The yacht pond at Gorleston

Photograph of young sailors trying out their latest craft on the pond

By Martin Keable

Great Yarmouth had two model yacht ponds during the period up to the 1950's. There was a thriving model yacht club in the town with many of the craft being  constructed at home by their owner. The skill was all down to how you set your sails before a run across the water - the thought of the radio contolled craft of to-day would  probably have appealed to these yougsters but would have been met with a stony silence by the older generation. The Yarmouth pond is now a part of the Pleasure Beach complex-when you descend the log flume ride you are splashing down into the water of the old yacht pond. The pond at Gorleston still exists but is no longer the scene for budding yachtsmen to learn the ropes.

Photo:Two children sailing their yacht on the Gorleston yacht pond

Two children sailing their yacht on the Gorleston yacht pond

Great Yarmouth Musuems

This page was added by Martin Keable on 12/01/2007.
Comments about this page

I can remember going here and watching punch and judy with my elder sister and cousin. There was also a guiness clock.

By sandra searle
On 04/03/2010

We love going to Gorleston, and by the looks of it the boating lake hasn't changed abit!

By Angela Dyer
On 28/07/2010

Happily Gorleston is undergoing a renaissance lately with the Yacht pond being used more & major improvements to the Cafes, hotels, Pier Gardens & of course the Pavillion Theatre bringing the Sea front area up to date but still retaining its character.

By Roger Gowen
On 22/09/2011

Hi there you Gorlestonians, nice site about the yacht pond. The photograph says it all, for what its worth.  I have been using the pond since coming to live in Gorleston in the 60s.  All 3 of my children grew up using the swimming pool, the pond and glorious beach and I have to say I could not have had a better place to live in.  Getting back to our yacht pond, in my time it has been sadly neglected now a Grade 3 listed site the latest damage was done to the floor hence it now leaks. The pump packed up whilst filling the pond for Easter, is it possible to apply for funds from the Lottery to build a new wall and floor and render. I am sure we have a builder that would love to make his mark on the pond's future.  I have used this pond since the 60s, am now 77 and never tire of using it.  Many more come from far and near to use it.  A chap brought his boat on holiday to sail it on our pond he was from Fleetwood so you have to admit it is well used.  We have a thriving model club who keeps an eye on its upkeep.  The poor old Council does its best but sadly its not all that important - they do not realise what a feature it is.  I treasure the conversations over the years when visitors want to speak of their love of this area that we all take for granted.  Kind regards, see you on the pond.  John Clifford

By john clifford
On 23/04/2012

I visited the boating lake on Sunday 23rd April after hearing that it was being repaired. I understand that it is to be ready for May Bank holiday weekend for the sinking of the Titanic! I may launch my Submarine if that is permitted!

By Paul Rogers
On 24/04/2012

Hi Paul at last a reply to this site on the ifs & buts of what is going on at the pond.  It is going fine after the Easter promises did not come to anything, weather has not helped council can't be blamed for that one.  Your submarine is most welcome as is any other model boat the more the merrier.  The pond is so important to the town as is Gorleston Football Club but that's another story, next season give it a look as it needs supporting.  Back to the pond how about a model sailing club Micro Magics for starters great to teach youngsters you do not need a chairman etc just a night for any one who wants a sail and enjoy the pond, it is listed now and one of the very few left.  I talk to many holidaymakers from UK and even abroad of our pond they say how lucky we are to have such a facility.  It's free but you might have a problem with parking the car but shortly you will be able to park at the pier car park - pay & display.  Have a pint and a meal at the Pier Hotel then sail your boat.  Thats enough mardling for now hope you feel like giving a reply or email me at  I like a mardle

By John Clifford
On 08/06/2012

John, better late than never!  I too like to mardle and visit the Yacht Pond whenever I can.  I understand that the Yacht Pond shall be 100 year young sometime in 2019.  Now that would be something to celebrate!  I have emailed you to have a mardle!  Keep smiling, Paul.

By Paul Rogers
On 06/02/2013

The Yacht Pond needs and deserves frequent maintenance in order for it to survive as a focal point and main attraction.  Many who have no wish to use or own a yacht or other craft to sail on the pond enjoy visiting and watching those that do.  I hope the people of Gorleston on Sea and those that visit from time to time will should it become necessary support the future of the Yacht Pond.  I remain interested in any information relating to the building of the Yacht Pond and can be contacted at the e mail address shown below.  Thank you for your time...enjoy the Yacht Pond!  Paul Rogers.  Email address:

By Paul Rogers
On 11/02/2013

Hello out there,

At last the Yacht Pond has been emptied, repaired and filled with fresh water. The pond became salt water after the storms of December 2013 and it has taken all this time to put it right. However the pond needs to be treated to reduce the growth of algae. As of today 7/4/16 it is already on the march. The Yacht Pond is an asset to the seafront and attracts many visitors who I reckon spend money at the numerous refreshment outlets. I recommend Pond Blue treatment in early March each year which is topped up at 10% rate each month until early October to restrict algae, weed and other material. Frequent cleaning is also required,which should fall under general maintenance by the Local Authority. The Yacht Pond is grade 3 listed and should be maintained so that it can be enjoyed. The Local Authority and or contracted concerned need to take care of this asset!

By Paul Rogers
On 29/04/2016

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