My family research visit

2 wonderful days reigniting memories of the past

Bill Brown

I have just discovered this web site after having spent 2 wonderful days in Gorleston and Gt Yarmouth carrying out family research, it is probably over 20 years since I last visited. Both sides of my family came from, or lived there for a period of time. As a child I remember visiting many times, both in winter, when ‘the wind would go though you and not around’, and summer when there could be glorious days spent on the golden sands.

My wife and I visited around 20 locations, houses, churches and places we remember as children. In one day we walked over 7 miles. No doubt once I have put together all the details, there will be questions that I hope members will be able to help me with.

I recall having chips and tripe on the market. We had chips on our visit, but no longer is there a tripe stall. Jellied eels were always a delicacy as a kid, wonderful thoughts; I could still sample them from Nichols fish stall, as good as the original Billy Nichols fare.

Regent Street, though now pedestrianised was a disappointment and not as I remember, but saying that, it was good to see the two 'rock' shops still exist with crowds gathering to watch the 'letters' being inserted. I recall often going into an ice cream parlour at the lower end and having knickerbocker glories, now no sign there, or anywhere else we visited. Disaster!!

How the river has changed, as a kid in the 50's, fishing vessels and cargo ships tied up to the quay; 20 yrs later, vessels serving the oil fields could be seen. Now, I understand the large ships are involved with the wind farms. Progress has meant that may of the dockside buildings have been demolished, I recall the smell from the timber yard and the areas fish were landed. Now no sign of the railway lines that used to run down the road, as a kid I recall trying to trace the beginning and end, without being run over. 

I had to make a visit to the front at Gorleston and in particular the yacht lake. I say lake, because as a 10 yr old, it was huge and that wall upto the car park must have been 20 feet tall. How the memory plays tricks, yes you can still float your yacht, but really it is a pond, and that wall, well not 20 ft high is it? The reality now, does not cloud the wonderful hours I used to spend there.

The trip also involved Lowestoft, where many of my ancestors houses have been demolished to make way for car parks and industrial estates. Whereas Gorleston, the majority are still standing, Queens Place, Southtown Road and Burnt Lane to name a few. Good to see some of the Rows still in view, although I have to find a map of 1900's to see if I can locate the houses of my ancestors, are they are still standing?

I look forward to going through the many pages on the web site and perhaps retelling some of my memories with the questions I may ask. Keep up the good work web master.


This page was added by Bill Brown on 30/09/2016.

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