Trips to Trimingham: Memories of summer camps on the Norfolk coast

Crome School for Boys at Trimingham Camp in 1957. Taken by teacher Mr Murray

Crome School for Boys at Trimingham Camp in 1957. Taken by teacher Mr Murray - Credit: Archant Library/Supplied

For hundreds of boys and girls from across Norfolk it was the first time they had left home… for an outdoor adventure.

We are talking “Costa Del” Trimingham where, I suspect, some of you reading will have enjoyed those summer camps with your friends in years gone by.

A group of school friends at Henderson School, Trimingham in the 1950s

Alan Thorpe, fifth from the right, with the rest of his mates from Henderson School at Trimingham in the 1950s. - Credit: Family Collection

These were the days long before package holidays and when many people could only afford a few trips to the seaside – never mind staying there.

The camps at Trimingham on the North Norfolk coast were where many youngsters had the time of their lives. They may have been part of school groups or other youth organisations. Perhaps Scouts or guides or members of the popular Boys' Brigade.

The Norwich Companies of the Boy's Brigade stayed under canvas tents at Trimingham in 1937

The Norwich Companies of the Boys' Brigade stayed under canvas tents at Trimingham. Date: August 3, 1937. Accessed via Local Recall at localrecall.co.uk. - Credit: Archant Library

Norwich Education Committee’s camp was a popular place for fun and games. And there was plenty to do.


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Alan Thorpe tells us about the time he and his mates from Henderson School in Norwich in 1954 went camping at Trimingham when they were aged 12 and 13.

“We had several duties to perform helping out in the kitchen, making beds etc.,” he says.

Norwich Battalion Boys Brigade in camp at Trimingham in 1963

The Lord Mayor of Norwich Mr Leonard Howes speaking to members of the Norwich Battalion Boys Brigade in camp at Trimingham. Dated: August 7, 1963. - Credit: Archant Library

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“We were split into four groups of five. Nelson, Borough, Scott and Munnings. I was in Borough and we had a map given to us and had to plot our way around the countryside looking for village signs, names of pubs and churches,” Alan recalls.

“The first group back got some sort of prize. We cheated as we thumbed a lift back to the camp site in a van.

Norwich companies of the Boys' Brigade enjoying a summer camp in north Norfolk at Trimingham 1938

Norwich companies of the Boys' Brigade enjoying a summer camp in north Norfolk at Trimingham. Dated: August 2, 1938. - Credit: Archant Library

“The camp site was near a radar station with a huge scanner rotating and I’m sure it made a sort of humming noise which I thought sounded a bit creepy. It’s now been replaced by a dome which looks more like a large golf ball,” says Alan.

Boys' Brigade camp at Trimingham in Norfolk in 1934

The Lord Mayor of Norwich presenting the Sheriff's Cup to the best all-round boy during the 5th Norwich Boys' Brigade camp at Trimingham. Dated: August 10, 1934. - Credit: Archant Library

“I am the youngest of 13 in my family and this was my first holiday away,” he adds.

Happy days.

Norwich Battalion in camp at Trimingham in 1958. 

Lord Mayor of Norwich, Mr Norman Tillett, speaking to some of the boys during his visit to the Norwich Battalion in camp at Trimingham. Dated: August 8, 1958. - Credit: Archant Library


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