I mentioned Salena Dawson's children's books which she has written about Clay the Cromer Crab and his trio of adventures.
Clay lives in a place called Shipden which is close to Cromer Pier. People interested in Norfolk history may recognise this name because Shipden actually did exist. In fact it's a submerged village which once stood around where Cromer Pier is at the present time.
The story of Shipden is an intriguing one to say the least and one that most of the thousands of holidaymakers who make their way to the North Norfolk resort each summer will be totally unaware of.
Apparently Shipden was a prosperous town which slowly slipped into the sea and disappeared in the late 14th century. A large rock several hundreds of yards out to sea from the pier can sometimes be seen at very low tide and is known as the Church Rock. It is the remains of St Peter's Church at Shipden. Legend has it that in stormy weather the church bells can still be heard - possibly luring sailors onto the rocks!
Shipden is mentioned in the Domesday Book but was washed away by coastal erosion. The settlement moved further inland to become what is modern day Cromer whilst the original Shipden was totally engulfed by the sea.
I really find that a fascinating story. We hear so much today about coastal erosion and tend to think of it as a new problem. But it quite obviously isn't. Books and articles that mention Shipden seem to be quite clinical on the subject. I wonder how the people who lived there behaved as they saw their village becoming swallowed up by the sea. There seem to be very few details available and it's certainly something I will be researching some time in the future. One fact that is known is Shipden villagers petitioned for the building of a new church which eventually took the shape of the magnificent Cromer Parish Church.
* * *
Hethersett solicitor Salena Dawson is pictured at the top of the page with her three books - all of which feature Clay the Cromer Crab. There's "Clay The Cromer Crab and the Search for the Lost Seal Pup," "Clay the Cromer Crab and the Hunt for Black Shuck" and "Clay the Cromer Crab and the Invasion of the Jellyfish."
* * *
Finally today I again post the artist's impression of the proposed new pavilion on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field and below it are a couple of photos taken yesterday of the horrible and outdated existing pavilion building. As they say a picture paints a thousand words.