Sancastles on the beach
Once a busy fishing village it has become a holiday favourite for those in the know.
Backed by the beautiful dunes - a nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest - the beach offers acres of golden sand and even on the hottest summer days there is always plenty of space for children to build their sandcastles. Here you can enjoy the sound of skylarks singing against a background of waves lapping against the shore. Sometimes you'll catch sight of a seal bobbing in the water or lazing on the sand. If you feel peckish there is the Dunes Cafe, which is popular with visitors and locals alike all through the year.
Overlooking the beach are the eye-catching colourful African roundhouses of the Hermanus holiday centre. The thatched buildings, modelled on huts at Hermanus Bay in South Africa are part of a complex with a bar and restaurant that are open to the public.
Life's a beach
Turning back from the dunes you will see the tower of
Holy Trinity and All Saints church, one of the biggest
landmarks in the village. In summer the tower, which at
132ft is the third highest in the county, opens to the
public every Saturday. Views from the top are stunning on
a clear day. Inside the 12th Century church Winterton's
maritime heritage is evident with fishing nets on the walls,
a fisherman's corner under a First World War cross from
Flanders and a memorial to a rector who gave his life saving a choirboy from drowning.
As well as the lighthouse, which is now a holiday home, the village once had its own lifeboat. The last one, the Edward Birkbeck, saved dozens of lives between 1896 and 1925 when the lifeboat station closed down. The foundations of the building along with remains of the wartime coastal defences, can still be seen in the dunes near the cafe while the boat, rescued decades later from the harbour in Conwy, Wales, is now back in the village and under the care of the Winterton on Sea Lifeboat Restoration Group.
The village is also blessed with a post office stores, which was taken over in 2016 by Jeanne and Gino Farace and given a revamp as well as a new name, Poppy's.
Over the road there is a handy convenience store, Loomes, taken over in 2008 by high school teacher Sathees Vethanayakampillai, it runs with help from his wife Kamaliny, brother-in-law Thajee and assistant Vicky. It has also undergone improvement work and more products are being introduced. A few doors away is the Fish Bar which is just as popular with the residents as it is with visitors.
Adding to the charm of the village are the spectacular flower displays, created and tended by the Winterton-on-Sea In Bloom committee, businesses and residents. In 2016 the village won a gold in the Great Yarmouth in Bloom Awards.
Fishing boats still go out from the village, but the days of being able to buy fish from the huts on the dunes are gone. Herring fisherman Sam Larner, who found a national following in his 80s, is remembered in the village with a blue plaque on the cottage where he lived near the church. Famed folk singer Ewan McColl wrote The Shoals of Herring after interviewing Sam for the radio in 1960. One of the pubs where he often sang was the Fisherman's Return. Still a popular watering hole, the 300-year-old freehouse has only changed hands four times in the past century. Current landlord Darrin Winter took over in 2009 from Kate and John Findlay who had it for many years.
Jeanne and Gino
WINTERTON is a little oasis on the East Norfolk coast. There is none of the brash razzle dazzle of other resorts nearby, but what it does have in buckets and spades is charm, history and the benefit of being next to a fabulous unspoilt beach.
News from the Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council & the village
© All content copyright 2019
BEACH CAFÉ: A plan B to ensure the beach has a cafe facilities and a car park, should the current building fall victim to erosion in the future, has been given renewed permission. Mobile catering units would be stationed on the site and hauled away each evening.
DUNES CAFÉ: The couple who run the Dunes Cafe, Mick and Carmel Shiggins, are expanding their operation to take over the former coffee shop and stores at Acle Bridge. Nestled by the river just off the A1064, it is popular with boaters and tourists during the summer season. The Dunes Cafe will remain open.
PLAYING FIELD: Drawings showing proposals for the revamp of the playing field could go on show at the next parish council meeting in April. Among the improvements planned for the site are new changing rooms, which are currently not fit for purpose. The village cricket club already plays there and the aim is to encourage more groups to make use of the field.
COUNCIL ELECTION: The parish council is looking for three new members to join its ranks. People from all sections of the community are welcome to submit nomination forms. They need to be with Great Yarmouth Borough Council by 4pm on 3rd April ahead of the elections on 2nd May. Forms are available online at great-yarmouth.gov.uk/electionsandvoting and more information is available from chairman Eric Lund or other members of the council.
GARAGE SALE: A date has been set for the popular garage sale when folk around the village get rid of their clutter and raise cash for the village hall at the same time. Maps for the 28th July event will be available closer to the date.
BEACH ROAD PARKING: Fines have already been dished out to drivers who have ignored the no parking signs since the start of March. Parking enforcement officers from Great Yarmouth Borough Council have been out on patrol slapping tickets on cars left on the northern side of the road. A year-round parking ban is expected to come into force later in the season, prompted by scenes of chaos over Christmas and New Year when the road was blocked and drivers parked over pavements. To report illegal parking to the borough council email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01493 846358 or out of hours 01493 330369
WINTERTON CINEMA: The powerful drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will be screened by the society on 27th April. The 2017 Oscar winner stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. Admission is £5 and the film starts at 7.30pm. On 25th May the society is showing Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Oscar winner Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.
WINTERTON LIFEBOAT: A short break in a holiday cottage, artwork and £100 cash are among the prizes up for grabs in the restoration group’s Big 2019 raffle. More information on where to buy tickets when they become available is on the website at wintertonlifeboatrestoration.org.uk
WINTERTON SCHOOL: A new head teacher has been appointed at the primary school, taking over from Martin White. Caroline Rankin has been working as head of service for early years foundation service at the Consortium Multi Academy Trust, which took the school into its fold officially at the beginning of the year, saving it from closure. She will be in Winterton on Mondays and Thursdays. A new website for the Friends of Winterton Primary School is currently under construction. Anyone with a child at the school is automatically considered a friend of the association and the new website will be used to help organise fundraising events.