Happy Birthday Cromer Pier!
17th June 11
This month Cromer Pier celebrates its 110th birthday
There has in fact been a pier or jetty in Cromer since 1391 with the last wooden jetty built in 1846 and, described as a "plain wooden structure", measuring just 70 yards long. Bad weather later severely damaged the wooden jetty leading to the jetty having to be dismantled and Cromer being left without a pier. This brief spell of emptiness spurred the 'pier commissioners to consider a more fashionable structure, and it was in 1901 that the new pier opened and it is this splendid structure that is now being celebrated.
At the outbreak of World War II, the Royal Engineers removed the middle section of the pier as a precaution against German invasion. In 1953, devastating gales demolished the pavilion and wrecked the pier. The government of the day granted compensation for the rebuilding of the pavilion and a new theatre, and whilst severe storms on this exposed coast have featured heavily in the pier’s history, it still survives today in very good condition.
Overlooking the pier and set in a prime position in the town is the Hotel De Paris which celebrates its 116th birthday this year after the remodeling of the building by the Norfolk born architect George Skipper in 1895/96. Originally built in 1820 as a marine residence for Lord Suffield, in 1830 the building was converted into a hotel by Pierre le Francois. The hotel has welcomed many guests including the famous playwright Oscar Wilde and provided a Christmas job to none other than Stephen Fry whilst he was studying at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology in King's Lynn. Now owned by the family run company, Leisureplex, the hotel still provides a welcome break for many visitors to Cromer.
Each year the town comes together for the great Cromer Carnival which is held in August and is an excellent event for the whole family to enjoy with the Red Arrows on hand to show off their skills in one of their world famous air displays for the people and visitors of Cromer.
If you have not yet visited Cromer you will find this classic Norfolk seaside town between Sheringham & Overstrand and is situated on a cliff top, overlooking fine sandy beaches. Popular since the late 1700s many come to walk along the pier or to sample some of its famous crab (which is celebrated with its own festival each May). Cromer has also provided inspiration to many literary greats including Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Gaskell and the poet A.C. Swinburne. The town also boasts the tallest church tower in Norfolk at 160ft as well as being the home of Henry Blogg – the coxswain of the local lifeboat who in his 37 years of service saved 518 lives.
For more details about Hotel De Paris, click here