Posts Tagged ‘Hunstanton’

Old Hunstanton

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm




Yarners Bomb Coastal Town

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Guerilla knitting has hit Hunstanton in the period running up to the Diamond Jubilee. With red, white and blue being a prominent colour scheme, as can be see in the following two photos (the first is the Princess Theatre, while the tree is outside Cafe Blah Blahh).

Also known as ‘yarn bombing’ and ‘graffiti knitting’, this colourful form of knit-one-purl-one activism has become popular in the last decade.

The following images were taken at the entrance to the Princess Theatre:

Here is another seaside resort hit with knitting fever: Contemplating Change

The Carrstone Affect

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Hunstanton’s Historic Buildings

During the wintry months, any visitor not wishing to brave the blustery beaches of Hunstanton with it’s freezing winds, might like to take a walk around some of the town’s notable historical buildings. This blog highlights some of those known in the town, three of which display Civic Society coloured plaques. For those of you not familiar with the area, please note the honey-coloured bricks that many of the buildings are made of. It is a sandstone known locally as Carrstone.

Valentine Court

According to Jim Whelam, writing in the Hunstanton Newsletter:

The establishment of a convalescent home at Hunstanton was first suggested in 1869 in Ely Cathedral, so that sick and poor people from Ely could recover their health with the assistance of sea air . . . The Prince and Princess of Wales agreed to officially open the home on Easter Monday, 14th April 1879. As soon as the date was known, all the villages between Sandringham and Hunstanton began making preparations on a grand scale to honour the visit. During the Easter weekend the weather was foul with keen east winds, rain and snow. The day of the visit commenced with a dull leaden sky, no apparent sign of an improvement, and not even the numerous decorations could make Hunstanton look anything less than miserable. However by noon the clouds lifted and the sun shone, crowds gathered, the railway brought in 3,000 visitors and thousands of others entered by road.

Now a block of flats, the building appears on google searches mostly under property sales. Jim Whelam’s account in the local newsletter is really interesting and can be read here: The Royal Opening of Hunstanton Convalescent Home

Old Police Station

This old police station is great. It just looks like a ‘regular’ terraced house.  However from 1875 to 1954 it was Hunstanton’s police station. I wonder if the three cells were in the basement. One can only assume that crime was a relatively minor issue in Britain until the mid 50s, as the current police station, on the main road, is pretty big in comparison.

Children’s Recovery Home

Health for the Victorians was a major concern, some would say even an obsession, and the seaside was a perfect place for convalescing. This, once, children’s recovery home is now the council offices for the town. Now that our children are not dying of diphtheria, tuberculosis and typhus these old Victorian buildings are put to other uses. I don’t have the mortality figures handy for Hunstanton, but in Leeds in 1867 most people who died were 4 years old and under, and in one book I have – To Prove I’m Not Forgot – Living and Dying in a Victorian City by Sylvia M. Barnard –  the under one’s were classed separately, because their chances of living beyond one year old was so slim.

Old Vicarage

This is the old vicarage and is located in Northgate, at the town end of the street. Again, it is now apartments and it is difficult to find information on online it other than that on estate agents sites. However, I have included another photo of the building (below). This type of architectural detail is very popular in Hunstanton, and manifests in various forms on a number of buildings.

Often this, kind of, inlay appears in a square shape, which produces a tiling effect. I really like it and I wonder if it is a common style from that period that was produced mostly in this area, or whether it is more generic.

My little psychogeographico-historical trip around Hunstanton was interesting. The more time I spend in the town looking at the architecture and soaking up the ambience, the more I get in touch with its aesthetic, which feels like it is very particular to the area.

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations


Hunstanton Civic Society

Hello! from Hunstanton

In Film, photography, Promenades on June 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

The above film was shot in June 2011 in Hunstanton, Norfolk. A Microsoft Sensecam was used to shoot the film and it was edited in Windows Live Movie Maker . The camera on view in the film is a Lomo Diana F+

Homage to Seahenge

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 at 7:57 am

In Boston Square, Hunstanton, Norfolk, is a sensory park commissioned by Norfolk County Council and designed by Jeremy Stacey Architects. In the park is what looks like a homage to Seahenge which is a prehistoric structure that was found off the coast of Holme-next-the-Sea in Norfolk: a timber circle from the Bronze Age. It was discovered in 1998 and now resides in the Lynn Museum. There was much controversy at the time of the discovery over whether the structure should be moved or left in its found place.

I thought a short extract from Archive Fever by Jacques Derrida may be pertinent:

…the archive, as printing, writing, prosthesis, or hypomnesic technique in general is not only the place for stocking and for conserving an archivable content of the past which would exist in any case, such as, without the archive, one still believes it was or will have been. No, the technical structure of the archiving archive also determines the structure of the archivable content even in its very coming into existence and in its relationship to the future. The archivization produces as much as it records the event. (p17)

Related Links

Seahenge on Wikipedia

Seahenge at the Lynn Museum

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations



Derrida, Jacques. 1998. Archive Fever. Trans. by Eric Prenowitz (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press).

Walking to the Beach

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2011 at 8:01 am

 By Tina Richardson


Walking affirms, suspects, tries out, transgresses respects, etc., the trajectories it “speaks”. All the modalities sing a part in this chorus, changing from step to step, stepping in through proportions, sequences, and intensities which vary according to the time, the path taken and the weather. These enunciatory operations are of an unlimited diversity. They therefore cannot be reduced to their graphic trail. (De Certeau 2006: 99)

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations


De Certeau, Michel. 2006. ‘Walking in the City’, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. by Steven Rendall (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press) pp. 91-110.

Hunstanton Railway Station

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

 Photo © Julian Holland

By Tina Richardson

The above photo of Hunstanton Railway Station was taken by my cousin Julian Holland in 1965. As previously mentioned, local investors were persuaded by Henry Styleman Le Strange to fund the railway line, and Hunstanton became the first seaside resort of the railway age. Apparently, in 1911 there were 16 trains a day. The line was decommissioned in 1969.

Related websites:

Hunstanton Railway Station in the 1900s

Amazing and Extraordinary Railway Facts by Julian Holland

HunstantonRailway Station on Wikipedia

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations

Wish You Were Here!

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 10:25 am

 By Tina Richardson

On August 4th 2010 I bought a postcard from the Beach Cafe in Old Hunstanton and sent it to myself at my university address. I chose a ‘typical’ seaside image: a sunny day with people enjoying themselves on the beach. It turns out the image was from the 1970s at the latest, as the photographer had to have been standing on the pier. The pier was originally built in 1870 and destroyed by a storm in 1978.


The Wish You Were Here Concept

While wikipedia has a whole section on the Pink Floyd album of the same name, it doesn’t have a section on the concept. This might be because it is obvious or because it merits its very own thesis. However, Jacques Derrida has written about  the postcard in The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, and other philosophical texts seem to be available on discussions of the postcard, but not much on wish-you-were-here.


The Postcard as Sign

In Britain the seaside postcard is synonymous with the rise of the Victorian seaside resort. According to the OED a postcard is “A card designed to be carried by post without an envelope“. However, the holiday postcard is much more than that. Amongst other things it is a sign of remembering and a recognition of absence. While this could also be applied to a letter, I think the holiday postcard has a different kind of significance: it is celebrating the pleasure of the sender in the absence of the receiver.

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations

A Strange Psychogeography: A Walk Around Le Strange Arms Hotel in Old Hunstanton

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

By Tina Richardson

On August 4th 2010 my original plan to research the elderly mobility issue in the seaside resort of Hunstanton was aborted due to bad weather. I had been planning on taking out my father’s buggy for a test run, a sort of ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ but with no star and only something vaguely resembling a car. It rained that morning and looked like it was going to rain on and off all day. So instead I decided to do a walk around Le Strange Arms; an area in Old Hunstanton that has a hotel, pub, golf course, arts and crafts centre, beach cafe and a plethora of signs which are always of interest to the psychogeographer.


The Le Strange Family

I am not going to provide an in depth history of the Le Strange family here, as this exists in abundance elsewhere, but I would just like to situate the area historically. The Le Strange family were responsible for developing the new beach area of New Hunsatnton (now Hunstanton) in 1846. Investors were persuaded by Henry Styleman Le Strange to fund the new railway line, and Hunstanton became the first seaside resort of the railway age. There was practically nothing in what is now Hunstanton prior to this period. Le Strange built the town: he moved the old village cross to the new area, built its first hotel (what is now the Golden Lion) and Hunstanton soon became a popular resort for the Victorians. I have heard that there were 16 trains a day in 1911. The line was sadly decommissioned in 1969. There are proposals to have it reopened.


Le Strange Arms Hotel

Old Hunstanton, where the hotel is located, is a short walk from Hunstanton town centre. When you approach it from the coast road, you actually come to the back of the hotel, rather than the original front which faces the beach. This photo shows what is now the rear of the hotel, facing onto its own car park, gardens and then the coastline:

This image shows the staircase winding up the side of it on a more recently built modern section of the hotel:

The gardens were pleasant with a conservatory/sun lounge at the bottom: really nice but not modern, obviously…

…but what I did really like was this play centre for the children which I thought was almost sculpture-like:

The garden just borders the coastal grass area, just prior to the sand. I managed to get a good photo of the beach huts from there:

This red wall post box was on the periphery of the hotel ground:


Seaside Paraphernalia and Imagery

Just prior to heading down towards the beach I saw a memorial bench dedicated to John ‘Grouch’ Chapman. It seems he was a freemason, as the bench is placed by the Martin Folkes Lodge who meet in the Le Strange Arms Hotel.


The beach car park is on the left of the path that leads down to the beach.


The public car park has a lovely frieze. While there are barely any people depicted (only one in a deck chair), the animals seem to be having a great time:


The Beach Cafe is only a few yards from the hotel. I walked down the slope and came upon two friendly people with dogs who let me take their photo – which I thought was extremely kind in these surveillance-paranoid times. The woman had a nice sunhat on and practical wellies. The dogs took a while to calm down in order for me to take the photo, they probably thought they were stopping for ice cream rather than the whims of a blogger. The owners were patient and gave me excellent seaside smiles, as you can see:


This picture was taken outside the Beach Cafe which was like an Aladdin’s cave and sold everything. I like beach paraphernalia. It is always hyper-colourful and there is something transient about it. I’m not sure if this is because of the cheap plastic of which most of it is made, or rather because summer is always fleeting, especially in Britain. I guess there is also some nostalgic childhood notion attached to it.


I don’t think the cafe ever sold many postcards. They were quite dusty and very old. I bought one that has a photo on it that was probably originally taken before 1978. The final section of the previously burned down pier was pulled down at that time, and it looks like the photographer was standing on the remaining section of the pier when the photo was shot. I have posted this postcard to myself at my university address. I will see if it arrives and shall include a mini blog on it later if it does.

I had a cappuccino and some ice cream at the cafe. My second ice cream of the summer.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution

The RNLI was situated opposite the cafe:


Here is a link to the RNLI site at Hunstanton:

Hunstanton Lifeboat Station

Unfortunately the ‘video’ section of the website does not have any films uploaded yet. Instead I have included a film of a Skegness/Hunstanton RNLI exercise session below. They appear to have a Christmas tree on the back of the boat. They look to be having fun and I’m thinking this may be a ‘jolly’ disguised as an exercise.

Hunstanton/Skegness RNLI Exercise


Prohibitive Signs

If I didn’t include a section on the signs that are instructing you to do and not do things, I wouldn’t be carrying out my psychogeographic duties properly. My favourite one is the first one, which was on the fence of a property.

The Ancient Mariner

While the Ancient Mariner is actually a pub in Old Hunstanton it is also an epic poem by Coleridge. So I have included a couple of lines here:

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

I chose these lines as I found out that the sea in this area was so cold that it froze in 1940. I didn’t know what a ‘swound’ was so looked it up on google. According to wikipedia they are a band from Nottingham who made up the word themselves – ooops, sorry boys, Samuel Taylor got there first! A ‘swound’ also appears to be a ‘swoon’.


You reach the Ancient Mariner Inn before you get to Le Strange Arms Hotel. The pub faces the arts and crafts centre opposite.



Leaving the Strangeness Behind

I walked back via the lighthouse and St Edmunds arch. I didn’t take a photo of the lighthouse but a video instead, which I’ve struggled to upload. This is St Edmund’s arch, which I am showing as a taster to a possible future blog on the area which is currently under conservation:

Here is a link to a great photo of the lighthouse:

Hunstanton Lighthouse

Of course, I don’t see Hunstanton as really being strange. The seaside, however, has a unique topography suggesting concepts such as liminality (it is a threshold of uncertainty and a blurred boundary between the land and sea); and historically, otherness, in the sense that the sea always had (has) the potential for bringing an unexpected other to the shores of the homeland.

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations

A Psychogeographical Guide to Hunstanton Promenade

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 8:32 am


Guide Psychogeographique De Hunstanton

By Tina Richardson

Progress is nothing other than breaking through a field where chance holds sway by creating new conditions more favorable to our purposes.” Guy Debord

This map is a Situationist-style map based on Guy Debord’s ‘Guide Psychogeographique De Paris’.

The images highlight various ambiances on the promenade at Hunstanton, Norfolk. The curved line challenges the linear form of the promenade, and suggests an alternative way of walking along the prom (as does starting at the end). The phenomenon represented here do not appear in the order they do in actual space (also, some are transient, some invented e.g. there is no troll). The red of Debord’s map has been replaced with blue to reflect the sea. The cream colour, which actually appears in many of the reproduced images of Debord’s map, is meant to represent the sand. The text includes: subjective comments, rock music lyrics, popular phrases, a reference to a fairy tale, etc. In this Guide Psychogeographique I have used full colour on the map section, unlike my previous one of the University of Leeds campus, which can be viewed here:

Guide Psychogeographique De University of Leeds

Please note: I would like to give my thanks to those at who let me use their images. Also, to James Cridland at Much appreciated!

Please see my blogs on A Schizocartography of Hunstanton located here:

Part 1

Part 2

And my other Hunstanton ‘map’: The Collage Seaside


Debord, Guy. 1996. ‘Theory of the Dérive’, Theory of the Dérive and Other Situationist Writings on the City, ed. by Libero Andreotti and Xavier Costa (Barcelona: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona). pp. 22-27.

For information on my other work, please go to: particulations