Cromer and Sheringham unite at launch of Crab and Lobster Festival deckchair trail

They have long been a key ingredient in the staple diet of a seaside holiday.

Now deckchairs are being used to signal a more laid-back approach to relations between resort rivals Cromer and Sheringham - and give locals and visitors a new attraction.

Saturday marked the official launch of the Crab and Lobster Festival deckchair art trail.

Ninety-two blank deckchairs have been painted and decorated and set up at locations in and around the two towns.

The vast majority have a crab and a lobster as part of the design, and people can follow the trail marked out on leaflets that are in shops, pubs and other locations in Cromer and Sheringham.

On Saturday, festival committee members from both towns showed a united front as they gathered on a sun-soaked and busy Cromer beach to publicise the launch of the trail.

They included Hilary Thompson and Noel Gant, who are the joint presidents of the Crab and Lobster Festival. The pair dreamed up the idea of the festival when they were the mayors of Cromer and Sheringham.

Most Read

Miss Thompson said: 'I think the trail is really exciting. There's such a diverse range of ideas behind the decorations on the canvas.

'The painted crabs and lobsters were great last year, but this year there really is a blank canvas. People have knitted, painted and done so many other things.'

She urged people to 'go and visit all venues', adding: 'People in Cromer should visit Sheringham, and people in Sheringham should visit Cromer. It's about people realising what Cromer and Sheringham have to offer for visitors and locals.'

This year's trail, which is officially open, will remain in place until the end of August.

The Crab and Lobster Festival, which runs from May 20-22, was held for the first time in 2010. This year's event is being trailed as a 'feast of fun, food, art, music and entertainment'.

Last year's event featured a crab and lobster trail, with dozens of the giant crustaceans being painted and positioned in spots for visitors to find.

It also included a concert, a food festival and the world pier crabbing championships from Cromer pier.

This year, children aged from five-15 are being encouraged to draw cartoon versions of six characters, Captain Crustacea and his friends.

Cookery remains a key part of the festival, with Norfolk-based writer and broadcaster Mary Kemp giving demonstrations on a mobile kitchen, and hosting Ready Steady Cook style sessions including a planned clash between the two town criers.

The programme will also include music, restaurant and trails, farmers market, street entertainment, crafts, classic car and bike rally and the world pier crabbing championship.

The festival, which last year raised �9,000 for the towns' lifeboat stations and Help for Heroes will again support the crews this year, but also help the Seaman's Mission.

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