Kathleen Kennedy's Memories of Life in Great Yarmouth

Photo:Kathleen Dewhurst (as she was then) on Great Yarmouth sea front in 1971

Kathleen Dewhurst (as she was then) on Great Yarmouth sea front in 1971

Courtesy of Kathleen Kennedy

Memories of the layout of the town, transport and housing

By Laura Matthews


I used to live in a bed-sit on Seafield Close just off Queens road, there are flats there now. Off that street there used to be rows of houses, one was Grosvener Road, which was very narrow. I moved to Crown Road where I lived in a guesthouse. A lot of guesthouses took lodgers and students in during the winter. In summer the guesthouses, hotels and flats were full and people in private houses took visitors in, they gave up their bedrooms for them and slept downstairs.

The Market Place and Shops

The Post Office was at the bottom of Regent Street and there was a sub post office in St Peters Road. The buses used to go up Regent Street and round by Burton's to the Bus Stand, which was at the side of the ABC Regal. There were also public toilets there that were kept spotlessly clean by the attendant.  In the shops around the market there were Nichols Fish and Chip shop a pub called The Fish Stall House and further down on the same side was Tesco with Tesco Home and Wear next door to it. Finefare was a supermarket at the top of Regent Road. Traffic went up and down Regent Road at that time and there were some lovely shops down there. There were also two department stores round the Market Place one was Palmers the other was Arnolds then it became Debenhams, I think its shops now. Boots the chemist was on the same side of the market place as Palmers and there was a chemist in Regent Road called Tubbs.

Round the back of the town behind Woolworth's on the Quay was the Slipper
Baths, I think this would be where people that did not have baths in their houses would go for a bath. I remember there was like a path like a maze
it turned allot of corners and bought you out at the side of Woolworth's. There
was a Safeway Supermarket called Safeway on King Street. There was a material shop called Stainsberrys (I think) near the top of St Peters Road. St Peters Tavern was also on St Peters Road.

I remember a large family called the Thompson's they had a news paper shop on Deneside, the Park Tavern a pub on Saxon Road and a chip stall on the Market.


Blue Buses ran over to Gorleston, they were double deckers and ran about every 5-10 minutes between Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. Over the bridge there was a stop outside the post office in Regent Street then they went on to King Street, round by Burtons and a Bank with a clock on the wall to the side of the regal. I think all the other traffic had to go round the Market Place. The Blue Buses also ran to Caister though they were single deckers. The Easton County's Buses were red and they set of from near the Bath Hotel running to Lowestoft.

The Miners Strike

One winter weekend in 1972 Great Yarmouth was full of boys and Men staying in the guesthouses. It was the Miners strike and they took them over to Gorleston on the Saturday to march all the way back to Great Yarmouth where they picketed round the Power Station, it was bitterly cold.They were amazed to see Great Yarmouth in winter with all the attractions closed down as a lot of them came for holidays to the town in summer from Barnsley in Yorkshire.

This page was added by Laura Matthews on 22/11/2007.
Comments about this page

My memoriers of my Yarmouth are in 1939 and mum and I showing our I.D cards at a barbwire barrer at the top of Princess Road to go to the pictures at the Aquarium cinema. In the interval a man named Percy Edwards came on and did bird calls and animal sounds. I think the council were testing the air raid warning system we all had to leave our seats and wait in the foyer till all clear then back for the second half . Where our house was in Swirles buildings if you went out our front door anf straight ahead to the right there was a public house called Hercules Taven. It's now called the Pickwick arms. In 1930-40s a Mr Banham kept it. Further to the left right outside our front window was a Herring gutting building this was closed during the war but was used again in the late 40s-50s. The area is now the new pubs gardens. In 1941 the council built an air raid shelter in Swirles Place right in the middle of the road blocking the street. On north market road lived a family named Eagle, Mr Eagle had a fruit & veg stall on the market they had two children a boy named Arnold and a girl named Gloria we all use to play together and we went to the same school as well. There were two boys (twins ) named Nichols who lived on Middle Market Road their family had a Tripe & cowheel stall on the same market. Another good friend was June Hargreaves & Tony Overill whose father owned the bycycle shop near market place. After the war my dad came home and went back to H A Homles builders and my mum started to take in summer vistors again. As a young boy growing up in the 40s & 50s I explored the length and breath of the whole of our town, so many friends not so many enemies. Seeing what young people have today I can say we had the best years. I look forward to any comments.

By colinbrowne
On 26/03/2008

I remember you Colin you were at the Priory School. I lived in Stanley terrace opposite the slaughter house.

By Norman Balls
On 08/04/2008

Colin- don't suppose you have any photos of Swirles Buildings? They were demolished- but when? My Great Grandfather used to live there, and I'm fascinated.

Thanks for any help!

By Richard Harrison
On 22/04/2008

Karl here from Cleethorpes originally; Nice to see the photo of 1971, with the pedal cars in the background (I was 8 years old then, the height of my pedal car career). My grandparents took me to Gt. Yarmouth from the mid 60's up until 1975. They had holidayed there with my mother prior to this. We started at the Vauxhall Camp site, progressing to guest houses by the early 70's. Unfortunately my grandfather died in 1976 and my grandmother never had chance to return though she always spoke of it fondly. When I was very ill in 2003 (though I'm fine now) my first reaction was to visit those places that were special to me as a child, I visited Yarmouth one spring day in March '03 and was surprised as well as saddened to see so many things had changed, naturally things move on, but nonetheless I was surprised. I have since returned three times on long weekends and had a ride on the Snails ! which made me feel 6 years old again .... anyone remember the summer fair attended by the cast of 'On the Buses' around 1970 ??

By karl kay
On 29/04/2008

I have lived in Great Yarmouth my whole life and most of my family do as well.  My great nanny was a fisher-girl, from Peterhead in Scotland and my grandad a cooper. When he came down from Peterhead in the year of 1953, he met my nanny then and my family have all lived here since.

By By Ria
On 17/06/2008

First off, hello Norman yes its great to contact some one I know. It seems that Stanley Terrace plays a big part in my life, do you remember the cart horse stable on the corner? My family had friend who worked there he had a big black and white horse called Capt Morgan and he went around the houses emptying the dustbins into his cart.
Now for another strange Stanley terrace conection, when I started infant school at Northgate a young girl who was most likely a year or a few months older than me named EFF, BRACKENBURY took me to and from school until I went to Priory Boys, she went on to Priory Girls and also lived in Stanley Terrace.
Fastforward a few years at senior level school I met a lad named Brian Brackenbury who lived in Town Wall Road we became good mates. Fast forward again to 2006, I read an item in a local magizine from a Brian Brachenbury of Heachem, North Norfolk, my wife and I have had a static caravan in the same place since 1999 so I looked him up. We had lots to talk about as it seems I took over his job at Butlers Fish Shop (see work section of this website) when he left. Also EFF was a relation off his. So you see Norman its nice to keep in touch even if I am in my 70s thank you Great Yarmouth museums and the people who put this website together.
ps Richard Harrison sorry but I haven't at this moment any pictures, I will search around.


By colinbrowne
On 01/09/2008

Hi, I'm not sure if you can help. I'm doing research on my family tree and discovered that one of my ancestors lived in 1 Smiths Building, Great Yarmouth. Has anyone ever heard of this?

Kind regards

By Vicky
On 30/09/2008

My grandfather lived on Middle market Road from 1938 -1978, his name was Fredrick Bird and he was a Master Tailor. He did alterations for Burtons Meanswear in the town, my grandmother Doris Bird(nee Meadows) was a Dressmaker, so between them they knew everyone in the town. My grandmothers brother Billy lived just around the corner, where now stands a new build of houses next to the multistorey car park. Years before that my Great grandfather Alfred Meadows had a barrow business, on South market Road, he was a wainwright by profession and had been born the son of a baker, Samuel Meadows. My only surviving family member from that side of family is Auntie Gladys who is 93. She told me that there were so many children(my grandmothers siblings), that they signed in and out on a blackboard to keep track who was in and who was out..As a child, I remember walking towards my grandparents house and passing the old slaughter house and dairy that stood just before the passage, on Middle market Road which i think belonged to Longs, you could smell it as you walked past. Many happy days were spent sitting outside on the front door step in summer..with the roads flourishing community of Greek Cypriots and famous Vettese Italians becoming good friends of my father and his family, there was always people stopping and chatting, such wonderful days.

By Claire Bird
On 22/11/2008

Dear Clare I seem to remember your grandfather. For a short time I delivered news papers for Teddy Spurgeon who had a shop on St. Nicholas road. His daughter Maureen use to run it. I delivered papers to your grandfather's & on Saturdays had to collect some weekly money. He used to come to the door with is measuring tape hanging around his neck. At one time he told me he was a talior. Seems so long ago. The dairy was the Co-op, the passage was Cobbs place (see bombed areas). Nice to have contact.

By colinbrowne
On 19/12/2008

Hello to all who knew or know me now.. Colin Brown , and I are already in touch and Norman Balls is my cousin. Effie was also my cousin as the Brackenbury's were a large family in Gt Yarmouth. There were 7 boys Vic, Harry, Bobby. Norman, died in a prisoner of war camp. Stanley,Ronnie, and Bertie my Dad , and Graham was the youngest. Aunt Effie was the only girl and was Norman Balls Mum. I have a huge background of details of my family in Yarmouth. I left the Priory school 53 years ago and worked in Arnolds department store as a display artist, leaving to work at Radio Norfolk, Regent Rd. and Broad Row, with Mr Perry. I left him as he was retiring and went to Palmers where with Mr Les Drury I opened the musical Department with great success as it was the era of the Beatles. Stones , Etc and left there in 1965 when I moved to Kings Lynn, in Norfolk. I was also very well known in Yarmouth as a musician , (keyboards & accordion), and could write a book of my experieces working with many musicians of that period in time which would have included , Gordon Edwards, Peter Jay, Maurice share, Maurice Illife, Sid Wright, Maurice Joel, David Parker, Dennis Wolsey, Colin Hood, George Beldon, Ian North, to mention only a few, and in many venues including, The Golden Galleon, Winter Gardens, Caister Holiday Camp, Maddisons Holiday Camp, Floral Hall, Mathes in King St, Goodes Hotel, Savoy. Regent Rd, Black Angus ,Regent Rd, and many, many mere too numerous to mention. Finally in closing I would be pleased to hear from anyone with whom I am not already in contact from what I considered to be very happy days. Best regards to all Brian Brackenbury.11/1/2009

By Brian Brackenbury
On 21/01/2009

Hello Claire I'm new to this site so I read the comments with great interest. I'm a Yarmouth boy now living in the U.S.A. I remember your Grandfather very well. He made several suits for me at a very reasonable price and his work was first class. I used to go for a fitting which was done right the first time. I cannot remember his charges, a little more than the 50 shilling taylor in Kings Street but worth every shilling. My extended family like the Barrons, Tanns and Gray would have their clothes made up at the end of the summer season. Good luck.

Tony Barron 21/01/09

By Tony Barron
On 23/01/2009

Reference the letter from Claire Bird-I used to go to the St Andrews Infant school on Fullers Hill and sat next to a Dennis Bird whose father was a tailor. Dennis must be the same age as me (63)-it would be great to hear from him. I still have a school photograph with both of us on.

By mike griffin
On 23/02/2009

Hi, I was just googling The Park Tavern & you came up, I am one of the large Thompson family, we lived in the pub!!! Great memories..................

By Deirdre
On 30/03/2009

Hi All and in particular to Brian Brackenbury. I was at school with Brian - The good old Priory. You also played your accordian at Newtown Methodist Church for one of their concerts. I managed to lose touch with you and it would be great to hear from you again. I will be in Gorleston on Friday 24th of this month (April) and intend to visit Yarmouth around 2pm - possibly having a sandwich down at The Imperial Hotel. Would be great to meet up with you again. Also great to hear from any of my old school mates - Roy Parr, Maurice Hood, Stanley Prime ...Cheers, John

By John Hunt
On 21/04/2009

Having read through the preceding pages again, I think I can just remember a boy called Colin Browne. Colin - were you in a play about The Romans, which Mr Halls produced and we played in the lovely old hall at the Priory School? I think you were dressed in a sheep skin and played an ancient Brit. I was a Roman soldier and caught you stealing. I agree with you Colin - we had great times and I too feel sorry for the youngsters today. Be good to hear from you - bet you can't remember though. Roy Parr was my best mate in those days. Cheers, John

By John Hunt
On 12/05/2009

My Great Grandfather was George James Overill born 1873, his brother is Alfred G Overill who owned the cycle shop at 51 Market Place, does anyone have a photos of that part of Market Place. Wonderful information on the website. I had only been told that my ancestors came from Norfolk and were probably fisherman (haven't found a fisherman yet!).

By Janet Lawlor
On 12/05/2009

Hi, Do you remember Smith's Guest House and Garage, it was opposite the dairy on Middle Market Road. My parents John (known as Jack) and Evelyn Smith owned it. I have an older Brother Graham and a Sister Jacqueline, I was born in Middle Market Road my parents eventually owned 24/25/26 and number 27 Middle Market Road. I was born in 1951, but my parents lived there several years before I was born. Do you remember the family, or have any pictures. I attended The Priory and Great Yarmouth Grammer School.

By John Smith
On 12/05/2009

Hi John yes its me sorry a bit late in reply have just picked up on this page have been in contacted with Brian Brackenbury at Heacham. I remember it all school play etc. Went to Time & Tide museum on the 17th July 2009 met up with Keith Brightman, Charlie Grimmer as well other friends from skating days. A Mr Colin Stott of the museum arranged it all. Had a great day. Am told Reggie Underwood has passed away. He was the large Roman soldier. Also Stanley Prime who I had the sheep skin off sadly died in a car accident. But still many more old priory boys around.  Colin

By colin browne
On 14/08/2009

In reply to the item on Smiths garage & guest house, if it is the same it backed on to Cobbs place / Swirles buildings as youngesters we lived & played in that area I recalled two children, boy & girl the boy was nicknamed Friar Tuck? Sorry but can't remember the girls name. The garage was closed all through the war but was reopened by the Smiths, I seem to think that they might have came from Nottingham ? hence the nickname Friar Tuck but I could be very very wrong please contact and correct me look forward to replies

By colin browne
On 09/11/2009

Have read with great interest the memories of people from the Middle Market area of Yarmouth. I lived at 22 Gordon Terrace, which was opposite Cobbs Place, just across from the Coop Dairy. My Grandfather, Harry George lived at number 16. He was a retired Trinity House seaman. I too went to the Priory and was very friendly with Norman Balls and Keith Skoyles. We spent hours playing together around the "Dump", which was all that was left of Cobbs Place, although that name was painted on the front of our house. Fond memories of the slaughter house smells, the summer visitors and free milk bottle tops from the dairy which we used to play cigarette card games with. Those were the days.
John George

By John George
On 30/11/2009

John nice to hear from you I am still in touch with Keith it might be good if all of us OLD PRIORIANS could get together there must still be lots of us about

By Norman Balls
On 11/01/2010

Does anyone remember the name Clifton Lloyd, worked in a night club as a DJ and also he was a reggae singer.

I would be so greatfull if anyone can help.

By I Smith
On 11/01/2010

My husband Eric Beckett was brought up in Gt Yarmouth. His mother was Dorothy Beckett (nee Chaplin). His father Len. Her father had the Tower pub near the Quay. He has lots of stories to tell, so I will get him talking and see if he wants me to put them on here. He went to the priory school. He was a red head (called ginger) with specs then. His brother is Ronnie.

By Doris Beckett
On 11/01/2010

I have been researching my family history and find that they mostly originated in Yarmouth. My father's name was William James Lark, sometimes spelt Larke, his mother's maiden name was Taylor and she was connected to the Paston's. The Taylors and Larke were mostly connected with the fishing industry and in the 1800s lived in the Rows, mainly Row 199. My Father's cousin William Taylor, was the Landlord of the 'Cap & Gown' Pub in Gorleston in the 1960s. His brother Fred Taylor was at one time the Superintendent of Wellington Pier in Yarmouth. If there are any descendents around, I would be glad to exchange any information I have discovered about these families.

By Doreen Belcher (Nee Lark)
On 15/03/2010

To all old Priory boy,s re- 1940,s- 1950,s who,s Teachers were Mr Hall, Thompson, Holsworth, Kite, Bunting, Lewis, Head master W. Sillas. I have been in touch with Colin Stott of Time & Tide Museum & awaiting to see if we can get a articale in the local paper or the E D P to arrange a meet up at the T&T in Sept 2010 on pro dates Wednesday 22nd or Friday 24th at say time aprox 12 am in the Silver Darlings cafe / resturant. if you are a reader of this webb or if you are a Son / daughter grandchilden off any the old priory boys please contact Colin stott who i hope will contact me so we can get this reunion of the blocks. look forward to contact yours Colin Browne now 74 yrs young

By colin browne
On 04/05/2010

I spoke to Colin Brown on Sunday last at a car boot in Heacham where I now live and was pleased to know about the proposed meet of Old Priorians at Time & Tide Museum at 10.30 on 24th September.

It would be great if it comes off and asuming I,m still arond I will try to join some old friends and rogues of yester year. I include "rogues" as I have one distant memery of Mr Bunting caning the whole class because they made such a disturbance when he had to leave the class for a short while.

Needless to say I was NOT one of the ones who caused such a disturbance but no one would believe me and I can still feel the sting to this day! I can now however let the cat out of the bag Colin Brown was the ringleader! He's only small but he is deadly!! hope it comes off and looking forward to meeting old friends. Cheers to all. Brian Brackenbury.

By Brian Brackenbury
On 14/06/2010

With reference to Smiths Guest House and Garage, my parents Evelyn and John (Jack) originally came from Sheffield and moved to 'the coast' due to my sisters asthma and the 'clean air'

By John Smith
On 14/06/2010

I also went to Priory School and St Andrews, Fullers Hill on the Conge.  I have a photo of me and the under 15's football team and I also done a lot of athletics.  I grew up with Colin Brown and Colin Hill.  I am Colin Attwood known as the 3 Colins.  I also know most of the people in these articles.  I lived on 10 Silkmills Road next to Jack Cooks the Bookies.  I would like to meet some of these people.  I see Norman Balls when I go to Races as he is in the ring.

I am now living back in town and will be 71 this year.

On 28/07/2010

Hi old priory boys. I remember Mr Sillas head master. He caned me a few times. Mr Bunting was my teacher before i left school. I also remember the names of the other teachers. Good memories. By Bob Wynes

By Bob Wynes
On 28/07/2010

I will be there on the 24th hope I will not be on my own.

By Norman Balls
On 28/07/2010

I was between the holiday camps of Caister and Hopton and Butlins in the years 1970 to 1984. Would anyone have any pictures at this time? I always went into the beauty contest and sometimes won.

By Marilyn Terry Phillips
On 06/09/2010

Thankyou Tony Barron for you wonderful comment about my dear old pop (F.Bird, Tailor). He was a gentleman, whose stitching lasted longer than the cloth. Mike, my uncle Dennis still lives in Great Yarmouth (married to Ange , who's mother was a Barron incidently ), he's in the phone book I think, if not heres my email address, I will pass your message on to him via my cousin. hotwingz72@hotmail.co.uk. He would love to see the photo no doubt.

By claire bird
On 01/10/2010

Thanks to the staff at the Time and Tide for the great reunion for the Old Priorians. I am speaking to Mr.Newman the Town Center Manager about the possibilty of a night for the OPs at the Gt. Yarmouth Beer Festival next May. Watch this page

By Nornan Balls
On 15/10/2010

Hi everyone . I am currently living at 1 Stanley Terrace . I bought this first house way back in 2003 and been trying to find the history of it but to no avail. If anyone have memories or anything that you can remember about this end terrace , please do contact me . Cheers !

By Earl
On 07/12/2010

I have found some more old pictures of Great Yarmouth one is of the Swallow Pram Factory and one is of the circus where you could get to it off the front.

By kathleen kennedy
On 07/12/2010

Hi Norman Have only just picked up your reply to my comment of November 2009. It was great to hear from you and to know that you are still in touch with Keith. Are you still living in the Yarmouth area? I wish I had read about the Old Priorians' reunion, I would have made an effort to get there. I went into teaching and my first job was teaching at the Priory from 1964 to 1966. Several of the old members of staff including Ernie Thompson, George Austen and Bob Kitchener were still there. Johnny Green was the Headmaster. We have lived in the Midlands since 1971 and don't get to Yarmouth very often, but if there is something arranged for May 2011 I will do my best to get there. Look forward to hearing from you. John

By John George
On 28/01/2011

Does anyone know of a Elaine Mary hill who I am trying to trace. I believe she will be between 65 and 70. She lived at 20 boreham road Gt Yarmouth. Would really appreciate it.

By Andrea Lucken
On 04/08/2011

Thompson's chip stall was run by my husbands aunt and uncle. She was from a big Lowestoft family - HE was a Thompson and was NOT the same family who owned the pub or the newspaper business. The chip stall was passed to his son-in-law and daughter but has now been sold!

By Chris Collins
On 04/08/2011

I used to live in Jubilee Place (now where the town centre bus station is) and it was right behind the Billiard Hall (The Jube). It was def for men only but we used to throw our balls over their wall and then go round the front and ask if we could have them back. We had a Dump too, and called it the Bomb Dump, and that was opposite the back of the Anglo Coffee Bar. We used to play on there at houses, utilising all the debris left after the bombings. We too used to mix and mingle with the Greek Cypriot community and they were a wonderful group of people. My cousins lived at Bermondsey Place and we used to play together as kids. I too remember Birds the Tailors, Frosdicks the horse-meat shop, large chunks of it for sale in their window, The Peace and Plenty pub, Wiggs the newsagents, Norman Greaves the grocer, and the old Labour Exchange. I remember the Lingwoods, the Bacons, the Frosdicks (not the horse meat people tho), Roger Oriss, Michael Servia, the Breams and many others. Also Harbords Garage run by Edgar Newcombe and I do remember Normal Balls (or should that be Normal Balls hehe). I also remember the Eagles, one in particular called Ernie Eagle and will shut up now as you must all be yawning.

By Chris Collins
On 11/08/2011

Ria writing about her great Nanny & Granddad brings back wonderful memories of my childhood in Yarmouth when the Scottish boats & families came down each year from Peterhead, Aberdeen and Fraseburgh for the herring fishing season. As they unloaded their catches some of the herring slipped from their baskets which I raced the seagulls to collect, wash and then sell on to local Boarding houses (I had to earn a living somehow as my father was so tight re pocket money). Ria you also reminded me of an Elsie McNab who came down with her family from Fraseburgh. She spent the season in my class at Nelson Junior and I fell in love with her – or at least her broad accent - even though I couldn’t understand whether she was telling me she loved me too, or to sling my hook!! But then I was always falling in love – Pat Winter, Gillian Dye, Margaret Stephens, Mavis Benge, Pat Parmenter, Margaret Philpot to name a few. And I’m glad to say I’m still an ol’ romantic – it keeps me young.

By Edward Sheldrick
On 05/09/2011

Chris Collins, just read your comment on Jubilee Place. You mentioned my ex partner Michael Servia, and the Frosdicks. Obviously as I mentioned Mick Servia is my ex, but we still keep in touch as we have a daughter. The Frosdicks I know as my friend's late sister was married to John. I have been reading with great interest all the comments on this page. Some names that popped up are also people I know/knew. Stanley Brackenberry, a lovely li'l fella whom I had the pleasure of working with on the Gt Yarmouth Borough Transport (Blue Buses). Norman Ball's... yes you do know me... lol! Trinity House was mentioned; my Dad worked here, he was Master Lightshipsman on the Humber, although he did work on other ships. Local musicians... my Grandfather and his Brothers were all musicians... Cecil Bellin, my Grandad played Cornet for Bernie Weller band at the Hippodrome Circus. Keep the memories coming, I'm loving this. If anyone is on Facebook, and want more Yarmouth talk, if you don't already know, there is a page called "Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas, the good old day's", anyone can join, it's great for old photo's and what have you. Thanks all. Take Care.

By Tracey Horn
On 19/12/2011

Well, well, Tracey Horn - I thought I recognised the name and now, if I think back, I can picture you too!  If you really want to open up a new train of nostalgia, how about more on the Blue Buses in the mid-70s?  I was one of the students who started off conducting and lingered on for a few winters as a driver.  Here's a few names from that period to conjure with: Skippy, Ludkins, Hosea, Tony Miller (I loved that guy! Where is he now?), Cry-Baby Salmon, Micky Mouse, Chaston, Ali B the Inspector who taught me to drive a double-decker (thanks Alan, you were a brilliant instructor) and so many more, it was an amazing interlude in my life. I live now at the far end of Britain but still remember those days with much affection - and many laughs.

By Nick Gilman
On 09/01/2012

Please can any one tell me if there was a post office at 6 Gordon Terrace, Crown Road Great Yarmouth? If anyone has any information about this property that would be great.

By Stuart Fyfe
On 09/03/2012

Hi regarding the paragraph about Eric Beckett, I am his niece Linda.  Get in touch please I lived with Nanny Dorothy when I was little x

By linda grimmer
On 14/05/2012

Hi Linda Grimmer, I am your Uncle Eric's wife (your auntie). I also looked after you when you were little. I have some photos of you. How do I get in touch with you? You did have contact with my daughter Wendy a couple of years ago I think. Pls get in touch. cheers Doris x

By Doris Beckett
On 21/05/2012

I was born in Great Yarmouth in 1949. My mother's family lived in the rows, row 22. My grandfather was Harry Smith, my Grandmother May Smith. Eileen was my mother, she had 7 sisters, Joan, Doreen, Joyce, Betty, Lily, Jean and Maureen; 3 brothers, Harold, Eric and Arthur. They all attended the Old Hospital School as did most of their offspring. I was there 60/64 and have many happy memories. Mr Balfour the headmaster, Mrs Cheshire, Mr Newlyn, Mr King, Mr Littleproud to name of few. Buying chips on the market on the way home to dinner (I live down Newtown) 4 pence!! Bus fare tuppence I think.  Marching over to Cobholm for our games lessons in the summer, weekly swimming lessons in the old swimming pool, freezing!  I was always bringing a note with some excuse not to attend.  The dancing club, Mr Drake, Mr Chilvers and others teaching us to waltz and quickstep!!  I loved it.  My best friend Carol Powles, she was a good cook and I used to eat the cakes she made in domestic science.  Playing netball for the school, in my last year going on a seal count to Scroby Sands, it was a beautiful day we went in a wooden boat with a small engine on the back and spent the whole day there.  I was picked to write an account of our day.  I loved growing up in that era the Mod scene was beginning the Beatles were the big thing in music, I went to see them at the Regal with my cousin Linda.  The tickets were about 7 shillings, I would have had to beg my mum for the money but it was worth it, they were fantastic to two 13 year olds. Dancing at the Floral Hall, saw the Kinks there!! Hanging out at the Chalet Cafe on Lowestoft Road in Gorleston, scooters, long skirts, leather coats, ankle swingers, we looked fab!  It's good to write about these things, Yarmouth really was GREAT in those days.  Will visit the site again.  Sandra Smith

By Sandra Smith
On 27/06/2012

Was just doing some history research and I've hit a blank, does any body know what happened to Guiseppe Vettese (original founder of the ice cream parlour) as I can't seem to find anything out about where he went??? Nothing after the 50's.  Thank you xx

By Claire Bird
On 10/12/2012

I lived by the dump at the back of the Co-op dairy.  I remember John Smith, Norman Balls, also Roger Eagle, Brenda and Bobby Murphy to name a few.  Birdie the Tailor was also called Dickie he had the tape round his neck all the time.  My father worked at Thompson's grocery shop opposite the the pub on Nelson Road and he played the piano at the pubs, hope someone remembers me.

By Pauline Edwards
On 07/01/2013

Have just found this site and been fascinated reading all the details.  I used to work at Matthes Restaurant in King Street in the early 60's as cashier and then went on to be in the box office at the Hippodrome Circus moving to Lincolnshire in 1968.  Have some wonderful memories of the good old days meeting all the stars and seeing all the shows.  My favourite meeting place was Vettese's coffee shop at the bottom of Regent Road, drinking frothy coffee and dancing to the Juke box! Happy days.  I still come back to Yarmouth every year on a visit and how it has changed, sadly not for the better!  Look forward to reading more memories on my next visit to the site.

By Valerie Halgarth
On 07/01/2013

Wow, what great reading. I was 2 years old when I was first taken to Great Yarmouth by my parents.  It was our annual holiday site every summer.  We used to stay in a caravan just down from the "big" funfair.  I remember the gas lights in the caravan and changing the mantels when they broke.  I now live in Australia and haven't seen England for 40 years, but the stories and photos have been integral to opening my memory, to discuss my childhood with my children.  Thank you to everyone who contributed.

By Gary Cook
On 28/01/2013

I loved reading all these comments about "Old Yarmouth" so thought I'd add a few.  When I was about 7 we moved to Winterton in 1963, so Yarmouth was our nearest town.  We didn’t have a bath at that time, so mum used to take us (the whole family - 6 boys and 2 girls) to the Slipper Baths on the North Quay once a week.  I remember they were absolutely HUGE baths, and the water would be controlled by an attendant outside, through a big tap set into the wall. She'd shout "more hot?" etc.  As I got older we (my sister or one of my girlfriends) were allowed to go on the bus on our own to Yarmouth, I think the bus fare was 1 & 6, which is 12 & 1/2 p.  We usually ended up at "Woollies" (Woolworths) buying makeup, or "Chelsea Girl" if we had any money from fruit picking to spend.  I once kitted myself out in a skinny sleeveless top, really wide flares in turquoise for about £3.00.  Not until we'd had our chips off the market though - the best chips anywhere ever and still are!  Sometimes we used to and sit in the old graveyard next to the Priory School behind the Co-op for a bit of peace and quiet and it was lovely there until the cider bottles started piling up as drinkers began using it.  I don't think you can get in it now.  We sometimes used to go to Palmer's for a coffee, but this was considered a "posh shop" and very expensive, so we usually just used their toilets.  Market Gates wasn't built then, so I don't know how we would have managed without Palmers!  Our favourite cafe as teenagers (1971-ish) was The Anglo Cafe on (I think) Middle Market Road or South Market Road.  You could sit for hours there, with no money, buying just a coffee.  Most of the people who went there were bikers, so it was considered a bit "rough", but it was fine.  We also used to use Nottrianos (don't know if that's spelt right) down Market Row, Broad Row or Victoria Arcade.  Again, you could get a window seat and stay for hours, and any friends passing would see us and come in. I went to GorlestonGirlsHigh School, (now Gorleston Grammar?) and transferred to GreatYarmouthGrammar School on Salisbury Road, which had become co-ed, by swapping some boys with girls with at GorlestonHigh School.  It was different to the girls' High School, as the male teachers didn't enforce the wearing of the awful beret which was part of the uniform; the teachers at the girls High School used to wait outside and do "beret checks" when we got off our buses.  We used to go on Caroline Coaches to school.  The "seat of honour" was the back seat, where the older girls used to sit.  You wouldn't dare try and get on that!  When I left school at 16 I went to Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design.  I didn’t do much work as I had just met a new boyfriend then, but used to love all the things we did there, like graphic design, printing, metalwork and life drawing.  I'm so pleased it’s been restored, it’s a lovely building.  When I left there I had my children, hence the working at Birds Eye, Docwras Rock Factory and various B & Bs/hotels and restaurants down the "Golden Mile" sea front.  When the oil boom in the North Sea started, the town was full of Scottish workers working on the rigs and supply ships with plenty of money for 1 week, and then none for the last week, as they'd usually spent it in pubs and taxis.  There were some Americans, but they usually lived in the country.  My dad used to drive a mini bus for Amoco, I think, collecting the guys to take them to the airport and picking them up when they got back.  We used to go out to pubs like Peggottys, Backs, (down Market Row), The Brunswick on King Street; mustn't forget the Tower Ballroom (I saw Slade there in 1970) and the Garibaldi, on St Nicholas Rd, this has been demolished now, its bright purple or pink exterior gone forever!

By Kath Jackson
On 28/01/2013

Hi, I worked on the buses during the summer holidays in the 60's. Please, do look at this video of Yarmouth in the 60's. Fantastic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCGr3wJodF0 Also .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=pUuswr-1Cm0&NR=1 There are other videos you can look for on the web.. Enjoy

By Keith Wooldridge
On 24/05/2013

Fascinating reading about Great Yarmouth of long ago. I was born in Norwich in 1943 but we moved to Yarmouth in 1944 and lived in row 32. My Grandmother had a second hand clothes shop in Middlegate Street (Ferrows) and my Dad an Antique shop right in the middle of Market Row (oppostite the chemists). Looking back I think Yarmouth had a real Dickensian feel, especially in the winter. I went to the primary school on Fullers Hill, then we moved to Newtown in the early 1950s and I attended North Denes. Secondary was the Hospital School next to the market place. Families I remember are: Yaxley, Fish, Grimmer, Lacey, Sharman, Benns, they lived over the railway line in what we called 'Chinatown.' We played on the bomb dumps and sections of the beach where the Royal Engineers had cleared the mines. There was barbed wire along the sea front all the way from the Britannia Pier to the Green Shelter in Newtown. I left Great Yarmouth in 1958 to join the army and have been all over the world. Still think of Great Yarmouth as home. My teacher in my last year at school in 1958 was Mr Littleproud who was great. That's all for now Jimmy McDermott

By Jim McDermott
On 24/05/2013

I worked in Billy Russells Circus between 1961 and 1963 as a dancer, also riding elephants and performing aerial ballet. Does anyone remember the circus and I would also like to contact some of the girls who were in the troupe with me. We were called the Digger Pugh Aerial Ballet.

By Linda Griffin (Hunt)
On 24/05/2013

I remember the circus as my brothers and cousin worked as ring boys around that time. My brother married a dancer that was also there at that time her name was Frances Culluney, but she was called Frankie. I was too young to know what the troupe was called but she is 70 now and lives in France. I loved Yarmouth in the 60's I wish it was still like that now. I have so many lovely memories of growing up so its great to read these comments as it takes me back.

By Pauline Edwards
On 11/09/2013

hello great yarmouth i remember holidaying here in 1968 and though i have been abroad great yarmouth is where i still come to. i was 7/8 years old when my parents brought us down from hadfield nr. glossop derbys with 5 other siblings, we stopped in the corner house hotel on albert square opposite the wellington pier and was the best holiday i,ve ever had. me and two brothers were always on the beach every day for the two weeks we were there for,the owner of the corner house hotel were a mr. and mrs f. wing and we had the attic bedroom. i have been back to great yarmouth with my children and they loved it to   we have stopped at burgh castle site  and summerfields at scratby and also at hemsby  we have been down regent road and around the old market area several times while staying my children love pleasurewood hills and the beaches great yarmouth will always draw me back there  and i am looking to holiday there come 2015 last time there was 2007  love the resort. thank you great yarmouth always very welcoming.

By james oldham
On 03/10/2014

A really fascinating website,I used to live in Kings Lynn,moved to Norwich and did summer seasons at the New Beach hotel on the Seafront! I used to play with one of your correspondents,Brian Brackenbury and lost touch,I think he lives in Heacham these days? If you have any contact details,it would be nice to get in touch again,


Mick Betts

By Michael Betts
On 27/04/2015

Our family holidays in the 1950s were taken at 22 Gordon Terrace, Great Yarmouth.  The lady who looked after us was Mrs George, a lady with a lovely welcoming face and smile. I loved those holidays and every night I went to the Marina for the show and loved the singer. I have only just found this web site and it has brought some lovely memories. Thanks.  Elaine Crookes.nee Hartley.

By Elaine Crookes
On 23/06/2015

Will you please enquire whether the John George in your article is the same one me and my family stayed with in Great Yarmouth.  Please can you let him have my email address. Keep up the good work and a big Thankyou.

By Elaine Crookes
On 27/07/2015

My ancestors have been local for hundreds of years. My late father researched the family back to 1468 Lessingham. From there, Happisburgh (during 1500s), Sea Palling (during 1600s), Winterton (during 1700s), Caister (during 1800s), Great Yarmouth (from late 1800s).

I would love to travel back in time. Imagine how wonderful it would be to see your relatives several hundred years ago.

By Craig
On 14/08/2015

Hi,my mum and dad had the china shop in King Street, Abbey Potterey The Crockery King.  Holiday makers used to come to their shop year after year,it was a great place to live then,and everyone knew each other,Sue.

By Susan Dexter
On 09/10/2015

Hi Sue Dexter again,just wondered if anyone can remember my Brother Tony Hanson,he was a lovely brother and he loved the king street area. Like me he worked in mum and dads China shop ( Abbey Pottery ) he loved a pint and loved life, he had loads of friends,but we lost him in 1999. He also helped in our second hand shop in king street,(Hansons Furniture Stores) he loved his fishing too.

By Susan Dexter
On 23/10/2015

Great reading. I moved to gorleston.in 1946 and attended  Stradbrook Rd School. And Alderman Leach School until 1956. And then worked at Kings the scrap merchants in Yarmouth. I grew up in Falstoff Avenue Gorleston.

It was a great time,and I had a fine group of friends.who I had to leave when my parents moved to Sussex in 1959.one of the pastimes was to crawl the length of the pier at Gorleston underneath the wooden pier itself. I used to find a lot of money there that had fallen through the wooden boards. Alas its concrete now. My mother used to sing at the Floral Hall. My grandmother used to board fisher girls at her house in Pavilion Road. I could not understand a word they said.

By Alan joyce
On 30/03/2016

Researching family history... my grandmother was Edith Fulcher Dye and went on to marry George William Staff.  Edith lived at 5 dickies Buildings South Market Road and George lived in one of the Rows (as did most of his family)  Does anybody know exactly where dickies building used to stand in south market row ..or better still any long lost relatives still in yarmouth?

By Jill Anderson
On 12/06/2016

Hello Elaine

I'm John George and I have just read your posts of 2015 saying how you used to spend summer holidays at 22 Gordon Terrace. I was amazed to read them and I would like to thank you for the kind words you wrote about Mum, who as you said, seemed to have a smile for everyone.

How are you? I seem to remember you as a very happy and smiley person yourself. Am I imagining it, or did we come to your wedding? It was all a long time ago. Apart from your Mum and Dad didn't you come with a younger sister, or perhaps I'm imagining that as well!

I hope you pick this message up before long as I would like to hear from you. Once again, thank you for writing.


By John George
On 22/01/2017

Hello Elaine

Just on the off chance I have asked my daughter, Sarah, to leave a message on what I think may be your Facebook page - it may help with getting in touch.

All the best,


By John George
On 30/01/2017

Dear John, I cannot find the messages but I am better with this site. Sorry not very good. My Grandaughter will be here come the weekend and if possible I will contact you. I am not stalking you honest. I am writing a Journal for the family. Talk soon, thank Sarah for me Elaine.

By Elaine Crookes
On 03/02/2017

Hi all, I don't know if anyone can help me. An uncle and aunt lived in a row of cottages in Charles Street just off Blackfriars Road. I was very young at the time but I remember visiting them on several occasions. Just opposite these cottages there was a fishhouse and a pub but I can't recall the name of the pub. I wonder if anyone might know the name of the pub. I would also be very interested if anyone has any photos of these cottages or the pub and the fishhouse.

By Tony Brown
On 01/05/2017

I have just been researching my family history as my mum and I always visits the Thompsons chip stall. Whilst it has now been sold away from the family I am the great great grand daughter of William Thompson, my grand mother being Gertrude Eva Thompson then Mason when she married my grand father. It was a big family tradition to have fish and chip shops, one of my great uncles having a shop in Caister and one on Aylsham road in Norwich. Sadly all have now been sold on. My mother's name is Ann Knight of Great Yarmouth. There are some Thompsons still around though those being Tony, David and a few more which sadly life takes you away from.

Our Thompson family also made ice creams, being one of the first to sell it in the city of Norwich. I am looking for the recipe for the family's traditional ice creams which they stopped making some years back. If any one knows of any more of my relatives out there please let me know, even distant cousins.

One of my Thompson uncles owned continental tyres in Ber Street in the 1970s. Please contact me via e mail if you wish. 



By Tracey weaver
On 01/05/2017

Is there anyone who remembers Middletons Newsagents in Blackfriars Rd Gt Yarmouth in the 1940's? My aunt worked there. I would like to hear of any memories. Thanks Rose Stockings Stowmarket

By Rose Stockings (nee Warnes)
On 04/02/2018

Does anyone remember the headmaster of Alderman Leach School in 1957?

By Mike J. Southall
On 01/06/2018

My mother in law , Ellen Allen worked in Middletons on blackfriars road 

By Angela Allen nee kirk
On 04/01/2019

I now live in Cobbs Place, and would be fascinated if anyone has any photos of Gordon Terrace, I have found many aerial photos of the dairy, stables, and slaughter house and some low quality ones of the terrace. 

Don't know if any of the admins are able to put me in contact with John George? Thanks! 

By Jamie Skinner
On 21/04/2020

1971 was about the time I left Yarmouth - I went to the High School and in the holidays and Saturdays worked at Palmer's.  I used to go to Nichol's chip stall for lunch or maybe a pie from Purdy's.  Just before the first Covid lockdown I took a bus into town and made a beeline for the chip stall, even though it isn't there I ended up at the right spot!  Palmer's was a great education for me and I am very sad that it has gone.

When we first arrived I was 13 and we lived in a B+B owned by cousins on Gorleston Front.  Later I found out that two great aunts had gone to the High School in the 1920s when it was still in town.  My grandmother's family were all sailors and fishermen, living around the town.  Her mother and grandmother worked in the silk factory from a very young age, and her father grew up in a Peggoty Hut!

By Amanda Gay
On 07/02/2021

Hi, I am amazed by all of the stories about old Great Yarmouth. 

I have been wanting and trying to find out about my family history as my dad has very little information or chooses to not talk about it. 

All i know is my grandad was Charles Faraday-Drake (Charles Drake) and i'm sure my Nana was Georgina. unsure of her maiden name though. 

I know they lived/owned the caravan park in cobholm in 1953, i'm fairly certain my grandad had 2-3 jewellers around Great Yarmouth, i believe one was on the seafront. I know my uncle philip had one on King St, but not sure if my grandad had that before him.

I know they used to live at the big old farm house at Billiockby around 1960-1962ish and also the roundhouse in fritton woods around 1958-60ish. Those dates could be wrong but vague stories my dad has talked about and mentioned ages go with those dates.

If anyone knows anything about my grandparents or even my Dad (Michael Faraday-Drake), uncles (Peter and Philip Faraday-Drake) and aunty (Sally Faraday-Drake, (Johnson after marriage)) or even my step uncle Roy Drake (he never used Faraday) then i'd be extremely grateful and interested.

Thanks in advance

Kyle Faraday-Drake

By Kyle Faraday-Drake
On 14/05/2021

This is great to read everyone's recollections of old Great Yarmouth. I'm tracing my family tree. The Juliers have lived in Great Yarmouth for centuries. Many living in the Rows in the 1800s. More recently my great grandfather - Robert Charles Julier - ran a grocery shop in 37 Lichfield Rd - not sure what is was called - using the name Bob Sussams - then his son Pete Julier took over with his wife Lydia. They retired in the 1960s/70s?

By Claire Julier
On 21/06/2021

Hello Claire,

I remember going to Nelson Junior School with the Julier twins, Diane and Yvonme between 1957-61. They lived on St Peter’s Road. I believe that Diane married Patrick Wilkinson who worked at Broadland Mushrooms in Martham. Hope this helps.

By David Turner
On 14/07/2021

Hi all,

I don't suppose anyone remembers who occupied a house in South Market Road in the late sixties- 67 to be exact, when a group of Greek Cypriots came over to work the summer season? One of them became involved with a local girl, Margaret Skeet, who lived in a children's home on St. Nicholas Road. I think he worked in the Tower Cafe on the seafront and his name was Antonio! Long shot I know as I have no last name available to me.

Thank you

By Michelle Ward
On 16/09/2022

What fascinating reading. My mum was born in Gordon Terrace, Middle Market Road number 22.  She was born  in 1922, if anyone has any information around that date would love to hear it. 

By Karen Lacey
On 07/02/2023

I’ve only just stumbled across this site and don’t know if this will be viewed by Claire Bird. My great grandad Alfred Meadows was the barrowmaker, and I used to visit aunty Doris and uncle Fred every year when on holiday, I remember him sitting on his tailors table in the front room, and everything smelt of mothballs. It was a large family, so I also visited Gladys & Cyril, Eva, Leslie & Elsie, Billy and May. My grandad was Fred, another of the siblings, he’d served in both wars as a Royal Marine. I remember when on holiday in about 1970, my father asked the staff in a department store at the bottom of Lowestoft Main Street to take all the sale items off a barrow because he thought it was one of grandads!…turned out, it wasn’t! Elsie stood a slipper stall on Yarmouth market and May was a good darts player. We used to walk down the river (Gorleston side) when you could get round the dry docks and blag our way onto the ships for a look round. Anyway, just thought I’d let you know that there are still members of the family around on the Meadows side….and some still live in Gorleston. Oh, and the greatest castle in the world…
Burgh! that was according to my Dad, imagine the disappointment on this 5 year olds face back in the sixties!

By Ian Meadows
On 23/01/2024

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