'North Norfolk has so many characters' Q&A with Gary Hughes

Gary Hughes, from Sheringham, has collaborated on a new song prompted by the war in Ukraine.

Gary Hughes, from Sheringham, has collaborated on a new song prompted by the war in Ukraine. - Credit: Supplied by Gary Hughes

We're featuring people who live and work in north Norfolk in a series of Q&As. This week, we speak to Gary Hughes, 62, from Sheringham. 

How would you best describe your job or role in the community? 
I currently work as a security supervisor at Norwich Airport and I have previously served on my local parish council.  

I have a great sense of community which is one of the things that drove me to join the police some years ago and there are so many good, important causes today that I’d like to be able to help.  

The most important one currently is the plight of Ukrainian refugees. These are genuinely people forced to flee their homes and who look forward to one day going back to those homes.  

We’re all suffering from the increased cost of living but I’d love to think that a song written by Steve Page and I could help, especially as it will only cost a relatively small amount to buy, that might just add up to something significant.

How long have you lived here? 
I’ve lived near Sheringham for about six-and-a-half years after moving from my home town of Walsall in the West Midlands.  

My partner, Samantha, and I moved to Norfolk as we were tired of the pressures of living in a big industrial town and the daily commute.  I can now drive the 24-mile commute to Norwich in less time than it took to do the eight miles I had to do previously.

What would you do if you were mayor for a day? 
Sort out the lack of a proper bus service through my village.  
The local community is from an older age group and it’s now really difficult to get around without your own transport. I’m fortunate that I’m still able to drive but I fear having to leave the village in a few years because of the issue.

What is your favourite landmark in north Norfolk? 
I love Happisburgh Lighthouse.  It’s such a picturesque spot and has a history to it, which intrigues me.

What is your favourite pub? 
I don’t really have one, but I do quite like the Two Lifeboats in Sheringham since it was renovated. There really are a lot of nice pubs to eat and drink at in the area though.

The Two Lifeboats hotel in Sheringham.

The Two Lifeboats hotel in Sheringham. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

Which shops do you rely on? 
Hmmm, several really. Mostly in Sheringham but some in North Walsham too. However, my cats rely very heavily on me picking up their food from Tesco at very short notice.

What is your favourite place to eat out in north Norfolk? 
The Mulberry Tea Room in Sheringham is probably my favourite place to go for a beautiful, hearty meal at lunchtime.  It’s really not for the youngsters so much, but the ambience is lovely, the meals are great quality - especially for the price - and the staff / owners are great company.

What is a perfect day in north Norfolk for you?     
A long walk through Sheringham Park then down to the sea and into Sheringham along the beach - well, pebbles! Followed by an ice cream from one of the fantastic ice cream vendors or shops in town.

Sheringham beach.

Sheringham beach. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Which places in north Norfolk would you recommend to visitors?
Blakeney Quay is beautiful and tranquil - perhaps not during the height of the summer season - and I’d highly recommend the seal watching trips. Sheringham Park is another tranquil spot, even in summer, and it’s within walking distance from our home.  

It’s famously landscaped by Humphrey Repton and covers something like 1,000 acres so there’s plenty of room. Look out for the rhododendrons and azaleas when they’re flowering - beautiful. 

Sunset at Blakeney Quay Picture: Maureen Seekings

Sunset at Blakeney Quay. - Credit: Maureen Seekings

Who is your north Norfolk hero? 
It has to be Admiral Lord Nelson. He is perhaps a flawed character but a true naval genius who helped make Britain such a great country.

Admiral Lord Nelson.

Admiral Lord Nelson. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

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What do you most love about north Norfolk? 
The slow pace of life, the scenery and the people - there’s so many characters.

*Would you like to take part in our Q&A? Email stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk