Visitors pack Cromer and Sheringham for crab and lobster festival

Scouts, Beavers and Girl Guides, mostly from Cromer plus others from Sheringham and rural areas, mak

Scouts, Beavers and Girl Guides, mostly from Cromer plus others from Sheringham and rural areas, make their way into Cromer after setting off from Sheringham along the Norfolk Coast Path.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Two sister seaside towns celebrated their friendship and heritage with a bumper weekend of maritime-themed fun.

The annual Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival drew thousands of visitors to both resorts to enjoy everything from cooking and eating seafood, to racing crabs, and shearing sheep.

The seventh festival kicked off in saucy seaside style with an opening concert at Cromer's Pavilion Theatre featuring comedy, dance and song from local professional and amateur performers.

Over the weekend Cromer's Evington Lawns were packed with stalls and attractions, including a tank filled with live crab and lobster brought along by the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

Fifteen-year-old Cromer Academy students Euan Neave and Alexander Breame wandered among the crowds wearing giant-sized crab and lobster costumes.

And joint festival presidents Hilary Cox, from Cromer, and Noel Gant, from Sheringham, served up crab sandwiches and lobster bisque.

'It brings our towns together,' said Mrs Cox. 'Between us we've got everything to keep visitors happy so that they don't need to go anywhere else.'

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A 'sparkling seaside supper' in the festival marquee yesterday evening attracted 60 diners who also enjoyed fire twirlers and live music.

Sheringham was alive with activities this afternoon, including cookery and lifeboat demonstrations, and the Sheringham Shantymen singing in the garden of the Lobster pub.

At Cromer, 50 people threw plastic crabs over the pier side to see whose would travel furthest in 15 minutes. They were later collected by inshore lifeboat crewmen and a lifeguard.

And dozens of youngsters took part in a Coastal Challenge, walking between the two towns.

The festival ended with a celebration service in Sheringham Parish Church this evening.

Festival chairman Tony Shipp said it had been the most successful festival to date, with record crowds.

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