Worth the wait! Spectacular fireworks display starts New Year with a bang in Cromer
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The event, which was postponed last week due to adverse weather, paid a special tribute to the town's RNLI crew.
A spectacular fireworks display started the New Year with a bang in Cromer - a week later than the rest of the world.
Titanium Fireworks - the company behind the New Year displays in London and Edinburgh - staged the show on the town's iconic pier tonight (Sunday).
And thousands of visitors lined the seafront to celebrate after the original event, which was due to be staged on New Year's Day, was postponed due to concerns over the windy weather.
The 13-and-a-half minute display, which included 2,464 fireworks and cost £6000, paid a special tribute to Cromer RNLI by setting off a single green flare to start the show to mark the eve of the 100th anniversary of one of its most famous rescues – that of the Fernebo, for which Henry Blogg - the country's most decorated lifeboatman - was awarded the first of his three Gold Medals. On that day in 1917 a green rocket was fired to mark the end of what had been a tumultuous day.
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Earlier in the day on Sunday, the lifeboat crew laid a weath at sea to remember Private John Sharp, who died after being part of a human chain that went into the water during the famous rescue, and then they marked the site of the explosion which broke the Fernebo in two, with the loss of life of Chief Engineer Johan Anderson on January 9, 1917.
Watching the fireworks from the top of Cromer Parish Church tower, Peter Stibbons, a member of Cromer RNLI, said: 'I think that was really a superb display - it just seemed to run and run. 'I missed last year's because my granddaughter was born about this time and we were at her party last week so we were very happy that it was delayed to this week.
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'The turnout looks tremendous. We watched the car park opposite us fill up in the afternoon and looking from the top of the church tower there seemed to be people lining the cliffs all the way along.'
And he added: 'Delighted to have that touch of the green flare at the beginning to remember the lifeboat event as well. It all seems to have gone together very well.'
The fireworks display, which is organised by volunteers, is one of the biggest free events of its kind in Britain, with around 10,000 people travelling from far and wide to watch.
Jim Bond, chairman of the Cromer fireworks organising committee, said: 'Behind Carnival Day in the summer, it's probably the busiest day of the year for all the businesses and people visiting the town.'
The annual firework display was set up by a group of volunteers alongside Cromer Town Council in 2000 as a way for the townsfolk of Cromer to see in the new millennium. It soon outgrew its location at one of the town's local parks and the team had the bold vision of moving the display to its, now traditional, location on the pier.
Cromer Mayor Tim Adams said: 'We've had a fantastic evening, with a lot of visitors from as far afield as Cambridgeshire. People have come a long way to see the display, it's a calendar event for some people and they come every year.'
Although the event is free, money raised from the bucket collection is divided between local good causes and funding the following year's display.This year, crowds donated a total of just over £8,000 to the event's bucket collection.
Jim Bond, chairman of the Fireworks committee, said: 'It was again, better than ever, it continues to wow year-on-year.
'The weather was perfect so we got patterns of smoke in the air too. The display makes the most of this unique setting and has drawn lots of excited and complimentary comments.
'The hard work put in by the many volunteers, and the co-operation of many local services and businesses makes this a particularly satisfying event.'
And he added: 'The committee are extremely pleased with the amount raised and would like to thank everyone for their support.'
Local attractions and traders opened up their shops, eateries, museums and businesses on the day.
After the show, people took to social media to share their thoughts on the display with one visitor saying 'Cromer's delayed New Year fireworks were worth the wait', with another saying 'Gorgeous firework bouquet tonight over Cromer pier, good things come to those who wait', another said 'Well worth a 300 mile round trip for'.
Simon Page, director of Titanium Fireworks,
Director of Titanium Fireworks, Simon Page, said: 'We are incredibly proud to have fired the display this year. It all went to plan and we're very pleased to get the show we wanted to do on New Year's Day up today.
'Cromer Pier is a unique setting, it is in good condition which means we can be quite creative and we're already thinking about new ideas for 2018. It's all about trying to make the most of the architecture of the pier, it's a great shape to work with.
'Some of the 150 displays we fire each year are work but others unbridle our creativity and we relish the challenges and opportunities of firing from an iconic structure like Cromer Pier.
'A lot of effort goes into to staging an event of this size, it is a very special event and we are very proud to be part of it.'
Organisers are now nviting amateur photographers to send them their best picture of the display for the chance to win a 43-inch HD television and have their image turned into the official poster for the 2018 event.
Pictures can be emailed to email@example.com by Monday, January 16. The rules are available, along with more details, online at: www.cromer-tc.gov.uk
Did you miss it, or want to see it again? For a full video of the event, find us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/NorthNorfolkNew