New 'pier show' is fascinating visitors

RICHARD BATSON A new “end of the pier show” is fascinating visitors and locals at Cromer - as workmen tackle its landmark lifeboat slipway from above and below.A tall jack-up rig is now sitting alongside the Pavilion theatre, currently hosting the summer season show.

RICHARD BATSON

A new “end of the pier show” is fascinating visitors and locals at Cromer - as workmen tackle its landmark lifeboat slipway from above and below.

A tall jack-up rig is now sitting alongside the Pavilion theatre, currently hosting the summer season show.

It is ready to hoist parts of the sloping slip, which is being reshaped and improved for a new lifeboat due to arrive in the autumn.

Under the sea, divers are working - sometimes in zero visibility - to remove rusted nuts and bolts so the old 12 tonne sections can be lifted off by a crane.

Conditions have varied this week - ranging between 10m visibility enabling the divers to see the slipway, and the masses of bass swimming around them, to none at all as buffeting swell, waves and tides stir up the murky waters.

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It can mean divers from Anglian Marine, connected to the pier by an umbilical cord supplying air and communications, working “blind” and having to feel their way with tools such as spanners and bolt-splitters.

The profile of the 38m-long slip is being steepened to fit the hull of the new Tamar class boat coming to Cromer in October. It means new metal plates being added, by main contractors John Martin Construction, and an iron-rollered keel slot being covered in slippery plastic.

A tilting table which tips the lifeboat on to the slipway will also be lengthened, and the lower sections of the roller door replaced by stronger storm doors after it became jammed by pounding waves in February.

The crane's 120ft jib will be lowered on Wednesday lunchtime - out of the way of the traditional carnival day display by the Red Arrows, which swoops low over the pier at noon.

A new pictorial history book featuring Cromer lifeboats will be published in November, with the final chapter looking at the new boat the Lester.

It will show some rare photographs, including lifeboat days at the resort in the 1920s and 30s, and the Henry Blogg boat being built in Shoreham.

They are a combination of leftovers from a 2004 book charting the first 200 years of the town's lifeboats, and others that have been sent in since. But the publishers are still seeking any other archive pictures lurking in people's albums and attics.

Anyone with potential material should send it to station press officer Paul Russell at 28 High Street, Cromer, NR27 9HG or phone 01263 512221.

Pre orders for book the book, at a special offer price of £14.99 before September 30, can be done through Landmark Publishing on 01335 347349.

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