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Hand crafted lighthouses auctioned off for charity as part of popular festival

PUBLISHED: 17:29 26 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:39 26 August 2018

Georgia and Isla Ellis enjoy looking at the decorated lighthouses in Cromer.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Georgia and Isla Ellis enjoy looking at the decorated lighthouses in Cromer. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

The miniature lighthouses that were created for a Norfolk art trail were inspired by everything from a dropped ice cream cone to Harry Potter.

Cromer Lighthouse auction.
Picture: Nick ButcherCromer Lighthouse auction. Picture: Nick Butcher

And now all 83 of the creations made as part of the Crab and Lobster Festival have gone under the hammer at the Cromer Parish Hall.

Hundreds of people were at Sunday’s auction to bid on the pieces, which were lovingly made by professional artists, amateurs and school groups.

The lighthouses were displayed in the windows of shops and other businesses in Cromer, Sheringham and surrounds throughout summer.

John Davies, a Cromer fisherman who led the auction, said he was thrilled with the standard of the lighthouses in this year’s trail.

Cromer Lighthouse auction.
Picture: Nick ButcherCromer Lighthouse auction. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Davies said: “There is some marvellous work that people have done. Some of them are lit up and they’re just absolutely fantastic. Every year they amaze me with what they do and the effort that people put into it.

“Obviously we’re very lucky that we’re supported by all the local businesses.”

Some of the lighthouses sold for £20-£30, and others attracted bids of hundreds of pounds.

Many come with a handcrafted diorama - for example, the lighthouse made by Hannah Rolph for Merchants’ Place community centre was perched atop a rocky island, with a giant kraken climbing ashore and wrapping its tentacles around the base.

Another, made by Digby Eddison for Cromer’s Harlad’s Chocolates, was an upturned ice-cream cone being devoured by insects, with the caption ‘One man’s loss is another ant’s gain’.

Mr Davies said the fundraiser had been going for about 10 years.

He said: “All the money that’s raised from the sale goes back into local charities and helps us carry on from year to year. It seems to go from strength to strength.”

All together, the auction raised £5,600, with the highest selling lighthouse fetching £370. Made by Bob Crook for Cromer Gift Shop, it featured Cromer itself, with the town’s own clifftop lighthouse sitting above a row of beach huts.

Another depicting a stormy day in Cromer was made by Dianne Lindsay the town’s Breakers Cafe. It was bought by Laurie Scott, who owns the cafe with his wife, for £340.

Tony Shipp, carnival chairman, said he was “very impressed” with the interest shown in the lighthouses and the amount raised.

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