A Cromer Alphabet
At some point in 1931 or 1932, a Cromer resident who styled himself 'The Jingler' penned these lines about some aspects of the town and about some of its better known residents. The scanning of the lines sometimes leaves something to be desired and the phrases can be somewhat clichéd, but it does give a picture of the town at that time - and you'll see some issues haven't changed!
A number of the characters can be identified, others are a bit more difficult to spot. If you can help with more information, please use the 'Feedback' page to let us know.
Now, Cromer's a place where one has to reside,
If you'd study the real inner life" from inside"
With me, observation is more than "a cult"
I have lived there for years, now behold the result
A stands for Applegate, every one knows him.
He wishes they'd pay him the money they owes him.
They must in the end , but its sad to relate,
That the bulk of them move at a very slow "rate".
A stands for Avenue, otherwise Cliff.
I wouldn't advise you settle there, if
You will not be prepared , your prestige to enhance,
By wearing your " family coat " with your pants.
The houses are spacious, the garden are neat.
But you'd better at once show your "family seat"
They will soon judge by that if you really are "nobby",
For a little bird whispers- " The Avenue's snobby"
A stands for Ackerman, very live wire.
Wonderful game-shot, and, don't he perspire!
When plus-foured, and hatless , he's taking the air;
But perhaps at his best when he's "taking the chair"
When writing an Alphabet, it is much better,
I know, to put only one name to each letter
But as, in this case , we have many to please;
I find I'm confronted with several "B's"
B's for the Boarding House keepers, who ought
to become millionaires, but the season's too short.
So they store all their sticks, when they've washed the last plates,
Go abroad for the winter - and so dodge the rates
B stands for Burton, of surgical fame.
And there's Bitter - and Burton - but, what's in a name
He's a grand "bedside manner". Trust him with your fate.
He'll snip your Appendix right out, while you wait!
Bullen, the builder, comes next on our list.
An excellent man. Who would greatly be missed.
He's erecting the hospital, - lucky to get him.
He could rebuild the parish church, if they would let him
B stands for Bullivant, pushing young fellow.
Famille-rose, famille-verte , and Imperial yellow,
He has turned into gold; and a man of fine taste.
But over a deal, he is very "hard paste!
And Blogg is a man that we all of us know
Will be found, with his crew, when the stormy winds blow.
Prompt, brave, and resourceful , A Son of the Sea!
How we cheered when they gave him the "Lifeboat V. C."
C stands for Croome; our most able surveyor,
Who has a soft spot for the hard-pressed rate-payer.
At Mrs. Croome's efforts there's no one can grumble
When they think what she's done for our annual "jumble"
"Tommy Clarke; at his counter he stands,
Napoleon, waiting to learn your demands?
With a grace, all his own, as your "woodbines" he tenders,
"The Old Guard may die, but it never surrenders"!
D stands for Dent, our distinguished old stager,
Some call him Doctor, and some call him Major,
Some call him names - these are in the minority,
Cromer will mourn when he joins the majority!
E's the Excursionist, who, I'm afraid,
Gives the town a bad name, and is no good for trade.
For, his " charra" is victualled; he brings his own "fags"
Leaving discord behind him - and old paper-bags!
F stands for Fawkes - he's descended from "Guy"
Whom he somehow resembles, - I cant tell you why.
But he's brought me to life again, several times,
If he hadn't, I shouldn't be writing these rhymes.
F rank Barclay, we know, has a charming abode,
On the most select side of the Overstrand Road.
Barclay, Buxton, and Gurney, of Quaker renown,
At one time possessed the best part of the town.
They also possessed all their neighbours' good word,
They were Courteous, and Christian, and kind, so I've heard.
But I wonder, d'you know, if the young generation,
Will ever regain that reputation.
There once was a G - but poor Gibby, alack!
Took wings to himself - and he's not coming back.
He also took with him - but that's his look out
I really don't know what you're talking about!
The Aitches, my hat ! are now claiming attention.
Coming so thick and fast that they tax my invention.
I've singled out four to add on to our list,
And as for the others - they'll never be missed.
H stands for Hansell, a figure so tall,
In his own estimation we must appear small.
Moreover, he's made of superior metal,
At least, that's what they think, - both "Hansell and Gretel"
H is for Hoare, who will sell you a pill,
To remove all obstructions, no matter how ill.
He supplies all "the County", so try him, I beg,
The " Boots" on a totally different leg!
And Hardy, who always turns out spick and span;
Makes some of the Council "sit up", when he can.
"Kiss me Hardy, I'm wounded" they cry in the end,
For they're generally ready to make "the amend"
H is the Hospital- lots of beds in it,
Every bed is a guinea a minute!
Also, although I don't want to be rude
On all sides I've heard them complain of the food!
I for Improvements,- they're needed , my stars!
From the " shops early closing" to "parking the cars"
We want the streets wider, we want a good band!
And much that our Council will not understand.
J stands for Jarvis, who runs the "de Paris"
And looks when you meet him, as "happy as Larry".
As chairman, he bosses the shows on the Pier,
But whether he "knows" quelque chose - oh, my dear!
K stands for Kodak, and I recommend,
That your films are entrusted to Armstrong, my friend.
For, you may be certain he'll put on the closure,
In case it's a case of " indecent exposure".
L's for Levine, of old silver renown,
Who's left his old customers - also the town;
I do not suggest he would willingly foozle' em
He's gone up to Hampstead - next door to Jerusalem.
L also recalls, that, "according to Cooker"
I must keep a shot in my locker for Locker.
Locker-Lampson, Commander, the man we admire,
Who would pitch all the Bolshevists into the fire!
Milllington's Sale is a local event,
He makes his reductions to any extent
His fame stretches wide, - to the far-off Bahamas,
They're running cheap trips here to buy his pyjamas.
N's Noel Buxton who once was our Member.
His wife holds the seat now, - yes, May and December.
" Noel! Noel!" rings the melody sweet.
In wartime, his trouble, they say, was "cold feet".
O's for Olympian Gardens, and there,
You can see a good show from a comfy deck-chair.
The "one and three" seats are not nearly so sterling,
That's not the fault of our excellent Hurling.
P stands for Phoebe - it should be the plural,
With two of them in it - ri-tooral, ri-tooral!
Yet I've often wondered how it can be done,
When the crepe-de-chine's barely sufficient for one?
P's Captain Palmer, whose nags are the pride,
Of all who behold them, and all who can ride.
The pick of the bunch, pony, hunter, or hack.
For there's corn in the manger, and hay in the rack.
Q is the question I'm asked every day.
Where are the pretty girls ? Are they away?
To call it a "beauty-spot" is a misnomer.
Alas, there are few pretty maidens in Cromer!
R's Theo Randall, who came back again,
The only survivor of sixty six slain!
With his glass in his eye you will find him at nine,
Very deftly repairing your "Watch on the Rhine"
R stands for Roberts, who has the idea,
That for outward appearance he hasn't a peer,
Maybe his clothes fit, and his calling is "law"-ful,
But all must admit that his colour-scheme's awful;
Rust's also an R, - ah, and there is the rub.
His business resembles a huge lucky-tub.
There's nothing you cannot "dip out"in your shopping.
And I'm free to confess that the quality's topping
R stands for George Rounce ; should you want a Rolls- Royce,
Baby Austin or Sunbeam, - go there, take your choice.
I wouldn't for worlds any disparage,
But you wont find a better for miles, than his garage.
S stands for Savin , of whom it is said,
He would sleep if he could on "The Old Forrest Bed"
Its perfectly certain that he's our apostle,
When it comes to all matters concerning a "fossell"
T stands for Troller who gave great delight,
With his excellent "pictures" on show every night.
But all said and done, there can be no comparison,
Now we've the "talkies" provided by Harrison.
U's the United, a general boon,
Wherever you're going they'll get you there soon.
When they first came along we thought we were in clover.
Not so good since the L. N. E.R. took them over.
V Stands for Vaughan; when you hear his brakes squeal
You know that he's just "coming round on one wheel"
I've heard it suggested, the cause of this act is
Our pushing young medico's looking for "practice"!
West-Walker's retired - finding other attractions.
One can't spend one's life making "painless extractions".
Work's all very well when your life's in its spring.
In Autumn one finds that " The Play is the Thing"
And W's Willins - familiarly " Bert"
That's he is one of the best you can wager your shirt.
All the world likes him, and all the world tells,
How well are conducted his famous hotels.
His clients all come back again and again,
They'd scarcely do that if they'd cause to complain
'Tis said "there is given, unto him that hath"
But they're never given a bed in the bath!
W is Willis, who's well "in the know"
It means "early to rise" to get topsides with "Joe"
For nosing out property he has a flair;
When there's anything doing, he's sure to be there.
X The unknown - covers those we've omitted.
There are some will be glad, there are some may be pitied.
It will also stand for Ex-servicemen's Club.
The ill-natured call it a glorified pub.
Y stands for Youel, who once at the station,
Smoothed out all our troubles and calmed our vexation.
He tries on the Council to do the same thing ;
And the flower in his buttonhole "blooms in the Spring".
Z stands for those Zealots, who when there's a slide.
Of a bit of the cliff, spread the fact far and wide.
Keep it out of the papers ; we certainly should
Such news does our poor, crumbling Cromer no good ;
I've left out the Churches, I've left out the "booze"
And the Marrams are hardly a theme for my muse.
I've left out our Crabs, though a source of much pelf,
And - what's more important - I've left out MYSELF!
N.B. All rights in this jingle are reserved by the Jingler.