sea hollyhock


Caister-on-Sea is a seaside resort and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is situated on the coast, some 3 miles (5 km) north of Great Yarmouth.

The civil parish has an area of 4.12 km² and in the 2001 census had a population of 8,756 in 3,970 households. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of Great Yarmouth.

Caister-on-Sea has been recently officially classified as a small town, but it also holds the title of being the most populated village in the UK. It was formerly served by Caister-on-Sea railway station, which is now closed.

The Scroby Sands wind farm, of 30, 2 megawatt wind turbines is located 2.5 km from the shore at Caister.

Roman Site

The name Caister-on-Sea derives from the Latin castra meaning castle, and Caister-on-Sea was the site of a Roman fort associated with the Saxon Shore. To the west of the naval base, a civilian settlement, a vicus, was established. Most of the original site now lies under modern housing. A small section, managed by English Heritage, is open to the public.

The later, mediaeval Caister Castle is actually in the adjacent parish of West Caister.

Caister Lifeboat

Caister is the home to the only offshore lifeboat in the UK that is independent of the RNLI. A lifeboat at Caister was first documented in 1791, being used by the Caister Beach Company to salvage ships wrecked on the sand banks offshore from Caister. Between 1856 and 1969 lifeboats at Caister were operated by the RNLI. The current lifeboats, the Bernard Matthews II (a Dutch-built Valentijn 2000 offshore lifeboat) and the Jim Davidson OBE (a semi-rigid inflatable onshore lifeboat), are run by the Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service, a registered charity supported entirely by public donation.

1901 Caister Lifeboat Disaster

On the night of 13 November 1901 the Lifeboat Beauchamp and nine crew were lost while attempting a rescue during heavy seas. Asked at the inquest to their deaths why the crew had persisted in the rescue, retired coxswain James Haylett in response to the question from the coroner "I suppose they had given up the job and were returning." said "They would never give up the ship. If they had to keep at it 'til now, they would have sailed about until daylight to help her. Going back is against the rules when we see distress signals like that." This response was translated by journalists to become the famous phrase "Caister men never turn back", "Never Turn Back" was later to become a motto of the RNLI. A monument to the men lost in the disaster bearing this inscription stands in the cemetery at Caister and the pub nearest to the lifeboat shed is named the "Never Turn Back".

Sports & Recreation

Caister-on-Sea has a King George's Field in memorial to King George V.

There is a large Haven holidays caravan and chalet park in the north end of the village adjacent to the coast. This is one of the oldest holiday camps in the British Isles which opened as the "Caister Socialist Holiday Camp" in 1906.

The Caister camp was the original home of the Caister Soul Weekender, with the first event held in 1979 playing host to the largest gathering of soul and jazz fans there had ever been. Caister Soul Weekender is still running twice-yearly events in nearby Great Yarmouth.

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