Great Yarmouth traders share their thoughts one year on from Regent Road blaze

Legends and Memories in Victoria Arcade. Picture; George Rya

Legends and Memories in Victoria Arcade. Picture; George Rya - Credit: Archant

One of traders who lost everything in the Regent Road blaze in Great Yarmouth has now set up shop in a new location in the town.

The Regent Road site as seen this Wednesday.
Picture: Anthony Carroll

The Regent Road site as seen this Wednesday. Picture: Anthony Carroll - Credit: Archant

Sarnie Bird, of Legends of Memories in the Victoria Arcade, said: 'I moved here last week. I lost everything, it was the most devastating thing that's happened to me.

'I didn't have anything left and it was just a matter of starting again. I've managed to get enough stock to set myself up here but it's taken time to do it.

'It's sad that everything has gone, I feel for everyone who has been in this horrible situation and the site needs something on it to attract more people to Regent Road again and to help people move on.

'I don't think the option will ever arise to put another market and bowling alley on the site but it needs something.

Emergency services attend the scene of a fire on regent Road, Yarmouth.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Emergency services attend the scene of a fire on regent Road, Yarmouth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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'I'd love to go back and be trading on Regent Road again, but I don't think that opportunity will arise. I'm pleased I've managed to get myself a place here at the arcade and I'm hoping this will be a fresh start and things can only go up.'

Traders along Regent Road have also reflected on the disaster and its aftermath.

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Helen Pbangelos, of Toys and Flowers, said: 'I used to own the ice cream parlour at the front. Hearing about the news was absolutely devastating and all of us who had businesses there have had to look for new jobs.

'It's hard when you've suddenly lost everything. We're all hoping that one day we can go back, we don't know if that will ever happen or when that will be.

'Since the fire, it's not been good for the road, It is losing out on money as the market and bowling alley has gone. 'When I lost my parlour I ended up working in Palmers and Dorothy Perkins for six months and now I'm working here.'

A trader at the Sock Shop, who did not want to be named, said: 'We used to be next door to the hot dog place. You basically had to do everything yourself, nobody had any help, we had to pick everything up and move on.

'We brought our current stall as we just needed something. Hopefully they do something to the space soon, as long as it comes back as shops we'll be happy because it's a big site on a very busy street.'

Another trader added: 'They need to attract more people to the area, maybe they should put a big swimming pool there.'

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