Exhibition at Yarmouth’s Winter Gardens shows resort’s journey through the 20th century

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, fe

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, features beautifully-shot historic photographs, tourism posters from different eras and fascinating facts.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A colourful heritage exhibition showcasing Great Yarmouth's journey through the 20th century has gone on display around one of the most historic buildings on the seafront.

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, fe

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, features beautifully-shot historic photographs, tourism posters from different eras and fascinating facts.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, features beautifully-shot historic photographs, fun tourism posters from different eras and fascinating facts, which tell the story of the borough from about 1900.

The project, by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, aims to raise awareness of the borough's rich history and cultural heritage, while highlighting to residents, visitors and potential funders the authority's intention to repair and restore the iron and glass landmark for its original horticultural use.

The 93-panel exhibition was put together on the council's behalf by the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust. Most of the display is a chronological timeline, with the majority of the historic photographs coming from the Eastern Daily Press Library, with the support of its sister paper, the Great Yarmouth Mercury.

The display also features a photo of the Winter Gardens in their heyday and sets out the borough council's medium - to long-term ambition to bring the building back into use as another major tourist attraction, supporting the economies of the borough and region.


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Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: 'The Winter Gardens are one of the borough's unique heritage gems. We have a medium to long-term ambition to bring it back into use, to support the economy and jobs by offering yet another reason to visit the borough.

'However, it will take time to work up the detailed scheme, develop a business plan that is viable in the long-term, and then seek to secure the required investment from external funders, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. While work progresses behind the scenes, we thought this exhibition would be a fun and colourful way to showcase the borough's more recent history and highlight the council's hopes and intentions for the building.'

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Bernard Williamson, chairman of the preservation trust, said: 'This wonderfully-researched heritage exhibition really adds some extra visual interest to this high-profile part of the seafront. While documenting the ups and downs of the last century, it also looks ahead boldly to the hoped-for renewal of the Winter Gardens, linking the past, present and future.'

Darren Barker, the council's principal conservation officer, said: 'Great Yarmouth's seafront represents one of the best collections of Edwardian seaside entertainment architecture in the country, so it was appropriate to focus on the 20th century. We would like to thank the Archant/EDP Library and the Great Yarmouth Mercury for their help with the lovely photos, and local historian Dr Paul Davies for providing the fascinating facts.'

Have you got a story about the area's historic buildings? Email geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk,

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