Photo Gallery: Hunstanton memories for local author

Appearing in an Oscar-winning film, renovating Rolls Royce engines and diving off shipwrecks are just a few of the memories that a Hunstanton author has committed to paper.

Norman Whye, 68, has always lived on the coast which has proved a rich source of material for his Little Memories of a Hunstanton Childhood.

Moving from Heacham to Hunstanton at the age of three, Mr Whye's book includes elements of local history, poetry, fiction and biographicial details of his early years in the town.

'I have always been fascinated by the beach and cliffs at Hunstanton, and have spent many enjoyable hours walking the beach and investitating the unique cliffs.

'It is often on these occasions that promotes the recalling of many interesting and humorous incidents,' he said.

Recently published by Hunstanton's Whitley Press - the book's cover shows a four-year-old Mr Whye on the beach close to the wreck of the Sheraton which was carried to Hunstanton by a 1947 storm from its post in The Wash where it had been used for target practice.

'Some of us youngsters used it as a diving board,' said Mr Whye, of Church Street.

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Much of the 130-foot ship is gone now, but the rusting keel remains not too far away from the site in the cover photograph.

It is the nature of the sea which has left Mr Whye with one of his most poignant memories - empty school desks following the devastation of the 1953 floods which killed 40 people in the areaa.

'What brought the horror home most forcibly to us kids was the number of empty desks in class on Monday morning,' he said.

A trained motor mechanic, as an apprentice Mr Whye was once ordered to strip down and re-build the engine of a Rolls Royce which had seen better days.

'Don't keep looking at it, get your spanners and get on with it,' were the helpful words of advice from his boss.

But the car was bought by an American who paid for a complete renovation before shipping it over to the USA.

Mr Whye's appearance in the Oscar-winning film Out of Africa is fairly brief and easy to miss.

Directed by the late Sidney Pollack, the film was partly shot at Castle Rising in 1985 and Mr Whye, who was sporting a full beard at the time was chosen to be a game-keeper, complete with pipe and gun-dog.

After many re-takes of his scene, Mr Whye was convinced it would end-up on the cutting room floor. But when the film was released, he saw himself in the introductory scene before the titles.

'So far back in the scene that I was miniscule and hardly recognisable,' he said.

Now retired, Mr Whye worked as a mechanic for 30 years; at Hunstanton's Conservative club for 11 years and he also worked as a gardener.

Little Memories of a Hunstanton Childhood is available from Whitley Press priced at �7.99.