At the weekend the National Trust at Blakeney in Norfolk, just a stones-throw from my house, celebrated 100 years of ownership of a unique part of the British coastline. This 3.5mile shingle spit which extends westwards from Cley is an internationally important site for wildlife and is without doubt a true gem on the North Norfolk coastline. Near the end of the spit the old lifeboat house is home to the National Trust wardens who protect this unique landscape and its wildlife. This unique building adorned as it is with blue and white paint is a landmark locals know and love and can be found on many a postcard and poster in the souvenir shops along the coast.
The National Trust laid on boats from Morston Quay for local people who are lucky enough to have Blakeney on their doorstep and who clearly care deeply about its protection and its long term future as a special place where people can enjoy the outdoors.
Upon arrival on the point there were guided walks incorporating the natural and social history of the site followed by a Bucks Fizz breakfast and the unveiling of a beautiful wooden commemorative panel to mark the centenary.
The weather Gods provided the sunshine and as I wandered amongst the guests with my camera it was obvious that they all thought it was a very special and memorable morning. John Sizer, the National Trust property manager for Blakeney gave a wonderful speech before the unveiling of the panel. Graham and Marilyn, two of the Trust's staff, had the honour of unveiling the panel, who between them recently celebrated over 40 years service for the Trust, quite an achievement.
Following the unveiling it was cake time and wow what a cake it was. It was a model of the lifeboat house and was made by another member of the Trust's staff, Victoria Francis, who it has to be said is not known for her culinary skills (I know this only because I have to cook for her every night!). As there was very little of it left at the end it obviously went down well with the guests, either that or they were being very polite, we will never know!
We (Victoria and myself) were very honoured to take a local resident with us to The Point who is 97 years of age and who had last been in one of the buildings on The Point over 80 years ago! Although getting in and out of the boat took a little bit of time I was absolutely astonished that someone of that age would even attempt such a feat, he is a remarkable man and could teach us all about how to live life to the fullest.
So here are a few photos from the morning.
Thanks for looking.
The iconic Blakeney Point lifeboat house
Disembarkation was a little tricky a times but only the NT staff and boatmen got their feet wet!
The assembled guests waiting for unveiling of the commemorative panel
And with a swoosh of the National Trust flag there it was!
National Trust staff and volunteers proudly showing off their beautiful new panel
Etched with the words "1912-2012 & Beyond... special places for ever, for everyone" It is a very fitting piece with a very fitting message
And the cake, complete with marzipan seals and terns, the icing didn't quite like the sunshine but it held up pretty well all the same.
On our way back to the quay we were treated to an impromptu seal and tern watching trip at the end of The Point
Who is watching who?