My Great Yarmouth Story

Photo:Me with Mum & Dad

Me with Mum & Dad

Photo:On the Log Flume

On the Log Flume

Photo:At Palmers' Crazy Golf

At Palmers' Crazy Golf

Photo:Me in Haven

Me in Haven

Home from Home

By Katy Healey

I am 22 years old and I consider Great Yarmouth my home. My great grandparents and grandparents went every single year without fail. When my grandparents had my dad he grew up in Great Yarmouth, went on holiday there every year. I have old black and white pictures of them at Seashore holiday camp.

My dad grew up and meet my mum and they had their honeymoon there. It became their special place. They called it home even though we lived in Warwickshire. They had my older brother and sister and they went there also every year until they were teens.

When I was born, they did the same with me. I have tons of photos of me on the beach as a baby, and even more growing up.
My brother Chris and Sister Rachel, weren't that bothered when they entered their teens about Yarmouth. They got partners and explored the world, went abroad but me... I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else.

I've gone there every year for the past 22 years and I still would go nowhere else. I love it, i know it like the back of my hand. I could stand on the jetty for hours watching the ships in the distance, listening to the waves.....Every year we would go to the Hamburger for breakfast or Charlie’s Chips for dinner.... I remember it all so well.

My Dad died when I was 9, but me and mum continued to go. I carried "the tradition" on my mum said. My Mum got very ill over the years which affected her breathing so she couldn’t walk very far and got out of breath. This made walking around Yarmouth very hard but she didn’t mind, she just loved being there and so did I. She loved sitting by the benches by the Pier by Joyland, watching the world go by... Me, well I was a child and wanted to be on the move... it was only when I got older, i appreciated just sitting there, peacefully.

Mum had to have a oxygen tank with all the time and she couldn't take them on the coaches or trains and we didn’t drive. This meant mum couldn’t get there so when I turned 15/16 that was our last holiday together. My brother could drive, it only took four hours to get there, but no... he wouldn’t take her. For a few years we had no holiday, had to contend with looking at the brochures and past holiday photos, hoping one day we could go again. Mum knew her illness would get worse and that one day she wouldn't be able to walk anywhere. She wanted one last holiday walking along the seafront like she had been doing for many years.... it wasn’t to be.

I turned 18 and I went to Yarmouth by myself.... I cried leaving mum at home, I knew she must of been hurting but she told me to go.... it was important to her that she memory of Yarmouth lived on.
It was weird being there on my own but everywhere I went I could think of a memory of my family. Where we had had pictures taken, the rides we went on, the miles we walked up and down the seafront, I felt home, and I felt near dad.

The following year I went again and again the next.... However in 2007 my mum died on Xmas Eve of Cancer. It was all very sudden and she never did get her last holiday...... It took me a long time to function normally as my brother and sister blamed me for her death, I didn't do enough to help her, so I haven’t spoken to them since.
All by myself, I carried on as best as I could, in pieces but somehow getting through each day.... In 2008 I Went as a tribute to mum. It was a different feeling as now I knew I defo would not get to be here again with my family. I didn't do much in the terms of activities, more of a trip down memory lane.

In 2009 I went there with my friends, it was nice to have company but it wasn’t the same ... they didn’t appreciate the specialness of the place. I could sit on the beach in the evening for hours, watching the sun set, watching the lights come on etc...
People said to me, I was brave going there on my own... I say, no I wasn't, I was going home.

This year I live with my boyfriend and we couldn't afford to go. I long to be there again. I look at photos, webcams of Yarmouth every day and I hope to move there.



This page was added by Katy Healey on 01/09/2010.
Comments about this page

Hi Katy,  

I love Yarmouth too. Been going there since I was abouth 13/14. Now 70 and I still love it. I like to go whenever I can. Tried other seaside places, but not the same for me !!! I like to go every year at least once or more if possible. Make the effort and you go girl....!!!!!

By a.jones
On 06/09/2010

Hi Katy & A Jones.

I was born in Yarmouth in 1936 & over the years as I grew up there I to got to love the old place, not just the summer time but the quiet winters also. I know what you mean about the magic of the place. It's something that cannot be made. I must admit over some years when I left yarmouth I used to knock it a bit but over the years it still calls to me and I have been back. A visit to the Time & Tide Museum helps to bring back the past but now I have accepted the future of my dear old town . I know Councils past & present have tried to make things better. Some are good & some to me seem out of step but that is how it must be keep on holiday times. Have fun.

By colin browne
On 05/01/2011

Hi Katy, I have very similar feelings and thoughts about Yarmouth as you do. I went every year for the first 21 years of my life (I'm 43 now) and have been back many times since, but not necessarily for holidays, more weekends or daytrips. I too live in your area (I live in Coventry) and would happily move to GY were it not for my young daughter whom I don't want to be away from. Hope you get to go back as much as I would like to do. Mark

By Coventry Mark
On 19/04/2011

Hi Mum and dad took us on holiday every year which till I was about 10 was Great Yarmouth. It holds special memories and I am scared to go back. I was fortunate that I was able to take my parents on a final holiday to Jersey before they died. My sister was upset I didn't ask her, but I was looking after them full time and she never looked after them. I am still friends with my sister, life is too short you should try and get back with your family. My big memory of Great Yarmouth in the 50's was Tony's tea stall, I can still smell those wonderful smells!!

By Chris
On 20/07/2011

Firstly I'd like to say I wished this forum was more used and easier to understand maybe it's me, but every thing seems mixed up, moan over I've only posted a couple of times mainly on south denes caravan site and the FANTASTIC child hood holidays 1961 till it shut ,there will always be an unexplained magic about a strip of land covered in caravans,basic showers,toilets,paper shop,stand pipes and gas lamps,but even now 30 years later I miss that place ,when my old dad died I went back to B BLOCK found a spot on the beach where he loved and buried a few bits of his in the sand ,seemed the right place for them ,i love thinking about those old holidays

By peter smith
On 05/08/2011

I suppose I was very lucky to do my National Service at Hopton On Sea in The RAF from September 1950 until April 1952 and have always considered that period to be the Halcyon Days; that is not to say I have had other memorable periods in my 80 years, it certainly would be one of the most Memorable periods.  When off duty apart from Saturday Nights it was always the Floral Hall and Wednesday Nights Roller Skating at the Gorleston Holiday Camp.  The comments made by previous contributions bring back so many memories.  I imagine like me there are times they could turn the clock back; we always liked a drink and the Dukes Head was our favourite hostelry and the local population treated us exceptionally well and I have the greatest respect for them.  Since leaving the RAF over the years I have often visited the area either a short break/a Boat on the Broads/or just a day trip.  There is something magnetic about Yarmouth and may it continue not only for myself but for many more who have spent time there.  My only regret is I never located myself in the area in later years.

By Malcolm Raynor
On 06/06/2012

I also am very fond of Gt Yarmouth. I spent a lot of time there with my grandmother who died in 1960 and lived in Admirality rd. Many happy memories. Now living in Stowmarket

By Rose Stockings nee warnes
On 14/02/2018

I also am very fond of Gt Yarmouth. I spent a lot of time there with my grandmother who died in 1960 and lived in Admiralty Rd. Many happy memories. Now living in Stowmarket.

By Rose Stockings nee warnes
On 14/02/2018

My family spent their holidays in Great Yarmouth well before I was born (in 1962) and I went there every summer holiday from 0 - 16.

A couple of years before I was born my parents stayed in a guest house where another couple from Oxford were staying (my parents being from Oxford). The landlady put the two sets of guests together at breakfast and there started a relationship between the two families that spanned over fifty years, and my parents new friends went on to become my godparents.

My family eventually found holiday flats that would become our 'annual base' - Ashley House holiday flats, Marine Parade. In front of the floral clock, looking out to the sea.  Run by Mrs James.  The house was divided into a number of flats, and my family would occupy one, my grandparents another, and my godparents family a third.

Early memories are laying in bed hearing the horses clip clopping by in the morning, the man who sold newspaper on the front shouting out the news, the go-karts on the front.  The deckchair man on the beach, who was always the same man year after year.  Trampolines on the beach.  The seafront being packed at night with holiday makers.  The Windmill Theatre with it's real windmill.  The rude postcards. The snails at Joyland - we have a photo of me about 6 on them with my grandfather, and a photo of me with my then 6 year old on them too!  The waterways in the evening, all lit up.  Shows at the two pier theatres, and usually seeing the artists on the beach during the day.  We once spent a whole week sharing our spot on the beach with Mike & Bernie Winters and their wives.   

I saw the group the Sweet in a Rolls Royce as they had stayed at the Carlton Hotel.  I remember the oil rigs, all lit up at night.

As I got older, although not old enough! I remember the pubs along the seafront all promoting the same drinks - usually Campari! the News Of The World night club, in a cellar on the corner of Regent Street.   The huge disco in the Oasis complex, with always a Radio 1 DJ comparing. 

We always arrived in Great Yarmouth on the train, and I always got excited when I saw for the first time the Oasis Tower in the distance, gradually get nearer and nearer.

In August I will be visiting Great Yarmouth.  My partner riding there on his motorbike, myself taking the train.  So I get to see my first view of the Oasis again! I'll have days on my own as 'the biker' bikes.  I'm looking forward to it, but already feel slightly apprehensive that I'll spend some of my time being maudlin.

I've been lucky enough to travel to some wonderful places in the world, but nowhere has my heart like Great Yarmouth. 

By Carly B
On 23/11/2018

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