Great Yarmouth 1950s photos by Jack Harrison (born 1938)
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yarmothWe wern't a very well edercated lot back in those days

Tourism and Leisure had been big business for over a century. Yarmouth considered itself to be the "Blackpool of the East" complete with its own version of the "Golden Mile". Holidaymakers from the Midlands certainly brought money into the town, but the "locals" would, by an large, give the amusement arcades,  funfares  and so on a wide berth.  I never found much attraction in photographing this aspect of Great Yarmouth.  

But the little pleasure boats were fascination, especially the quartet of Yarmouth, Gorleston, Southtown and Cobholm (districts of Great Yarmouth) that doubled as ferries running from the town centre to the harbour mouth on the Gorleston side.  The "Golden Galleon" cruised from the Haven Bridge into the Broads - seen in the picture passing through the old Breydon Swing Bridge

Welcome to townunwelcome!

Welcome - or unwelcome?  (above)

The brewery (long closed) and the parish church share an interesting history.  In June 1942,  Great Yarmouth suffered one of its numerous enemy bombing raids of World War 2 and the area of the market place was hit with incendiary bombs.  The brewery and the church were on opposite sides of the street and both were set alight.  It was said that the local fire brigade were unable to deal with both fires simultaneously and anecdotally, the fire chief had to make a decision.  His priority (so it was said) was to save the brewery.  The church was extensively damaged and not repaired until the late 1950s.
Welcome to townParish Church

One thing that did interest me greatly was the advent of pleasure flying.  Initially Anglia Air Charter operated from a field to the south of Gorleston, but after a year, moved to the more permanent base of North Denes in around 1954.  I never flew in one of their aircraft.  However, in 1980, the airline for which I was flying (I was an RAF pilot and later an airline pilot) merged with the successor to Anglian Air Charter to form Air UK.  I remained with Air UK until I retired in 1998 - full circle!
The leisure industry soon bounced back after the War.  The area near the Harbour Mouth was popular winter and summer

Tourism & Leisure 1950sTourism & Leisure 1950s
Tourism & Leisure 1950sTourism & Leisure 1950s
Tourism & Leisure 1950s Tourism & Leisure 1950s
Tourism & Leisure 1950sTourism & Leisure 1950s

The small pleasure boats (below) were ancient.  The double deckers (I used to love to ride on the top) were the "Yarmouth", "Gorleston", "Southtown" and "Cobholm" named after districts in the town.   They doubled as ferries sailing between the centre of Yarmouth and near th harbour mouth on the Gorleston side of the river.
The Golden Galleon was  more modern - a converted World War 2 Naval boat.  It ended its days ignominiously on a mud bank on an inland stretch of river and the remains were scrapped in about 2006.
The Centurion moored by the Town Hall is thought to be an ex Royal Navy ship dating from 1844.  I photographed it with equipment that was almost as old.  The first camera I ever used had belonged to my parents and was a "Box Brownie" (or equivalent) - it was capable of producing recognizable pictures.

Tourism & Leisure 1950s Tourism & Leisure 1950s
Tourism & Leisure 1950s Tourism & Leisure 1950s

Taken with a Box Brownie in 1952Taken with a Box Brownei in 1952

TAs a family, we didn't indulge in the "vulgar" activities of the visitors but enjoyed more sophisticated interests.
Below was taken on a visit to Scroby Sands, in those days a real sandbank but today the site of a major off-shore wind farm.

Scroby Sands
Scroby Sands
Mum in the middle, sister Jennifer skipping and Dad on the rightDad watching Mum as she tries to keep her balance

Tourism & LeisureTimber tradeRiverside generalHerring Fishing IndustryWar aftermath
FT Everard's shipsLifeboats & LightshipsRiverside general (more)Trawler wreckWeather/Storms
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Time & Tide MuseumGreat Yarmouth heritage
Gorleston heritage