally arriving here a year earlier in 1887.
The following extracts are in Helen’s own words.

August 15th: “We all went to the Roman encampment in the afternoon, all the young ones and Mary in the very smallest of wagonettes, calculated to hold four comfortably, but which had to hold nine, and right squeeze it was. It was a lovely drive. It was a lovely drive, through Beeston and turning off at West Runton up a very sandy lane where we had to walk. It was beautiful at the top as regards the view, but I thought the encampment rather a fraud. No doubt it’s my ignorance; there were no remains, only rows and rows of mounds, or rather banks, on which we sat and played Tippit while the boys explored. On the whole we treated the Romans ‘ribaldly’ , and for that matter, so did everybody. There was a drive through the banks into the middle of the camp, and another road out of it, and lots of carriages waiting about. Just like Hampstead Heath on Bank Holiday, Mary said. “

August 19th: “Mother, Evelyn, Billy, Arthur and I went calling ina ‘barouche’ after lunch. First to the Miss Piggotts (sic.) and saw some watercolour portraits of Grandpapa’s, they have a very pretty old house with a lovely garden full of flowers, from which you get a glimpse of the sea. Then we went to the Upchers at Sheringham Hall. It is a pretty place, so wooded and with such lovely views. From the drawing room window you see big trees on the lawn, and between the trees and the lawn, the sea. Mr and Mrs Upcher were very nice. We drove through the park home.
We all went to the Salvation Army after tea, and were very much impressed, though they did rant rather. What took away the impression they had made on me was the captain, who sang a hymn in a music hall manner about, ‘We shall have a mansion there.’ Ready furnished, a nice freehold lot, which made me perfectly mad. The de Morgan contingent and Chec, went to the barracks, and the rest of us walked over Woman’s Hythe. The lothers were very impressed by the barracks, and would have been converted had they stayed long enough. It was, they said, far more impressive than a church”

August 31st: “ We went to the entertainment at the Lobster after supper, which was quite one of the most amusing I have ever been at. The fishermen’s band played to us most frightfully out of tune, a fisherman sang to us and Mr Grimes danced a hornpipe which was quite wonderful. Mr Grimes was the most amusing person there, the way he danced Sir Roger kept us in fits. We danced to both the band’s music and our own. I played a hornpipe and a lady played Waltzes. Mother and Aunt Alice crowned everything by dancing a polka together to Pop Goes The Weasel. The whole of our contingent was there and we all enjoyed it furiously.”

September 9th: “I went to Beeston Bog and made a grand find of four pieces of Lady’s tresses, just what we’ve looked for so often. After tea I walked to West Runton and inspected Beeston Church on the way, which I thought distinctly ghostly, all alone, no houses near, no road leading to it and the cliffs so near that you could hear the waves, and the sky black and stormy. I came back by the cliffs. There was rather a squeamish bit just before Woman’s Hythe, where a good deal of cliff has crumbled away and goes down very steep to the sea, while the ground above is very steep and the grass decidedly slippery. With very little difficulty I could have lost my head and slid down and nobody been any the wiser.”

September 12th: “Our last day. The day was mostly lovely, which made going away all the worse, and a fisherman said he thought it was going to be fine now. I sloped up onto Woman’s Hythe and lay on top on my back and tried to learn the view by heart. I went on to the further green hill as well, from where I could see Cromer Church.
The Salvation Army was meeting by the Coffee Tavern, so we went for the last time, and heard ‘I’m bound for the Kingdom, Won’t you go to Glory with me? Oh, Hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord!’ “

September 13th: Up at seven, breakfast soon after, and everybody very cross. Clocks all wrong, some slow, some fast, so we tore off to the station in a desperate hurry and then had 20 minutes to wait. Mrs West went with us. We all cried as we passed by the cliffs, and thought that it was all over.
We had three changes, at Melton Constable, at Lynn and at Peterborough. The rest of the way we did not stop, and had a carriage to ourselves. A most luxurious 3rd Class!”

West Beach with Bell Tents. circa 1900. Both from Sheringham Museum Collection

Victorian bathers: An unknown family on Sheringham
Beach c1890. Tim Groves Collection.

Bake Off star visits Norfolk restaurant for BBC series

Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain came to the Norfolk coast to try sailing and preparing fresh Cromer crabs as she visited a family run restaurant in West Runton.

And you can see how she fared on Monday, July 31, in BBC2’s Nadiya’s British Food Adventure.

Nadiya, the 2015 champion, is in search of the best of British cooking for her new series, which takes “a culinary road trip around Britain”, visiting a different region of the UK in each episode in a bid “to uncover some of our most exciting food pioneers”.

In this third episode Nadiya travels to Norfolk to learn about the food she loves to cook for her family.

First stop is in Weybourne, where she boards a sea fishing boat for the first time, to catch the area’s hugely popular sweet Cromer crabs. After returning to land, Nadiya uses the day’s catches to make some fresh and vibrant Vietnamese style crab summer rolls at Rocky Bottoms with Ali and Richard Matthews.

Nadiya said: “Our country’s regional cuisine is much more than tried and tested traditional dishes – there are quirky and clever food producers out there who are reinventing British food in unique and exciting ways. I can’t wait to meet these local food heroes, to find inspiration in the most unusual food stories and unlikely ingredients and then come up with some brand new recipes in the kitchen adding my own special twist.”

Ali, of Rocky Bottoms, comments: “We really enjoyed having Nadyia here at Rocky Bottoms. She embraced going out on our fishing boat with such tenacity, as it was a little rough! She then helped us prepare the catch back at our crab and lobster canteen, and with this she created delicious Vietnamese style crab summer rolls for us to enjoy in the evening.”

The episode will air on Monday 31st July, 8.30pm on BBC Two.


Nadiya at Rocky Bottoms as part of her TV series.

Review: A bittersweet opening night


Intimate Exchanges (Events on a Hotel Terrace)
Sheringham Little Theatre
Friday, July 21

Sheringham Little Theatre’s summer season began with with Intimate Exchanges (Events on a Hotel Terrace), a play by Alan Ayckbourn.
Intimate Exchanges is a series of plays – all starting from the same scene of whether or not a woman should have a cigarette.
From this starting point the play progresses in different directions and Events on a Hotel Terrace plays out the lives of the two main characters, Toby Teesdale (Tim Welton) and his wife Celia (Lynn Whitehead).
In this bittersweet comedy – more often bitter than sweet, with some very funny moments – they argue and fight but never come together in a marriage which seems to have lost all meaning for them.
Toby is a world-weary jaded headmaster of a private school; his wife is the downtrodden receiver of his bitterness and the butt of his cruel humour.
There are two other characters – Lionel and his one-time girlfriend, Sylvie, who helps Celia in the home. All four characters are played by Tim Welton and Lynn Whitehead, actors with flair and empathy.
The play is fast moving and kept the full capacity audience sometimes on the edge of their seats; sometimes laughing aloud; and at times saddened by the way the lives on stage seemed to be heading.
It was a fantastic performance and a wonderful opening to the summer season which looks full of promise of more to come.

Kevin and Sandra Stone


Get ready to rock out at Bodham

They’re all ready to rock in Bodham as its charity music festival gets under way at the weekend.

Rock Bodham will be held at the village playing field on Saturday, July 22, and the village’s Red Hart pub on Sunday 23rd.

Britpop covers band The Stereotypes, local bands Generals and Soul Alliance are among the bands to have been confirmed alongside DJ’s Naughty Daughty and 2016 Sheringham battle of the bands winner Liberty Popey. The headline acts are Bloodshake Chorus on the Saturday and, on Sunday, Red Leaf.

Festival secretary Callum Ringer said of this year’s line-up: “Bloodshake Chorus played for us last year, in the middle of the afternoon, and went down really well it was a no brainer to ask them back, and to put them higher up the bill.  We are also looking forward to welcoming back Soul Alliance, and Generals from previous years, but we also have some new acts, and I’m really excited for Knotted, The Stereotypes and The Dulcet Tones.”

On Saturday, alongside the live music which starts from 1.30pm, there will be a children’s entertainment, stalls and fete games, bouncy castle and circus skills for the afternoon.  There will be a licenced bar and barbecue all day and into the evening as well as a raffle on both days. The event gave away more than £3,000 last year to a range of local charities and has given away more than £15,000 since its inception in 2012.

The event organisers have put out a plea for more volunteers for the weekend.  Callum said: “To be able to make as much money as possible, we really need as many people to help as possible. We have stalls and games ready to go but they won’t run themselves.”

Tickets for Saturday are £5 for adults and £1 for under 12s.  Under threes free. it’s free entry to Bodham Red Hart on Sunday, donations taken on the day.

Stage is set for exciting new era at theatre

An historic theatre in the heart of a seaside town is looking to expand its repertoire and community connections – with some help from a coastal “cousin”.

St George’s at Great Yarmouth is the resort’s only year-round theatre – providing a mix of drama, cinema and music in a converted church.

But it is aiming to widen its programme and appeal through an 18-month audience development plan, with help from Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson.

In her role as part-time creative director at St George’s Mrs Thompson will broaden the range of events to show arts lovers across east Norfolk the hidden gem that sits under a landmark town centre clock tower.

She said: “We plan to embed St George’s in the community so it becomes part of the cultural landscape and make it a thriving venue that is embraced by local people and visitors alike.”

It is hoped to widen the appeal to families, collaborate with other regional theatres, seek to attract older people, youngsters and raise its profile by hosting events at its modern café bar overlooking a performance plaza.

Chairman of the St George’s trustees Barry Coleman added: “We are really excited about getting Debbie’s input. She has the local knowledge and expertise having done this work at another coastal community theatre.”

Mrs Thompson will carry out the St George’s role two days a week, but continues as director at the 180-seater Sheringham Little Theatre. She has been at Sheringham for 15 years, during which time the venue has built up successful pantomime and summer drama seasons, as well as a range of stage, screen and music offerings.

St George’s, which can hold more than 240 people in its stunning building, already has a busy programme of events including touring shows, tribute bands, singalong films, drama, schools and community functions. It is home to a FABBA drama group for adults with disabilities and has a new Arts Academy teaching theatre and drama skills to seven to 16-year-olds.

Picture: Richard Batson
Debbie Thompson and Barry Coleman at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth




Cool customers needed for Norfolk competition

Electrical retailer JB Postle has a cool competition with a Norfolk theme this summer.
They want people to make use of their artistic skills to create a wrap-around design on a Smeg fridge. The only criteria is that the design has to be Norfolk linked hence #FabNorfolk as the competition title!
Nikki Filby said: “The design #FabNorfolk could be anything people associate with our lovely county, maybe Cromer Pier, the crabbing industry, the lovely landscape, the seaside, our iconic buildings in the city or just simply a chance to promote your Norfolk Charity, Business or Organisation”
The competition, which runs now until September, has two winning categories – an individual entry and one for organisations. The group category could mean a business, charity or sports organisation and you can enter as many times as they wish!
The individual winner will receive a bespoke day or night out in Norfolk for four people worth at least £200 and will depend on the interest and age of the individual winner! It could be anything from a trip to the zoo or a night out on the town! Whatever you choose, you are guaranteed to have fun in our home county!
The group design chosen will receive £200 to donate to a local Norfolk charity of their choice, so if you want to raise money for an important cause, get your thinking hat on!
“We wanted a way to engage with the community and celebrate our wonderful county so we thought this would be a great way to find out what Norfolk means to people whether they live here or are visiting” said Nikki.
JB Postle have a Smeg blackboard fridge which has been touring JB Postle’s local branches in Aylsham, Cromer, Sheringham and North Walsham and has even been seen on Cromer Pier. The team will be taking the fridge to Worstead Festival on July 29 and 30 where there will be some surprises on the day and a chance to take part in the competition.
Nikki said any business which might like to have the fridge to visit them should get in touch to give staff the chance to get artistic with chalk pens.
The competition was launched on Cromer Pier and entries have now started to come in.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing what people come up with,” said Nikki. “Look out on social media for news!” You can follow each of the JB Postle branches on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching @JBPostle
Call the Cromer store on 01263 512134 to find out more about hosting the Smeg blackboard fridge and if you would like to volunteer as a competition judge, call Nikki on 01263 735326.