Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Nottiff of Sheringham

Monday 1 October 2012. We have finished journeying up and down the North Norfolk Railway and decided to have a look at what else Sheringham has to offer.

I was a touch surprised to see a pub called the Robin Hood. I didn't actually go in to see whether there was any claim to connection with the famous outlaw of Sherwood Forest, but perhaps it was a drunken mistake as per my title at the top!

The town clock has been built onto a shelter with a sign that says it was once the site of the town's water supply and possibly the stocks and pillory.

By water supply, this means a well. Few town wells were what most people would think of with a handle to winch down a bucket. They were mostly puddles some of which were defined by stone or brickwork but at which you would normally stoop to fill your bucket or whatever you had brought.

Some delivered clear water, others brackish green or brown water with a generous share of pond life. Tadpoles are easy to fish out, microscopic life forms including bacteria are not... The word "possibly" is fun as well isn't it? As in "possibly the site of the stocks and pillory... but possibly not..."

Down the main street towards the seafront, the Lobster seemed to have been in the wars. Covered with bullet holes and a shell hole, it turned out that these had been painted on in honour of a 1940s night!

At first glance though it did seem particularly appropriate that the pub was on the corner of Gun Street!

Joyful West's Seafood Bar stands on the other corner. Now I have never been a fan of seafood I'm afraid. Raised some 50 miles from the coast in Rochdale, seafood was not a family staple foodstuff in the 1950s and 60s of my childhood. Fish came from the chippy and was cod, hake or haddock and if we ate fish in a "posh" restaurant it would be plaice. Salmon came from a tin and I never even tasted tuna until I was 30. Shrimps, prawns and most definitely things like mussels, crab, lobster, oysters, squid, and scallops mostly remain (the exception is prawns) if not downright poison at least under the mental heading of probably-tastes-so-putrid-I'd-puke!

At the end of the street right on the seafront is The Two Lifeboats pub. The beach is one of those where tons of huge rocks have been spilled to protect the coastal area from the sea. Practical and comparatively cheap I suppose, but looks bloody awful. But it seems to be getting increasingly common more's the pity. Perhaps they will look ok in a few thousand years when the rocks have worn smooth by the sea?

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