Turnstone - Our poignant flood memorabilia should have a permanent home

From time to time readers of this column seem to misunderstand my comments.

Recently, one reader wrote to the Lynn News when he failed to appreciate that my proposal for converting an art deco building in Le Strange Terrace into a Heritage Centre would be the surest way to protect its unique character.

Hunstanton must be the only town of its size without a Heritage Centre and the 60th anniversary of the 1953 Floods has once again focussed attention on the need to find a permanent home for all the photographs related to this event.

Two weeks ago they were shown as part of John Smith’s presentation in the Town Hall. On Thursday of this week they will be on display in the foyer of the Princess Theatre throughout the day from noon until the evening.

As reported last week, there will be a presentation on the Floods in the theatre at 3. 30 pm and again at 7.00 pm. BBC cameras will be filming inside the Princess and at St Edmund’s Church as well as outside.

This time Hunstanton will feature in a daytime programme to be broadcast nationwide later this year.

Last night’s Inside Out programme on the Floods was only shown on BBC East – unobtainable for many people in our area – but it will be shown in the theatre following the afternoon and evening presentations.

This audio visual account of a significant period in Hunstanton’s history should be permanently available to residents and visitors alike in a Heritage Centre.

We might also stake a claim for Sea Henge and the artefacts from the Bronze age site on Redgate Hill!

With this in mind, on behalf of the Civic Society, I have applied for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a Heritage Centre to be located close to the seafront where it would have a prominent place on the tourist trail.Last year our proposal for a Heritage Pier was rejected by the HLF because it was considered “high risk”.

This time I have been invited to put our case to the head of the HLF in the Eastern region and will report back after the meeting in Cambridge early next month. If the bid is successful a Heritage Centre would be a fitting memorial to the victims of the Floods and those who took part in the rescue operation.

Admission to the Princess is free but donations are invited for the theatre’s charity, the St Edmund’s Society, which provides days at the seaside for disadvantaged people.