What do you think of Great Yarmouth?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MPotter, 13 Apr 2019.

  1. MPotter

    MPotter On Moderation

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    Hello people, what do you think of Great Yarmouth? Is it a dump or a nice place to visit? Please feel free to voice your opinions below whether you are at one of these extremes or somewhere in the middle.
     
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  3. greyman42

    greyman42 On Moderation

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    I have not been for a few years but I suspect it will depend on whether it is the middle of summer or the middle of winter.
     
  4. 37047

    37047 Member

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    Went there for the first time last year. I'd not long moved to Norfolk and was combining a trip on the 37-hauled service with a bit of exploration.
    I was surprised by how rough it was (or at least how rough it felt to me - disclaimer - small female, travelling alone). Walked from the station to the seafront and then back immediately - I felt genuinely uncomfortable and had no desire to stick around. This was a sunny afternoon in May, broad daylight. I mentioned this experience at work and several colleagues expressed surprise that anyone would go there willingly.
    Very few places have made such an instant negative impression on me.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2019
  5. christopher

    christopher Member

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    It's nothing a nuke wouldn't sort out.
     
  6. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Like Blackpool only scruffier. Went once (last year), won't be going back.
     
  7. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Member

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    I had a bizarre experience in Great Yarmouth a few years ago. Having some time to kill between arriving on a bus from Lowestoft and catching a train to civilisation, I dropped into a large second-hand bookshop to browse:
    “Where are your railway books, please?”
    “We’ve got this one here. Somebody just brought it in.” [Produces dog-eared, mass-produced, ‘father’s day’ type book.]
    “No, thank you. Where are the others?”
    “Err; we haven’t got any.”
    Somehow this told me everything that I needed to know about the place and its people. I haven’t been back since.
     
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Dump.
     
  9. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    I'd wish to like Great Yarmouth (where in real life, I've spent very little time; and the last such occasion was decades ago). Have a sentimental and theoretical fondness for the place, thanks to roles played involving it, by the mildly crazy intricacies of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway (greatly loved by me), the Great Eastern Railway, and the improbable "Joint-plus" trackage whose administration this mutually hostile pair, shared -- all such stuff vanished this past half-century and more.

    Picture I find generally got about Great Yarmouth nowadays, is that it's a one-time great fishing port; and one-time big and thriving seaside resort; thoroughly on the skids as regards both functions -- now dismal and run-down, and tending to be populated by chav-ish folk whose behaviour is often less than exemplary. I'd desire, maybe hoping against hope, to hear some good reports of the place. I mentioned this thread to my younger (totally non-rail-enthusiast) brother: he told of a visit to Great Yarmouth when he was about five (an expedition in which I didn't take part) -- he remembers with delight, the wonderful funfair there: and a ride which particularly impressed him, seeming -- from his description -- half roller-coaster, half Ghost Train. So I can adduce here, one enthusiastic GY booster; admittedly this was in about 1962, and he's never been back there since then.
     
  10. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Not been to Great Yarmouth since loco hauled summer saturdays used to run to/from Yarmouth Vauxhall, which must have been the 1980s. The area outside the station seemed a bit dreary, but the town centre & beach areas were O.K., if unspectacular. Not much different to other "medium-sized" seaside resorts such as Southend, Skegness, Southport, Rhyl or Morecambe, etc. All likely to be more impressive to young kids than to adults.
     
  11. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Agree with Rhyl and Skegness, have a vested interest in Southport, never been to Southend, but can’t agree re. Morecambe. Lovely place, and will be a lot more tourist attractive when they do their “Eden Project”.

    Station isn’t up to much but the coastline is great, and the town has its attractions.
     
  12. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Agree with the comparison to Skegness and especially Rhyl, however the others are nicer. Southend is more of a London commuter town that also happens to double up as a seaside town, meanwhile Southport and Morecambe have a more genteel feel.

    As for the OP, yes Yarmouth is a dump IMO. Very tatty, and like many places it’s the people that are the cream on the cake, or in Yarmouth’s case the dregs at the bottom of the bottle.
     
  13. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Having visited Yarmouth here and there over the last decade or so, and knowing people who work with certain elements of the local community, it certainly has its moments and its characters, and I too would have no desire to be wandering around on my own too much (which is saying a great deal, given some of the towns where I have had to work, largely on my own...).

    However, what I would point out is that it does have several quite historic areas and hidden gems. In some ways it's a great shame that it has the reputation it does. The local naval and seafaring history is quite something. Unfortunately some of the marine aspects are also those which have lent it a slightly derelict feel in modern times, though.
     
  14. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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    Are most/some cities at the coast (also on the mainland of Europe) only for the summer holidays?
     
  15. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    I last went to Great Yarmouth when I was 19. So that’s nearly 32 years ago. I’d just passed my test, bought a car so took this lass I was seeing there for a trip out.
    160 miles & 4.5 hrs later we arrived. Erm, a quick walk on the front & around the shops, a bag of chips & a kiss me quick hat & we were on the way back home.
    Wow we knew how to live back in those days eh.
    Not once have I wanted to go back.
     
  16. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    If you had asked during (much of) the last half of the twentieth century, I'd have said 'yes'. I don't have the numbers but I would have thought that seaside holidays in the UK had dropped like a stone since the 50s, hence the inclusion of various towns in posts above. Everyone wants to go abroad (*exaggeration*).

    Great Yarmouth was a prominent fishing port (now hardly exists), North Sea oil (some involvement but less than before) and leisure. They were its past, like many seaside towns, it hasn't found its future - and no one seems to be bothered helping it; its too far from London to be a major commute (over 2 hours 30).
     
  17. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    I went there a few years back for an evening at the races. The walk to the course from our seafront hotel was particularly 'interesting' and we felt brave and daring in walking down some of the side streets. The course was (and I suspect still is) a run down dump and the sea front area we saw wasn't all that much better. We were directed to a very nice curry house though so there was at least one positive but it was a quick escape the next morning and I've not been back since
     
  18. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    Yes it’s sad when you visit once great seaside towns & see how they’ve fallen. We had a trip to Llandudno a year or so ago & called in at Rhyl as we hadn’t been there for many years. Went when my stepdad had bought his new car Datsun 120y estate RBC579R was the registration. So it was around 1976. Rhyl was a grand looking place. Gable end Victorian fronted houses on the seafront all freshly painted & looking very smart. Fast forward 40 years & it was shocking to see how it had hit rock bottom. One of the seafront houses mentioned was actually on fire when we arrived. Shame as the place had a lovely beach.
    Nowadays I’m a Devon or Cornwall person. I’ve not been abroad since 1985 since Valetta, Malta. I not planning on going abroad again as I have everything I need here.
     
  19. Gooner18

    Gooner18 Member

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    Come to Edmonton, it will bring a whole new meaning to a negative impression lol
     
  20. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    It’s sad but a lot of seaside places seem to attract the down and outs, drinkers and druggies. I suppose accommodation is cheaper there out of season and they stay on, often ending up on the streets.

    I was talking to a B&B landlady at a place I stayed in Weymouth and remarked that I was the only person in the breakfast room yet there was a sign on the door saying no vacancies. She said she has to keep that there or all sorts of undesirables turn up asking for a room.

    If someone has seen a room on booking.com she tells them it’s just gone, or it’s a family room for £200 payment up front.

    Since that conversation I have seen no vacancies signs everywhere, even in the middle of winter, and even in places I am staying where it’s obviously not full. I can’t blame them.
     
  21. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

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    In the summer a lot of Germans visit from the North (at Schiermonnikoog) to the West (at Cadzand). We always complain that they dig a hole on the beach and that they should return the stolen bikes from the 2nd WW.
     
  22. Pyreneenguy

    Pyreneenguy Member

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    How dare you shove Southport in the same category as Rhyl and Southend ! Southport has one of the loveliest thoroughfares in the country: Lord Street. Admittedly it's got more charity shops and cafés these days than the quality shops of yesteryear. Morecambe I feel is a bit different, as it's beautiful bay and proximity to the Lakes compensate for much of the decrepitude. A cocktail in the art-deco Midland Hotel is a joyful experience, just don't watch Alan Bennett's Sunset Across The Bay just before ! Blackpool is the pits ! For pockets of extreme urban squalor , it comes a close second to Jaywick ! I visited last Christmas to have a look at the finished electrification. I arrived in style on a Virgin Pendolino, returning from Blackpool South on a 156 ( I think). It was intresting to see the new tram link progressing but even this didn't make me want to stay very much longer. The day was saved by a trip up the Tower, a very long walk on the prom and a clotted cream tea in Sainsbury's café ( overlooking North station, quite a view ! ).

    I've never been to Great Yarmouth, but my Great-aunt Mabel used to go every year ! She had a good deal of class and plenty of money so there must have been something( or someone ) right about the place. I've done Southend and Clacton but there remains this little corner of East Anglia to complete my tour of the British coastline.

    To anyone who fancies exploring the coastline of Britain by train, I recommend Paul Theroux's Kingdom By The Sea, published in 1983. It's going back a bit, but I recently reread it and still found it captivating.
     
  23. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Great Yarmouth?

    Should really be called "So-so Yarmouth" or "Meh Yarmouth"... with the slogan "Hey, at least it's not Blackpool!"

    In the off-season, they could call it Shut Yarmouth.
     
  24. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    The descriptions of Great Yarmouth seems to sound like most other eastern coast or near-coast towns and cities in England.
     
  25. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    It is a dump and should be bulldozed into the sea. I lived there for a period. It is horrible.
     
  26. 433N

    433N Member

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    I find it fascinating that this is the case. I mean, as an island nation, Britain and the British have always been tied to the sea and yet we seem to have turned our back on it. I just don't understand why so many coastal towns are down at heel when it seems to me that there should be a ready market of people wanting a weekend away from the city (or suburban) grime.

    Even in the dead of winter, who doesn't enjoy a walk on a windswept beach ?
     
  27. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    You would be doing the sea a terrible disservice. :frown: (we don't put 'it' in the sea anymore do do wee?)
     
  28. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Going way off-topic from Great Yarmouth; but I have a quarrel with you Dutch, in that -- while you had at one time, a wondrous variety of steam tramways and light railways on the "mainland"; none have ever existed on your Frisian Islands. On Germany's islands in that chain, on the other hand; there have been narrow-gauge railways on nearly all of them (still running on two or three of the islands, I think), some of those lines marvellously odd. How is it that, apparently, no Dutch railway entrepreneur ever cast their eyes toward the Netherlands' part of the Frisians?
     
  29. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Why would you go to a cold windswept Great Yarmouth, when you can fly to Europe very cheaply?
     
  30. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Member

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    Class 37 haulage, perhaps?
    I'd put up with it for that ;)
     
  31. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Because these towns never reinvented themselves after the high days of miners and factory workers wakes week. Instead they hoped and still hope, desperately, that those days will return instead of trying to attract modern visitors

    Once cheap foreign travel became a reality for the working class they chose to go aborad in thier droves. Now the people who have disposal income would prefer a cheap flight to Europe over a weekend in a grotty b&b in some dreary, dead end, depressingly boring faded costal town.

    These days many of them even fail to attract granny tours on coaches who should be a captove market for these sort of horrible places!
     

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