The brief history of North Lodge Park produced to mark the 90th birthday of Cromer’s clifftop park has been chosen as one of the “Books of the Month” by Let’s Talk magazine.
“Full of colour and black and white photographs and packed with facts and memories,” writes Jarrold’s Bruce Kemble-Johnson in the latest issue. “A must for any Cromer lover.”
The 28-page booklet tells the story of the first 90 years of the park from its auction purchase by Cromer Council to prevent this last piece of green space on the cliff being sold as separate building plots.
Rapidly developed as a Pleasure Gardens through the 1930s, when the tea rooms and Rocket House gardens were established, the putting greens were in use throughout the Second World War.
The booklet describes the two Model Yacht Ponds donated by R W Clarke, reveals thwarted plans for a huge 5,000 sq ft Floral Hall, and tells the tale of Cromer’s Model Village next to the Old Watch House for 25 years.
This saga reflected changing tastes and holiday patterns, perhaps most starkly revealed in the drop in the numbers of park putters from nearly 44,000 in 1960 to under 7,000 in 2011.
Published to mark the 90th birthday of the park’s opening on 18 May 1929 and raise funds for the new ‘playful connection’ bridge, it is the first of several volumes planned to provide a complete history of the park for its centenary in 2029.
Available for £5 from the Crepes & Cakes café in the park, Jarrolds, Cromer Museum, and online at northlodgepark.org.uk for £5, proceeds go to the Friends of North Lodge Park reg charity 1169907.
MEMORIES OF NORTH LODGE PARK – 90 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH
By the beginning of September 1929, putting receipts from the 9-hole course to the south and the small clock golf course on the north (sea) side of the Lodge were £253 3 1d – just under half in August, when £112 17s receipts exceeded all Cromer car park receipts (£109 5s) for that month.
A site inspection meeting was held on 9 September “to consider the question of laying out a putting course on the Doctors Steps Field” for the 1930 season. It also agreed to close Primrose Lane, which ran from Overstrand Road to the cliff path, past the west side of North Lodge.
Approx four stones (weight) of apples was picked from the park’s orchard by the Overstrand Road and donated to the Cromer Cottage Hospital on Louden Road. It was decided to replace the trees with flowering shrubs donated by Mr G A Rounce, although in October it was agreed the trees be retained “in view of their display of blossom in the spring and their shade in the Summer.”
Six benches donated by Mr E Troller were delivered, and there was great delight in the Medical Research Council’s report that Cromer was one of the best places for “ultra-light” (ultra-violet light) in the country.