By alex hurrell
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
New Year’s Day crowds enjoyed a sparkling and thrilling start to 2013, gazing in awe as more than £5,000 worth of fireworks fizzed, whizzed, crackled and burst into champagne patterns out to sea from Cromer Pier this evening.
This year’s event once again brought an estimated 8,000 or more flocking to the town to enjoy a daytime walk on the beach, a bite to eat, and an evening spectacle which has become the biggest New Year’s Day firework show in the county.
Spectators were strung out the entire length of the promenade and lined the railings above to watch the 15-minute extravaganza explode above them, and on the surface of the sea where coloured balls of fire seemed to bounce and linger for 30 seconds or so.
Organisers were delighted that December’s rain gave way today to near-perfect dry, though chill, conditions.
The afternoon’s activities began with a fun run, organised by the North Norfolk Beach Runners (NNBR), which saw 34 people line up to pound a measured mile along Cromer’s west and east promenades. It was won by NNBR member Chris Wade in a time of 5mins 8secs.
Just before the race, attention turned to the beach where a large contingent of Cromer and Sheringham coastguards, plus the East Anglian Air Ambulance, converged to help a 76-year-old man who had fallen while chasing his granddaughter, and had a suspected dislocated shoulder. He was taken by helicopter to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Crowds were led down to the promenade for the start of the fireworks by a lantern parade, headed by Cromer Town Crier Jason Bell.
Kate Royall, one of the fireworks organising committee, said the town had looked busier than previous years and she was pleased that more shops and eating places had opened to cater for the crowds. Cromer museum was also open for the day, offering free entry.
Ms Royall added: “It’s a simple concept and it works - a family day out to blow away the cobwebs. It’s put Cromer on the map.”