Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Significant Hunstanton Dates

1843                Building sites advertised for sale at the "Sea-Bathing Station of St. Edmund's in Hunstanton, near Lynn". (The resort was the brainchild of Henry Styleman le Strange (1815-1862) who also designed the nave ceiling of Ely Cathedral).
1846                Golden Lion Hotel.   First known as the New Inn then for a short time as the Royal Hotel and Commercial Inn, it was once nicknamed "le Strange's Folly" as it appeared to have been built in the middle of nowhere, there being no other building between Heacham and the St. Edmund's Chapel Ruins near the Lighthouse.
1846                Cross on the Green.  (Previously sited at Gypsy Green, Old Hunstanton, and may have come originally from Snettisham.  It is assumed to be the reeded shaft of an old village cross).
 1846                Summertime boat trips inaugurated between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton.
1850's              No's 1 and 3 Hill Street.  These cottages are believed to be the oldest surviving homes in Hunstanton.  No 1 was the gamekeeper's cottage, No 3 the residence of the bailiff to the le Strange Estate.  The exact dates of the building are not known.  The oldest homes may have been two Fisherman's Cottages in the High Street, long since demolished.
1859                The only roads were a track leading to the Golden Lion Hotel and Chingle Pit Road (now Westgate).
 1861                Population 490
 1862                Hunstanton to King's Lynn Railway line opened, at a cost of £80,000.  Valentine Road was named after the engineer who built the line.  It closed down in 1969.
 1862                The death occurred of Henry Styleman le Strange, the man who planned and created the resort.
 1863                Train de-railed after hitting a bullock 1/2 mile from Wootton.  Seven killed, 20 injured.  Early reports stated 5 killed, 2 more possibly died later.
 1863/1864       Brenda Lodge (now Green Lodge Restaurant) and Minna Lodge (Now Cassie's Restaurant) built (North end of le Strange Terrace)
1865                Work started on St Edmund's Church.  Opened in 1866, dedicated in 1872 and consecrated in 1903, the church was built to Henry Styleman le Strange's design, and followed the ground-plan and proportions of its mother church, St. Mary's.
1866                40-42 Church Street.
1867                R.N.L.I. lifeboat station established.  The first lifeboat, "The Licensed Victualler" launched.  Station closes 1931 - 1979, then re-established with an inshore lifeboat.
1868                Cliff fall of around 2,000 tons occurred near lighthouse.
1868                Lamberts grocer's shop in Westgate opened.
1870                Union Congregational Chapel.  (Union Church in Westgate).  Cost £750.
1870                Hunstanton Pier.  830 feet long.  (Destroyed in storm 1978).
1871                Population 810.
1872                Barclay's Bank.
1872                Dolphins - porpoises seen off shore.
1872                Victoria Buildings in Greevegate (between Barclay's Bank and lane)               (The road beyond the lane was  then known as Royal Parade).
1872                Hunstanton Convalescent Home in High Street (see 1879).
1873                Cliff Terrace built.
1874                Church Street cottages (east side between Westgate and  James Street)
1874/1875       Hunstanton Elementary School (Now First School) opened Jan 3rd 1876.
1874                Glebe House School (began as St. Edmund's School.  Name changed, at a later date).  St Edmund’s moved to Surrey in 1900.  Mr Howard Cambridge Barber took over the buildings, renamed it Glebe House School and was headmaster for 40 years.   Two other schools of a later period both bore the name of St Edmunds, but not at the same time.
1875                Homefields High Class School for girls, later Homefields Hotel, now the United Services Club.
1875                Sandringham Hotel built by the Great Eastern Railway Company.  Used by the army during the Second World War, later housed the Town Council offices and branch of the County Library.  Demolished in 1967.  Site now occupied by Harlequin House.
1875                Police Station in James Street and Valentine Road.  (Now private home).
1879                Hunstanton Convalescent Home in Valentine Road.  Closed 1979.  Later converted into flats.
1881                The town had  "two hotels, a pier and many handsome terraces".
1881                The population of Hunstanton numbered 1508.
1884                Oriel Lodge (Homefields Road) built for Colonel Patrick, founder of the King’s Lynn timber merchants, Patrick and Thompson.
1886                The present High Street was a small by-road with cottages on the east side only.
1888                New Hunstanton, otherwise Hunstanton St. Edmund, created as a separate Parish.
1889                "Salacia" wrecked off Hunstanton Cliffs.
1889                Wesleyan Chapel in Austin Street.  Made of galvanized iron.  See 1896.
1890                Lynn and Hunstanton Railway Company sold to Great Eastern Railway.
1891                Hunstanton Golf Club founded.  (A nine hole course was extended to 18 holes in 1895)
1892                Hunstanton Football Club formed.
1894                Hunstanton granted Urban District Council status.
1894                Hunstanton water tower erected at top end of Lincoln Street.  (not to be confused with Heacham Water Tower on top of Redgate Hill).
It was demolished in 1974 in spite of protests from conservationists.
1895                Isolation Hospital built on Redgate Hill.
1896                Hunstanton Town Hall built at a cost of £2,200 was opened by Countess of Cottenham.  The silver key used for the ceremony was subsequently lost, only to be re-discovered at a jumble sale in Battersea in 1964.
1896                West Norfolk Recreation Ground.
1896                Hunstanton Methodist Church replaces 1889 chapel.
1897                Cliff area opened to Public.
1899                Post Office in High Street.
1900                Lifeboat House        
1900                 Numbers 9 to 11 Avenue Road.
1900                "The Lounge" built on North Promenade.  It was later known as "The Palm Court", then the  "Children's Corner".  Now the site of the Hunstanton Sailing Club headquarters.
1901                Hunstanton population numbers 1893.
1901                Hunstanton water tower.  (New structure built outside the 1894 tower).
1901                Glebe Hotel.  Demolished 1972.  (Now the site of Buckingham Court).
1901                Cornwall Terrace in York Avenue.
1902                Railway Footbridge.
1903                Rhianva College in Southgate (now Northgate).  The college moved later to Cliff Parade.  Pupils were evacuated in 1940 and the school never returned. Building later converted into flats.  Demolished 1998. New Block of flats built 1999.
1903/4 Roman Catholic Church.  (Extended 1958).
1906                St Christopher's Church of England Home for Waifs and Strays.  Later the St Christopher's Home for Boys, now the Sandcastle Holiday Home run by the Charity "Break".
1906/1907       Addenbrookes Home of Recovery.  (Converted into Marine Court flats after 1980).
1907                Children's Convalescent Home in Valentine Road.  Used as a hospital for wounded soldiers in World War I, later as a private school.  Now the offices of the King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (Tourism Dept).
1910                Mr Herbert Ward, Hon Sec of the Lifeboat Station, fell to his death off the cliffs while walking home.
1910                Whale washed up on beach.  (Another one in 1933).
1911                Bandstand on North Promenade.  (Demolished 1947).
1911                Hunstanton's population numbered 2510.
1911                Hunstanton Croquet Club was formed though Croquet tournaments were held on the recreation ground as far back as 1900.
1911                Heacham Water Tower on Redgate Hill - Conveyance of Land.  (Date of actual construction not known). Converted into flats early 1980's.
1912                Alice Oliphant Hostel at Old Hunstanton.
1912                Train crashed into side of Sandringham Hotel.
1914-1918       World War One.  First reports of the Battle of Jutland received at wireless  stations on Cliff Top.
1914                During the first German Airship raid on Great Britain  a Zeppelin passed over Hunstanton.
1914                H.G. Wells and Rebecca West set up a 'love-nest' in a Victoria Avenue lodging house where their son Anthony was born.
1914                There were fourteen (14) daily trains to London.
1915                Zeppelin dropped bomb on farmland between Victoria Avenue and Lighthouse.
1919                National Provincial and Union Bank of England.  (Now the Nat West).
1922                Mikado Concert Hall and Oriental Bazaar destroyed by fire.
1925                Hunstanton population 3,100.
1926                P.G. Wodehouse stayed at Hunstanton Hall, the first of many visits.
1927                Alexandra Road Cemetery opened.
1928                South Beach sea wall built.
1928                Blue Lagoon Swimming Pool.  (The pool was used in 1927 but officially   opened in 1928.  It was demolished in 1967).
1929                Miss Mercedes Gleitz became the first person to swim the Wash.  She was given a reception at Hunstanton.  She had earlier performed the opening ceremony at the Blue Lagoon.
1929                Speedboat rides introduced.
1929                Hunstanton Open Tennis Tournament began.
1931                Hunstanton population numbers 3032.
1932                Capitol Cinema, later the Kingsley Centre, now the Princess Theatre.  The first film was  "The Desert Song".  (The building was previously Simpson's Hotel).
1932                Boating Lake.  (Now the site of the Sea Life Centre).
1932 (?1935)   Kit Kat Restaurant and Ballroom (later Sands Night Club) Destroyed by fire 1998.
1933                Whale washed upon beach.
1934                Airwomen Pauline Gower and Dorothy Spicer gave five-shilling flights from  Searle's field.
1936                Searle's Holiday Centre (began as a small camping ground for tents and caravans).
1936                Esplanade Bowls Club.
1937                St Edmund's Café on North Promenade destroyed by fire.
1937/1938       First "Old Tin Can" football match between Hunstanton Football Club and the East Fulham Labour Club.
1939                Pier Pavilion, built 1890, destroyed by fire.
1939/1945       Second World War.
1940                Rhianva College and Lydgate House schools evacuated.  Neither school returned after the war.  Rhianva demolished 1998.
1940                Sandringham Hotel requisitioned by the Army.
1941                Hunstanton bombed (The Green, Church Street and Westgate).
1942                First Hunstanton Festival.
1946                The Hunstanton-King's Lynn Road was reported to be the second busiest road in the country at the height of the holiday season.
1948                Hunstanton Hall sold to a Lancashire stockbroker and converted into flats.
1949                Hunstanton Sailing Club formed.
1952/1962       United States Army Air Force personnel based at Sculthorpe "occupy" Hunstanton with around 1,000 servicemen, their wives and families.  The town was nicknamed "Little Brooklyn".
1953                East Coast Floods.  South Beach area badly affected with 31 deaths, 16 of them American.  American serviceman Reis Leming saved 27 lives and was awarded the George Medal.  The Queen visits the town.
1953                Lighthouse tower used as Royal Observer Corps Post until 1965.
1957              Smithdon High School.  The school has a world-wide reputation as a significant  structure and receives many visits from foreign architects anxious to see the earliest example in Britain of what became known as the New Brutalism movement.
1957                First Christmas Swim organised by Hunstanton Seagulls Swimming Club.  (Sponsored from 1971).
1957                "Barnacle Bill" film starring Alec Guinness, also featuring Maurice Denham,   Jackie Collins and many local people as "extras", including George Raines.
1960                New Urban District Council offices in Westgate, now the headquarters of
Swain's International.  (The Council previously had their offices in the Sandringham Hotel).
1962                First water ski race across the Wash started from Holme.  Nearly all subsequent crossings started from Hunstanton.
1962                11 passenger trains ran between Hunstanton and King’s Lynn on weekdays, 6 on Sundays.
1962                Amusement Arcade at landward end of pier.
1963                Sea freezes off Hunstanton.  (Also in 1940).
1963                Bus Station on site of former Westgate Gardens.
1963                Hunstanton Coastguard station, which closed down in 1938, re-opened the wireless tower as a Look-Out post and training centre.
1963                Two-storey amusement arcade at Hunstanton Pier.
1964                Hunstanton County Library opens.
1964                First 'double crossing' of the Wash on water skis.
1964                Youth and Community Centre built on former lavender field.  Previously the Youth Centre was in the lower room of the Town Hall.
1964                Lighthouse becomes holiday home after being sold by Town Council for £4,760.
1965                First Wash Ski race.
1966                Bell stolen from arch of the ruined St Edmund's Chapel.
1967                Sandringham Hotel demolished.  (Built 1875).
1967                Blue Lagoon Demolished
1978                Hunstanton Pier Destroyed by Storm
1996                Hunstanton Celebrated its 150th Anniversary
1998                Kit Kat Destroyed by Fire
2001                CHS Amusements destroyed by Fire

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dawn. I'm trying to discover where Rhianva School was evacuated to. Can't find anything on the net. Do you know please? Thanks, Peter Rowan

    ReplyDelete