‘The rage of the sea’: Talk will shed light on Norfolk’s turbulent relationship with the briny deep

Norfolk's relationship with the North Sea will th esubject of a talk. Image shows Posts on the beach

Norfolk's relationship with the North Sea will th esubject of a talk. Image shows Posts on the beach, being submerged by the rising tide at Titchwell Marsh RSPB reserve. Picture: ANDY HAY/RSPB IMAGES - Credit: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Norfolk's relationship with the North Sea - both bad and good - will be explored during a talk at a Sheringham museum next month.

David Stannard, a local historian and trustee of the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (Norah), will be delivering the talk at The Mo Sheringham Museum at The Mo.

His talk is entitled 'Spoyl'd by the Rage of the Sea' - a name taken from a 16th century document on the demise of St Mary's Church at Eccles-next-the-Sea following a series of storms in 1571.

Mr Stannard said: 'Eccles is just one of several coastal Norfolk villages which have succumbed to the sea over the centuries, which I discuss in the talk, along with many other disasters from severe storms.

'These have flooded the land, eroded the coastline, destroyed shipping, destroyed livelihoods and taken many thousands of lives over the centuries.

'I also point out that much human endeavour to counter these effects have been beneficial to our society at large, with any number of institutions founded to mitigate the effects of 'the raging sea'.'

Such institutions include the predecessor of the Met Office, which was set up at Caister to provide storm warnings to fishermen.

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Mr Stannard added the first home for shipwrecked seamen was set up in Great Yarmouth.

The talk will take place on September 16 from 12.30pm to 1.15pm, and will be sponsored by Norah.

September will be England's Heritage Open Days festival with roughly 5,000 events taking place across the country with as many as 40,000 volunteers helping.

Such events will enable questions to be explored such as whether the North Sea has been more trouble than it is worth.

Mr Stannard said: 'Consider the plight of Happisburgh, where over the past two decades much of the cliff has been eroded and tragically people have lost their homes as a result.

'In that same period some astonishing archaeological discoveries have been revealed showing Happisburgh is the site of the earliest known human beings to inhabit these islands.'

The museum tells the story of Sheringham from its beginning up to present day. It is run as a charity by volunteers.

Lisa Little, museum and collections manager, said: 'This is the first time the Sheringham Museum at the Mo has opened its doors for free during the Heritage Open Days and it coincides with the 1940s weekend here.