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Memories of North Lodge Park: Carnival in the park

PUBLISHED: 09:12 29 May 2019

Cromer’s Carnival Queen begins her reign. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

Cromer's Carnival Queen begins her reign. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

Archant

As Cromer's North Lodge Park celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, one of five charity trustees of the Friends of North Lodge Park group JOHN MORGAN is sharing memories, each month, of everything that has made it so special.

Ann West pictured the following year at the Fancy Dress competition on the park�s hard tennis courts. Ann�s elder brother Ralph, who was born in their grandparents� first floor flat in North Lodge, used to help her construct her prize-winning Fancy Dress outfits. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARKAnn West pictured the following year at the Fancy Dress competition on the park�s hard tennis courts. Ann�s elder brother Ralph, who was born in their grandparents� first floor flat in North Lodge, used to help her construct her prize-winning Fancy Dress outfits. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

North Lodge Park celebrated its 90th birthday in fine style, and attention now turns to the 50th anniversary of the modern Cromer Carnival following 1970's formation of the Voluntary Entertainments Organisation.

There had been Carnivals since at least the 1920s, and from l957 to 1964 North Lodge Park was the centre of Cromer's annual fun and games.

The building of the tennis courts bandstand in 1957 provided the perfect staging for the crowning of Miss Cromer when Carnival was just a one-day event. Top stars of the day in summer season at Great Yarmouth did the honours - including Tommy Trinder, Derek Roy, and David Nixon.

Long before the Runton Road 'carnival field', vehicles for the Carnival Parade assembled at Cabbell Park football ground, driving up Overstrand Road to meet up with the walking parade entrants at the hard tennis courts where the Fancy Dress was also judged.

David Nixon conjured up some time to enjoy the new model yacht pond during his 1957 appearance at Cromer Carnival. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARKDavid Nixon conjured up some time to enjoy the new model yacht pond during his 1957 appearance at Cromer Carnival. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

Master of Ceremonies Town Crier Alfie Howard, employed by the council as general summer cheerleader, was a regular presence in North Lodge Park throughout the season, providing children's entertainment from the park bandstand up to the early 1960s.

Next month - June - in North Lodge Park history

-1929: Receipts from the first week's putting were £11 5s 5d. The council resolved to permit putting etc on Sundays from 2pm. Sunday morning opening began in July 1957 (from 10am).

-1930: Cromer Urban District Council move into the North Lodge building after renovation completed, including the installation of electricity.

Ann West, Fancy Dress prize winner on a rainy 1957 Carnival Day in North Lodge Park. Ann�s grandfather was Fred Thurston � the park�s first head gardener � and her parents met at the putting office by the Lodge. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARKAnn West, Fancy Dress prize winner on a rainy 1957 Carnival Day in North Lodge Park. Ann�s grandfather was Fred Thurston � the park�s first head gardener � and her parents met at the putting office by the Lodge. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

-1946: Peace celebrations included a display by the Naval Training School and "the free use of the Park, Bowling Green and Tennis Courts." It was also recommended that "a girl" be employed in the putting ticket office at wages of £1 5s pw compared to £1 15s to £2 for "boys".

-1954: The reconstruction of Rusts Shelter on the upper lawn, east of Doctor's Steps Path, was abandoned as in breach of covenants proscribing the erection of buildings on land between Cliff Drive and East Cliff Path.

-1964: Permission was given for the Youth Club to hold trial weekly dances on the hard tennis courts provided "any music be kept to an absolute minimum".

-1968: A 'hovercraft' was installed at Children's Corner.

Alfie Howard introduces the crowning of Cromer’s 1957 Carnival Queen. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARKAlfie Howard introduces the crowning of Cromer’s 1957 Carnival Queen. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

- Do you have any memories or photographs - ideally of the hovercraft - from North Lodge Park over the past 90 years? Please contact the Friends via memories@northlodgepark.org.uk

David Nixon conjured up some time to enjoy the new model yacht pond during his 1957 appearance at Cromer Carnival. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARKDavid Nixon conjured up some time to enjoy the new model yacht pond during his 1957 appearance at Cromer Carnival. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

Cromer’s Carnival Queen begins her reign. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARKCromer’s Carnival Queen begins her reign. Picture: COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF NORTH LODGE PARK

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