'A quiet beach, a picnic and my sketchbook' Q&A with Sheila Robinson

Sheila Robinson, from Southrepps and Artspace Cromer. 

Sheila Robinson, from Southrepps and Artspace Cromer. - Credit: Supplied by Sheila Robinson

Our weekly Q&A series features people who live or work in north Norfolk. This week we speak to Sheila Robinson, 57, from Southrepps. 

How would you best describe your job or role in the community?I’m an artist and also a trustee for a wonderful charity called Cromer Artspace, so I get to make art and work to give other people access to the incredible art being created in the area. I consider myself very lucky.

Shelia Robinson, left, and Ruth Brumby, from Artspace Cromer, in front of the

Shelia Robinson, left, and Ruth Brumby, from Artspace Cromer, in front of the Art Deco building the group will be using on Cromer's Espalande. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

How long have you lived here?
I’ve lived in Southrepps for eight-and-a-half years now. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere, which says a great deal about how much I have grown to love this place.

What would you do if you were mayor for a day?
I’d be a dreadful mayor! Maybe we’d have a village party with free beer and the chance for everyone to do something creative-make a painting, sing a song, tell a story, have a dance.

When I was a teacher I saw art transform the lives of young people every day, we are meant to be creative.

What is your favourite landmark in north Norfolk?
Cromer Shoal, it’s the largest chalk reef in Europe, a marine conservation zone and a real treasure. Every North Norfolk beach is a wonder.

Cromer shoal

Underwater life on the Cromer Shoal, the largest chalk reef in Europe. - Credit: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

What is your favourite pub?
My local, the Vernon Arms in Southrepps. A real traditional pub. Heart of the village, great beer and they support our art trail every year.

The Vernon Arms in Southrepps.

The Vernon Arms in Southrepps. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

Which shops do you rely on?
I’m not much of a shopper, my idea of hell is a supermarket queue at Christmas.
My favourite retail outlet is the strawberry stall in Antingham and the veg place by Gunton station.

What is your favourite place to eat out in north Norfolk?
The Ingham Swan. They have tonka bean puddings that are far, far too nice. 
They can also make something simple like beetroot taste extraordinary and the staff are really friendly.

Daniel Smith, chef proprietor at the Ingham Swan, which makes a mean tonka bean pudding.

Daniel Smith, chef proprietor at the Ingham Swan, which makes a mean tonka bean pudding. - Credit: Archant

What is a perfect day in north Norfolk for you?
It’s simple. I’d pick a sunny day with a perfect blue sky. I’d be on a quiet beach with the people I love, a picnic and my sketchbook.
I might have to throw in an hour weightlifting at the gym too.

Cromer artist, Paul Darley, painting a timeless fishing boat scene on Cromer Beach.PHOTO: ANTONY K

An artist painting on Cromer beach. Sheila Robinson said making out while out and about in north Norfolk was also one of her favourite things to do. - Credit: ANTONY KELLY

Which places in north Norfolk would you recommend to visitors? Well, obviously the place to be this summer is the new Cromer Artspace on the Prom, our amazing new gallery in Cromer.

I’d also highly recommend visitors to check out an art trail on the North Norfolk Open Studios in May and June.
It’s free, fun and you’ll be amazed to see how many artists live and work in the area.

Who is your north Norfolk hero?
Anyone who is struggling, maybe a single parent, or someone who has to watch every penny, or battles with their physical or mental heath and just keeps going. The nurses, doctors and carers. We are surrounded by heroes, many of them unsung.

What do you most love about north Norfolk?
The incredible light, the coast, the landscape and the people. When I was a child I used to come to Norfolk to holiday with my Mum’s family. Compared to my home in south London I thought it was heaven, and I haven’t changed my mind.