Summer as a child in the town

Interview with Dianna Martin

By Richard Dade

I this interview Dianna Martin describes life when growing up in the 1950's in Great Yarmouth

When I was growing up in the 50s it was almost heyday from the point of view of the summer season, it was when everybody came to Yarmouth . It was like the Blackpool of the east coast really it was on a par with Blackpool but on the east coast but we used to get people from the Midlands Nottinghamshire and the Midlands Derbyshire used to come this way whereas Lancashire and Yorkshire used to go the other way. It was just great as a child because it was magic in the summer because you had all these famous names came. It wasn't considered shameful to be in a summer show it was people aspired to be in we had so many good names down here I remember seeing Mel Tormay singing on the Wellington pier on a Sunday concert every theatre was packed with these famous names. I lived at the back of the Windmill Theatre, Tommy Trinder was on there and we used to hang about and say hello to Mr Trinder we called him Mr Trinder and he used to say  "hello kids", he was really friendly towards us, we thought that was a brush with glamour. It was like Hello magazine of it's day saying hello to Tommy Trinder.

My mother was addicted to the shows at the Marina ; we went there several times a week. Neville Bishop and his band used to get all the kids marching around the top of the Marina he had a band Macnmara's band. Then there were beauty contests, glamorous grannies and most attractive families, and it was all such good-natured low key fun. At the time it was wonderful.

When I was growing up the Wellington Pier in the winter used to host a pantomime and that was really exciting because it was windy and raining and the waves were pounding around underneath and you walked across all this water underneath to go to the panto it made it even more magical than a panto normally is for a child just by the nature of where it was.

This page was added by Richard Dade on 23/11/2008.

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