Deckchairs go under hammer from Cromer and Sheringham crab and lobster festival trail
Deckchairs moved from the beach to the promenade at Cromer as scores of colourful creations went under the hammer for charity.
More than 120 of them were lined up near the pier on Sunday and were 'knocked down' one by one amid fierce bidding to tot up more than �7,600 for three seafaring good causes - Cromer and Sheringham's lifeboats and the Fishermen's Mission.
The chairs were made by local professional and amateur artists, individuals and community groups and were on display all summer at businesses in a trail which is part of the two towns' annual crab and lobster festival.
They took months to plan and make, but were each sold in minutes with prices ranging from �30 to �360 as people snapped up pieces of art work that can double as fun furniture.
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Festival chairman Tony Shipp said having all the chairs together for the first time was a spectacle and he was pleased with the amount raised for charity, which was only slightly down on last year's.
More than 200 people tackled the trail over five months and businesses reported a boost in trade.
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Event secretary Kate Royall also praised the creativity of local people who had come up with a varied range of designs from the same blank canvass.
Top price of �360 was paid for a chair with a scene of Cromer pier and the Red Arrows done by artist Dianne Lindsay, which was on display in the town's Breakers cafe and was voted the people's favourite. It was snapped up by Breakers owner Ema Rowlands and her partner Laurie Scott and will return to the Garden Street cafe.
Among the other happy buyers was Steve Appleyard from Red Flannel publishing at East Runton who paid �260 for his artist wife Alyson's saucy seaside postcard picture of a curvaceous woman being pinched by a crab under the waterline and thinking it was small man bathing next to her.
Mrs Appleyard normally paints landscapes, but her husband was keen to buy it after all the work she put in, and may display it at the family's beach hut.
Garden House art gallery worker Catherine Metcalf bought two chairs by artist Kit Wade for a total of �160, despite raised eyebrows from husband Chris.
She said 'I have two works of art by Kit for less than a normal painting a third of the size - and I can sit on them too.
I cannot wait until next year, but I won't be bidding. I can feel the vibes from the family.'
A Sponge Bob Squarepants chair by Gail Sayer was snapped up for �90 by owner of the Blue Sky Cafe on Runton Road, Tristan Taylor - after it was chosen by seven year old son Milo - and will hang on the wall as a piece of art, to go with the Salvador Dali-style lobster he bought at last year's event.
Other top prices were �300 paid for Cromer RNLI's lifeboat chair, �250 for a clever photographic beach scene of infinite chairs by Chris Taylor, and �240 for a woven mermaid by the Worstead Weavers.
Winners of the trail competition were: 1 Guy L'Estrange from Fenny Compton near Coventy, 2 Sue and Kirsty Lunnan from Royston, Hertfordshire, and 3 Stephen Blyth form Newark, Nottinghamshire.
Captain Crustacean children's design competition winners were: 1 Rudy Hammond, seven, from Happisburgh, 2 Emily Crouch (14) from Cromer and 3 Abigail Brook (9) from Cromer, whose designs have all been put on t-shirts.