Turnstone, by John Maiden, September 15, 2015

John Maiden
John Maiden
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Cromer seems to be growing in popularity as a location for films and TV. The pier featured in the Alan Partridge movie and more recently the resort and its pier received plenty of exposure in the TV series: ‘Partners in Crime’. It was, therefore, quite surprising to learn that Cromer had not been chosen as the location for the new ‘Dad’s Army’ film currently being shot in Bridlington.

This East Yorkshire resort is already experiencing an increase in visitor numbers because of the filming and many more tourists are expected after the film is released early in 2016. Bridlington is even looking into the possibility of twinning with the fictional town of Walmington-on-sea!

The original TV series was of course filmed in Thetford, where there is now a Dad’s Army Museum and an impressive bronze statue of Captain Mainwaring. Personally, I cannot imagine the characters of this ever popular comedy series being played by a different cast, no matter how good the actors might be at interpreting the roles created by Jimmy Perry and David Croft.

In 2013, when preparing the Civic Society’s unsuccessful bid for Lottery cash to reinstate a proper Pier at Hunstanton, I did suggest calling it the Jolly Roger Pier, which was the name given to the pier in Walmington. It remains to be seen how this idea will be received by those who attend the presentation in the town hall at 7.30pm tomorrow, Wednesday, but who knows, the title: ‘Back to the future for Hunstanton Pier’ might provoke a response from Steven Spielberg, or the Cohen Brothers who have already produced a remake of one Ealing Comedy (The Lady Killers) and might be interested in giving ‘Barnacle Bill’ similar treatment.

Actually, a sequel to ‘Barnacle Bill’, which was also released as ‘All at Sea’, would not necessitate new actors playing the original roles, because the script could be loosely based on events that have taken place since the ‘pier’ fire in May 2002 and involve completely new ‘fictitious’ characters. Over the past 13 years it would be an understatement to describe the council’s decision makers as being ‘All at Sea’ with regard to the pier fiasco. A more accurate description might be ‘out to lunch’.

However, since I have taken it upon myself to openly criticise others, it would be remiss of me not to respond to criticism levelled at this column in last Tuesday’s Viewpoint pages.

The letter writer is probably correct to discount the McCarthy & Stone site as the location of Hunstanton’s shingle pit, but I am not persuaded that the pit from which shingle was extracted formed part of the beach.

On the other hand, criticism levelled at the Civic 
Society by is totally unjustified.

To the best of my knowledge no one is suggesting the ‘hangar’ should accommodate a heritage centre. Since 2002, the Civic Society has been consistent in pointing out that this eyesore on The Green breaches a Covenant imposed by the le Strange Estate in 1955.

Turning the hangar into a heritage centre would necessitate reducing its height to a single storey; drastically altering its appearance to conform with the design of the original pier entrance; and then adding a Pier, 830 feet in length, as specified in the 999-year lease for Hunstanton Pier!