Plaque marks spot where Great Yarmouth’s historic jetty stood
14:52 04 July 2012
THE memory of Great Yarmouth’s historic jetty - which was used by Lord Nelson - is hoped to live on after a plaque marking its spot on the seafront was unveiled.
Dignitaries from the borough council joined staff from the Nelson Museum and members of the town’s archaeological society and preservation trust to reveal the lectern, which details when the jetty was first built, its use by the famous naval hero and how it became a favourite scene for artists to capture.
The ancient jetty, which dates back to the 1560s, was controversially torn down at the beginning of the year.
Campaigners had battled to save the dilapidated structure but it was knocked down after Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it would be too expensive to repair, with the bill expected to be £350,000.
The new plaque stands at the point where the jetty began and looks out over the stretch of beach where it stood.
Chris Brett from the Nelson Society, which contributed towards the cost of the plaque, recounted Nelson’s historic links with the town before mayor Colleen Walker unveiled its simple design this morning.
He said: “Whilst it’s sad we maybe losing the (jetty’s) physical connection it’s absolutely right that we remember it’s importance and the small but significant role Nelson had in its history.”
Mr Brett also encouraged the assembled councillors, including cabinet member for tourism Michael Jeal, to do more to promote Great Yarmouth’s important history.
“On a personal note, I was born in Great Yarmouth and attended Great Yarmouth Grammar School. My favourite lesson was always history, we learnt an awful lot about the long, varied and excellent history of this town,” he added.
“I think we could capitalise a lot more on the history of this town, if I could encourage you on that.”
Mrs Walker, who was born and brought up in Great Yarmouth, admitted it was “sad” the jetty had gone but hoped the lectern would keeps its important heritage alive for visitors and residents alike.
She said: “I hope visitors will take notice of it and come and have a look, and look out to sea and imagine what was because imagining is all that’s left.
“I spent many many a year playing on the jetty and under the jetty and it’s sad but at least this gives it life and I’m pleased to have it here.”