New angle on the humble beach hut

Beach huts are a timeless part of the seaside scene - their deckchair-bright colours and regimented rows peering over promenades, and providing shelter to happy holidaying families.

Beach huts are a timeless part of the seaside scene - their deckchair-bright colours and regimented rows peering over promenades, and providing shelter to happy holidaying families.

But their garden shed design has been as conventional and conservative as those other English institution crickets and croquet - until now.

So imagine the neat rows of pitch-roofed beachside boxes punctuated by… a towering gin and tonic with a slice of lemon that lights up at night, a giant opening oyster shell, a block of cheese, or a sandcastle with a plastic windmill on the top.

They are among the offbeat ideas soon to be showcased at Cromer as a touring art show arrives at the resort - seeking to make waves around the man-made seafront.


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The Bathing Beauties will breeze on to Cromer seafront this weekend at a venue close to the rows of existing huts.

Local architect Jim Bond, who is the man behind bringing Bathing Beauties to the town, said: “It is all about pushing the bounds from the more traditional approach and to see what is possible.

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“The designs are really eye-catching, clever and fun - and give food for thought. They are designed not to blend in, but to be pieces of architecture that stand out in their own right.”

Mr Bond said he would love to see half of dozen of the designs worked into Cromer seafront - but such bohemian ideas may hit problems with the authorities.

A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said its beach hut rules were that there were two approved designers for traditional “garden shed” style huts - costing about £2,000 - which could be put on the £400-a-year sites, for which there was a six-year waiting list.

Colours were restricted to Alaska Blue, Cherry Red, Canary Yellow and Mid Green, and “anything else would need special permission.”

Bathing Beauties will be at the Henry Blogg RNLI lifeboat museum at the bottom of Cromer's Gangway from October 4 until the end of the month, open daily (bar Mondays) from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free, but with donations going towards a fund to restore Henry Blogg's fishing boat the Q J and J.

The exhibition is being backed by the local chamber of trade, and the Garden House Gallery, but is still seeking other commercial sponsors, who should contact Hilary Hann on 01263 511234.

For more information about the exhibition visit www.bathingbeauties.org.uk

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