Mail OnlineBy MATTHEW ENGEL
Since 1996, Tesco, the most implacable force in British business, has been trying to open a supermarket in this little seaside resort (population: 7,000). It is still trying. And Reg and Eroica are still barring the door. This is no ordinary story: it would make a cracking film. But it would have to be made by Ealing Studios, purveyor of comedies about battling Britons in the black-and-white years after the war.
The cast of characters is perfect: there is Eroica, a former model-turned-novelist who sweeps through Sheringham’s streets like a vengeful tigress; there is Reg, the mild-mannered old buffer, marching as to war; and they have been joined by Clive, the local landowner, who might just see them through.
Even the names sound fictional. Eroica indeed! There is also a butcher called Icarus Hinds, and the bookseller trades under the name of Bertram A. Watts. Sheringham certainly feels stuck in the Ealing era. As well as the bookshop, it has three greengrocers, not one butcher but two, plus two fishmongers, two bakers and a toy shop…