Anyway, back to my whirlwind tour of East Anglia and, in particular, Cromer. I first went to Cromer when I was about 5 years old. We caught a coach from King's Lynn and it wound through rural lanes, taking us through such memorable places as Great Snoring (prompting much teasing of my poor Pa) whilst (even more memorably) my darling little sister suffered from travel sickness. Once we got to Cromer we went to a hotel that had a television. I'd never seen a television before. (It was 1966 and, as you'll have realised, we had neither a car nor a television in those days!) Another great surprise was that my Nanny (my Mum's mum) was staying in a guesthouse just round the corner. (This was a great surprise to me, but not to Nan or my parents; they'd planned it, of course). And I seem to remember that Nanny and Ma spent rather a lot of time in a marvellous shop called the Peddlar's Pack. I remember wall hangings and yarn: it is the first wool shop I can remember, though it made less of an impression on me at the time than the television did... The shop's long gone but look what I found in Cromer Museum:
The Peddlar's Pack sign and even a brochure for "the handicraft Gift Shop that is So Different."
Ma still has a Danish wallhanging of twelve different pictures (printed on canvas) of the same two little girls playing out in all weathers (one picture for each month of the year). At the time she bought it, sis and I were much the age of the little girls in the picture. Now even the nieces are bigger than those girls, but the hanging has only slightly faded and is still as delightful as it was then.
Cromer Museum is wonderful: converted from fisherman's cottages, complete with a wash house:
And there's a fabulous geology room with lots of fossils to play with (er, study) and cases full of North Sea amber. All through that first coach trip to Cromer Dad was telling me great tales of the place we were going to visit (to distract me, doubtless, from vomiting sister and peellywally Ma). If I looked really, really hard, I might find amber on the beach. It would feel warm to the touch, not cold like other stones. And it was made from resin from trees that were around at the time of the dinosaurs! Oh, and if I listened hard enough, I might hear church bells coming from under the sea: from the drowned church that was part of the drowned town just off the coast, just under the North Sea. I didn't hear the bells and I didn't find any amber, but still had a great time. But 40-odd years later, in Cromer museum, here was the amber and -more exciting still- lots of information about the town that drowned.
But the best was yet to come: ganseys! But they're going to be in another post as ganseys seemed to be the theme running though my visit to the I Knit weekender (on Friday) and before that, I've another outing to regale you with...