Sunset on the Pier
There are records of a Pier in Cromer back as far as 1391 although then it was more of a jetty. In the year 1582, Queen Elizabeth I , in a letter to the inhabitants of Cromer granted rights to export wheat, barley and malt with the proceeds to be used for the maintenance and well-being of the pier and the town of Cromer.
In 1822 a 210-foot (64 m) long jetty was built (of cast iron) but this structure lasted just 24 years before it was totally destroyed in a storm. This jetty was replaced by another wooden structure but this time it was a little longer being 240 feet (73 m). This jetty soon be came very popular for promenading. A keeper was employed to keep order and there were strict rules applied including no smoking and by 9 pm ladies were required to retire from the jetty. The last wooden jetty survived until 1897 when it was damaged beyond repair after a coal boat had smashed into the jetty and so was dismantled and the timber sold for £40.
For a period of time from this date Cromer was without a pier but to end this situation the ‘Pier Commissioners’ planned to replace the old wood structure with a more fashionable structure. In the year of 1902 the new pier was completed and opened to the public. This new pier was designed by Douglass and Arnott and the construction was carried out by Alfred Thorne. The new pier was 450 feet (140 m) long and had cost £17,000 to build. In the early years the pier consisted of glass-screened shelters and a bandstand on the end of the pier. The shelters were roofed over in 1905 to form a pavilion; the bandstand was later replaced with a stage and proscenium arch. From 1907 this was used to accommodate the latest craze of roller-skating.