Richard's Retirement Blog

Cromer

April 2011

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One more river ..

This really belongs on the Mablethorpe page, but it escaped. After the lorry-driving adventure, Roger and I went to a pub for lunch, I leading. At a ford there was an apparent fork in the road. Admittedly the road to the left was awash - but there are at least two fords in Shropshire where you drive a short distance along the stream, so that didn't put me off; and it does have a raised pavement - doesn't it? - and the road to the right looked private. So I turned left. It immediately became apparent that this "road" was deep in places, and I stopped - thinking, I might get through in a high-ground-clearance Volvo, but Roger's in a sports Laguna with skinny tyres, and anyway, I shan't want to back out if it does get deeper. Roger had decided the same. We backed out, and the people on the bank - when they stopped laughing - told us that the "private" road was indeed private - the pub car park.

We got a very good lunch though.

Kinderszenen

I first visited Cromer when I was fifteen, when the church choir of which I was a member sang for a week in the lovely church there. I was back two years later for the same reason, and enjoyed both weeks immensely.

I've only once been back since - passing through - but the church is as lovely, the sky as big and the sea as wide as I remember. I just loved that wide-open view from the cliff top, and it's still awesome (in the proper sense) today. Shame the panoramic view hasn't come out well.

My favourite pastime in the afternoons, when we were free, was to walk up to the lighthouse and go on the guided tour. Sadly from the tourist's point of view, it is now converted to automatic operation, so there are no tours.

An unusual feature of the lighthouse at that time was that the beam, instead of being swept by a rotating lens as is usual, was actually flashed on and off. I remember that the switches to carry the large current involved were two little baths of mercury which tilted, with the contacts at one end. Tilt towards the contacts for on, away for off. A clever device to avoid burnt contacts.

This lighthouse replaced an earlier one that fell into the sea - cliff erosion has been an issue here since forever - so it was built half a mile inland. It isn't any more!

I've never seen the gorse in flower like this though - I suppose it's over by August.

Part 2 - Visits to Great Persons

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