Images of Market Gates Shopping Centre through the years as Great Yarmouth precinct turns 40

Market Gates is celebratiing 40 years in Great Yarmouth. The red-brick building heralded a new shopp

Market Gates is celebratiing 40 years in Great Yarmouth. The red-brick building heralded a new shopping era when it opened in 1975 and has stood the test of time, its owners say. - Credit: Archant

Forty years ago, when it opened, Market Gates in Great Yarmouth was the last word in modern shopping.

Embedded into the transport network with a bus station and multi-storey car-park it was built into the core of the town centre, almost touching its historic walls.

The solid red-brick building – one of the first covered malls in the region – has been home to hundreds of stores over the years and many of those names have been consigned to retail history.

Today, however, it will mark the opening of the first store, in 1975, with a traditional party as it looks back at its history, and forward to more investment and a re-branding using the arches of the old wall as its emblem.

Leading the proceedings will be town mayor Shirley Weymouth, who will blow out the candles on 40 cupcakes accompanied by the sounds of the 1970s.

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Music will continue throughout the day while retailers dig out their flares and platform shoes, chiming with the era.

Dee Dillamore, deputy manager at Market Gates, said: 'Over the next year, we want to celebrate our birthday with several appropriately themed activities. On Monday, February 15, at the start of the school half term holiday, our young Magic Mondays craft workers will be decorating a giant birthday card with 'cut out and colour' handprints with children drawing round their hands and adding these to the card. We will also get them making and decorating their own birthday cards.

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'At the end of April, our style experts will be returning to the centre to offer advice on how to look Fab at 40 with beauty demonstrations and practical tips.'

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