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People of the Pebbles

People of the Pebbles

Tales of smugglers run through Norfolk like ribbons of moonlight. And some are stranger than others…

Seafaring free traders worked with onshore accomplices unloading illicit cargo, spiriting it inland on waiting carts. The shingle sweep of Weybourne beach had scarce hiding places and a keen customs officer watching from the sandy cliffs had a good chance of spotting unusual nocturnal activity and quickly raising the alarm.

So the cunning landing parties came up with an ingenious trick. Stealthily, they buried themselves in pebbles up to the neck, stock still in the shadows of the night. When the coast was clear, a whistled signal told the men to rise up from their shingle hollows like the returning dead and empty the boats. It’s said a local landowner, Mr William J. Bolding, turned a blind eye to the comings and goings in return for a hefty share of the contraband.

But those days are long gone. Or are they? For it’s said on nights when the moon is full, a low whistle is heard in the village of Weybourne and it belongs to a dead man walking. Smuggler John Smythe was late back to the beach after visiting his lover, the inn’s landlady. Believing him caught, his companions rowed away. When John whistled for them, the watching revenue officers sprung out. Cornered, John waded into the sea where he drowned, still whistling in vain hope of rescue.

Which ghosts might you meet on the winding paths of Weybourne?


3 Beach Ln, Weybourne, Holt NR25 7AH


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