If you saw my Six word Saturday this week you’ll know that I was recently in Great Yarmouth. For me it was a trip way back down Memory Lane, to the days when I had very little money and holidays were spent in caravans. This time I used Yarmouth as a base from which to visit family, but for old times sake I had to take a bit of a walk around. Perhaps you’d like to join me.
But first, did that photo trigger any memories? It stopped me dead in my tracks! It carried me right back to the amusement arcades of my youth. The simple joy of pounding those firemen with water and trying to knock them all down! I don’t think I ever fully succeeded, but how I enjoyed trying. In this age of technology I could hardly believe my eyes. If only the attendant had been there, I could have tried my luck again.
While I’m wallowing in nostalgia I might as well take you to the model village on the sea front. It’s as good a place as any to start but, as it’s closed, we’ll have to look in through the fence.
I might have spent a little while there but, deprived of the opportunity, I decided to check out the beach. I’m probably a little spoilt when it comes to beaches. This one did not score too highly.
Click on any photo in the group to open the galleries
For all of its seaside bluster, Great Yarmouth is a town with a rich history. The Wikipedia entry, from which I am quoting, is surprisingly big. It has been a seaside resort since 1760 and lies on a thin spit of land sandwiched between the North Sea and the River Yare. The gateway to the Norfolk Broads, and just 20 miles from the city of Norwich, I was interested to note that Daniel Defoe compared the town favourably with that city in his travel journals :
‘Yarmouth is an antient town, much older than Norwich; and at present, tho’ not standing on so much ground, yet better built; much more compleat; for number of inhabitants, not much inferior; and for wealth, trade, and advantage of its situation, infinitely superior to Norwich.’
He goes on to say that its quay is the finest in England, and not even inferior to Marseilles! Of course, I had to go and see the quay for myself. But not before I took a look at the Winter Gardens and Britannia Pier, both of which are Grade II listed.
It’s a shame that, in its prime location alongside the Wellington Pier, the stately Winter Gardens have fallen into disrepair. The cast iron framed glass structure was shipped by barge all the way from Torquay, on the south coast, in 1903.
Continuing along the front it’s almost impossible to avoid a pirate or two. No need to worry. They’re mostly harmless and intent on spying on the mini golf.
Turning your back on the seafront, follow Regent Road through the town and out to South Quay, to step into a different world. Victoria Arcade is a shopping mall in the old style, and it’s easy to spot the traditional Norfolk flint-faced buildings.
Remember Defoe and his liking for the quay? He also refers to ‘merchants houses, which look like little palaces, rather than the dwelling-houses of private men’. Charles Dickens stayed at the Royal Hotel on Marine Drive while writing ‘David Copperfield’, and used Yarmouth as a key location for the book. He was much taken with the place.
In the early 18th century, Yarmouth was a thriving herring port and this lasted for a couple of hundred years. When the fishing industry declined in the second half of the 20th century, Yarmouth was saved by the discovery of oil in the North Sea. Today it services offshore natural gas rigs, and the town has been keen to develop renewable energy in the form of a wind farm. 30 generators stand tall on Scroby Sands- a different kind of windmill for the Broads.
The Lydia Eva is the last surviving steam drifter of the herring fleet and is being preserved as a floating museum. But she is dwarfed by her new neighbours.
With a little more time I would like to have gone on board Lydia Eva, and to have visited the Elizabethan House and Great Yarmouth Row Houses. Perhaps even the museum dedicated to Admiral Horatio Nelson. (‘I am a Norfolk man and I glory in being so’). I did just manage to catch a glimpse of Nelson’s Monument, tucked away at the end of the promenade.
National Trust have designed a Yarmouth Heritage Trail complete with map- a good idea if you’re in the area. I think next week I should take you to Norwich to make a comparison.
So there’s another week gone by! Hope you enjoyed the walk, and many thanks to all my contributors. If you’d like to join in my Jo’s Monday walk, click on the logo above for details. I’d be delighted to have you along. Let’s put the kettle on now and settle in for a good read.
We’re starting in Berlin this week, with Debbie :
Pretty, winding streets always make me smile. Thanks, Drake!
Don’t you love this wonderful world of friends we’ve created?
Violet Sky has the perfect bench shot! Have you seen it, Jude?
I rather fancy a walk beside Lake Ontario. You too?
At the Grand Canyon, Amy suggests we can see
Geoff sounds suicidal, but I know he doesn’t mean it!
Jude is always good company. She would soon cheer him up!
I have two authors keeping me company this week. What a privileged lady I am! Please welcome Dianne Gray. I hope many of you know her :
Rare birds or pirates? I’m going for pirates, of course! Please welcome newcomer Denzil to my walks :
And I’m ending with a wonderful Summery Swedish walk with Viveka. Don’t miss it!
Fantastic contributions again this week. Aren’t you spoilt? I also want to give a ‘shout out’ to another Monday feature, Monday Escapes . I never seem to have the time to join in but there’s some great stuff in there.
Have a wonderful week ahead and I hope to see you next Monday (when you might get to meet the Norfolk family).