The Fishermen’s Heritage Centre and Peter Coke Shell Gallery will remain closed until Easter. During the closed season work is progressing on several fronts.
The large wooden doors of the lifeboat shed have become increasingly difficult to open and close and rust has weakened the hinges. It will be necessary to fit new doors, preferably in time for the new season. There has also been a problem with rain and snow being blown into the shed on strong northerly winds. This problem will partly be solved by fitting new doors, but further steps are also being investigated to keep the shed waterproof. The timbers of the lifeboat have adjusted to the salty environment and are in very good condition for their age, but any fresh (i.e. non-salty) water getting into the bottom of the boat could cause deterioration, so extra measures may be necessary to prevent this happening. CCF cadets from Greshams School under the leadership of Gareth Burnell have erected a temporary shelter over the front of the boat made from disused canvas tents.
In the shell gallery a thorough clean will be carried out before opening and some rearrangement of the exhibits made to enable pieces which have been in storage recently to replace other pieces which have been on display.
Meanwhile the coffee morning talks will continue during the closed season for the heritage centre and shell gallery (see Events page).
In early September the Society organised a very enjoyable trip on the Lucy Lavers lifeboat based at Wells-next-the-Sea. Another such trip could be arranged if members and friends are interested.
This year’s art exhibition organised by our hard-working Art Committee was again a great success. The total of paintings on display was 360, fifty more than last year, and of these 68 were sold, yielding a profit of around £600.
The photograph shows Town Mayor David Gooch who opened the exhibition talking to members on the preview evening.
The raffle prize was generously donated by local artist Les Casey and was won by a lady from Nottinghamshire.
The good cause to benefit this year will be the Sheringham Play Park Appeal, as the equipment on the Cromer Road play area (near the Tesco store) needs updating.
A cheque for £600 was presented to the Appeal organisers by Chairman Peter Strudwick and Art Secretary Maureen Cooper.
On Saturday 14th May the Sheringham Society took part in the North Norfolk Stories Festival. Visitors to the Fishermen’s Heritage Centre were able to ask the Hon. Charlotte Upcher, paying a visit back to Sheringham from 1838, why she was motivated to commission Sheringham’s very first lifeboat, the Augusta. Her daughter-in-law, Caroline Upcher, told why she ordered its replacement in 1894.
Meanwhile in the Shell Gallery 19th century sailors revealed to visitors the secrets of sailors’ valentines and children were invited to help make a reproduction of one. Owing to the strong cold northerly wind which had set in there were fewer visitors than anticipated, but this gave those who did turn up a better opportunity to get involved.
The top photograph shows, from the left, Maureen Cooper, Peter Strudwick, Hilary Nelson, John and Maureen Gardiner in their period costumes. (A further sailor, William Rusdell, had already changed out of his costume when the photo was taken.) The second shows Maureen Cooper at the beginning of the session with, on the left, the empty frame for the sailor’s valentine which participating children had, by its end, made into a very accurate copy of the prototype on the right.