My memories of Great Yarmouth

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'My memories of Great Yarmouth' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'My memories of Great Yarmouth' page

1970's and early 80's

By Mandy Melbourne

Every year from the ages of 2-14, my mother, grandparents and I went on holiday to Gt Yarmouth. (1972-1984). We used to travel by train from the Midlands, and I remember looking forward to seeing the windmills on our journey, as I knew we were nearly there.

We started off staying at the Flamboro Hotel on Marine Parade, and then later we stayed at the Sunnyside Guest House in Trafalgar Rd.  The proprietress was a lady called Peggy Nekrews. Her brother Sid used to work in, and I think own one of the beach cafes; the one nearest to Joyland. I also remember him standing on the beach announcing the sea trips to Scroby Sands.

My Grandad was always an early riser; he used to take a stroll up to Marine Parade, and buy his paper from the vendor (who was the same guy every year), and have a cuppa in Sid's cafe. Peggy used to serve in the cafe first thing, before heading back to the B&B to make breakfast for her guests.

Joyland was my favourite place to go. I especially loved the Snails. It took me years to pluck up the courage to go on the Ark, as I don't like heights. When I did finally do it, I thought the view was great. wasn't brave enough to go up the Oasis tower though.

My grand parents always went into Barrons arcade every year, to play bingo and the Barron brothers always remembered us, and greeted us like old friends. Every year was the same; we would look round at all the prizes, and decide what we wanted, then pool all our winnings together. One year, my mum had to lug 2 suitcases home, while poor old Grandad had to carry a huge chiming wall clock that my Gran wanted. How they got them back on the train, I don't know. Funny how that clock never worked properly after my Grandad died. Grandad also used to watch the fishing at the end of Brittania Pier. It's such a shame the Piers are no longer what they were.

Does anyone remember the Wild West Shows on Marine Parade? I think they must have demolished the open air swimming pool by then, and it was before the days of the Marina Centre.  The place was made to look like a western town, and there were shootouts between the Sheriff and the outlaws. Also there were wrestling matches held there, when the Wild West Show wasn't on.

There were also the Go-Karts and the pony rides, which sadly are no longer there. Now Amazonia and the Sea Life Centre.

Every year I used to have my photo taken with a small monkey by Barkers the Photographers. They also used to have photographers walk around the sea front taking photos of holiday makers.

Other memories include a trip on the Golden Galleon, the Venetian Waterways (sadly other attractions which are no longer with us.)Chipperfields Circus, and seeing the demonstrations in Docras. I remember getting seperated from my family in Docras, and getting free sweets until we were re-united. Thankyou Docras!!!!Also there used to be 2 wax work museums on Regent Rd, and didn't the Windmill Theatre have handprints and autographs in concrete in the pavement outside?

One year I we met up with my Uncle and his family, and a big crowd of us caught a Blue Bus to the river. There waiting for us was a boat called the "Aquarius". We went on a trip across Breydon Water, and moored at the Stracey Arms, where we sat on benches outside enjoying the weather, the scenery, and the adults a few beers.

I took my kids to Gt. Yarmouth in 2005 for a holiday. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, but it was a little sad that a lot of the things I found magical about Gt. Yarmouth are now gone. Some things haven't changed; the snails are still a hit, as are Docras sweets, and even though my family now travel by car, and not train, we still look out for the windmills.

This page was added by Mandy Melbourne on 01/05/2008.
Comments about this page

Mandy, I remember the Wild West shows to. I have photos of my brother, sister and myself locked in a gaol with a cowboy pointing his gun at us!! I also remember the live shot outs. I can't recall if the out door swimming pool had gone or not as being a local girl that where I was taught to swim by dad, we always had a hot cup of tomato soup when we came out. Some really happy memories of growing up in GREAT Yarmouth, but sadly so many great things have gone.

By Debbie Kerrison
On 07/11/2008

I remember the Wild West Show in the Marina in 1975 you could have your photo taken in the jail which we did. The Old Gorleston life boat used to run trips to Berny Arms windmill. There was a double big wheel on the Pleasure beach when you were at the top you could see for miles.

By Kathleen Kennedy
On 07/11/2008

Hi Mandy my brother Louise and self worked on the Bingo in my fathers business and reading your comments has brought back so many fond memories. Sadly an addict and gambler member of the family lost the business. Barrons arcade is no longer there.

By Tony Barron
On 21/01/2009

I was born in '74, so only have a vague memory of the Wild West Show....I think my older sister was taken there but I was whisked off somewhere else in case the gunshots frightened me! Also remember trips on the Golden Galleon, Noah's Ark, the original Pleasure Beach giant and my personal favourite, the Joyland snails. I now take my little boy on them!

By Tracey Bowley
On 09/02/2009

I was born in 1973 and we used to holiday in Gt Yarmouth every year up until the late 80's. My first memories are of playing in the sand at the South Denes. I used to dig a big hole and bury my Grandad. The caravans on the South Denes were very run down. Does anyone remember the plague of greenfly one year must have been 79/80 as my brother was still in his pushchair. Then we started going to Ladbrokes (now Haven), the Iron Duke pub has shut down what a shame. As for the origonal Giant at Pleasure Beach he had my dummy when I was 3 and I never asked for it again. The lady with the Donkies at the jetty is another fond memory, she always had a good tan!! I still visit once a year, try the racing week in september that's good.Now we have Kids we use Haven for long weekends. The pie & pea stall on the market has always been a big draw for me, great memories

8/4/2009

By Mark CATHERALL
On 21/04/2009

Hi There,I have so many fond memories about Great Yarmouth.The big giant in the Pleasure Beach, Laurel & Hardy stood in the display outside Louis Tussawds Wax Work on Regent Road. I always remember terror castle along the main seafront and there was a prisoner rattling on the dungeon door to get out.We always stayed at Vauxhall Holiday Park even upto as recently as 2007.The holiday park itself holds many memories for me as we would be driving up Acle New Road looking out for the flags outside vauxhall.The Entertainments team was uncle sandy(Sandy Sanford & his wife known as aunty mary i think her second name was Baxter they were there I believe up to 1990 or certainly the early 90s)we went consecutive years from 79-91 then I didnt go again till 1997.It certainly was Great Yarmouth were I always say my gaming hobby began, pacman, space invaders etc.I love Great Yarmouth so much I even have a day ride out there on my motorbike a couple of times a year,have a walk and fish n chips etc.I live in Hull, East Yorkshire so its about 3hrs away but the journey there is great. Recently myself and partner have found out were having our first babies (its twins) so I will be looking forward to taking them to Great Yarmouth. I always said one day i would live there but sometimes places seem different when you live there.....Maybe one day

By Rich Whiteley
On 12/05/2009

I was taken to Great Yarmouth a couple of times by my parents, around 1960. Several of the things mentioned above bring back fond memories but, for me, the one thing that always stood out was one of the stalls in the Market Place. Practically every evening included a walk up to the Square for a bowl of pea soup. The addition of a couple of spoonfuls of mint sauce turned the soup really thick and glutinous. Sounds horrible, tasted glorious!

By Eric Schofield
On 14/08/2009

I went to Yarmouth for holidays when I was a child. I seem to remember a ship overturned on its side quite close to the beach. Does anyone else remember this and could anyone let me know the history of it?

By Beth Newton
On 09/11/2009

If I remember rightly the ship that ran a ground was coming out of the Habour ,over turned and is still there today ... that if they didn't move it for the inner harbour. I remember fondley of my child hood holidays, we travelled by taxi from Warwickshire and stayed at South Denes in a caravan with gas lamps that smelt strangely and looked amazing . Over looking the North sea , with the red flashing light on the concrete steps... With the camp office with the letter racks , post box and shower blocks with silver rails outside that I would swing upside down on while waiting for my Dad to have a shave and wash.... so he could take me to the Fair..... I went to the outdoor pool and loved every minute, But astonishingly was taught to swim in the sea by a girl called Kate ..(Thank You) The giant with the big club , the roller coaster that you felt you could see the world from.....Two of my children love that roller coaster today, Oddly it does clunk a bit now... Cannon and Ball reopened the Pleasure Beach some time ago , I was there, again my Dad took me. Joyland OOhhhh my god now that hasn't changed , I have no idea what it's called but I think I still have neck injuries....you go around and around in what looks like a waltzer , up and down , left and then suddendly right .... It's still the same my three boy's will have neck problems when there older too.. LOL. Bike rides on the front along red dappled paving slabs, Ice creams that look like sea shells with chocolate and marshmellow , Radio visits with paper hats and lollies... Soft white sand, the sea retreats ...sea shells, star fish and pebbles , buckets and spades and long forgotton sand castles ..... I will hold such special times with both my wonderfull Father and brothers so very close to my heart forever and hope that my husband and children will too .( I hope too that you will take your children for a long week end once a year) I would like to thank my Father Bill Fletcher who sadly passed away in July 2008, For two wonderfull weeks every year from 1970 till 1986, We were very lucky ..... BRING BACK SEA FRONT HOLIDAYS ......IN GREAT YARMOUTH.... THAT'S WHAT'S MISSING !!!!!xx

By samantha palmer
On 12/03/2010

Your deffo right Sam, you just can't beat them type of holidays. If I ever get the wiff of candy floss or strawberry ice cream i always think of Yarmouth. The ride you are referring to in Joyland is called The Tubz..Looking forward to another motorcycle ride to Gt Yarmouth from East Yorkshire in June.

By Rich Whiteley
On 04/05/2010

Hello all... as I mentioned on a previous thread ("South Denes Caravans" I think) I remember many a great holiday on South Denes camp. I holidayed there with my parents every year (except one, when we tried chalets at California Sands, near Caister) from 1967 through to about 1990 - sometimes twice a year. I would LOVE to see South Denes returned to its former glory, such as say get planning permission and leases etc for 100-200 family-orientated caravans with modern facilities and a few shops/food outlets and a clubhouse - kind of like a scaled-down Pontins or Haven maybe. It's always been my pipe-dream to do this. I just wish I had the money to do so. I still go to Yarmouth every year, usually for either daytrips or weekends, staying at either North Denes or a guest house on Trafalgar Road. Love reminiscing about Yarmouth. I saw it as pretty much my second home. Mark in Coventry.

By Coventry Mark
On 04/05/2010

i went to Great Yarmouth with my family and my two grandmas and cousins every August between the age of 7 and 14 and always stayed on South Denes, Block A next to the Pleasure Beach.I loved it. The gas lamps in the caravan and the paper van coming round the camp selling my favourite comics. We would go on the beach in the daytime, playing hot rice and in our dinghy and after tea getting ready to go out. We would go on the roller coaster every night when it was dark and the roller coaster was all lit up. We always got right to the back and sometimes were allowed to stop on for a second go. We would get our sweets from the small sweet shop at the front of wellington pier and walk up to Shading Fields pub for coca cola and a packet of crisps. We would sometimes go into Joyland to the snails and the tubz and then walk all the way back to the campsite calling for a bag of chips on the way. I can remember having my photo taken in jail in cowboy town and then it being knocked down to make way for the Marina Centre. We also went roller skating on the ring on the fronts too. I always got a new school bag from the tower market underneath the oasis ready for starting school in September. I have just come back from taking my family to Great Yarmouth and i still get excited when I am there. Its like I go back to being a child. I went on the tubs in Joyland and on the roller coaster , at the back of course. So much has changed now and when I was at the top of the roller coaster i looked down where our caravan campsite used to be with a bit of sadness beacause those holidays were the best holidays ever. Me, my family and cousins always remminisce about the things we did when we were on our hols at Great Yarmouth.

By Donna,Barnsley
On 16/08/2010

Reading Rich Whiteley's post really made me smile! I used to stay at Vauxhall as well, from probably the late 70s until '87, and I remember Uncle Sandy and Auntie Mary very well! Her surname was Baxter (well remembered Rich!), and Sandy absolutely hated kids! I also remember my sister and I on the journey up there, both trying to be the first to spot the old Power Station chimney (that was when you knew you'd arrived!) and then the Vauxhall flags.  I still pay the occasional visit to Yarmouth now and although sadly it's not quite the same, it will always be very special to me.

By Tracey Bowley
On 29/09/2010

Hi, well reading everyone's comments on this page it's great, I use to come here as a kid for years and now live here as a result, right result infact, cant beat the beach lol. All those memories of the giant in the Pleasure Beach, Terror castle, the ABC which is now Pizza Hut, Cowland !!! wow !! The Golden Galleon, no longer with us

By Luke Smith
On 28/01/2011

My Great Yarmouth Story I was born in Great Yarmouth in September 1963. St Nicholas Hospital, on\near King Street. I think it is now a block of apartments. My parents Nora and Ken Ford had a shop on Regent Road right next door to the Wax Works. In fact, we rented the land from the owners who were (and still are) very good friends. Now, my childhood was quite confusing, because we lived in Salford during the winter, and would travel down to Great Yarmouth at the start of the season. So, around the start of April, we would pack up a big van and drive the same route…..Salford, Stockport, Disley, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Newark, Sleaford, Kings Lynn, Norwich, Acle and of course Great Yarmouth. We always used to stop on the way at RAF Cranwell for a picnic, and get a brew from The Little Chef. When I was younger, I used to go to school in Salford over the winter and Edward Worledge from April to October. It was very confusing to say the least. During the summer holidays, my cousin used to come down to keep me company, and we used to get up to all sorts……I also had a friend called David Mann whose parents were friendly with my parents. Mollie and Tedd Mann owned the kipper shop on Regent Road, and the ‘monkey shop’ next door. Mollie ran the kipper shop, sending boxes all over the world, whilst Tedd used to take pictures of people with spider monkeys (dressed in clothes) on their shoulders. David and I used to dress the monkeys in the morning, they had little shorts, jumpers, hats e.t.c. We used to get pocket money and nip over the road to Pownall’s where we would buy little airfix plastic soldiers and go back to David’s flat over the shop and play war games, whilst watching ‘Herge’s adventures of Tin Tin’. Mollie and Ted lived in Streatham London, but we lost touch with them years ago. We were also friendly with Sammy the Purse King, and his wife Ninka. I think they were from Luton. They had a shop in between the bowling alley and the cinema. As I got older, my mum thought I should stop wasting my time chasing girls, and extracting money from the numerous slot machine arcades on the prom. This was the days before alarms on slots, so my cousin and I would take turns to keep a look out, and then one of us would ‘bump’ the machine and hopefully clean up the pennies that dropped out. We even found some ingenious ways to get prizes out of non slot machines, by breaking candy floss sticks in certain places, so we could put them up the chute of the machine, and knock prizes into the hopper. I think we ended up getting banned from most arcades. Anyway, when I was old enough, the owners of the wax works, employed me to distribute change and fix machines in the amusement arcade at the back of the wax works. There were some lovely old machines in there, and I know some of them are still going strong now. I also worked in the New Beach Hotel at the top of Regent Road as a waiter, and won’t go into detail about what we used to get up to in the kitchen….yuk. My dad used to work the market on Wednesdays, Friday’s and Saturday, but used to spend all the takings in William Hills at the back of the ABC theatre. Mum wasn’t impressed. My parents worked long hours, with the shop opening at 09:00 and often staying open until 22:00 7 days per week. Hard graft….they were grafters. It is a dying art. Getting a pitch of people and keeping them interested until you went for the kill at the end, and sold as many items as you could before they wandered away. My memories of Great Yarmouth are numerous. I think about every day, as they were fantastic times. From back to front, I remember Breydon Water…sinking on the mud flats. The Golden Galleon, stock cars, a drunken captain crashing a ship into New Haven Bridge, shopping arcades, seeing Norman Wisdom at the ABC theatre, going to the Aquarium cinema every day for a week to see James Bond films for 10p. The open air baths….a fella with one leg used to dive off the high diver….he was the only person I ever saw who would go all the way up to the top. The water was always freezing, and cockroaches used to float to the corners near where the ladders were to get out. I remember Cow Town, Wrestling in the Marina, the Waterways and Vetesses on Regent Road where they served great ice cream. I used to go crabbing on the jetty. I spent days\nights on end chatting up girls on the Pleasure Beach, mostly in the Fun House. My cousin and I would often go to Wellesley coach station on a Friday or Saturday, with a baggage trolley. We would then offer to carry the bags of people getting off the coaches to their B&B’s. The coach park used to be rammed with coaches. We would charge 50p, and most of the time damage the bags, because they would always fall off the trolley. The beach was and still is superb. Not sure if they still do boat trips to Scroby Island, but they used to pack em in. People I remember are few and far between, Susan Mather, Carol Church, Mandy Hollis and Lesley Edwards who lived opposite the gas works on Nelson Road South. I think Carol’s mum used to work in the Aquarium Cinema, and Susan Mather’s parents owner the Resthaven Guest House up near Wellington pier. Other weird and wonderful things I can remember are……Britannia Pier, hot side and cold side? As you look at the pier, the left hand side was always in the shade of the buildings because of the position of the sun. The right hand side was always hot, and I burnt my feet once, and coming up the steps from the beach to the pier, and standing on the wooden boards that had been baking in the sun. I remember a ship wreck, up near the harbour mouth, near where the outer harbour has been built. There were signs warning not to swim out to it, which of course I ignored and cut my foot on the rusty wreck. Gorleston boating pond…… which is still there. I remember near GY market there was an alleyway next to a school that took you into a graveyard, next to the old town walls. You could climb a turret overlooking the abattoir and get a great view of Yarmouth. I remember a ladybird invasion one summer when everywhere was covered with them. Recent times. I love to go back to GY. I took the kids back 6/7 years ago and we had a lovely time….crabbing off the jetty. Hippodrome Circus, they loved it. Actually went back last month for a week. Stayed in Winterton on Sea just up the coast, but went into GY every day. Everything about the place holds a memory for me. We now have a home in Florida as well as Salford, but given the choice of a week in Florida or a week in Great Yarmouth, you know what I would choose;-)

By MItch Ford
On 20/07/2011

I was born in Great Yarmouth in September 1963. St Nicholas Hospital, on\near King Street. I think it is now a block of apartments. My parents Nora and Ken Ford had a shop on Regent Road right next door to the Wax Works. In fact, we rented the land from the owners who were (and still are) very good friends. Now, my childhood was quite confusing, because we lived in Salford during the winter, and would travel down to Great Yarmouth at the start of the season. So, around the start of April, we would pack up a big van and drive the same route…..Salford, Stockport, Disley, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Newark, Sleaford, Kings Lynn, Norwich, Acle and of course Great Yarmouth. We always used to stop on the way at RAF Cranwell for a picnic, and get a brew from The Little Chef. When I was younger, I used to go to school in Salford over the winter and Edward Worledge from April to October. It was very confusing to say the least. During the summer holidays, my cousin used to come down to keep me company, and we used to get up to all sorts……I also had a friend called David Mann whose parents were friendly with my parents. Mollie and Tedd Mann owned the kipper shop on regent road, and the ‘monkey shop’ next door. Mollie ran the kipper shop, sending boxes all over the world, whilst Tedd used to take pictures of people with spider monkeys (dressed in clothes) on their shoulders. David and I used to dress the monkeys in the morning, they had little shorts, jumpers, hats e.t.c. We used to get pocket money and nip over the road to Pownall’s where we would buy little airfix plastic soldiers and go back to David’s flat over the shop and play war games, whilst watching ‘Herge’s adventures of Tin Tin’. Mollie and Ted lived in Streatham London, but we lost touch with them years ago. We were also friendly with Sammy the Purse King, and his wife Ninka. I think they were from Luton. They had a shop in between the bowling alley and the cinema. As I got older, my mum thought I should stop wasting my time chasing girls, and extracting money from the numerous slot machine arcades on the prom. This was the days before alarms on slots, so my cousin and I would take turns to keep a look out, and then one of us would ‘bump’ the machine and hopefully clean up the pennies that dropped out. We even found some ingenious ways to get prizes out of non slot machines, by breaking candy floss sticks in certain places, so we could put them up the chute of the machine, and knock prizes into the hopper. I think we ended up getting banned from most arcades. Anyway, when I was old enough, the owners of the wax works, employed me to distribute change and fix machines in the amusement arcade at the back of the wax works. There were some lovely old machines in there, and I know some of them are still going strong now. I also worked in the New Beach Hotel at the top of Regent Road as a waiter, and won’t go into detail about what we used to get up to in the kitchen….yuk. My dad used to work the market on Wednesdays, Friday’s and Saturday, but used to spend all the takings in William Hills at the back of the ABC theatre. Mum wasn’t impressed. My parents worked long hours, with the shop opening at 09:00 and often staying open until 22:00 7 days per week. Hard graft….they were grafters. It is a dying art. Getting a pitch of people and keeping them interested until you went for the kill at the end, and sold as many items as you could before they wandered away. My memories of Great Yarmouth are numerous. I think about every day, as they were fantastic times. From back to front, I remember Breydon Water…sinking on the mud flats. The Golden Galleon, stock cars, a drunken captain crashing a ship into New Haven Bridge, shopping arcades, seeing Norman Wisdom at the ABC theatre, going to the Aquarium cinema every day for a week to see James Bond films for 10p. The open air baths….a fella with one leg used to dive off the high diver….he was the only person I ever saw who would go all the way up to the top. The water was always freezing, and cockroaches used to float to the corners near where the ladders were to get out. I remember Cow Town, Wrestling in the Marina, the Waterways and Vetesses on Regent Road where they served great ice cream. I used to go crabbing on the jetty. I spent days\nights on end chatting up girls on the Pleasure Beach, mostly in the Fun House. My cousin and I would often go to Wellesley coach station on a Friday or Saturday, with a baggage trolley. We would then offer to carry the bags of people getting off the coaches to their B&B’s. The coach park used to be rammed with coaches. We would charge 50p, and most of the time damage the bags, because they would always fall off the trolley. The beach was and still is superb. Not sure if they still do boat trips to Scroby Island, but they used to pack em in. People I remember are few and far between, Susan Mather, Carol Church, Mandy Hollis and Lesley Edwards who lived opposite the gas works on Nelson Road South. I think Carol’s mum used to work in the Aquarium Cinema, and Susan Mather’s parents owner the Resthaven Guest House up near Wellington pier. Other weird and wonderful things I can remember are……Britannia Pier, hot side and cold side? As you look at the pier, the left hand side was always in the shade of the buildings because of the position of the sun. The right hand side was always hot, and I burnt my feet once, and coming up the steps from the beach to the pier, and standing on the wooden boards that had been baking in the sun. I remember a ship wreck, up near the harbour mouth, near where the outer harbour has been built. There were signs warning not to swim out to it, which of course I ignored and cut my foot on the rusty wreck. Gorleston boating pond…… which is still there. I remember near GY market there was an alleyway next to a school that took you into a graveyard, next to the old town walls. You could climb a turret overlooking the abattoir and get a great view of Yarmouth. I remember a ladybird invasion one summer when everywhere was covered with them. Recent times. I love to go back to GY. I took the kids back 6/7 years ago and we had a lovely time….crabbing off the jetty. Hippodrome Circus, they loved it. Actually went back last month for a week. Stayed in Winterton on Sea just up the coast, but went into GY every day. Everything about the place holds a memory for me. We now have a home in Florida as well as Salford, but given the choice of a week in Florida or a week in Great Yarmouth, you know what I would choose;-)

By Mitch Ford
On 05/08/2011

I accidently came across this page, on Facebook! It reminded me of my happy family holidays where my family all met up once a year and had a great time. From the age of about four (sixty years ago) to my teenage years, when I then went with my friends...all good fun. I remember the snails ride on the front, and the scenic railway my father took us on and the wobbly mirrors that distorted our reflection! Ha, oh what fun. Does anyone remember the Windmill theatre? We used to go to a circus which I think was there and when the circus ended the circular floor parted and a swimming pool revealed and we were treated to an amazing display of syncronised swimming. And fun on the boating lake and the pretty flower gardens along the front. The flower clock and the shows we all went to see. etc etc. In those days those holidays kept us going for the coming year. On a recent visit to Great Yarmouth I did not recognise the place. Where has the pride and joy gone?

Christine Terrell.

By Christine Terrell
On 05/08/2011

I remember walking past the 'wild west' show place (in the days before the Marina Centre) as a young child - following the painted horseshoes along the pavement !!!. The main question I have though... what happened to the handprints that were outside the windmill ? did they get put in a museum? auctioned off ? destroyed ? so many famous people in the concrete. Would love to know.

By Jules Everest
On 02/04/2012

INFORMATION REQUEST:

Great to see those pictures. Brings back so many happy memories of holidays we had in GY in the 70's and 80's. I now have two small children of my own and will be taking them to GY soon. Can't wait to go to the model village, I swear I used to see the little people move about when the adults were not looking. I have a question for anyone or everyone. There used to be an old WW2 sea mine, painted red, the type with the spikes on it. It was on the seafront somewhere. I went to GY for some work I had recently and walked up and down but could not find it anywhere. This featured a lot in our holidays as we would climb on it and have our photos taken. More than this though, it used to appear in a recurring dream I had as a child, every night, a happy dream I would add. Does anyone know where this may now be or if it has been relocated? I would love to find it. Thanks All.

By Ray Hill
On 30/04/2012

Hi Mandy the b and b you used to stay at - Peggy Nekrews was my husband's auntie and Sid was his dad.  He only worked at the stall it was not his and he did go out on the boat to Scroby when he wasn't touting on the sea shore for customers.  Glad you and your family had such great times in Great Yarmouth.

By Mrs Sue Gibs
On 08/06/2012

Hi just looking at all your posts has bought back many memories.  I am now 43 and was taken to Great Yarmouth when I was a year old.  I remember the Wild West Show and I also have a pic taken in the jail, my mum still has it.  Also, every year I had to have a pic with the monkey down Regents Road.  There was so many things to do there and I was never bored going there.  I remember the snails at the Pleasure Beach it frightened me the first time and I hid in the car.  One thing I will never forget was a ride in the Pleasure Beach which was a fire engine and police car on a track and I remember my dad having to come on with me and he got his head stuck getting out and my mum just walking off, he got out in the end - but i can still see it now and all the good times we had as a family.  You all have bought back happy times for me, thanks.

By Charlie Challis
On 06/08/2012

I can remember the old WW2 mine, I think it was outside the old Maritime Museum on the sea front but do not know where it went to.

By Richard Cox
On 28/08/2012

Hi all, I live in Great Yarmouth and work for the Tourist Information Centre on the seafront.  I have had a read of all your lovely comments and am thrilled that you all enjoy yourself so much.  If anyone has any questions - past and present Yarmouth I will try my best to find out answers for you :)

By Sophie
On 18/09/2012

Hi Sophie can you let me know if the Longbar pub has now closed and also what happened to the hotel rooms at the former Oasis Tower (now Atlantis); I stayed there years ago but can't see that they are still open. They have balconies on some of the rooms.  Also have the Silver Slipper apartments closed down? Hope you can help.

By Richard
On 15/10/2012

Can anyone remember The Norwich Belle that used to sail from the Haven Bridge out to Scorby Sands during the summer months morning, afternoon and nights?

By Kathleen Kennedy
On 29/01/2013

Hi Mandy I was just laid here watching top of the pops 1978 and I remembered it well as it was our last family holiday we all had together and I got to thinking if I was right to wonder if their were a wild west show in Great Yarmouth while we were there.  I googled it and came up with your post as I was only 9 and found it very informative and wanted to say thanks.  Regards Richard x

By Richard Shippey
On 04/02/2013

Hi all...just stumbled upon this great page.  After a gap of 33 years, I will be finally holidaying again in Norfolk/Suffolk - only this time with my own family.  I spent 1974-1980 as a child having brilliant holidays at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.  And hey, guess what, I still have a map given to me by the Sheriff at the Wild West Shows along with a load of bullets from his gun and a photo of me with him.  Fond memories.  Can't wait to visit again all the way from Northumberland in August.  Regards Paul

By Paul Stephenson
On 12/02/2013

My sister (Tracey Bowley) told me about this site and it is amazing to see so many shared memories!! My mum holidayed at South Denes from the mid 1950's with her parents, until 1975 when I was almost 5. We rented a caravan from Mrs Hansall every August, days were spent on the beach or riding a rented bike, and evening at the Pleasure Beach with 'Big Pete' (the Giant) and in the Lord Nelson pub. In 1976 we switched to the more modern Vauxhall to be entertained by Uncle Sandy and Auntie Mary on her organ, doing the Okey Cokey, March of the Mod, and 'The Slosh'! We holidayed there until the late 80's. I loved going in Martyns in Regent Street looking at the saucy jokes and fake fags, and the Joyland snails! I remember the Wild West Show and the Circus (with animals!). I was too little to go on, but can just recall the Wall of Death or something in the Pleasure Beach which was a big spinning bowl where you stuck to the walls. Also the little Dickensian street in the Pleasure beach. Tracey and I will be going with our families this Easter, sadly not to Vauxhall as from the reviews it looks to be in decline, so trying Havan, but we can't wait! Although it will be a little sad as lots of stuff is gone, I think the kids will have great time and hope it will be as special to them as it is to us

By Lisa Laybourn
On 24/05/2013

Just enjoyed reading all the stories of South Denes Site Gt. Yarmouth, I too holidayed there each year from about 1960 to 1977 with my parents. I remember walking onto the Harbours Mouth. Every evening we would walk to the Pleasure Beach and go on the rides, does anyone remember the slide where you slid down on a mat and ended up in a bowl at the bottom of the slide. (You almost came over the top of the bowl) I have really good child hood memories of South Denes Site. I recently came back from a visit to Yarmouth and noticed on the beach (at South Denes) that there is grass dunes on the beach, the dunes were not there when I was a child on that part of the beach. All good memories, oh to go back to those times!

By Janet Skilbeck
On 11/09/2013

I went to Great Yarmouth in March at Easter with my mum Tracey Bowley and my auntie Lisa Laybourn for a Happy Easter holiday. I liked the Sweet and Joke shops. Luke, age 8.

By Luke Bowley
On 11/09/2013

I went to Great Yarmouth in March at Easter with my mum Tracey Bowley and my auntie Lisa Laybourn for a Happy Easter holiday. I liked the Sweet and Joke shops. Luke, age 8.

By Luke Bowley
On 11/09/2013

We're has the giant gone from pleasure beach. Also can anyone remember the old water chute, that was my favourite ride, I love Great Yarmouth as a child my parents use to take me and my brother here all the time on the school holidays and they were the best times of my childhood, now I live here, in gorleston and it really is the best place to live, today I've been google images on Great Yarmouth pleasure beach. And it has been really sad to see all those changes, does anyone remember wallys windmill. I think it crazy golf now

By Hazel
On 11/09/2013

do you remember the old sea mine on the path on the sea front I was wondering where it went

By daz
On 07/08/2014

Brilliant nostaga and the memories have come flooding back. I was born and raised near Ipswich and as children were lucky to have a annual holiday in Great Yarmouth. We stayed in a guess house which I believe was called Sea Spray. There were so many things for children and families to do and the cafes seemed to be open till late so it was a walk along the sea front and a cuppa before heading back to the accomodation. I remember many of the things already mentioned but also the model village which was magical to a youngster especially when lit at night. I guess that cheap package tours took there toll and the income to the resort deminished so it became run down and attractions closed. A case of use it or loose it ! By the way does anyone have the Great Yarmouth Pea Soup recipee it was so tasty and I have never found one to match it !

By Steven Simpson
On 03/10/2014

Just found this Page. So many people have the same memories as I have of summer holidays in Yarmouth. The ww2 mine was originally behind the tourist information in front of the anchor gardens.

By Shaun
On 03/10/2014

I remember going to great yarmouth in the 70s for our holidays and we went to the wild west show. I got picked to hold a newspaper and one of the cowboys used a whip to make it smaller and smaller. I got a sherriffs badge as a reward. My mum has pics of us in the jail

By tracey buckley
On 25/10/2014

Loved growing up in Gt Yarmouth,my grandad was Terence Barron ,I grew up working in the family's arcade we had a t.shirt stall opposite the bingo and I used to help out in Junes cafe in the back of the arcade,used to always get cups of tea for my relations Lena the palmist ,Alfie on the darts and Dennis on the bingo, I remember the Wild West show opposite I was probably about 11 or 12 then and the town and seafront was buzzing with holiday makers the good old days wish I could go back in time .

By Dawn Barron
On 25/11/2014

I was 5 going on 6 when I first went to Gt Yarmouth on holiday. We stayed at the Ladbrokes site, Seashore I think they called it, and some evenings in the massive club at Caister's site. We traveled down from Sheffield on a coach in June '79 My Dad, mother, brother who was 20 and my sister who was 18.                                                                    Our Caravan was green and white, and it was so new the concrete was still wet on the step into the van,  sounds funny now but I recall waiting with my dad in a que to hire a b&w TV set. But what a fabulous memory of a holiday, especially as my Mother sadly died of Cancer 14 months later. It's also special because of a funny story that I'm constantly reminded of. As many have mentioned earlier about the giant in the funfair. There was an occasion when my brother took me on the dodgems, and at the end of the ride, we were invited to stay in our car for another free go. But just at that second I'm sure in my innocent mind i heard the giant scream " I will come for all the little children" in a rather menacing tone. It's at that point that i jumped out of the dodgem car and bolted across the funfair to get away. My poor brother had to chase me for what seems like ages, he said. I was terrified thou, lol. But all in all what a great family holiday especially as it was the final time we went away together as a family, before Mum  sadly left us. We also went back in 1986 and had a fabulous time as well. What happy days, that I always look back on.

By Richard Woodward
On 23/06/2015

It's like stepping back in time reading people's memories here. We used to travel up from London every September to Ladbrokes along with grandparents, cousins, aunties, uncles etc between 1977 and 1984. I remember the side by side 'canopy bikes' for hire on site and the t-shirt printing stall, live wrestling and the Iron Duke, sadly boarded up last time I visited 10 years ago. I also remember all the gangs of the time, mods, skins, punks, goths, teds they were all here in numbers with the great music of the time pumping out on site and along the seafront arcades. we would take the walk from Ladbrokes to town every tea time, past the immaculate Shan-gri-la bungalow and the cinema not to mention the piers with top names of the day; cannon & ball, Jim Davidson, Russ Abbott, Little & Large, Barron knights etc. To a 12 year old the pleasure beach seemed like heaven, with the loop and snails & when Madness had it in their video for House of Fun my kudos instantly went up at school. My dad still swears that the fish n chips in market square were the best he's ever had, apparently food/beer prices always seemed low and that was down to the Northern trade they relied on? Maybe one of you locals could confirm this? Although the sea was cold we always found a sand dune to use as cover and always came home burnt. They say you should never go back & I did 10years ago & it felt sad how much had gone, the piers, the buzz etc Im heartened some of you still go though, perhaps it's improved from my last visit, and maybe when my kids are old enough....

By Marky
On 04/05/2016

Sadly I haven't been over to Great Yarmouth since 1994. Prior to that it was somewhere I use to go every year with my Grandad. So many happy and cherished memories! Must agree with Marky that the chips on the Market Square have to be the best tasting chips ever! I always remember Terror Castle where there use to be a mannequin with sheer terror on his face rattling the door trying to get in with a frightening monster looking over his shoulder. Use to scare the jeepers out of me! Took me years to find the courage to go in to do the horror walk  around! Shame to hear it's not there anymore!

By Jamie
On 12/06/2016

I loved reading the whole of this site and the memories people have of Great Yarmouth.  It's a gathering of social history.  Brilliant.  I have only briefly been to Great Yarmouth once bit have visited Norfolk on many occasions and love it. I looked at the site because I wanted to know about the Oasis Tower because I have an old tea towel of Norfolk with a picture of it on it.  I write about about tea towels so wanted to find out more information but became enthralled by this site. See www.myteatowels.wordpress.com. Barbara

 

 

By Barbara Howard
On 12/06/2016

Does anyone remember the Broadways Motel at Vauxhall?

I am trying to remember the surname of Gary the Manager.

By Carol
On 25/09/2016

Oh the amazing memories that have resurfaced thanks to this. First off, my fondest memories was turning up at Vauxhalls caravan park, going round their wee toy-shop next to the open pool, grabbing an ice-cream and buzzing off to the Arcades! Me and my brother would have the run of the place!
Then down to the front to go to the Marina, there was a play area inside, talking about early 80's, and we would spend hours there before going to the pool that had our first ever Wave Machine! (never seen one before Yarmouth!) then maybe Joyland first, where E.T. would be at the end of the Space-ship walk, that spaceship with all the buttons you could press and the light up cases with aliens inside always terrified me! It used to get all wonky at the end of the walk/ride and you would press the button and E.T. would be in the cock-pit!!! Then Neptunes Kingdom, the Mini-snails, the Tub ride...then off for dinner at one of the many restaurants, until it was time for the Pleasure Beach, dad would always get us a wristband, and all you could smell was Horse wee, (which to my horror I loved lol, as I associated it with the fun fair lol) the Giant and his club, the Condor (which to me was a 'New' ride, the Log Flume, the water chute was my favourite, no-one would ever go on with me as no-one wanted to get wet!!
Mum would always be walking round the fair eating her mushy peas which smelled lovely but looked awful!
There was the awesome fun-house, full of posters of old-fashioned post-cards!
The rollercoaster was amazing, especially that first climb, where you could see out to sea, all the lit-up bouys in the distance, its one of mine and my mums fondest memories!
Regent Road was where we would spend our pocket money, if it hadn't already gone on the crazy golf or arcades, especially Barrons, my favourite!
We would hit the markets, mum would be in her element, while me and my brother would scare each other by trying to prod the wax-work figures...we went in there just the once, and it terrified me! I must have been about 6 or 7, and I remember it being very dark, and Laurel & Hardy were outside the front, think there was Elton John too lol. They were dreadful, but that made it even scarier and more fun!
The donuts, the fish n chips, playing on the long wavy slide on the pier before taking a show to see the Baron Knights, or The Brothers Lee, Jim Davidsons face all over the shop, my dad getting his tattoo under the Pier at a wee tattoo parlour, while me and mum and my brother would head over to the Tower where there was a market underneath where I had my ears pierced and bought school shoes ready for the new term ( depressing!) and then maybe a walk through Ripleys Believe it or Not while dad popped his head into the Longest Bar in the World...Probably! ;-)
Add to this the odd night of Stock car racing or Greyhound racing with a bag of chips and a promise of the funfair again, and we would have the most incredible holidays...one week in Yarmouth that we looked forward to all year never ever disappointed!
My memories of Gt. Yarmouth are everything I wish I could give my own children, sadly, I have been back, and while I knew I could never recreate it perfectly, it was hard to recreate anything, so much was shut, so much seemed dismal, the fair which to me as a child seemed colourful and happy and exciting seemed depressed and empty, the arcades were grimy, it seemed to have lost its magical sparkle! I know of course a lot of it is because I am no longer seeing through a childs eyes, but Yarmouth definitely has lost some of its holiday charms...so now we go and make new memories elsewhere, but man, the wonderful happy golden memories of Gt. Yarmouth have carried me through many an unhappy moment....xxx

By Carrie Talbot-Ashby
On 04/02/2018

I have wonderful memories of Great Yarmouth back in the 1970s when I was only around 9 years old. We travelled by train from Stockton on Tees. My mother used to save hard all year so we could have this holiday. We always stayed at Mrs Ashby's guest house opposite the Britannia Pier. I think it was called The Haven. It always had a homely air. I loved the piers. We saw great theatre pier shows. I remember seeing Mike and Bernie Winters, Freddie Star, Charlie Williams, Cilla Black and Reg Varney plus many more. One year Lionel Blair and his girl dancers went up and down the sea front on top of an open top bus promoting their pier show. I also loved the Model village and the fairground. The fish suppers, that we had every night up at the Wellington pier, were to die for. Most days we sat on the beach, weather permitting, and made friends with people who we then met up with every year. I remember Mrs Ashby's daughter was a good ice skater and took part in afternoon free ice skating shows up at the rink. I have since travelled all over the world but still think of these early holidays in Great Yarmouth as some of the best times of my life. Thank you Great Yarmouth. Jenifer Bullock. 

 

By Jennifer Bullock
On 04/02/2018

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