Memories of Great Yarmouth

One of the children interviewed their grandparents about their memories of Great Yarmouth

By Laura Matthews

Interview with Great Nanny (Vera) who lived at Heckingham as a child.

Great Nanny Vera would come to Great Yarmouth on a Sunday school outing, on a bus. They would go to the jetty, which had seats on then. They saw donkeys on the beach. They would go the circus as a special treat.
Woolworth's was on Regent Road and everything cost less that six pence. Old money!

Great Nanny also said that during the Second World War the soldiers occupied the Barking Smack.

Interview with Nanny (Pat) who lived at Weston Longville as a childĀ 

She would come to Great Yarmouth on Sunday school outings; they would spend the day on the beach and swim in the sea. A man with a bag on his shoulder would come round selling Ice Creams.

She would also come to Great Yarmouth every year with her Godparents (Uncle Ted & Aunt Daisy) to go to the circus (Nanny hated the clowns). The circus had lions, tigers, elephants, chimpanzees, horses and performing sea lions. Like today they used to have a trapeze, high wire acts and jugglers.

Nanny remembers having pony or donkey rides through the garden area near the Jetty.

You could go on boat trips out to Scroby Sands to see the seals; these went from the beach and also somewhere near the Haven Bridge. You could also go on boat trips round the Waterways; these were good at night as they were illuminated.

Great Yarmouth Also had five theatres, which would all have live shows during the summer season. The theatres were the: Wellington Pier, Britannia Pier, The Windmill, The Aquarium (now the Hollywood cinema) and the ABC (this was where Clinton Cards and Pizza Hut are now). Nanny can remember seeing people like Joe Brown, Billy Fury, Tommy Steele, Ronnie Ronald, Mike and Bernie Winters, Cannon and Ball and many more.

The cars used to be able to drive round the market place.

There was a Fish and Chip restaurant called Nicholls, which is now Boots. Debenhams was also in Great Yarmouth. There were no big supermarkets like now, Liptons was a grocery shop, biscuits were in a big tin and you brought them in pounds and ounces.

When Nanny was at school she came on a school trip to Great Yarmouth to the fish Warf to see where the herrings were sold at the fish market.

Where Regent Arcade is it was St Johns Motors where they sold and repaired cars, also you could park your car there, or at least her Uncle Ted was allowed to do so.

There was an open-air swimming pool along the seafront, somewhere near today's Marina Centre.

Nanny moved to Belton when she got married, the railway had stopped running through Belton. The railway tracks and bridges were still in place. It used to go into Southtown Station, which was where home base is now. There was also another station called Beach station, we only have Vauxhall Station now.

They also ran goods trains from Vauxhall station to the South Quay docks.

There was a roundabout at Haven Bridge not traffic lights.

No one-way systems! Still queues of traffic to get in and out of Great Yarmouth. Over the years there have been various routes in and out of Great Yarmouth all eventually leading to Haven Bridge, the Breydon bypass has helped event though it may not always seem like it.

Caravans were on the South Denes from the Pleasure Beach almost to the Harbours mouth. This is part of where they are now sighting the Outer Harbour. That's been talked about for at least the last 25 years.

There was an Ice rink below the Tower Ballroom (now Atlantis).

There was a Roller Skating rink at the Wellington Pier.

Great Yarmouth was home to Norfolk Line Roll on Roll off Ferry, the ferry was brought into the harbour backwards by tugs, as it was too big to turn round in the river.

Nanny worked at Offshore Marine who had offices at the fish Warf. They owned at least forty supply ships; they took supplies to the oilrigs around the world.

The power station was built with bricks and burnt coal to make electricity; the goods railway that ran along the quay took the coal there.

Birdseye had a factory and lots of cold store warehouses along the South Quay.

Nanny can also remember her dad telling her that there used to be a cattle market somewhere in the Southtown area.

Granddad (Colin) moved to Belton in 1965 and worked in the butchers shop in Market Row, this was the part of Market Row that burnt down in the 1990s.
The meet came into the shop as huge pieces and my Granddad and his dad boned and cut the meat to sell as joints, steaks etc. in the shop. They also sold sausage rolls and pork pies that were made in the shop.

This page was added by Laura Matthews on 30/08/2007.
Comments about this page

Really enjoyed reading that just wished there were photos aswell.

By valerie patterson
On 25/07/2008

I'm trying to find out any information on the NORFOLK LINE ferry which sank in yarmouth harbour in the late 70s/early 80s. I'm sure this happened or was it a dream I had. I think the ferry was the Duchess of Holland. Any information would be fantastic. Cheers

By shaun woods
On 14/01/2011

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