Ordinary unknown Yarmouth people who have had an influence on Yarmouth folk past and present.

By Steve Dunn

In reading your pages over the past 6 years or so, I have noticed an absence of praise where praise is due for significant unknown Yarmouth people. The British MBE and OBE award system all too often rewards "known" people in the community, without taking into account what many "unknown" citizens do for others, and it is for this reason I'd like to share what certain Yarmouth people have done for me”. In turn others might then like to share what "unknowns" have done for them...
Great Yarmouth has always had a special place in my heart, having lived and worked there  between 1962 and 1971, and during my time there many "locals" had a significant influence  on the way my life has developed up until now...

 My first contact with The Golden Mile was working for my cousins June and John Pengelly, who ran the Paradium Snack-bar in Barrons Amusements on the sea front. They also owned The Moonraker Restaurant on North Denes Road, which now both sadly have disappeared. These businesses thrived between the early sixties and the eighties, and as a young lad starting out in the work-force, they served as my place of apprenticeship in the 7 day a week seasonal job in which I was employed... What I learned from June in particular was how to communicate with the constant stream of holiday-makers coming for their cups of tea and Horlicks, and it was this contact with them that was so important in the jobs I would later do in life...She "lived" her job, and visitors would come year in, year out to experience her lovely smile, and the kind words she always had when she met them again. This made me think even at that time, that she was a real Ambassador for Great Yarmouth, as it was due to people like her that people came back to the town time and time again, which helped the town so much in its development. 

The next person to have an effect on me was John Lavender, the Manager at Engledow and Gallants the jewellers in Broad Row, because of the upright, honest values he taught me, in running a business for someone else, as if it were his own. I was employed there in the sixties, and formed part of a team of salesmen who all were "formed" by this very special man.  What I learned from him, was how to be responsible and conscientious in everything I do, and to show initiative rather than being passive in my relationship with others. John had that special "something" that continually brought back customers to the store, and for me he modelled the way I wanted to be, both as a person, and as a professional representing our town. This business has also closed, but I'm sure there are hundreds of Yarmouth people who remember his warmth, friendliness and professionalism whenever they met him. He gets another Ambassador vote from me, and although the shop is now closed, I'm sure his spirit is still floating around somewhere in Broad Row to which he gave so much of his life... I believe John is enjoying his retirement somewhere in the Nottingham Way area of the town, and I wish him well...

 In fact, although I've mentioned just two of the people who helped to shape the person that I have become, I could cite at least another dozen who have had just as important an influence. The real objective of these words is however for other Yarmouth people to share what their experiences are, by nominating their own special person or persons, for some recognition for the significant effect they have had on their lives, whether they are still living in the town or not...

What about giving an "Our Great Yarmouth" award to these silent contributors to the well-being of members of the Greater Yarmouth community?

from Steve Dunn French Alps  January 2013


This page was added by Steve Dunn on 28/01/2013.
Comments about this page

My parents always bought jewllery from Engledow and Gallant and I still have Mum's engagement ring, bought in 1936.

By Margaret Rubanowicz (nee Mobbs)
On 30/03/2016

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.