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Norfolk seaside town's new heritage centre set to open

PUBLISHED: 09:20 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:20 06 June 2019

A Hunstanton postcard from yesteryear  Picture: Ian Burt

A Hunstanton postcard from yesteryear Picture: Ian Burt

A former bank has been converted into a heritage centre, showcasing the history of a coastal town.

The former Natwest Bank in Hunstanton, which has been converted into a heritage centre  Picture: Chris BishopThe former Natwest Bank in Hunstanton, which has been converted into a heritage centre Picture: Chris Bishop

Hunstanton Civic Society volunteers have spent six months converting the former Natwest on Northgate. It opens for the first time on Saturday (1pm - 5pm).

Displays chart the history of Hunstanton since prehistoric times, covering topics such as the 1953 floods and the coming and going of the railway line to King's Lynn.

The society needed to relocate the heritage centre after the building it had occupied on The Green for five years rent-free was sold.

From left, Stephen Kent, Tony Armstrong, John Bridger, Ann Stevens, Andrew Murray, Mags Armstrong, Mick Smith and Sheila Kent at the centre  Picture: Hunstantion Civic SocietyFrom left, Stephen Kent, Tony Armstrong, John Bridger, Ann Stevens, Andrew Murray, Mags Armstrong, Mick Smith and Sheila Kent at the centre Picture: Hunstantion Civic Society

The former bank, just off the High Street, was bought for the group by an anonymous benefactor, after it went on sale for an asking price of £350,000 when the branch closed.

Society chairman John Maiden said: "During the five years that it occupied premises at 15 The Green, Hunstanton Heritage Centre grew in popularity with visitors and locals alike.

"When this property changed hands at the end of 2018, and the displays had to be moved out, the former Natwest bank was acquired thanks to the prompt actions of one very generous benefactor."
Mr Maiden said converting the building had taken "an enormous amount of hard manual labour", mostly carried out by civic society members.

The former heritage centre, on The Green Picture: Ian BurtThe former heritage centre, on The Green Picture: Ian Burt

He added: "Support from those unable to wield power tools, or even paint brushes, has come in the form of donations, both large and small, including one cheque for £2,500 from a Civic Society member who wished to remain anonymous.

"Thanks to all the practical and financial help received, the new Heritage Centre will be open to the public from 1pm until 5pm on Saturday and at the same time on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and bank holidays throughout the summer.

"Situated at the junction of Greevegate and Northgate, the Heritage Centre should have a very beneficial impact on the High Street and other parts of the town centre."

Displayes include the fire which destroyed the remains of the pier in 2002 Picture: Ian BurtDisplayes include the fire which destroyed the remains of the pier in 2002 Picture: Ian Burt

The long gone Blue Lagoon Bathing Pool at Hunstanton Picture: Ian BurtThe long gone Blue Lagoon Bathing Pool at Hunstanton Picture: Ian Burt

An aerial view of Hunstanton in 1953  Picture: Ian BurtAn aerial view of Hunstanton in 1953 Picture: Ian Burt



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