Remarkable images of Cromer’s second world war devastation

They are scenes of devastation that are reminiscent of London or Coventry in the second world war.

But these images show the horror that the Nazis visited upon Cromer as they dumped their surplus bombs when heading back to their Third Reich bases.

Now the photographs have been allied with rare moving images and interviews on a DVD that sheds light on the darkness that descended on Cromer between 1940-1942.

The DVD, produced by Poppyland Publishing, includes the evocative story of Norman Corwin, an American broadcaster whose anti-fascist radio programmes were aired in the US in a bid to win the propaganda war.

DVD producer and director Peter Stibbons said: 'He made a series of programmes around the country. He came to Cromer because he wanted to do something on the small towns affected by the bombings.


You may also want to watch:


'He went to pubs and various other places, but he couldn't broadcast live. He would write all his notes, go back to London and record his programmes, using actors and sound effects.'

Mr Stibbons said there was 'not a hint of a Norfolk accent' in the voices used for lifeboat hero Henry Blogg and the then Cromer council chairman Harry Mitchell, but he added: 'There is no doubt that the quotes were genuine, because the authenticity comes across in what they say.'

Most Read

To add a lovely twist, when Mr Stibbons was researching the DVD, he discovered that Mr Corwin was still live, aged 101, and living in the US. He contributed some contemporary quotes for the DVD.

The disc answers the question of why Cromer's largely Victorian town centre streets are punctuated by buildings from the 1950s and 1960s.

Quite simply, the Luftwaffe raids left their mark, in the shape of yawning gaps - many of which were not filled in for years.

Mr Stibbons said: 'If you go down Garden Street today and look at the JobCentre Plus building, that was a bombsite for many years after the war.

'The same goes for the corner of Church Street and High Street, where Santander is now. And at the end of Alfred Road, the Victorian terrace comes to a sudden end and is replaced by a square block of flats. That was built where the Lyndhurst Hotel was destroyed.'

The 70-minute DVD includes historic film from the Path� archives, stills from the wartime records of Cromer photographer Harry Tansley, film of the sites today and a range of other interviews that are all part of the telling of the fear and the fortune of when Cromer was a town on the front line.

Mr Stibbons said: 'It's been a privilege to hear so many memories of events from those war years. A large number of people in the town have been very generous with both pictures and stories and I hope this is a representative telling of their tale.'

The disc, narrated by Eddie Anderson, is available from shops for �12.95 or can be ordered direct from www.poppyland.co.uk, which also has a short trailer.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus