Acrobat by Sue Purser Hope


SUSAN PURSER HOPESusan Purser Hope, a Cromer based glass artist, has chosen the North Lodge Tea Rooms as her venue for Open Studios this year. Running from 27th May until the end of June, the show features two distinct ranges of wall hung work in fused glass. The first is a series of abstract landscape and seascapes inspired by Susan’s love of the Norfolk that she discovered when she moved here four years ago to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition to live by the sea.Susan’s other love is the extraordinary world of entertainment that she discovered in the area. As she explains, “I have always loved fairgrounds and circuses. So I was delighted to discover the wonders at Thursford and the delights of the water circus at the Hippodrome at Great Yarmouth. My favourite book is J. B. Priestley’s The Good Companions and it was amazing to find the End of Pier show at the Pavilion Theatre here in Cromer!” Examples of her circus images are also included in the exhibition.


Meet the artist: Sue will be in the cafe during the afternoon of  Sunday 28th May.

For more information please contact Susan on 07970 419125 or,

Between Sea & Sky by Sue Purser Hope Acrobat by Sue Purser Hope

alice and flamingo

Croquet taster day: 14 May 2017

croquet taster dayCroquet is a sport that involves hitting  balls with a mallet through hoops embedded in a grass playing court.  What could be simpler?

On May 14th you’ll have the chance to find out when experts from Bodham Croquet Club will be on hand in North Lodge park to help you learn some of the challenges and get to grips with balls, mallets and hoops.

14th May, 11-4.

George Holmes

Folk on the Pier Fringe Festival

We’re really pleased to be past of this year’s Folk on the Pier Fringe Festival, welcoming George Holmes to the Park Saturday and Sunday at midday.

George Holmes’ Biography:
George HolmesI have been playing guitar and singing from the age of 14.(many Many moons ago.)I started in local skiffle band thanks to the influence of Lonnie Donegan. My first public song was the Rock Island Line. As a Party Rock Band we followed the music around the country Remember before that band called the Beatles,on the music scene was the so called London sound thanks to a cheeky chap called Joe brown,whom I was privileged to back in the 60s. I backed Joe the night Picture of you went top of the charts. We travelled as the London sound backing artists as and when required. Granada Cinemas used to put on visiting overseas artists backed by local bands ,where I was privileged to share the stage with such names as,Gene Vincent ,Jerry Lee Lewis,Chuck Berry,the Barron Knights and Freddy Garrity of Freddie and the Dreamers fame.(to name a few.)I also played the Royal Festival Hall ,to a full house no less in the Frankie Vaughn show.A super lady I backed one day at an impromptu show was the wonderful Isla St, Claire. I play music as an enjoyment and that is why I feel privileged to play a small part in the best gig in the East Coast ,Folk on the Pier. I hope to play many more!

folk on the pier fringe in north lodge park

art trail


crab and lobster porthole 2017The Crab and Lobster Festival is holding its annual art trail…this year the theme is portholes. One of our lovely volunteers, Barbara Swarbrick, has designed and painted this beautiful porthole.
Barbara studied art & design in the 1960s, went to Australia in the early 1970s and made her living from ceramic art and design for over 30 years. Her starting point for this work is the glamour, style and opulence of the Liners sailing the world in the years 1920 – 1950. There are also references to the North Lodge Park Tea Rooms where she works as a volunteer.
Our lovely new porthole sits alongside the beach hut which was the entry for last year.

filling the boating lake

Art in the Park

You may never look at your garden forks and spades in quite the same way

The year that was, and what’s to come

agm 2017The change of orientation in the community hall for the AGM may have flummoxed the technology, but it didn’t dampen your spirits and support for the work all the volunteers are doing to bring life to the Park. We’ve put the presentation on our website so you can see a summary of what was discussed, Apart from congratulating ourselves for surviving another year, there are a couple of important points to note.

  1. It was agreed that we would re-introduce the annual subscription for the Friends at £5 per household. The subscription is a response to the many of you who ask to join the Friends, and will raise money to be invested in the Park. If you want to join, you can do so on our website, or pop into the cafe.
  2. We have been informed by NNDC that, because of heritage concerns, the old bowling green isn’t the most appropriate place for the play park! We are putting this into context with the withdrawal of the car park proposals and taking the opportunity to reassess our strategy for the Park. Watch this space!

filling the boating lakeWe are really grateful to NNDC for their works on the boating lake which now looks like new, and are looking forward to other repairs planned for a couple of shelters and the bridge. We are hoping these new investments and life for the Park, without the car park elephant in the room, will see NNDC working with the community and that we can look forward to a really positive time ahead.

Art in the Park.

wildfoul ii by Bob CatchpoleOn April 4th we unveiled Wildfoul II in the Rose Garden, a sculpture by local artist Bob Catchpole very kindly donated to the Friends.

Cllr John Lee, chair of the district council, did the honours on the day. “It’s amazing what the volunteers have achieved in the gardens”, he said, “Installing this sculpture on the empty plinth is a real achievement and I’m proud to be part of the project supporting the Friends.”

We hope you’ll take time to come and see the sculpture, and the work the volunteers have been doing in the Rose Gardens. The gardens aren’t finished (is gardening ever finished?) and the volunteers will continue their hard work. I know you will all join me in thanking all the volunteers for the hours and hours they put into making the gardens look good for us all to enjoy.

Some dates for your diary

  • During the Easter school holidays we’re running a children’s treasure hunt round the Park. Come into the cafe to pick up a quiz sheet and then let your (grand)children lead you round the Park to complete it.
  • Alongside the Cromer 60s day on April 23rd, we’ll be having 60s music at the cafe from 11.30.
  • As part of the Folk on the Pier festival we will be hosting a couple of festival fringe events. In the afternoons of May 6th and 7th there will be music in the Park,
  • alice and flamingoOn May 14th we’re welcoming Bodham Croquet Club to the Park for a ‘taster day’. I apologise to those of you not familiar with Alice in Wonderland who misunderstood the flamingo reference in my last missive and thought we would be working with Amazona Zoo to bring flamingos to the Park. I can assure you no animals (or birds) will be harmed during the croquet taster day!

We’ve just signed a new licence for the cafe and are looking forward to welcoming a new coffee machine very soon so all our volunteer baristas can serve you even better coffee!



Barry Meadows
Flamingo Trainer (still)

wildfoul ii by Bob Catchpole

Art in the Park

Sculpture complements Rose Garden restoration

The plinth in North Lodge Park gets a new occupant

For Wildfoul ii by Bob Catchpoleover 18 months volunteers from the Friends of North Lodge Park have been restoring the Rose Garden in the Park, working around the empty plinth which once supported a sun dial. When local sculptor Bob Catchpole heard the Friends were looking for a sculpture for the empty plinth he donated one. “I have worked with old garden tools for many years, giving them a new role and purpose,” Bob said. “So when I heard about the work of the volunteers in the Park I thought that my use of recycled tools to produce art really fitted with their aspirations and wanted to contribute to the restoration.”
“Thanks to Bob’s work you may never look at your garden forks and spades in quite the same way again. But that’s the whole point,” said Barry Meadows from the Friends of North Lodge Park. “We’re really interested in bringing works of art to the Park and Bob’s really generous offer gives us a flying start. If we get a positive response from the public we’ll look for more ways to bring more art to the Park.”


Cllr John Lee and Bob Catchpole

Cllr John Lee and Bob Catchpole

“It’s amazing what the volunteers have achieved in the gardens”, said Councillor John Lee, Chairman of the District Council who unveiled the sculpture on the 4th April. “Installing this sculpture on the empty plinth is a real achievement and I’m proud to be part of the project supporting the Friends.”
For many years, Bob has been using agricultural and garden tools in his sculptural works, something which is a surreal and wonderful sight at the same time. After attending both Norwich School and Norwich Art School, he studied Fine Art at Newcastle University before going on to a post-graduate degree at the world-renowned Slade School of Fine Art in London. He has spent a large part of his professional life teaching sculpture, latterly being head of sculpture at Eton College, Windsor for almost 30 years. He established his first studio in North Walsham, Norfolk in 1985 and has lived there ever since.

Was the event worthwhile?

Skating week review

Thanks to almost 2000 of you who enjoyed the skating week in North Lodge Park in February, and to over 100 of you who responded to give us feedback,

Was the event worthwhile?


Was the event worthwhile?




Over 91% of respondents thought the event was worthwhile

Was the event good value for money?

Was the event good value for money?

No respondents thought the event was too expensive.

Would you pay £15 for a real ice rink?

Would you pay £15 for a real ice rink?

50% of respondents would pay £15 for real ice, most with the caveat that hour long sessions would be needed.

What did you particularly enjoy?

A few of the many comments from you

“Being able to afford to do a lovely activity close by”
“Fun atmosphere. Didn’t need to be an expert. Other family members could watch. Enjoyed tea and cake in the cafe afterwards”
“There was a real buzz of happiness about the place, and in our book that’s success!”
“That my children got to try out ice skating for the first time in a very friendly safe environment and had loads of fun!”
“Seeing the park the focus of Cromer activity”
“It being outside by the sea. Music playing. Everyone being friendly. A different activity to do.”
“The happy atmosphere of all who attended both the participants and the people watching. It captured my boys imagination and his joy at being able to shuffle along with his mum was priceless.”
“Hearing the kids happy and outside and doing something.”
“Fun for young families to try skating, and a great atmosphere within the park.”
“Having fun & lots of laughs.”
“Family time without having to travel to far”
“I loved the fact that the whole event brought people and in particular families out doing an event together and having outdoor fun. it had a real sense of community spirit”
“It was fun for all the family”
“I was there on the rainy day and everyone carried on oblivious to the weather”
“The sound of laughter and people’s smiling faces as they came off the ice.”
“That at last the park was being used for family fun!”
“Family fun.”

Easter Treasure hunt in North Lodge Park

Easter Treasure hunt in North Lodge Park

Easter Treasure hunt in North Lodge ParkThrough the Easter School holidays families can explore North Lodge Park in rhyme

Saturday 1st April to Easter Sunday 16th April inclusive

This Easter, families can explore North Lodge Park with the help of a special Treasure Hunt. Carefully prepared by a trainee Bard, the rhyming couplets will encourage children to look around them and find the answers to the simple clues around the Park. On completion of the Treasure Hunt, the use of the magic word in the cafe will release an Easter Egg for successful children. Come and see what wonders there are in North Lodge Park.

The treasure hunt (and Easter Eggs!) will be available during cafe hours (10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday)

Nominal Entry cost: 50p each


2017 Annual Public Meeting

Date for your diary

Don’t forget our annual public meeting is on Wednesday 22nd March at 7.30 in the Community hall on Garden Street. Come and meet other supporters of North Lodge Park and discuss the Park and what you want to see over the coming year.

As a registered charity we’re entering a new phase in the life of the Friends. As well as needing volunteers for the day to day running of the group (and helping in the cafe and gardens) we’re looking for trustees who are specialists in their field – such as fundraisers, planners, and administrators – to help us take the charity forward. If you are interested and would like to give time and expertise to the charity please let us know.