The class divide is ever-present in this country even beside the seaside. On our East Anglian Odyssey we visited both Cromer and Wells-next-the-sea. Here are two pictures, one of Cromer which is the somewhat down-at-heel, seaside spot for the ordinary person and the other is the rather up-market, pleasantly relaxed and bohemian seaside escape for those with a little more wherewithal.
Yes, you guessed it. The one on the left is of Cromer pier which, incidentally, featured very recently on British TV in the Agatha Christie crime series “Partners in Crime” with David Walliams and Jessica Raine as the two eponymous heroes, Tommy and Tuppence. The one on the right is of the waterfront at Wells-next-the-sea – I mean the name alone tells you, doesn’t it – with the impressive granary building with its distinctive overhanging gantry. Built in 1903, the granary has been turned into luxury flats with magnificent views of the harbour. Well fancy that!
We spent a night in Cromer and wandered the esplanade with its fading glory such as the Hotel de Paris that has been a hotel since it was established by Pierre le Françoise in the mid-1830s. During the nineteenth century Cromer was attracting increasing numbers of holiday-makers especially from the 1870s with the advent of the railways. The building you see here was a re-build carried out in 1891 and was competing with such establishments as the Cliftonville Hotel.
For further comparison of the styles of the two places one need only look at the classic seafront ornamental gardens of Cromer, through which Kate spied a scuttling rat, and the picturesque boats at low tide in Wells.
And here we have the amusement arcades, fish ‘n’ chip shops and souvenir shops of Cromer as against the charming craft shops, jewellery and clothing stores and art galleries of Wells.