September 18 2014 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cromer was heaving today as hundreds headed for the beach to enjoy the unexpected warm sunshine in early March.
Winter-white arms and legs were given their first blast of 2014 warmth as families played, ate, paddled and dozed in temperatures which reached a balmy 16C (60.8F)in the resort.
Queues not seen since last summer formed outside the town’s fish and chip shops and ice-cream outlets, and outside drinking areas in pubs took on a Mediterranean feel as relaxed weekenders supped their beer al fresco.
Visitors had to weave their way among the barriers and fencing along parts of the seafront and on the pier because work to repair the ravages of the December 5 storm surge are still in progress, coupled with a planned programme of sea defence maintenance.
Trevor Eady, general manager of the heritage Sheringham-to-Holt North Norfolk Railway, believes today’s sunshine brought more families to their three-day steam gala, offsetting the loss of fans who may have stayed away after learning that the Sir Nigel Gresley loco would not be able to attend.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant - very, very busy - and Sunday’s weather has helped enormously,” said Mr Eady.
Blickling Hall, the National Trust’s stately home near Aylsham, welcomed 1,236 visitors on Saturday and Sunday - more than double the number who came over the same weekend last year.
Robbie Kirtley, owner of the seafront Rocket House Café, said it had been a true boost for early March. “We’ve been rammed - absolutely packed. We’ve definitely done more lunches than we have for a long while. There have been a lot of people about. It’s been an excellent day,” he said.