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What should the future of Cromer’s Bath House be?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:31 04 April 2018

The Bath House in Cromer. Picture: Anthony Kelly.

The Bath House in Cromer. Picture: Anthony Kelly.

Archant

A once integral part of Cromer’s community has fallen by the wayside having been sold off to private landowners.

The Bath House in the 1960s. Picture: Dave Cornell.The Bath House in the 1960s. Picture: Dave Cornell.

The Bath House sits beside Cromer’s Pier on the promenade, and has been empty for nearly two years.

The Bath House was originally built in 1814 as a subscription reading room.

Bathing facilities were added in 1824 and water was pumped from the sea into tanks so that gentlemen could visit Cromer to take the waters in private.

The present building, which dates from 1836, was the family home of schoolmaster Simeon Simons until 1867 when it was sold to Cromer shop trader Henry Rust.

The next owner was brewer and wine merchant James Chapman, who in 1872 converted the building into a hotel and added the western wing for use as a billiard room.

In more recent years it was owned by Bert and Barbara Wheston, and it remained a hotel until it was bought by former Norfolk county councillor Dr Connell and his wife in 1999.

The house now includes its own cinema, a library, a spa with steam room and sauna, four bedrooms, four reception rooms and two pantries.

However, residents of Cromer have been discussing what they would like to see the Bath House used as, many of which are hoping it will be opened to the public.

Gill Tibble wrote on Enjoy Cromer More: “Absolute disgrace that it was turned into a private house. It was a great place to get a drink on the prom in the summer.

“The last people to run it used to go abroad for the winter months and reopen late spring.”

Ted Scott said: “Remember buying a drink or two in there, before we moved to Cromer a few years back. Shame its still not a pub.”

Nick Day wrote: “Would love to turn it back into a pub/hotel but alas I don’t have a spare million laying around!”

Justin Hunt I was the foreman working on it when Bullens refurbished it. They thought at the time that they could get a wealthy clientele at the time and did not want locals to use it! . More set up for a hotel.

Jan Molyneux: “That’s what Cromer is short of, somewhere nice to go for a drink in the evenings, when you walk about in the evening it’s like a ghost town. Day time is fine but after 4pm the town looks closed. A nice bar would be great.”

Andy Brown: “If only I had the money, spent many a happy time there in my younger days.”

Rose Ely: “It was the best pub Cromer ever had, always happy staff. Lots of music step dancing, singing. Fishermen used that pub always a laugh... It needs to be opened again as a pub, would do Cromer tourisum a big boost. It also had a childrens’ room.”

Chris Mayhew: “Might have a few issues with flood insurance and damp. When there’s high tides it normally gets a wash and I remember walking past it after the tidal surge and seeing watermarks 2 feet up the curtains and the flower tubs all gone, replacements are now chained down!”

Jackie Loads: “Spent lots of Happy night there in the 1960’s when Mike and I were courting. Remember the juke box and the little man playing the banjo happy days and the babychams with the cherry.”

Judith Marley: “What a shame the local community didnt try to buy it before it was refurbished. A village back in Bedfordshire were I come from were going to lose their only lovely local pub to private sale. But the village pulled together and bought it. When you see what local volunteers and hard work is doing for North Lodge Park I am sure Cromer. Could have got it.”

Helen Appleby: “Such a shame it was allowed to be turned into a private dwelling - it would be such an asset to Cromer.”

Duncan Abel: “A huge loss to Cromer. The raised area immediately to the front of the property looks to have been claimed, by the Connells, by the placement of plant troughs. This area is in fact public highway/promenade and not privately owned.”

Anita Bullen: “Loved working at The Bath House great happy memories when Bert & Barbara owned itsuch a lovely couple to work for and a happy place to work the best place I’ve worked in Cromer.”

Steve Morris: “It needs to be what it was renovated for. Sadly it needs work ti make happen and something the current owners didn’t want to do. Would you invest 1.1m plus start up costs to return likely profits it could return? Long shot and needs to be a more realistic price. Prime spot though for the boutique b&b.”

Pamela Jacob: “It needs to be rescued before it suffers the same fate as the Seaview Hotel in Sheringham.”

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