Turnstone, by John Maiden, December 22, 2015

turnstone
turnstone

For polar bears and the inhabitants of low-lying islands, climate change caused by global warming is no joke, but the mild weather we have been having of late does give us something to smile about when it comes to keeping our homes warm.

A log fire in the evening has been quite adequate this month and, when using copies of the Lynn News as firelighters, I have been catching up 
on some of the stories that have made the headlines in 2015.

However, the discovery of a box of old press cuttings has taken me back thirty years to June 11 1985 – the year ‘Back to the future’ was released – when the headline for a story by Mike Last was: “Seaside search for museum site”.

According to the report, West Norfolk Council and the county’s museum service had already been approached to see if they could help in establishing a museum to hold a permanent record of Hunstanton and serve as a visitor attraction. Among the interesting pictures, articles and press cuttings that could 
have been displayed there were ones of the 1953 Floods, the frozen sea in 1963, and 
the storm in 1978, which washed away our Victorian pier.

Needless to say, railway memorabilia would also have formed part of an eye-catching display, along with collections from the beach. It was nearly thirty years before this idea became a reality, when Hunstanton & District Civic Society opened the Heritage Centre at 15 The Green in 
August 2013; but we still require assistance from the council and the museums service if the Heritage Centre is to fulfil the aspirations of local inhabitants and visitors alike.

Apparently the idea of sinking £50k on a feasibility study into creating a marine lake has been abandoned, so perhaps this would be an ideal time to float the idea of investing in a permanent home for the Heritage Centre. This could be achieved by acquiring the premises we are fortunate enough to occupy, free of rent, thanks to the generosity of our landlords, Solveig and Derek Ward.

This would not preclude the possibility of acquiring the ‘hangar’ and transforming it into a centre devoted to the study of a much wider area than just the town of Hunstanton, which does have the unique advantage of being in a fairly central position on the coastline of “The Wash & North Norfolk Coast European Marine Site”. This possibility will certainly be on the agenda when a delegation from the Civic Society attends a meeting with Mark Francois, the Coastal Communities Minister, which is being arranged by Henry Bellingham MP.

When town councillor David Jones and I went along to see Henry last month, he made it clear how important it is to have the support of 
ward councillors representing Hunstanton, so we hope this will be forthcoming