Reader column: ‘I can still go shopping, with my white stick’

Edna Ambler, from Cromer. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Edna Ambler, from Cromer. Picture: Stuart Anderson


In this week’s column we hear from Edna Ambler, who has a different view of Cromer - she has a visual impairment.

My name is Edna Ambler, I’m 93 and I have lived in Cromer for 37 years.

I moved up from north London with my husband, Walter - we called him Wally - who died 12 years ago, and we have loved living here.

Both my parents came from Norfolk but they met and married in London.

We came because Wally was a railwayman and our son was always interested in railways as well. We thought he would like the Poppy Line.

I have been visually impaired for 15 years. I have macular depreciation and it’s slowly getting worse. The retina is slowly dying. My forward vision is very blurry. I have better peripheral vision, but it’s moving in.

I found it very easy to walk around Cromer until last Christmas when I had a bad fall. I forgot the curb and since then I do rely on other people.

Wally and I travelled together a lot, that was what we wanted to do. He always got concessions on the railways, and not just here, but abroad as well.

But we always enjoyed coming back home to Cromer. The shops are excellent and we’ve got the bus and the train.

I think we walked the whole of the town when we were both active, so I know it well, and I can still go shopping, with my white stick.

The shops are most helpful, and the Co-op is excellent.

You just go in and say ‘can I have a shopper to help me please?’ And then they send someone to help. I can’t manage on my own because I can’t see what’s on the shelf.

There are more things out there to help you than you might ever have dreamed of.

The NNAB (Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind) have a lot of activities. We have coffee and biscuits every week on Tuesdays.

And then the library runs a book club once a month. It amazes me what others see in the same book. We listen to it after getting it on CD or on memory stick.

They did say Norfolk people are slow to befriend you but I must say I have found it a very friendly place to live. I tend to collect friends.

You have got to accept that it’s life. What’s the alternative? You have just got to be positive.

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