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Visitors talk of sadness and lost memories after Hemsby erosion

PUBLISHED: 18:30 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:30 07 May 2018

Homes in The Marrams, Hemsby, have had to be destroyed due to devastating erosion. Photo: James Carr.

Homes in The Marrams, Hemsby, have had to be destroyed due to devastating erosion. Photo: James Carr.

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Hemsby occupies a special place in many people’s hearts.

Homes in The Marrams, Hemsby, have had to be destroyed due to devastating erosion. Photo: James Carr.Homes in The Marrams, Hemsby, have had to be destroyed due to devastating erosion. Photo: James Carr.

The picturesque village represents a link to their childhood – memories of family holidays and long drives to the seaside.

However, when some visitors arrived in the village on Bank Holiday Monday they were confronted with a reality very different to the memories they cherish so dearly.

Due to devastating coastal erosion many homes at The Marrams have been dismantled by Great Yarmouth Borough Council as they risked falling into the sea.

Homes in The Marrams, Hemsby, have had to be destroyed due to devastating erosion. Photo: James Carr.Homes in The Marrams, Hemsby, have had to be destroyed due to devastating erosion. Photo: James Carr.

Homes have been removed or simply reduced to rubble.

For Kerry Williams, 29, the erosion has significantly altered a place her family has visited for generations.

Ms Williams, from Norwich, said: “I’ve been coming to Hemsby all my life and it’s where my parents would holiday when they were younger as well.

Three generations of the Williams family. Photo: James CarrThree generations of the Williams family. Photo: James Carr

“We used to stay in bungalows that aren’t there anymore.

“It’s like your memories are disappearing. We have the memories of what has happened here - but the buildings are no longer there.”

While many visitors were upset by the destruction caused by the erosion they remained defiant and vowed to keep returning to the seaside village.

Kevin Massey. Photo: James CarrKevin Massey. Photo: James Carr

Megan Hemsley, who has been coming to visit Hemsby since she was a child, said: “As far back as our generation go we have been coming to play on the dunes.

“I heard stories growing up of how my grandfather built my mum and aunt a hut on The Marrams when they were children.

“It’s so sad but nothing is going to fight the sea.

Megan Hemsley. Photo: James Carr.Megan Hemsley. Photo: James Carr.

“I think things will move and it will shift – the dunes will move back and reclaim itself.”

Mrs Hemsley, who now lives in Fleggburgh, added: “I will definitely still come back and visit. I suppose you have to love it for what it is and go with it.”

Likewise Kevin Massey has been travelling from Leicester to Hemsby since the 1960s.

He said: “Without a doubt it’s sad. We have taken our grandchildren past it and showed them where the houses used to be, to show the real life of what they have seen on the news.

“It’s quite depressing that last season they were people’s home but it won’t stop us coming – this is our second home.”

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