Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hunstanton St Edmund's

The Original Town Crest

Hunstanton's associations with St Edmund were celebrated by Henry le Strange when he proposed in 1840 to name his new sea-bathing village 'St Edmund's' Henry le Strange was a great visionary and he based his ideas on his prediction, that the proposed arrival of the railways would secure success of his new town.  He was proved correct when the Lynn - Hunstanton Railway was opened in 1862.  As the town rapidly expanded it became known as Hunstanton St Edmunds.  This name survived until 1893 when the new town became sufficiently large to have its own council and parish.  With great imagination the council decided to rename the town 'New Hunstanton'.  However, the name Hunstanton St Edmunds was commonly used until the 1930's in official guides and town publications.  From approximately 1895 to the 1930's many thousands of Hunstanton St Edmunds crested souvenirs were sold, proudly exhibiting the original town crest, made up from the white lions from the le Strange coat of arms and St Edmunds crowns pierced by arrows.  In the early years of the town many businesses carried the name St Edmunds and the town had many clubs and societies also named after the Saint, there was even an athletic club named St Edmund's harriers and a St Edmund's Quadrille Club.  Many of the societies had as their headquarters the St Edmund Cafe which was situated in the North Promenade.

In the early years of the town it even had its own newspaper 'The Telephone' (many years before the Telephones was actually invented - if you look carefully at the picture you will see the telephone is in fact a string between two cans)  published by the town's great entrepreneur J W Beeton.

Today the best reminders of those halcyon days are the names - St Edmund's Terrace and St Edmund's Avenue, the two churches dedicated to St Edmund's and of course the St Edmund's Chapel Ruins.

By John Smith

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