Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Great Yarmouth

Using the laptop keypad is proving to be quite a trial.  The C V B N and spacebar keys all work intermittently.  I may have a solution but that will have to wait until we return to Perth.   Meanwhile blog reader Dave left what I now realise is a blindingly obvious comment.  I mentioned in watching out for Phil driving around Sandringham.  Dave stated the obvious when he comment that Phil wasn’t at Sandringham.  He’d been sent to Gatwick to collect Donald.  I bet Donald’s hair is now raised even more!

We had a good look around Great Yarmouth today.  Why?  Well one reason is many years ago I’d read a book about the Battle of Copenhagen which took place in 1801.   The British fleet assembled at Great Yarmouth before sailing to Copenhagen.

For centuries the town was a major fishing port; mostly herring.  The industry went into gradual decline from the middle of the 20th Century before finally being killed by the EU fishing policy.  Great Yarmouth became a seaside resort around the middle of the 18th Century.  It has a long and wide sandy beach with a promenade and two main piers.   On visiting Great Yarmouth it wouldn’t be hard to imagine you were actually in Blackpool as the waterfronts look very similar.

Britannia Pier is the oldest of the two piers (opened1858)

The promenade has the usual stalls and ice cream outlets

There’s a plethora of amusement arcades opposite the beach

As usual,I was more interested in the old or unusual buildings.

The Empire Theatre, built in 1908. In latter years it was used as a nightclub but since 2007 it has been empty.

Yarmouth Hippodrome. Built by showman, George Gilbert in 1903 the Hippodrome has remained a consistent presence on Great Yarmouth’s seafront.  TheHippodrome is tucked behind a row of amusement arcades, It used to look out over the sea and is a Grade I-listed terracotta gem, one of just three surviving purpose-built indoor circuses in the world

St John’s Church.  Founded as a chapel for beachmen and fishermen and was built by J.H. Hakewill, in 1857. The church is in simple Early English style throughout despite being extended and altered throughout the 19th century and early 20th century.

The Royal Aquarium.  Subsequently converted to a theatre.

The Windmill Theatre (building in the middle of the photo with twin green capped towers).   Ooriginally built as the Gem Theatre and is one of Britain's earliest surviving Cine Variety buildings.

The Theatre was designed by Arthur S. Hewitt, who also designed the Empire Theatre in the town the same year. The Windmill was built for C.B. Cochran and opened on the 4th of July 1908 with the odd proviso that men and women had to sit on opposite sides of the auditorium.

It was built as a Cine Variety Theatre and in the early decades of the 20th Century was providing the number two variety bills in Great Yarmouth, and later, in 1948, when it was renamed the Windmill Theatre, it was regularly used for summer shows, a policy which continued into the 1960s.  It subsequently became a children’s amusement arcade.

We’re heading somewhere else tomorrowSmile


Jenny said...

Somewhere else? Great place, tell us what you think of it when you get there.

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

Peter Jay of Peter Jay and the Jay Walkers owns the Hippodrome, a local lad and thankfully his son is just a keen so it may last. As for the Britannia, last time I was on the beach there was water under it, not sand

Tom and Jan said...

Brian there is currently long grass under the Britannia. The water must be a distant memory? :-)