Saturday 24 June 2023

Sandcastles For Seniors

Children go to the seaside to build sandcastles, paddle in the sea and eat candy floss. Older folks just like to look at stuff; sit in a deckchair and watch the waves coming in, stroll along the prom, walk out on the pier. And you're allowed to be a little bit childish too.

My brother and I went to Cromer in north Norfolk last week. Wandering about, looking at stuff and taking some photographs. 

The British seaside pier used to feature in almost every resort, though many have now fallen into disrepair or disappeared completely. Cromer's pier is kept alive for both frivolous and very serious reasons - the buildings at the end of the pier are a variety theatre and a lifeboat station.

Here's the entrance, lets have a wander.

It's a great place to photograph the gulls who regularly cruise over in case anyone's dropped a chip.

Or you can look out along the coast and see the town perched on the low cliffs.

The gulls seem to have claimed this breakwater as a pier of their very own!

Cromer is the favourite seaside place for many; it has a little bit of everything.

Minimalist photography. Not something that usually interests me, but there were strange distortions going on as I peered through this old lamp.

More to my taste was this dilapidated old façade looking out to sea. But I wanted to play where there was even more rust and ruin. And just along the coast.....

These magnificently rusty old workhorses pull the fishing boats up the beach. The constant exposure to saltwater soon destroys the paintwork.

Gorgeous colour and texture.

More colour from all the fishing equipment left lying around.

Some quirky fisherman has patched up the side-window of the cab with one of those boards where you poke your head through the hole to be photographed as Batman or Robin. The handy openings give the driver some visibility out to the side - and he can be a superhero!

Beach huts. Most of them locked up safely at this time of year. Have you ever wondered what's inside?

So now you know!

"Stern Reality" 2023

If you're wondering why I've given the above photo a title, it's because it reminds me, in a whimsical way, of a famous historic photograph....

"Stern Reality" 1892
by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe
The Whitby Photographer

While I'm in this childish mood, how could I resist the "slow pedestrians"? In fact I think I've become one.

Back at the pier there's an immature gull posing for a picture.

Cromer's huge church appears unexpectedly at the end of many narrow streets. We did pop inside but I'm not going to feature it on By Stargoose And Hanglands.

At the end of other streets: the North Sea. Les, as usual when visiting the coast, wanted a crab. And Cromer is famous for its crabs. 

I'd wanted to include the crab in the photo, but I didn't predict that Les would put his hands in the perfect position. Snap!

Take care.


  1. I am grinning after reading this post. Thank you.

  2. A good seaside excursion!

  3. John as regards your 'slow pedesrians' I can honestly say I have only 2 speeds - slow and stop! One of your photographs shows a lovely seaside rockery/garden. I have a fond memory of Cromer because our Sunday School outings (one every summer) were usually to Cromer or \Hunstanton (occasionally Scarborough) always do-able from a Lincolnshire village on a Gelsthorpe's bus.

  4. A perfect combination of coastline and village in these photos. The huts are quite lovely really, inside and out.

  5. Not beach season there yet? I thought you had had some warm days. Do folks where water shoes to walk into the water? Doesn't look like you have sand there.

    1. It was a warm day, but seaside holidays don't really get going till schools break up in July. There are some sandy beaches. The shoes on the wall that you may have noticed are part of the gear left drying by the surf school. When the holiday season does start I'll not be visiting the busy parts of the coast!

  6. Ah! Cromer, is this where you sit in the deck chairs with your back to the sea in order to get the sun. Told to me by an ex colleague who use to holiday there. 😎

  7. In fact, slow pedestrians, are the best kind. They are the ones who take it all in, as you have proven with this whimsical and enchanting account. "Slow, Pedestrians" would be a perfectly good sign too. Whether it would be heeded by motorists is another matter entirely.

  8. Loved seeing inside that beach shack...very well appointed I'd say. Thanks for a salty walk with lots to see.

  9. Such great photos, John. You and Les took a wonderful long walk there on such a beautiful day. I love the "Stern Reality" photos.

  10. You had a great time visiting this area. There's a mixture of old and new.

  11. What fun! So many interesting photos, and lots of color.

  12. Just a delightful trip for the reader! I'm happy to hear the beach places I so often read of still exist and are still used in these days of vacations a lot further from home.
    Loved the "witty" pictures, too.
    In terms of being slower as we age - I read this article from 13 years ago. Very interesting.

  13. A good friend lives in Cromer and I have stayed there several times so thanks for bringing back some memories.

  14. What a wonderful blog post! I haven’t been to Cromer in many years..probably not since my mum and dad took me on holiday to Mundesley on Sea, and we visited Cromer. In my neck of the woods, ( South Devon) we have Teignmouth Pier and Paignton Pier, which are still pretty popular with holidaymakers. My nephew worked on the design for the new Weston Super Mare Pier, which is obviously a modern contemporary design, and built for different reasons from the original pier!
    Lovely photos…thank you! 😁

  15. A great variety of photos, enjoyed all of them. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Having been to Cromer twice in the last two years I could, for once, identify the photos. I was hoping the crab would make it into the post and as always, you didn't disappoint.

  17. I can see the former glory in this coastal gem. Beautiful captures of the coast.

  18. Terrific photos, John. Love all of the beautiful colors!

  19. Cromer looks a wonderful town and a feed of crab would make it even better. Lovely photos as always

  20. I love a day at the seaside. Pity it's so far from here. So much to photograph and your pics, as always, tell a good story.

  21. Super photos,like the rusty tractors and beach huts. I still use a stoneware cheese dish we bought at a pottery there some time in the 1980s:)

  22. Who doesn't love going to the seashore? Great photos of this lovely little town. I hope your brother enjoyed his crab!

  23. Hi John - Les is a man after my own heart ... I'd get to Newlyn - and Mum and I would walk back down to the crabbery and get some crab meat, we'd go again the next night probably too! Delicious ... the Suffolk/Norfolk coasts I don't know that well. Lovely views you've given us though ... I'm joining you on the 5mph ... though I need to recover from your vicarly comment on my recent post!! cheers Hilary

  24. Les caught his crab.Love the colours that you found and the tour of Cromer. I had never heard of this seaside town.

  25. Wonderful photos! I like the beach huts, inside and outside!


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