Everyone aboard at Great Yarmouth’s Big Day Out

PUBLISHED: 11:50 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:50 08 August 2014

Radio Norfolk who have organised a bus tour around Great Yarmouth to highlight the town and all the things great about it. 
BBC Radio Norfolk's Big Day Out in Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James Bass

Radio Norfolk who have organised a bus tour around Great Yarmouth to highlight the town and all the things great about it. BBC Radio Norfolk's Big Day Out in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

The seaside town that was once described by Charles Dickens’ character Peggotty in David Copperfield as the ‘finest place in the universe’ is hoping to promote its image.

The seaside town that was once described by Charles Dickens’ character Peggotty in David Copperfield as the ‘finest place in the universe’ is hoping to promote its image.

The EDP joined a special bus ride packed with Norfolk residents to find out what people really think of one the highlights of the east coast.

Great Yarmouth’s Big day out was made possible by BBC Radio Norfolk who asked listers, some of whom had not visited Yarmouth in years, why should be chosen for the bus trip.

Andrew Turner, a Great Yarmouth reporter for the radio station, said: “We said if you come with an open mind, we’ll give you an open ticket.”

What the passengers thought

Rosemary Pearman, 67, from Kings Lynn came on the bus trip after hearing about it on the radio, she saw it as an opportunity to take her grandchildren for a day out. She said: “Before it looked really scruffy, I don’t know how it’s going to look today.” She said that if the day proved to be a good one she would take her grandchildren for day trips on the bus.

Her grandchild Georgina Kendle, 9, also from Kings Lynn said: “If you get to go on holiday you can go to the beach and have fun.” The 9 year old said she would go to Yarmouth on holiday because there is lots to see and she loves building sand castles on the beach.

Peter Barton, 66, from Watton explained how he didn’t like Great Yarmouth when he first came in 1992 and he saw this trip as an opportunity to see if they had cleaned up the area. He said: “I don’t come here for the seaside, I come here for the museums, for me it has lost a bit of its attraction, it’s a bit tacky.”

Christine Fryer, 88, from Reepham had her honeymoon in Great Yarmouth in the mid 1940s and still likes it even though she hasn’t been there for a while. She said: “There seems to be a lot going on compared to before.”

Her daughter Mary Dickerson, 65, who also lives in Reepham said: “There is nice stuff for families and many places to see and eat at, you never get fed up and you could never do Yarmouth in a day.”

She added that, although it is not shabby and there is no litter anywhere, she feels “anything goes” in the town and “here, you can do anything.”

Cheryl, 31 and Philip, 29, Dodd from Badersfield said they normally walk the dogs in the area but are not regular tourists in the town. Mrs Dodd said: “We’ll probably come back, it’s got a nice feel to it.” Her husband added: “You hear about the bad reputation but it’s from the people who live here, I think it has gone up.”

And so yesterday a First Bus carrying 45 people from Swaffham, Dereham, Norwich, Acle and Kings Lynn took to the streets, stopping at Britannia Pier before making it’s way to the famous Hippodrome Circus.

One visitor on the bus explained his not- so fond memory of stepping in dog’s mess when he came to the town on New Years day in 1992.

He was looking for a cleaner Yarmouth and, even in the early stages of the tour, he said: “I think it has cleaned up a little bit.”

Trevor Wainwright, who has been leader of the Great Yarmouth council since 2012, said: “My message would be to come and see the changes in the cultural sector, do not take people’s word.

“There is a lot of negativity about the area and the only way to change that is to show how great Great Yarmouth is, we’ve got a vibrant tourist industry and a very good industrial base.”

Jayne Reynolds, 57, the owner of The Merivon Guest House on Trafalgar Road, said: “We need to advertise that the town is a family resort that looks after families, I get a lot of repeat business and some of our guests have been coming back for over 20 years.

“Some people have never been to Great Yarmouth and they should come and look for themselves.”

Companies, including First Group Bus who have improved their summer service, are working to promote the area.

Anne Edwards, community editor EDP, editor, Great Yarmouth Mercury

Why Yarmouth is a fabulous place...

Yes, when it’s raining Great Yarmouth is grey. But when it is in the middle of a glorious summer like now, it is the bright and breezy town I call my home.

It is a place with a split personality; with beautiful heritage and links to a prominent past, to modern buildings and houses dotted in here and there to fill in the gaps.

Detractors complain about the state of the streets, the litter and, in some cases, the seediness, but show me any town or city that doesn’t have areas like this.

Our office is on King Street and in the mornings with the windows open we catch the smell of coffee and bacon. In the evenings it changes to a more exotic cuisine, barbecue, hot roast chicken and garlic.

For Great Yarmouth has become (without really realising) a Cosmopolitan town, where different nationalities are, in the main, jogging along together quite nicely.

I once described living in Yarmouth as like being on holiday 52 weeks of the year – and it was a shame I worked for 47 of those weeks. I still take great delight in walking down to see the beach. I look for seals swimming close to shore and will chat to the sea anglers who set up their pitches, umbrellas and lines as dusk begins to fall.

For hundreds of years Yarmouth has been a sea port. From its shores ships came and went with cargoes bound worldwide, dropping off passengers and crew to enjoy themselves in the town.

This is what I like about Yarmouth, look right and left and there is heritage. No-one need ever get bored as there is so much to do, even out of season.

The resort has got beautiful beaches, whether it’s sunshine or snow. It has a working inner port where you can watch supply vessels being loaded and leaving their berths.

It has a changing landscape and changing fortunes and with offshore energy plans bringing more and more specialist companies into the town, it bodes well for the future.

It’s my home, my town, and I am proud to live here.


  • I take it you didn't listen to this radio Norfolk rubbish then Castle ?. Still living in the past, and completely out of touch. Typical (ex) councillor.

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • You're right GY-Bourne - it's just beyond belief why some people get their kicks out of rubbishing this town and damaging its image to the wider world by putting spiteful untruths onto the world-wide-web.

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • I don't even know where to start with the two comments below - negative rubbish dotted with lies and gross exaggerations. I'll leave it at that.....

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • I always liked Yarmouth, went to summer shows,did a summer season at the New Beach hotel in the 60's,and always enjoyed a day out there! The whole place has declined into an impoverished tasteless rubbish strewn resort in a seemingly unstoppable economic decline,and a place that few people would want to go on holiday. Very sad because Yarmouth has enormous potential,but it all seems to have been thrown away!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • After listening to this rubbish on the radio, it seemed to be one big "pat on the back, arn't we great" fest. They could have got more "normal" people on, if it wasn't for these laughable, self important dignatories. Too much concentrating on the self important, vested interest rubbish rather than the normal peoples comments. Free tickets to the circus ?. Where are the locals free tickets then ?, and how the hell did they get through the security to get to the outer disaster ?. If Eastpoo can do this for them then they can do it for the locals. As for the boss of the outer disaster, well, he didn't have a clue. A complete waste of time. No mention of the dangerous biomass plants either. What was all that about, when they were let in the side entrance of the Sealife centre. Perhaps Radio Norfolk should get another bus ride set up for the public only, and not the laughable, vested interest dignatories, so there is a proper balanced view and no preferential treatment, of what people can really experience of Yarmouth, through the cost and the queues.

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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