New North Norfolk Pride group makes its mark in the sand
History was made at the weekend when the newly-formed North Norfolk Pride group held their first-ever public event with a Beach Chill Out.
Members of the district's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community flocked to Cromer on Sunday as part of a day of celebrations following Norwich Pride's march through the city on Saturday.
About 300 people gathered to play 'triominoes' - a game similar to dominoes but using over-sized pink triangles - build sandcastles, and enjoy performances by artists including the Sing with Pride Choir, North Norfolk-born drag artist Titty T-Rash (Joe Ballard), band Box Clevr , and comedians Hilary Koe and Paul Knight; compered by North Norfolk poet and artist Vince Laws.
Group chairman Pieter Wessels said they were delighted at the success of the day, which ended with a cabaret evening in Cromer's Red Lion pub.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb launched the beach event and it was officially closed in the afternoon by Cromer Mayor Greg Hayman. A message of welcome was also read out on behalf of North Norfolk District Council leader Helen Eales.
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'The reaction to us was quite positive. We were very open and there were lots of straight people there - it was very inclusive,' said Mr Wessels, 40, who lives in Salthouse.
'This event wasn't political, it was social - for those people in north Norfolk who can't come out because they are too scared.
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'We're trying to say 'We could be your mother, brother, sister. We're gay, we're unique and we're normal. We hope the event will become annual'.
Sunday also saw the arrival in Cromer of a 40m-long rainbow scarf, knitted by LGBT members across the county. It will spend a year in the district being photographed, with LGBT people, at north Norfolk landmarks.
North Norfolk Pride, formed last December, meets on the first Tuesday of the month at different venues across the district. For more information visit: www.northnorfolkpride.org.uk