Wells Next the Sea: 2001


This small town, of just over 2000 people, is listed in the Domesday Book as ‘Guella’ meaning a spring, deriving from the fact that the chalky area was full of springs and wells.  Wells Next the Sea is a bit of an odd name; I always want to add the word ‘to’ after ‘next’.  It would be accurate since Wells Next the Sea is actually a mile from the sea, due to silting in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

This Blog is a bit of a cheat.  The tea towel came to the top of the airing cupboard pile in the middle of last summer; I photographed it ready for a Blog but couldn’t think of anything to write about it.  It’s not a U.T.T (Unidentified Tea Towel).  I can remember buying it in a small gift/sweet shop at the bottom of the long road down to the sea.  It was the only tea towel I could find at the time.  It is not my favourite tea towel.  The cotton is very thin and therefore it lacks absorbancy; the colour blue is very garish, against the stark white background.  It looks cheap (but to be fair, it was very cheap).

For me, Wells Next the Sea is like the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’.  People tell me that Wells Next the Sea is a ‘must’; you have to visit it because it is like stepping back in time; they say it is a very traditional seaside town, not commercialised.  That sounds like the sort of place that I would like.  They say “the beach is known for it’s long, flat terrain, abstract sand dunes, varied unique beach huts and a naturist area to the west, at Holkham”.  I’m sorry, I don’t get it; I think it is boring, neither one thing nor another.  I am always disappointed when I visit Wells Next the Sea (but I have been back but never bought a second tea towel); it’s not on my ‘Wish List’ of places to revisit.  As I use this tea towel, I just think of all the other great places on the North Norfolk coast that I love and maybe, one day, I will grow to love Wells Next the Sea.

Click below to return to the Virtual Tea Towel Museum



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