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Oscar winner Jack Cardiff’s link to Great Yarmouth cemented with blue plaque

09:48 11 June 2014

Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society  ‘blue plaque’ unveiling at the site of the house where Jack Cardiff, director and cinematographer, was born. 
(L TO R) Jacks sons Johnny and Mason with his widow Niki and adopted daughter Jane.

Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society ‘blue plaque’ unveiling at the site of the house where Jack Cardiff, director and cinematographer, was born. (L TO R) Jacks sons Johnny and Mason with his widow Niki and adopted daughter Jane. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

A Hollywood legend has been immortalised in his home town after a prominent plaque was installed in his memory.

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Double Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff was born in Great Yarmouth and enjoyed an 80- year career, which saw him work on iconic movies with idols of the silver screen.

And his link with the town was cemented when a blue plate marking his birthplace was unveiled by his family.

Mr Cardiff’s sons Johnny and Mason, his widow Niki and adopted daughter Jane gathered with local history buffs on Sunday for the unveiling ceremony in Standard Place, on the spot where the famous film-maker was born in 1914.

Mason, 43, who followed his father’s footsteps into the film industry, entertained the crowd with the story of his father’s birth.

He said: “My grandparents were vaudevillians and used to travel around the country.

“On the 18th September, 1914, they were here, and as the First World War was just getting started, my grandmother suddenly went into labour. In those days the men weren’t really allowed to witness the birth so my grandfather was round the corner in the pub playing billiards.”

The plaque unveiling tied in with the third day of the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival, which this year is celebrating Mr Cardiff’s life, work and links to the town through an exhibition at St George’s Theatre.

Johnny, 73, who travelled the world with his father and worked in the film industry before becoming a pilot, said it was a privilege to return to Yarmouth to reveal the plaque.

He added: “I have a memory of going out on a fishing boat, that was lovely. I haven’t been back since then but I will come along a bit more now, now I know where he was born.”

Sunday also marked the launch of the free Cardiff exhibition, which runs until Sunday, and visitors can watch screenings of some of his best-known films every day until Friday.

For more information, visit www.greatyarmoutharts festival.co.uk

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