Hemsby landlord leads revival of campaign to protect its coastline as summer begins

Lorna Bevan-Thompson and her dog Zuri on the Hemsby coastline. Picture: TMS Media

Lorna Bevan-Thompson and her dog Zuri on the Hemsby coastline. Picture: TMS Media - Credit: Archant

A seaside pub owner will this summer revive a campaign to extend sea defences along a bustling coastline which was hit by the tidal surge.

Lorna Bevan-Thompson at her Lacon Arms in Hemsby. Picture: TMS Media

Lorna Bevan-Thompson at her Lacon Arms in Hemsby. Picture: TMS Media - Credit: Archant

Lorna Bevan-Thompson, of the Lacon Arms pub, launched the Save Hemsby Coastline campaign after the surge of 2013, in which seven chalet bungalows on low cliffs, unprotected by sea defences, were swallowed in the North Sea.

She and fellow campaign trustees organised fundraisers and fought for protection - and last spring secured £120,000 worth of honeycomb sea defences - covering about 110m - for the dunes at Hemsby.

Now, they hope to convince officials that the defences are worth extending and that their bid for £2.3m Coastal Communities Fund cash for 1.4km of defences should be approved.

Mrs Bevan-Thompson, who moved to Hemsby with her family in 1977, said: 'It should be down to the government to do something, but it is an uphill battle because our beach is privately-owned. It is so important, we must fight on.'

Homes on the Marrams in Hemsby which were severely damaged by the tidal surge last year are finally

Homes on the Marrams in Hemsby which were severely damaged by the tidal surge last year are finally being demolished.January 2014.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014


You may also want to watch:


And the mother-of-three - whose family has invested more than £1m in amusements, a bar, rock shop, chip shop and play area over the last seven years - hopes to appeal to the hundreds of tourists that will arrive at the village's campsites and beaches during the summer, with collection tins set to be placed and wristbands and key rings available to buy.

'Save Hemsby Coastline is not all about doom and gloom,' Mrs Bevan-Thompsons said. 'It is about making people aware of the hidden dangers of coastal erosion, and hopefully inspiring them to help raise funds for our campaign.

Most Read

'We love it here and we want to protect and we need people to know the bigger picture in the hope of getting some action. You never know who is out there and what connections they have. Hemsby is a home for a very vibrant village and also home from home for so many of our regular visitors.'

Over the coming years, Mrs Bevan-Thompson hopes to invest £300,000 in improvements, including an atrium and garden revamp, at the Lacon Arms.

The drive for both funding and defences is featured in one of a series of so-called mini-films by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District (BID), which aims to raise the profile of the area.

Gareth Brown, BID chairman, said: 'The BID is about promoting tourism and supporting business, so maintaining Hemsby's beach and protecting its holiday facilities is important to our aims – along with showing the passion and determination of people like Lorna who are fighting for the communities they are proud of.'

If you can help with the campaign, contact 01493 733281 or email lornabevanthompson@hotmail.com

Do you have a tourism story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

Hemsby campaign featured in videos to raise area's profile - ideas for next film sought

The drive for both funding and defences is featured in one of a series of so-called mini-films by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District (BID), which aims to raise the profile of the area.

Gareth Brown, BID chairman, said: 'The BID is about promoting tourism and supporting business, so maintaining Hemsby's beach and protecting its holiday facilities is important to our aims – along with showing the passion and determination of people like Lorna who are fighting for the communities they are proud of.'

The BID is searching for other tourism stars who have a story to tell to feature in future mini-films.

So far, subjects have included a zoo founder, a circus ringmaster, hotelier, potter and museum owner.

If you think you can help, contact Kirsty Burn at Kirsty.Burn@great-yarmouth.gov.uk or call 01493 846340.

For more information on the BID, visit http://gyta.com/

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