Book Reviews

Roger Kirk - Trimingham a singular village.

Book Title: Trimingham - A Singular Village

Author: Roger Kirk

Publisher: Larks Press

ISBN: ISBN 1 904006 37 4

The author was born in 1944 and lived his first 19 years in Trimingham until education and a career exiled him. Published for the first time in 2007, Trimingham - A Singular Village, provides an up to date economic, social and geographic history of this small Norfolk village. Kirk's enthusiasm comes across in his writing, with a breadth of well researched events and tales. It's a relatively short book of 121 pages and 19 chapters and provides just the right level of detail.
Located between Cromer and Mundesley, at one time Trimingham was also a very popular bathing and holiday village. It had good beach access with several different paths (illustrated) down to the golden sand below. During World War 2 development and prosperity came to a halt as about 1000 mines were set in the cliffs to deter any German invasion. It was to be 26 long years (1940 to 1966) before the public would re-gain access to Trimingham beach.
Perhaps an unwanted claim to fame, Trimingham was soon to lose the last restricted beach in the country.
Clearing the mines post war took an age and 23 men were lost doing it.
Other wartime reflections include an account of the Zeppelin sightings over the village during the Great War en route to bomb Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, and a chapter dedicated to " E-boat Alley" and the shipping lost in the area. The history of the radar, for which Trimingham is renowned is also explained.
There are several maps in the book which illustrate the coastal erosion and not least the loss of the old loop road and the position of the old bomb disposal site at vale road.
Being a coastal village there are many tales of the sea not least that of the stricken Dutch fishing smack the De Vrouwe Aredje which perished in a gale in 1881. Locals recovered 7 bodies from the wreck and buried them at the church. 119 years later the grandson of the captain returned with others for a service and replaced the gravestone with a new one.
Trimingham was also a notorious place for smuggling. Tea, butter and alcohol were the main commodities and H.M. Preventative Service maintained a significant presence in the village for most of the 18th century.
The book is well illustrated with some great pictures including the heroics of the Royal Engineers clearing the mines, the construction of the sea defences and some of the old parts of the village lost to the sea.
There are several references and accounts regarding the fishing from Trimingham and some lovely old photographs showing mending the nets, inspecting the catch, and launching the " Two Brothers".
I enjoyed this book and great credit should be given to Roger Kirk for collating all the information and making it such an informative read.

A cracking review thanks Nigel and probably goes some way to explaining the narrow gauge tracks sometimes seen when there's a cliff fall, hard to believe how busy the place used to be when you look at it now!