NORTH NORFOLK LATEST: Cafe forced to close and wedding reception cut short as residents and businesses assess storm damage

Damaged beach huts on Cromer seafront. Picture: DUNCAN ABEL Damaged beach huts on Cromer seafront. Picture: DUNCAN ABEL

Friday, December 6, 2013
11:14 AM

Residents and businesses across north Norfolk are assessing the carnage of last night’s storm surge, which has left extensive damage to Cromer’s iconic pier and seafont.

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East Runton Coastwatch manager Mike Darbyshire surveys the cliff damage.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYEast Runton Coastwatch manager Mike Darbyshire surveys the cliff damage. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A popular café at Salthouse has been forced to close after high tides caused extensive damage to the newly-decorated building.

The owners of Cookies Crab Shop said two feet of water came into the café at about 7.45pm last night after water broke through the shigle barrier on the beach.

Peter McKnespiey who runs the business with his wife Suzanne said thousands of pounds worth of damage had been caused and all their stock was ruined after the electrics broke.

Mr McKnespiey said: “We live by the sea. We know the dangers. I don’t think we’ll open this side of Christmas.”

The festive period is normally a busy time for the business and the couple had recently refurbished it ready for the new season.

Outbuildings next to the café were also ruined.

Sea water and remnants of the saltmarshes remained on the A149 Coast Road from Cley to the end of Salthouse today.

Emma Harris, 31, who lives on the Coast Road, said: “The speed the water came in at was scary. This is the worst flooding I have experienced in Salthouse.”

Water came half way up her front garden at about 7pm and ended up at waist height. It did not come into her home.

She added the tide was coming into Salthouse about a metre a minute.

A couple from Hevingham had to cut short their wedding reception at Cley Windmill yesterday.

They married at 3pm in the windmill but the party of 30 left the building at 6pm. The windmill was not flooded.

Cley Windmill manager Simon Whatling said: “They were devastated but at least they were safe we were convinced we would be flooded. The waves were huge.”

In Blakeney the clean up operation had started in the King’s Arms pub on Westgate Street.

Barman John Marcucci said: “It was quite scary. I have never seen it roar up the road like that before. The water was up to out knees. The damage is extensive.”

He hoped the pub would reopen in two days time and staff were helping to clean up the damage.

Two couples were staying in the pub last night and both remained in the building yesterday.

Several boats ended up on the road on the quay area of Blakeney. In Morston seal trips have been cancelled until weather improves.

Steven Bean, owner of Beans Boats, said this time of year was a peak time for seal pup births on Blakeney Point.

A mobile home was left straddling the main road through Walcott where homes were flooded with up to four foot of water, and at Bacton the waves wreaked havoc on homes in Beach Road. Conservatories and walls were flattened and a garden shed was lifted by the tide and left in the middle of the road.

And in Mundesley, the Beach Cafe on the promenade was damaged after a large container was picked up by the surge and slammed into the side of the building. Metal railings were also ripped out, the prom collapsed and huge chunks of the cliff face were gouged out by the fierce waves.

Cafés on the Sheringham west promenade have been destroyed and parts of the walkway and cliff have been destroyed making it inaccessible.

Cromer pier has been left flooded with holes in the floor of the Pavilion Theatre auditorium and bar.

The prom, which has been littered with debris including large lumps of the smashed sea wall, has also been cordoned off.

Video update: Tides were higher in some parts of Norfolk than the 1953 floodsVideo and photo gallery update: North Norfolk - Cromer seafront and pier damageNorfolk and Suffolk schools closed because of flooding


  • Best wishes to the North Norfolk people, stay safe, tomorrow will be better.

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    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • ....."We were there trying to give a hand".....What about the heading 'coast watch caught with their binoculars down'.

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    Fly Tipper

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Just a note, 'The Walcott Inn' is actually 'The Lighthouse Inn'! There is no Walcott Inn to my knowledge and I have been holidaying in the area for 30 years.

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    Friday, December 6, 2013

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