Sheringham

Sheringham

For the footballer, see Teddy Sheringham

Sheringham is a seaside town (population 7,143) in Norfolk, England, located west of Cromer.

Historically, the parish of Sheringham comprised the two villages of Upper Sheringham, a farming community, and Lower Sheringham, which combined farming with fishing.

The industry was at its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the coming of the railways made it possible for fish to be transported more efficiently to market. Through the 1900s the focus of the fishing, as all along the north Norfolk coast, began to be on crabs, lobsters and whelks. The crab and lobster fishing made the local fishermen major suppliers to the London fish markets. Long lining for cod and the catching of herring began to become less important in the second half of the century, as did whelking. Today, from a peak of maybe 200 boats, Sheringham has eight boats operated single-handed.

The current town of Sheringham was once Lower Sheringham, a fishing station for the main village, now known as Upper Sheringham. It is a railway town that was developed with the coming of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway line in the late 19th century. Most of Sheringham's range of buildings and shops come from this period and the early 20th century. It has a particularly interesting range of buildings using flint, not normally in the traditional Norfolk style but in a variety of techniques.

The town today

Sheringham today has a thriving town centre centred around a traditional high street which has a wide range of privately-owned shops. On Saturdays throughout the year there is a popular market located in the car park adjacent to the railway station which attracts large crowds to the town even out of the holiday season. The town also has a good selection of specialist shops such as second-hand books, antiques and bric-a-brac, fishing tackle and bait, a model shop plus arts and craft shops. The Sheringham Little Theatre has a wide range of productions on throughout the year including a popular pantomime at Christmas; in the foyer is an excellent coffee shop and there is nearly always a display of art, very often by local artists. There is a good selection of food outlets and some excellent pubs, restaurants, and a youth hostel. Supermarket operators, including Tesco, have made attempts to open a superstore in the vicinity of the town. These applications have all been turned down by North Norfolk District Council, the latest being in 2006. Tesco have now made a new application. On September 08 2008 a government inspector turned down the stores latest application.

Sheringham Museum

  • The Museum has now closed and is due to reopen in new location -The Mo- during October 2009 .

Sheringham Museum was located in converted fishermen's cottages and washhouses in the heart of the town. The museum had, as part of its information on the local Fishing industry, a collection of original boat building tools dating back to the 1880s. Sheringham became famous for its boatbuilding with boat-builders like Lown, Johnson and especially Emery being kept busy in the town. These skilled shipwrights built boats for Sheringham, Cromer and other fishermen further afield. There was a display in the museum of Emery's original bench and tools. Fishing is the foundation of which Lower Sheringham developed with a small, tightly-knit community developing on the cliffs and launching their boats from the flint beaches. During the mid 19th century there were over 200 boats fishing off the shore. The fishermen were real characters going by nicknames like Downtide, Bounce, Squinter, Spider, Butter Balls, Bread-alone, Pongo and Teapot. Also on display were models of lifeboats, a Roman kiln, the original settlement of Upper Sheringham, and photographs showing how this popular holiday resort has grown over the years. One of the newest displays showed pieces of elephant bone that have been coming out the cliff to the west of Sheringham. Significant because no-one expected any such finds to be made here. The pieces of bone on display have been dated back some 1.5 million years. These giant animals roamed the world at a time when what is now the Norfolk coast, although then much further north, was enjoying an almost tropical environment. The museums display told the story of these remarkable animals and traces there migratory journey from continent to continent. Linked with this was a display on the geology of the beach and information as well as a display of the most common fossils you will find on the local beaches. There is a displays covering the war years at the museum. On 19 January 1915 Sheringham became the first place in Britain to have a bomb dropped on it by a Zeppelin. The story and part of the bomb is on display in the Museum. Sheringham was a front-line town during World War II. Barbed wire surrounded the beaches from fear of invasion and the cliffs often reverberated from the pounding of large guns practicing at the close by Weybourne Camp. A displays called the 'Misfortunes of Peace and War' had displays of debris of planes, ships, other items found on the beaches of North Norfolk. Another display allowed the visitor to take a peep into an old pharmacy, and there were other unusual objects such as a pig's bladder used as a fisherman's float, a Victorian fly trap. Visitors could also learn about the discontinued practice of flint picking off the beaches.

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Lifeboats

Sheringham is reputed to be the only place in the world to have four of its original lifeboats. The Sheringham Museum Trust owns three of these: JC Madge (1904-36) pulling and sailing. Foresters Centenary (1936-61) the towns first motorised lifeboat. Manchester Unity of Oddfellows (1961-90) an Oakley Class lifeboat, Sheringham’s last offshore boat. Within the next 2 to 3 years Sheringham Museum Trust plans to have an extended museum to house this unique collection together with three crab boats and general lifeboat and fishing industry ephemera. The town has no harbour, so the lifeboat has to be launched by tractor, and the fishing boats are hauled up the beach. An old sail-powered lifeboat is preserved in the former lifeboat shed and the three other preserved RNLI lifeboats are kept in another centre.

Railway

The railway line to Cromer and Norwich remains open as the Bittern Line. Beyond Sheringham station, the line has been preserved as the North Norfolk Railway also known as the "The Poppy Line" to Holt.

St Joseph Roman Catholic Church

One architectural landmark in Sheringham is the Church of St Joseph, on Cromer Road. This Roman Catholic Church was designed by the renowned architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, whose other work includes Battersea Power Station, Liverpool Cathedral, the Red Telephone box and many other noteworthy and significant buildings both in the UK and abroad. In 1901 a donation of over £3,000 by Catherine Deterding, the wife of the then managing director and founder of the Shell Oil Company, enabled the purchase of land around the existing chapel to build a new church. Work began in 1902 and the first section St Joseph's chapel was completed in 1908 . In 1910 the second section opened, which comprises the sanctuary, the nave and the porch. Later the church was completed by extending the nave and adding a new porch. The complete building was consecrated on the 25th March 1935. From the outside it is possible to see the join between the two buildings clearly with the northern two-thirds opened by the Bishop of Northampton, Frederick William Keating, in 1910, and the southern extension completed in 1935. This large red-brick church towers over its neighbours, and is reminiscent of Scott's Bankside power station in London, now Tate Modern. The north end, liturgical east, has a high rose window, the north and south sides being flanked by sets of three vast Perpendicular-style windows. The church is entered through a porch and into a nathex on the south west corner of the building. Behind a grilled area to the east there is a large framed icon of the Blessed Virgin. Inside the church the height and narrowness emphasizes the arcades which are also of a good height and have arches of alternate sizes. The décor is a mixture of both the arts and crafts movement and industrial Gothic, a signature of Gibert Scott’s style. The font is a replica of the Little Walsingham seven sacraments font and is of a medieval style. There are some good pieces of early 20th century devotional art much of which was imported from the studio and workshop of Ferdinand Stuflesser in the Austrian Tyrol. There is a rood screen above the entrance to the sanctuary. During the fitting out of the church, the Stations of the Cross, ordered from Stuflesser, spent the First World War in the hold of a German freighter impounded at Genoa. Because of the historic nature and importance of this church, it is the only listed building in Sheringham. St Joseph celebrated its Centenary in July 2008.

War memorial

The memorial to the men and women of Sheringham and Beeston Regis who died in military service during the two World Wars is located at on the traffic island at the intersection of The Boulevard, St Nicholas Place and The Esplanade. The memorial was designed by Herbert Palmer somewhat in the style of an Eleanor cross. It is of Clipsham stone and stands tall. It was unveiled on 1 January 1921. The names of the dead are on four panels that form the base of the cross. A recent addition to the memorial is a small wrought-iron fence around the base with poppy motifs. There are also further names on memorial boards in the nearby parish church of St Peter.

Sheringham Park and other prominent property

  • In 1811, the Sheringham Estate was bought by Abbot and Charlotte Upcher.

They asked Humphry Repton to design Sheringham Hall. The Upcher family also built a school. The Hall is still privately occupied, but Sheringham Park is in the care of the National Trust and open to visitors.

  • The Dales, formerly the residence of Henry Douglas King, M.P., and later Major William James Spurrell, D.S.O., M.C., is now a hotel (The Dales Country House).
  • Sheringham watermill was mainly known as a papermill that operated from around 1750 to about 1865, although it quite possibly started life as a corn mill. The watermill had an overshot waterwheel, which seems quite remarkable when considering the surrounding terrain and the fact that the mill was only supplied by the small Beeston Beck. A blue plaque on the wall of a cottage marks the location of the mill in Beeston road which was then called Paper Mill Road.

Beeston Bump

Sheringham nestles under the nearby hill of Beeston Bump which was the site of one of the World War II secret Y-stations. The Bump can be climbed using the Peddars Way and North Norfolk Coastal Path from either the east or west.

Sheringham sea defences

The northern frontage of Sheringham are protected by a concrete seawall which also acts as the promenade. Although the wall is not aesthetically pleasing, it is a vital part of the protection of the town against the natural erosion that occurs along the North Norfolk coast. In 1953 the storm surge of that year caused considerable damage to Sheringham’s original wooden sea defences. In front of the seawall there is a groynage system which has been armoured at their bases with large blocks of natural rock which provide the wooden groynes protection against the waves. There are numerous drains along the frontage. To the east towards West Runton the seawall ends just below Beeston Bump. At that point a timber revetment and groyne system, which was designed and constructed in 1976, runs eastwards all the way to West Runton Gap, a distance of just over one mile. The shoreline management plans of Department for Environment are that along this length of coast is that there will be a policy of 'Managed Retreat'. The revetment between Sheringham and West Runton are no longer being maintained and subsequently is in a poor state of repair and has failed at many locations. Eventually the revetment will fail completely and should sections become hazardous to public safety they will be removed. The coastline will then be left to evolve naturally.

Sheringham First Responders

There is now a First Responder First Person On Scene group in the town. This is a voluntary group trained by the East Anglian Ambulance Trust to respond to 999 calls. This works by the first responder being texted with details of the emergency situation and reaching the person in need of help before the ambulance crew arrives. When the emergency services arrive the responder will update the crew with the patients condition and assist them. The reason the first responders groups have been formed is to provide life-saving care for people who have suffered conditions such as heart attacks, stokes etc in rural areas when the ambulances may be more than a few minutes away from our towns.

Notable people

  • Allan Smethurst (November 19 1927 - December 23 2000), aka The Singing Postman was raised in Sheringham, Norfolk, although he may have been born in Lancashire.
  • King Nicholas I changed his name by deed poll from Nick Copeman and set up a new empire from his royal seat a caravan just outside town. He has written a book about it himself and his empire. His Royal Highness HM King Nicholas I often appeared on TV and radio around the time his book was launched.

Twin towns

Gallery

List of public houses in Sheringham

  • The Crown, East Cliff
  • The Lobster, 13 High Street
  • The Robin Hood Tavern, Station Road
  • The Two Lifeboats
  • Dunstable Arms, Cromer Road
  • Sherry 'n' Ham, Beech Avenue
  • Wyndham Arms, Wyndham Street
  • The Red Lion, Upper Sheringham.(Closed)

See also

External links

References

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