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Museum volunteer shares postcards of HMS Norfolk’s visit to Cromer

PUBLISHED: 16:36 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 28 August 2018

The HMS Norfolk crew coming ashore from the pier with the crew marching along the pier and promenade. Photo: Harry Hodges Tansley, supplied by A Rogers

The HMS Norfolk crew coming ashore from the pier with the crew marching along the pier and promenade. Photo: Harry Hodges Tansley, supplied by A Rogers

Archant

Famous as the birthplace of naval hero Nelson, Norfolk has long had a rich maritime history.

The HMS Norfolk art anchor in Cromer. Photo: Harry Hodges Tansley, supplied by A RogersThe HMS Norfolk art anchor in Cromer. Photo: Harry Hodges Tansley, supplied by A Rogers

And the town of Cromer is no different, as shown by these postcards from almost 90 years ago, picturing the visit of the warship HMS Norfolk to the town.

Antony Rogers, a volunteer at the Cromer Museum, uncovered the photographs depicting the naval vessel anchored off Cromer.

Mr Rogers said: “Visitors were welcomed to come on board.

“These were taken to the ship by the local fishermen in they crab boats for a small fee.

The sailors marched along Church Street to Cromer Parish Church. Photo: Harry Hodges Tansley, supplied by A RogersThe sailors marched along Church Street to Cromer Parish Church. Photo: Harry Hodges Tansley, supplied by A Rogers

“The sailors would take them over HMS Norfolk [and] the working of this large vessel.

“Postcards were available at a small fee.”

He added: “The coming and going of the crab boats would also be taking some of the visitors back to shore.

“Many local boys would later join the navy, when they were older, after one of these visits to the HMS Norfolk.”

Mr Rogers, who has lived in the town all of his life, also said: “Cromer has had a long history of naval ships at anchor [here].”

One of the three postcards, taken by the well-known north Norfolk photographer Harry Hodges Tansley, depicts the HMS Norfolk crew leaving the ship.

Mr Rogers said: “The crew [are] coming ashore from the pier, marching very smartly along the pier and promenade.

“The other photo shows the sailors marching along Church Street going to Cromer Church.”

He added: “This was at one time called The Narrows.”

The remaining image, which is stamped with the photographer’s initials and surname and the word Cromer, shows the ship at anchor off the coast of the town.

The HMS Norfolk was a county class heavy cruiser, a type of warship designed for long range and high speed.

And according to naval records, the ship was built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, in Govan, Glasgow, and completed on May 1, 1930.

The ship’s launch date was December 12, 1928, and the HMS Norfolk was demolished in Newport, South Wales, in 1950.

Do you have any memories of other ships visiting Cromer, or any photos of the town’s past?

You can share them with us at www.enjoycromermore.co.uk; email them to enjoycromermore@archant.co.uk; visit our Facebook group, Enjoy Cromer More, or tweet us @EnjoyCromer

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