Archives

Why Cromer has ‘the magic’ for the BBC this Christmas

Cromer was in the TV spotlight this evening with the first airing of a short film made in the town focusing on togetherness this Christmas.

Written by BBC creatives Edward Usher and Xander Hart, the two-minute film aims to encourage families and friends to make the most of their time together during the holiday season.

Wonderland follows the story of a teenage boy who lives with his family in a small seaside town. The demands of everyday life mean that he and his mum don’t get to spend as much time together as they used to. But one day, with Christmas fast approaching, everything changes and they get to spend a unique afternoon together that they’ll never forget. The message is simple; when you do manage to get some time with the ones you love, be sure to cherish it.

The feeling was that Christmas is a time to slow down, pause life and spend time with family,” said Edward. “We wanted to see them take a moment and really cherish it.”

The team chose Cromer for filming as “it had the magic”. “We wanted it to be filmed at a traditional seaside town. The seaside is very much associated with the summer and holidays but we wanted to focus on the feel of these places for the people who live there all year round. We loved the timeless feel of Cromer.”

They decided on the town as a location through research. “We wanted a quintessentially seaside town with a pier. We went to see all of them and they were all amazing but when we saw Cromer it had the magic,” said Edward.

The 70-strong crew spent four days filming, staying at the Cliftonville and eating out locally. There were also local extras and crew involved. As well as the two-minute film, they created shorter vignettes to use between shows over the Christmas period celebrating the BBC’s “oneness”. The first showing of the two-minute film was tonight between Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Xander said: “We were amazed by the interest we created and how many people showed up to watch the filming. The locals were absolutely wonderful, everyone was so friendly. We are so grateful for that.”

The production has meant the pair have been thinking about Christmas since April when they started writing the script. Now they hope everybody in the town and local areas likes the end product.

Edward and Xander’s work can also be seen in a promotional trailer for the World Cup.

If you missed it you can see it here https://youtu.be/j3G0UCk3DFA

Join Hilary on her fundraising hike

Cromer councillor and walking champion Hilary Cox is putting her heart into a new challenge.
Hilary’s Hike 4 Heart 275 mile challenge starts on September 30 and she is hoping friends, family and townspeople will join her .
“People can come along to walk or cycle around the county on the wonderful Norfolk Trails network raising vital funds for the British Heart Foundation,” she said.
She will be leaving Cromer Pier on Sunday, September 30, at 11am, finishing back there on Wednesday, October 10. Walks vary in length from seven to 15 miles per day or cycling from 20 to 30 miles per day.
Hilary’s inspiration for the challenge comes from “the lovely area we live in”.
“We have fantastic trails and paths surrounding us.
“I’m also inspired by a personal desire to stay as well as I can for as long as I can. I have always been an active person. I was lucky enough to have a bike as a child and walking or cycling to school was the norm. Walking doesn’t have to be expensive, you can walk at your own pace even with limitations and mentally to be outside gives you a fantastic feeling of freedom.”
She has chosen a charity close to her heart.
She said: “William, my husband, had a heart attack five years ago. He recovered, achieved by a wonderful team of experts from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the ambulance crew and, of course, excellent research done by the British Heart Foundation which goes on to help even more people.”
Hilary has been preparing for the challenge by walking (a lot) and cycling (a bit). She added: “I try to look after my feet keeping the skin soft and the nails well trimmed. I also look after my boots.”
Any ages and abilities will be able to join Hilary. Most of the trails and paths are pushchair/wheelchair friendly.
There will be a “send off” on the Sunday morning when everyone can join in for as little as they like.
Already signed up to join her are grand-daughter Gabrielle, son Adam and Barry Foulser, who, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with Hilary. He is joining her on the leg from Waxham to Great Yarmouth.
Members of Cromer Walkers are Welcome team are also planning to walk with her.
She is being hosted along the way by friends some nights, B&B some nights, youth hostels and Jason Borthwick at Deepdale is putting her up for a night.
“I am paying my way so all money donated will go to the charity,” she said. “Gin Wilson-North of Margins glamping and walking is helping to transport the luggage and Russell Wilson, from Norfolk Trails, is joining me along the route from Great Yarmouth to Knettishall,” she said.
Contact Hilary for more information on how you can get involved hilary.cox22@gmail.com. Donations to justgiving.com/fundraising/Hilary-Cox4

REVIEW: Sister Act, Cromer Pavilion Theatre

What a show, what talent, fantastic costumes, lighting, seamless scene changes and superb choreography.

There are not enough words to describe this wonderful production of Sister Act by Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, which runs at Cromer Pavilion Theatre until June 2.

The opening gala night on May 26 was packed with an audience expecting the best of shows and they were rewarded with a dazzling display of talented actors and musicians.

The musical is set in Philadelphia USA in December 1978 and follows the fortunes of a nightclub singer, Deloris Van Cartier, after she witnesses her gangster boyfriend shooting one of his gang.

Deloris reports this to the police who then decide to keep their witness safe by hiding her in a convent. Deloris is played by Claire Reynolds Chandler who, with electric presence, is the raunchy, ambitious singer with a soft and vulnerable side.

Her entry into the convent and her shaking up of the nuns’ choir leads to some hilarious moments, not to mention some amazing choreography and singing.

The Mother superior, Amanda Howell, is very dignified trying to keep control of her order. Sister Mary Lazarus, Carol Beatty, and sister Mary Patrick, Selina White, are the mischievous  ringleaders of the nun’s revolution. Deloris’ love interest Eddy, Paul James, is a very sensitive cop. The most hilarious scene in the show is the song Lady in the Long Black Dress, performed by Joey, TJ and Pablo (Graham Woodrow, Neil Robertson and Robin Taylor), had the audience in tears of laughter.

The most surprising new talent that shone was Charlotte Drewell, who was Sister Mary Robert. She commanded the stage in her song and caught the heart of the show. Sister Act is a show not to be missed and you leave smiling. What more can be said.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

Sun shines on Antiques Roadshow at Cromer

Thousands of people came to a sunny Cromer today to take part in the BBC Antiques Roadshow visit.

The show team are filming all day today on the pier and prom, with queues forming from early this morning and snaking back from the pier forecourt along the east prom.

Fiona Bruce was a major draw as she circulated around the site, spending time filming but also engaging directly with the crowds.

North Norfolk District Council staff have been acting as stewards for the event, wearing the iconic AR boaters and sashes.

The filming is due to result in two episodes of the popular Sunday evening BBC One show, which will air in the coming months.

£30,000 break-in at Cromer antiques shop

Police are investigating the theft of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery from an antiques shop in Cromer early this morning.

Fair Deal Antiques and Collectibles on New Parade was broken into between 1am and 8.30am this morning (Tuesday, February 13) and approximately £30,000 worth of jewellery was taken from the window display.

Christine Graham, who runs the shop with her husband John, said the back door had been drilled and kicked in and the thieves had crawled through a space between bars on the door. The inside door of the shop had suffered the same fate.

Christine urged members of the public and other shop owners and dealers to be on the lookout for anyone selling the jewellery, some of which is distinctive.

“One of the items is called the jewel of India and is a ring with three different coloured diamonds in it,” she said. “There is also a gold skull ring which has a face with a lopsided grin and we think we are the only stockists in Norfolk of silver jewellery with zultanite, a Turkish gem which changes colour. There is a silver necklace and bracelet.”

Christine is convinced the burglars knew what they were doing as they had cut the power and telephone lines to the shop and flats above and seemed to know what they were looking for.

But she is upbeat saying: “We will still be trading as we have built up our stock over the last five years.” She added: “The police have been brilliant, absolute diamonds. I couldn’t have wished for better, they have been very supportive.”

She had also been heartened by the support from fellow traders, who have promised to keep an eye out in the marketplace in Norwich and King’s Lynn areas.

DC Kevin Maskell said: “This is a high-value crime and I would urge anyone with information regarding the burglary to contact police. I would particularly like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the area in the early hours of this morning.”

Anyone with information should contact DC Kevin Maskell at Great Yarmouth CID on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

Multi-million pound investment in sport for North Norfolk

A £12.6 million investment in state-of-the-art sporting facilities in North Norfolk will go before councillors next week.

The multi-million pound investment would see a £10 million new leisure centre with a swimming pool at the Splash site in Sheringham and a £2.6 million indoor tennis centre with gym at a new North Norfolk Community Sports Hub in Cromer, with satellite tennis facilities across the district at Fakenham, Wells and North Walsham.

The proposals will be considered at the council’s overview and scrutiny meeting next Wednesday. The reports will then go to Cabinet on December 4. If the proposals are supported they will go to full council on December 19 for the funding to be agreed.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “We know that keeping fit and active is important for residents. These ambitious plans would see a £12.6 million investment in sport and active leisure; that’s a wise investment for the Council as well as good news for the community who will benefit from better sports facilities.”

The North Norfolk Community Sports Hub would be created in partnership with Cromer Academy and part-grant funded by the Lawn Tennis association (LTA) and should be built by mid-2019 if councillors approve the proposals.

The new facility will include:

  • Three indoor tennis courts
  • Changing rooms
  • Toilets
  • Reception area
  • New bar/lounge and viewing gallery
  • 20 station-gym with an area for free weights and fitness
  • Studio space for fitness classes

In addition, a grant from the Lawn Tennis Association will provide for improved tennis facilities across the district, to drive up participation.

Building costs are estimated to be £2.6m for a ‘framed fabric’ indoor tennis facility or nearly £4 million for a traditional built facility.

Nick Amis, chairman of Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Association, said: “It has always been my aim to increase the sporting facilities at our club and we have been fortunate to have received support for very many years from NNDC in various forms. This project will enable us to increase our already well established coaching programme for 140+ juniors. We will be able to accommodate all ages and abilities in the new facility, bringing in other local clubs to use the new indoor courts and keeping fitness levels up, which is a key part of the NNDC plan for healthy living.”

Cromer Academy principal Dr Geoff Baker said: “These are fantastic and creative proposals that will make a lasting difference both to our pupils and the wider community.

“Sport is already a really important part of life at Cromer Academy and this investment will give our young people even more opportunities to take part both as individual players and in teams, and develop key social and leadership skills.”

The feasibility study for the replacement of the Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham considered three options: refurbishment of the existing site; a new build and a new build plus a health spa facility.  The new build option was by far the best value and will be taken forward if the proposal is approved by councillors.

It is recommending that a new leisure centre with a swimming pool is built on the site, partly funded by the sale of land for a hotel development.

The new build option, without the health spa, would see:

  • A £10 million investment in a new leisure and fitness centre
  • A 25m six lane pool
  • A learner pool
  • A splash pad/ fun water
  • A 50 station gym health and fitness suite
  • One large dividable studio
  • A spin studio
  • Two treatment rooms
  • A café

The study estimates that the new leisure centre will take around two years to complete and be open to the public from October 2020. Splash will continue to be open as usual to customers and members while future investment plans are considered by the authority.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

REVIEW: Farndale at Sheringham

The first night of the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society (CSODS) production of We Found Love and an Exquisite Set of Porcelain Figurines Aboard the SS Farndale avenue showed off the company’s great talent.

To deliberately act badly requires a great skill which the members of CSODS managed to pull off well, although there was now and again times where the acting seemed to lose direction.

The play, by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jn, is one of a series of comedy-farce plays featuring the exploits of a group of members of an amateur dramatic society and their ventures into the world of the thirties musical comedy.

The three ladies of the Farnsdale Townswomens Guild Dramatic Society, played by CSODS members Chrissie Robertson, Nona Gray, Kerry Davis and also including the very funny Nick Bird, attempt to bring the elegance, glamour and enchantment of a thirties musical to the stage.

This is a riot of a performance – collapsing scenery, a man cast as a woman, a woman cast as a man, romantic interludes between unlikely couples, a sea captain with a full beard wearing a skirt and heels, a very questionable underwater sequence and shipwreck on a tropical island. The ladies of the Farndale Avenue Dramatic Society certainly carry on regardless and rise above the terrible acting and dubious scenery to bring the thirties back to the stage.

Once again a good performance by CSODS at Sheringham Little Theatre.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

Cromer weekend trouble – police publish review

Norfolk police chiefs have admitted that not enough officers were sent to deal with trouble in Cromer during the final weekend of August’s carnival because the situation had been “misread”.

Norfolk Constabulary has issued recommendations as a result of its response to the disorder, which included the rape of a woman.

The police response led to an angry verbal backlash from many in the Cromer community who felt the police had badly let them down.

The police report, issued today, Wednesday October 25, says:

A number of recommendations have been made following a review into Norfolk Police’s response to disorder in Cromer during the final weekend of August’s carnival.

The review found a number of learning points for the constabulary around how the force could have responded differently to reports of crime and disorder involving a group of travellers who had arrived on Friday August 18.

The force did not recognise the impact the travellers’ presence and behaviour was having on the community.

As a result, insufficient additional resources were deployed and consequently the officers on scene were unable to take positive action. Had the constabulary been in a position to understand the collective impact of the group’s behaviour on the community and understood the tension it was causing, it would have recognised the need to identify a specific response and apply appropriate command structures, officers and tactics.

The force misread the significance of events and provided an ill-judged statement on social media referring to the disorder as ‘low level’.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “As I have said before, we got this wrong and I feel terribly sorry that the people of Cromer feel let down by our response.

“Moving forward, it is important that as an organisation we take any learning opportunities, put measures in place and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“I have met with local councillors, business leaders and victims affected by the events of that August weekend, to explain the learning identified. We will continue to work with them to build and regain the communities’ confidence.”

The specific recommendations of the review fall under four main areas:

  • The flow of information and intelligence within the Constabulary
  • Leadership decisions
  • Media response
  • Protocols for dealing with unauthorised encampments

 

Flow of information and intelligence within Constabulary

Certain members of the Constabulary were informed of the fact that the group of travellers had left Lowestoft and were heading to Norfolk and some were aware of the disruption that the group had caused in Lowestoft.

While there was no information to suggest that they were heading to Cromer, the information and actions were not recorded on official systems in a way that would have enabled the information to reach the appropriate level and be shared more widely across the Constabulary.

The specific recommendations relate to the recording and sharing of information and intelligence internally.

Specific leadership/command decisions

It is important to note that an independent review into the decisions of individual commanders is still ongoing. The review is being undertaken by Cumbria Constabulary.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the problems in information flow through the Constabulary led commanders to make initial decisions without knowing the problems caused by the group in Lowestoft.

This meant that the Constabulary responded to events as part of normal business across a busy weekend. This also led to the decision to deal with the travellers through Norfolk’s unauthorised encampment protocol, with the council taking the lead rather than the Constabulary invoking its specific powers.

These decisions combined meant that the travellers were not moved on quickly enough and the Constabulary did not have the resources available to deal appropriately with the events that occurred in Cromer on that weekend, placing officers on the ground in an impossible position.

Any specific recommendations regarding leadership actions and decisions will be implemented once the independent review by Cumbria has been completed.

Media response

The problems with information flow across the Constabulary meant that, combined with the failure to recognise the community tensions in Cromer as expressed on social media, media advisors made initial decisions without knowing the full facts.

This led to the Constabulary assessing events in isolation, underestimating the impact and stating incorrectly that the anti-social behaviour and incidents were ‘low level’.

Specific recommendations relate to how the Constabulary scans social media, whether it can provide further media staffing across weekend periods and the development of a communications plan in relation to unauthorised encampments.

Protocols for dealing with unauthorised encampments

The review identified a change in the nature of certain travelling groups, with these groups now being seen more frequently in Norfolk.

Specific recommendations relate to further analysis of these groups and the need to work with partners to review Norfolk’s protocols for unauthorised encampments. The Constabulary’s operational plans and guidance for leaders/staff must also be revised and updated.

Additional information

  • The emphasis of the review has been on organisational learning. Across all four areas, recommendations will incorporate further training for staff, management advice to individual officers and changes to internal processes.
  • An Assistant Chief Constable will be in charge of an action plan to deliver the recommendations. The Chief Constable will oversee the plan and progress will be monitored by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • The action plan will also look at developing an overarching strategy for the Constabulary to any future incidents across the county.
  • The Constabulary will work closely with Cromer Carnival Committee and review its planning for the Feast of the Assumption at Walsingham to ensure that appropriate resources are in place to prevent a reoccurrence of the problems seen at Cromer next year.
  • The Constabulary will also develop a key list of community contacts within Cromer and Walsingham to call upon for support in the planning and response to any similar issues in the future.
  • We continue to investigate crimes reported over the weekend and have ongoing enquiries with other forces to identify a number of suspects. Two have been resolved via community resolution (agreement between parties involved) and it is has been established that two crimes (vehicle crime and theft) are not related to the incidents of disorder.
  • Detectives are continuing to investigate the rape of a woman in Cadogan Road on 18 August – two of the three men arrested in connection with the incident remain on police bail until 23 November. A third man has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.