Sunday, July 22, 2012
Times may be tough but a sizzlingly-sunny Sunday by the seaside brought out the wallets along with the knotted hankies as bidders splashed out a total of £4,100 for 50 decorated windbreaks and other art works this afternoon.
The afternoon also saw awards handed out for the highly-successful crab and lobster festival food trail which involved 30 restaurants, snack bars, pubs and cafés.
Each created a festival special seafood dish, served up with a voting card.
More than 7,000 cards were issued and nearly 2,000 were returned with diners’ votes and comments.
The winners were: first prize for a dish costing under £3.99 in Cromer: Huckleberries, on Church Street, with their smiley crab-shaped shortbread biscuit; first prize in Sheringham: La De Da’s, on Station Road, with a crab, prawn and sweetcorn soup; runner-up Whelk Coppers, The Driftway, with kipper paté and toast, with salad garnish.
First prize for a dish priced between £4-£5.99 in Cromer: Blue Sky Café, Runton Road, with a seafood chowder; runner-up The Old Rock Shop Bistro, Hamilton Road, with a seafood chowder; first prize in Sheringham: Roy Boys, Station Road, for crab with sweet chilli and garlic in a beer bap; runner-up Pungleperry’s, High Street, prawn with Thai green curry and spicy onion wrap.
First prize for a dish between £6-£7.99 in Cromer: The Jetty Café, High Street, with a whole crab salad, home-made coleslaw, potato salad and fresh granary roll; runner-up, Lucky’s Café, Garden Street, crab salad with potato salad, coleslaw and Marie-rose sauce; first prize in Sheringham: The Bank Restaurant, Church Street, with Nepalese-style crab tikki and chips; runner-up Crofters Restaurant, High Street, with crab and cheese bake with salad and hand-cut chips: first prize in nearby area, Cookies Crab Shop, of Salthouse, for whole crab salad with bread and butter; runner-up Roman Camp Inn, Aylmerton, with Crab Parisotto - a blend of crab, white wine, cheese, brandy and cream in choux pastry on a bed of beetroot risotto.
Special award for more than 600 voting cards, and positive customer comments: The Jetty Café, High Street, Cromer.
Siri Taylor, who organised the trail, said she was delighted with the response from the area’s eating places.
“It was such a new idea, and they really entered into the spirit of the trail,
making an extra effort to produce something delicious for their festival dish, all the awards were very well deserved.
“I’m hopeful we’ll run a similar scheme next year. In the meantime, a new food trail will be starting shortly, linked to the COAST arts festival in October,” she said.
The creations, designed by community groups, schoolchildren, professional and amateur artists for the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival, made a colourful display ranged along the zig-zag slope to Cromer Pier.
Auctioneer Martyn Fox successfully coaxed more than 80 registered bidders to part with their cash in a spectacle enjoyed by a crowd of hundreds.
The highest price, £285, was paid by Frances Rump and her real-ale fan husband Simon, from Thorpe, for a stylised beach-hut themed windbreak in pastel colours, sporting the name of Norfolk brewery Woodforde’s.
Antique dealer Paul Attfield went home with three windbreaks, plus a life buoy painted by former Sheringham mayor Noel Gant, for which he paid £100.
He plans to display some in his garden, along with a decorated crab and lobster bought in the festival’s first year, and others in his eight-year-old son Henry’s games room.
Mr Attfield’s haul included a windbreak sponsored by Cromer Parish Church, and painted by parishoners, for which he paid £230.
Cromer’s Breakers cafe owner Ema Rowlands and her partner Laurie Scott bought their own sponsored windbreak, painted with a scene of Cromer beach and pier, for £270. It will go on display in the Garden Street eatery, alongside their award-winning 2011 deckchair, also painted by Dianne Lindsay, of Gimingham, who has just become a professional artist after 30 years as a teacher.
Another of the afternoon’s big spenders was Aylmerton-based photographer Pierre Butikofer who paid £180 for a beach-hut scene by Sally Gibson, of the Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
“It’s cheaper than buying a real beach hut at Southwold,” joked Mr Butikofer.
“I know the artist and I know how much work went into it. It’s a real labour of love and a work of art,” he added.
Auction proceeds will be shared between the Fishermen’s Mission and successful applicants to a new festival community grant award scheme.
Mr Gant’s creation was there to promote the decorated life-ring theme of next year’s festival when sponsors will be able to buy a medium-sized or small version.
Festival chairman Tony Shipp was pleased with the afternoon. “It’s very good in the present climate. There were one or two that I thought would possibly make a bit more but overall most of them made more than the reserve we had put on,” he said.
“We’ve had excellent comments from people all day. They really appreciate the amount of work that’s gone into this.”