The first proper day of spring found us leaping into the car to make sure we didn’t miss it. Liam fancied a road trip to the north Norfolk coast and had the resort of Sheringham firmly in his sights. The town was heaving with families who had the same idea, all making the most of the Easter holidays. The air was thick with a heady blend of exhaust fumes, deep fried cod and sickly-sweet candyfloss. Memories of childhood came flooding back, jaunts to windswept resorts before I discovered the joys of Spain. And believe me, Sheringham was windswept. The North Sea was working hard to propel ice cream scoops from cones, causing deafening tantrums from the buggy brigade. Fortunately, the wind was warm.  Just a few weeks ago, the nipple-hardening gusts would have petrified the kiddies to the spot. I can’t say I liked Sheringham that much. From its name, I expected cute and quaint. I got bucket and spades and amusement arcades, fine if that floats your boat. The beach, though, is impressive.

From Sherringham, we swept inland to the Georgian market town of Holt for a root around and a light bite. The main road into town is dominated by a large funeral directors’ showroom and I suspect it does a brisk business. More of a large village, handsome Holt drips money, judging by the number of Chelsea tractors cruising through the streets and the price of property in the estate agents’ windows. Sadly, Holt was more or less closed. It was Sunday and Sundays are still sacred in this corner of the county.  We found just one bar/restaurant open. The owners had clearly given up their day of rest to monopolise the day’s trade. At eight quid for a cheese and ham toastie, they were making a killing.

We made it back to base for a final snifter before sundown. Naturally, the riverside beer garden at the Playhouse Theatre Bar was our hostelry of choice. We were the oldest bingers in town as we sat like a couple of old pervs watching the exuberant youngsters around us and ear-wigging their artful (and sometimes pretentious) conversations. I didn’t realise Fred Perry tops are back in. Shame. I chucked all mine out in the Noughties.

Playhouse Bar Beer Garden

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11 thoughts on “The First Day of Spring

  1. Great photos, rather nostalgic! I am rather fond of English seaside resorts. I think the most expensive sandwiches in the world are to be found in England…and the worst are on British Rail. I took a photo of one which I have voted the most tasteless ever invented, and it cost five pounds!! Ugh. The Playhouse bar looks nice (and yes, why are young people so pretentious these days? All out to impress each other I suppose). And finally, I was intrigued by the hunky guys in motor bike gear – great photo!


  2. Another vote for the bikers – they do set the seascape off nicely… And wondering if we can see our niece amongst the young folk in the Playhouse Theatre Bar.


  3. . . apart from no ‘shabby’ took me right back to early fifties – tar between the toes and poisoned shellfish from the sewage! Ahhh! such memories . .


  4. Hi Jack – just came across your blog when searching for local digital talent (I’m based in Norwich too). I was wondering whether you’d be interested in helping me out with a Q&A site I’m launching?

    We’re looking for some local writers and creative people to help us test out the site and give us some feedback before we open up to the rest of the world. You can check us out at, and please drop me an email on if you’re interested in a beta invite.


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