North Lodge Park, Cromer, supporters urge: ‘Climb aboard and help our park’ at champagne boat launch

Carolyn Candish, chairman of the Friends of North Lodge Park steering group, at the launch on the pa

Carolyn Candish, chairman of the Friends of North Lodge Park steering group, at the launch on the park's boating lake to publicise the group's first annual meeting . Toasting the future are fellow friends and supporters of the venture. Picture: DAVE 'HUBBA' ROBERTS - Credit: Archant

The good ship HMS Clarke slipped into Cromer's North Lodge Park boating pond this morning after a champagne launch.

The event was staged by the park's new friends' steering committee who want to encourage everyone interested in the attraction's future to attend Wednesday's inaugural annual meeting, at 7pm in the Garden Street community hall.

The boat was named in honour of RW Clarke who gave the boating lake to the town in the 1950s.

Ownership of the park is expected to transfer from North Norfolk District Council to Cromer Town Council this spring. It will include a £150,000 'dowry' to help with costs over the first five years.

Carolyn Candish, steering committee chairman, said the friends' group had been set up at the request of Cromer Town Council. It wanted the community to influence the park's future.

Many remembered the days when the park had thrived, with a café, putting, bowling, and the boating lake among attractions.

With its stunning clifftop location, it had ranked just behind the beach and pier as the resort's most popular draws.

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'But in the last couple of years it has become increasingly neglected,' she said. 'Now it's just a space people walk through.

'We all believe passionately that it could become a lively place of enjoyment for residents and visitors again.

'We are starting afresh and the more support we have, the more events we can hold, and the more money we can raise to make things happen.'

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