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It’s a smooth passage across cobbles on Cromer’s historic Gangway

PUBLISHED: 12:15 06 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:17 06 April 2016

Architect and former Cromer Town Councillor Jim Bond who's been instrumental in having an access walk crossing the gangway in Cromer safer for wheelchair users to cross the cobble stones. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Architect and former Cromer Town Councillor Jim Bond who's been instrumental in having an access walk crossing the gangway in Cromer safer for wheelchair users to cross the cobble stones. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

It has been many decades since horses hauled cart loads of cargo up Cromer’s historic Gangway.

Wheeled bathing machines on the beach at the bottom of Cromer's Gangway in a scene that otherwise has changed little. Wheeled bathing machines on the beach at the bottom of Cromer's Gangway in a scene that otherwise has changed little.

Now a simple solution that enabled them to undertake the ascent is helping to meet more modern day needs.

Newly installed granite slabs are making it easier for people with mobility problems to cross the cobbled hill.

Two lines of slabs once provided smooth tracks up the Gangway for the horse drawn waggons collecting goods from boats moored on Cromer beach.

With the uneven surface making access difficult for mobility scooter riders, wheelchair users and mums with pushchairs it was decided use the tried and tested solution again.

Wheelchair user Jim Bond had the idea for the improvement while serving on Cromer Town Council.

It was agreed the crossing point would be created as part of resurfacing work to the footpaths carried out by Norfolk County Council.

Architect Mr Bond said has been using a wheelchair for the last four years after breaking his neck in an accident

He said: “It used to be almost impossible to get across the cobbles in a wheelchair, but I don’t give it a second thought now.

“The slabs are in keeping with the material that were used before 
and have provided a simple 
solution that many people will benefit from. The work has been done in a way that is quite sensitive and in keeping with a conservation area. The Gangway is quite historic and most people would not even notice this is there, which is good.”

Cromer’s Gangway once provided the route into town for horse drawn waggons carrying coal from ships moored at sea.

A large coal yard stood at the top of the hill on land now occupied by Brunswick Crescent and house. It closed when the carting of coal ceased following the arrival of the railway in the 1800s.In the early nineteenth century the Gangway was lined with granaries, which were later converted into five small houses for the use of coastguards.

The Old Lifeboat House containing a Fishermen’s Reading Room and look-out was demolished in 1882, when the replacement was built near to the beach and the gangway was paved. Before then the ground at the top of the gangway was lower than now, and used for storing large boats called pinkers weighing 25-30 tons.

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