Cromer and Sheringham crab and lobster festival set to serve up feast of fun this weekend

The tastes, traditions, cookery and culture of north Norfolk's famous seafood are celebrated in the annual crab and lobster festival this weekend.

Chefs will show how to make meals from the delicacies from the deep, with guests, including MP Norman Lamb, also having a go.

Time-honoured fisherfolk crafts such as making pots and gansey jumpers will be displayed, and visitors will also hear music linked to the local maritime heritage.

The festival, spread across the neighbouring towns of Cromer and Sheringham, also has its usual art trail - with people seeking to track down 50 'wacky windbreaks', which follow in the footsteps of deckchairs and crab and lobster models from previous years.

On their travels they may also see a range of giant seaside postcards, where visitors can pop their heads through holes and become the characters on the front.

At Cromer they are at the Cliftonville Hotel, Breakers caf�, Cromer lifeboat and the pier. In the Sheringham area they are at Beeston Hall School, Blyth and Wright, the Crown Inn, and the Lobster.

Another trail involves 30 local restaurants, pubs, cafes and hotels which are serving special festival dishes of seafood, sandwiches and snacks, which the public will vote on. Trail leaflets are available from the information offices in Cromer and Sheringham.

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Other events include the world pier-crabbing championships at Cromer on the Saturday, street entertainment, live music, some fun beach Olympics, a seaside-themed art and craft market, children's activities and screenings of the classic film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

As well as the cookery kitchen there will be demonstrations and competitions on crab dressing during the weekend, which last year attracted an estimated 20,000 people to the area.

Festival chairman Tony Shipp said: 'We are delighted that the festival, now in its third year, is nearly here.

'This year we have an expanded programme of free street entertainment, lots of events for children in our new children's corner and of course the ever-popular world pier-crabbing championships.

'Local chefs will be cooking up a storm in the cookery theatre, which will be compered by Andreas Yiasimi and there is plenty of seafood for people to get their claws into on our new seafood snack trail.'

Joint event president Hilary Thompson added: 'We are delighted that the festivities have already began on such a positive note with the Wacky Windbreak Trail. We hope the trail will be as successful as the deckchairs. It's a fabulous way for locals and visitors to explore our wonderful area and see some unique and fabulous designs along the way.'

The windbreaks will be in place until Thursday July 19 ahead of being auctioned for charity on Sunday July 22. Over the past two years the auctions have raised more than �16,500 for the Cromer and Sheringham lifeboats and the Fishermen's Mission.

This year proceeds are going to the Mission, and a grant scheme which other local charities can apply to.

The festival opens on Friday night with a concert at the pier. In a switch to previous years, the action is on Cromer on Saturday and Sheringham on the Sunday.


Friday May 18

7.30pm Festival Launch – Variety Show Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre including Olly Day and the Castaways.

Saturday May 19

(all Cromer unless stated)

10am–4pm - local craft and food stalls, prom and town centre

11am- the Tub Men street entertainment, town centre

11am- Punch and Judy Cromer, pier forecourt

11am–3pm - Razz the Clown around town

11am–4pm - Children's Activity Corner, community centre, Garden Street

11am-4pm - Festival cookery theatre, lobster pot making, gansey demonstrations, Kingswood climbing wall, all on prom

11am–5pm - World Pier Crabbing Championships, pier

11.30am Crab dressing competition, promenade

noon - Fairly Famous Family, promenade

1pm - Punch and Judy, pier forecourt

1pm–4pm - Sea Tales and Fishing Fun, museum

1.30pm - Fairly Famous Family, town centre

2pm - The Cod Choir, promenade

2pm - The Last Hunters: Talk and Slide Show about the new book The Red Lion

2.30pm - crab dressing competition, promenade

3pm - Punch and Judy, pier forecourt

3.30pm - Fairly Famous Family, promenade

4pm - the Tub Men, town centre

6pm - the Last Hunters book launch, Red Lion

9pm - Nigel King band, Sheringham Crown

Sunday 20 May 2012

(all Sheringham unless stated)

10am-4pm - craft and food stalls, High Street and promenade

11am- the Tub Men, street entertainment, High Street

11am and 2pm - Family beach Olympics, Cromer East Beach

11am–3pm - Razz the Clown around town

11am–4pm -lobster pot making, gansey demonstrations, Kingswood climbing Wall, the promenade

11am-4pm - Children's Activity Corner, Oddfellows Hall

11am-4pm - Cookery theatre, East Cliff/Lifeboat Plain

11.30am - Crab dressing competition Lifeboat Plain

Noon - Fairly Famous Family Lifeboat Plain

1.30pm - Fairly Famous Family, around town

2pm - The Cod Choir, promenade

2.30pm - Crab dressing competition, Lifeboat Plain

3pm - The Dog Days of Summer, the Crown

3.30pm - Fairly Famous Family East Cliff

4pm - the Tub Men around town

6.30pm - Church service, Sheringham Methodist Church

8pm - Juke and the All Drunk Orchestra, The Crown


A new festival of free events celebrating Victorian times is running alongside the crab and lobster weekend.

Victorian Nights features a dozen evening events ranging from circus acts and train rides to guided walks and craft workshops at Cromer, Sheringham and Wells.

The action also features fire eaters, a photo parlour and costumed characters - with locals encourage to don period dress too.

It is part of a national Museums at Night celebration aimed a promoting heritage centres and has a track record of attracting people to museums for the first time.


? Parlour Portraits - RNLI Henry Blogg Museum, The Gangway, Saturday 1pm-9pm.

Dress up in Victorian costume and pose for your very own Victorian photographic portrait.

? The Pleasure Pier and Promenades of Cromer: the Place To Be Seen - Cromer Pier Pavilion bar, Saturday 4pm-7pm. A new exhibition about the late Victorian seafront and pier, and some of the entertainments they offered.

? A Stroll Through Victorian Cromer - meet at Cromer Museum, Saturday 4pm–7pm.

Join Cromer Preservation Society's guides to discover beautiful architecture and stunning landmarks including the 1901 pier.

? Evening of Victorian Entertainment - Cromer Museum, Saturday 4pm-9pm:

Daring stunts, escapology and fire breathing plus a magic lantern show first performed in Cromer over 130 years ago.


? A Victorian Journey - meet at Sheringham Station on Friday for 7pm train departure.

Travel back in time to the inauguration of the railway and find how it transformed the area by bringing trade, tourism and travel to Norfolk. Booking essential, call 01263 820800.

? At The Picture Palace a Century Ago - Little Theatre, Friday 7.30pm.

Watch unique 35mm comedy, news, drama and animation films of the early 20th century, all hand turned on a 1912 restored projector. Tickets on 01263 822347.

? A Walk Through Time: The Victorians - meet at the Mo Museum. Friday and Saturday 6pm-7.30pm. Join expert guide Tim Groves on a journey through Victorian Sheringham.

? Shipwrecked! Back to 1897 - Fishermen's Heritage Centre, West Cliff, Friday and Saturday 6pm–9pm. Be transported back to the dramatic events of January 23 1897, when the brave crew of the Henry Ramey Upcher lifeboat came to the rescue of the storm-stricken Ispolen.

? Victorian Shell Artistry - Peter Coke Shell and Fine Art Gallery, West Cliff, Friday and Saturday 6pm–9pm. Join the Lady's Shellcraft Guild to learn about their hobby of arranging seashells to create decorative objects for the Victorian home.

? 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Little Theatre, Saturday 2.30pm and 7,30pm.

This 1954 Disney version of Jules Verne's Victorian novel sees Kirk Douglas playing a trouble-shooting 19th century seaman, trying to discover why so many whaling ships have been disappearing. Tickets on 01263 822347.

? The Mo's Tremendous Victorian Circus - Mo Museum, Saturday 1pm-9pm, Sunday noon to 4pm. Be astounded by incredible Victorian acrobats before mastering amazing circus skills.

More information on all events is on the festival website