Day 3 of our trip to North Norfolk and we woke to heavy rain and 50 mph gales so we decided to head inland to Norwich. But before we leave Cromer we visited Cromer Church.
The Church was built in the late 14th century to replace the church of St Paul which had existed on this site and the church of St Peter which had been on the seafront and which eventually fell into the sea due to erosion. The Church’s fortunes followed the fortunes of the town and after the Middle Ages, it was allowed to fall into disrepair. There was a plan to renovate it in the 18th century but no action was taken. Only when the town’s fortunes began to revive with the arrival of the railway in the 19th century was restoration finally carried out.
The south wall has an interesting set of stained glass windows depicting Cromer’s connection to the sea and in particular the rescue of the Sepoy, a sailing barge, in December 1936 by the Cromer Lifeboat. The lifeboat had already launched, in bad weather, to help a barge which had gone aground near Happisburgh. The coxswain decided that in these weather conditions, rather than return to Cromer they would put into Great Yarmouth. Then a second call came into Cromer from the Sepoy. Some men, who had not sailed on the lifeboat decided to put out in the Alexandria, an old rowing lifeboat to give aid, but were unable to get near to the Sepoy. At the same time word reached the Coxswain, Henry Bloggs, now docked in Great Yarmouth and despite the worsening weather conditions he and his crew set out for Cromer. Arriving at the scene he was unable to get a line aboard to rescue the crew so he twice took his boat in to contact with the ailing barge to take off the crew. Running low on fuel he made it back into the harbour at Cromer.