THE number of weddings taking place at the register office in Great Yarmouth has dropped by almost 60pc since the money-saving move to the central library last year.

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According to figures obtained by the Mercury only 44 couples whispered their vows at the venue compared to 103 at Gorleston’s Ferryside in the same April to August six-month period - peak ceremony season - the year before.

Meanwhile the number of couples tying the knot in the borough’s other licensed venues remained the same at 88 for both years.

Caroline Clarke, who oversees all the county’s register offices said she was surprised by the figures, adding: “We feel we are offering the best we can.”

“We are really proud of the room which has nice chairs and tables. We are putting in air conditioning and trying to do everything we can.

“In an ideal world we would have transferred our beautiful room at Ferryside and popped it upstairs at the library. Everybody’s wedding day is special and it should be perfect. We aim to make it as perfect as possible - in a library.”

She stressed all feedback from couples was positive and other aspects of the service including registering births and deaths was working well.

“When people do come in they are generally pleasantly surprised. A lot of people say they thought it was going to be awful but it is really nice,” she added.

Although the wedding slump in Yarmouth did not reflect a county-wide trend there is no way of knowing where people were choosing to marry instead.

It was possible, she added, that it was mostly people from away who were turning their backs on the library and not local couples at all.

“I had not realised how much they had dropped,” she said. “But I have to say because people knew Ferryside was moving a lot of people squidged in at the last minute.

“People have voted with their feet and some might have hopped across the border to Lowestoft. Also it might be Suffolk people we have lost.”

She was continuing to pressure the museums’ service to obtain a licence for marriages to take place in the Tolhouse Museum, Yarmouth’s oldest civic building where felons and witches perished.

Ferryside is being used for minibus provision by Norse services and meals on wheels. The site is being prepared for market as, and when, those services are ready to relocate.

10 comments

  • this library is so naff---there is a half hearted "community garden" outside with mud all on the paths. the few novels inside are tatty and stained.a disgrace.

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    bookworm

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • the library had very few books considering it is a major town. pathetic.

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    bookworm

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Donna. The reason that they have moved out of Ferryside is that some "developer" has got their greedy, beedy eye on it, to demolish it and put up houses, and certain councilors obviously have a vested ionterest. Since when has the concerns of the residence stood in the way of councillors vested interests ?

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    "V"

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • There is no attraction about getting married at the library in Gt Yarmouth and thats why everyone was saddened to see the demise of Ferryside. I dont imagine anyone would be wanting their wedding photos taken out on the pavement either!

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    Mrs Meldrew

    Thursday, August 30, 2012

  • I can't understand w hy the library was thought to be a suitable place to hold weddings. The area is run down, there is nowhere to take photos. Why would the bride want to walk through a public library before the ceremony and out again afterwards? Its tacky and embarassing. The wedding room should have been moved to the town hall where I understand there is an existing wedding licence. What a ridiculous decision to hold weddings at the library, when there are more fitting options .

    Report this comment

    Donna Burnett

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Donna. The reason that they have moved out of Ferryside is that some "developer" has got their greedy, beedy eye on it, to demolish it and put up houses, and certain councilors obviously have a vested ionterest. Since when has the concerns of the residence stood in the way of councillors vested interests ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Who on earth would want to get married in a library let alone Yarmouth library.Its an appaling building barely suitable for its intended purpose. A very run down area with no parking and nowhere to take photos. Ms Clarke is "suprised" that weddings have dropped by more than 50%. Given a choice would you want to get married there??

    Report this comment

    timmy_two_sheds

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • A wedding ceremony is essentially a religious event - what's wrong with marriage in a church?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Who on earth would want to get married in a library let alone Yarmouth library.Its an appaling building barely suitable for its intended purpose. A very run down area with no parking and nowhere to take photos. Ms Clarke is "suprised" that weddings have dropped by more than 50%. Given a choice would you want to get married there??

    Report this comment

    timmy_two_sheds

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • I can't understand w hy the library was thought to be a suitable place to hold weddings. The area is run down, there is nowhere to take photos. Why would the bride want to walk through a public library before the ceremony and out again afterwards? Its tacky and embarassing. The wedding room should have been moved to the town hall where I understand there is an existing wedding licence. What a ridiculous decision to hold weddings at the library, when there are more fitting options .

    Report this comment

    Donna Burnett

    Friday, August 31, 2012

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

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