December 6 2013 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Good-natured rivalry helped raise more than £5,000 at an auction of decorated lifebuoys on Cromer seafront this afternoon.
More than 70 lifebuoys went under the hammer in a lively event which saw friendly bidding wars between Cromer and Sheringham men and women keen to top each other’s offers.
The cash, a record for organisers the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival, will go into a community grant pot for distribution to successful local applicants.
Holiday crowds joined registered bidders on the pier forecourt to enjoy the sale, conducted by charity auctioneer Martyn Fox.
Behind them, tied along the railings of the slopes down to the forecourt, were all the decorated lifebuoys which have been hanging in Cromer and Sheringham sponsors’ businesses since the May festival, forming an art trail around the two resorts.
The highest price, £350, was paid for a ring sponsored by the Roman Camp pub at Aylmerton, near Cromer, featuring a painted aerial view of Norfolk’s countryside, including Happisburgh Lighthouse.
Laurie Scott and his partner EmaRowlands paid £300 to buy the lifebuoy their Breakers Café in Cromer had sponsored.
Decorated in oil paint by Gimingham artist Dianne Lindsay, it showed a landscape including Cromer Pier, crabs, and two women having a paddle.
The ring will go on display in Breakers together with a deckchair and windbreak, also decorated by Mrs Lindsay, which the couple bought in earlier festival auctions.
Cromer Lifeboat cox John Davies had to stump up £150 to secure the ring sponsored by his own fish shop after mischievous bidding against him by several people, including Graham Deans, of Sheringham’s Lobster pub.
But Mr Davies got his own back when he surreptitiously used Mr Deans’ bidding number to spend £280 on a cake specially made for the auction by Helen Ruhl, of Cromer’s Waverley Cake Shop.
Mr Deans took it in good part and promised that the cake would be shared between the two towns’ lifeboat crews when they turned up to watch over the re-scheduled Sheringham Raft Race on September 8.
Kate Royall, festival secretary, said the high standard of decoration and the fact that lifebuoys were easier to display than the previous years’ decorated windbreaks and deckchairs, had all contributed to the keen level of bidding.
“We are incredibly pleased and happy with the way it’s gone. There were loads of people on the pier,” she added.
This morning, fishermen of all ages took part in the festival’s World Pier Crabbing Championships jointly won by Sophie Gibney and Riley Whitelocks , both from Nottingham. They had caught one crab each on lines.
Dylan Smith, from Hempnall, won a prize for the biggest crab, which measured 110mm across.
Harry Holly caught 28 crabs by net, winning him the net prize.
The day also saw certificates presented to the winners in the festival’s seafood trail.
Customers were encouraged to vote for their favourite seafood dish in 28 participating eateries.
The joint winners were The Roman Camp, at Aylmerton, and Jetty Café, Cromer.