Dr. Mark Rumble M.B., Ch.B., M.A.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Contents of Volume Two
Chapter Eight The North Quay page 4
Plans for new bridge page 8
The tower page 9, 10, 11, 12
The suspension Bridge page 12, 14
William Brown page 24, 25, 41, 43, 44, 77
The Fisher Family page 2, 5, 23, 43, 44, 45, 46, 82, 108, 179, 216
Jewson’s History page 40. 101, 102, 103, 104
Garson Blake page 28, 66, 67, 70, 104, 105, 111, 112, 113, 216
Bowling Green Walk page 92
Chapter Nine Rows 28 to 37
Row 28 Page 117
Row 29 page 121
Row 30 page 124
Row 31 page 127
Row 32 page 135
Row 33 page 135
Charles Harrison page 134, 135
Row 34 page 139
Row 35 page 145
Bailiff Rowe page 144, 145, 146
Stephen Batchelder page 148, 149, 150
Row 36 page 151
Arthur Patterson page 98, 127, 135, 150, 151, 152, 154, 157, 158, 188,
192, 193
Row 37 page 155
Absolom’s Glass Factory page 157
Chapter Ten Church Plain, Saint Nicholas Church, and Priory Plain, Page 163
Church Plain page 163
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The Parish Clerk’s House page 180, 181, 183, 185, 198
Anna Sewell House page 186, 187, 188, 189, 201, 229
St Nicholas Church page 9, 44, 135, 167, 168, 173, 192, 198, 199
Priory Plain page 193, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201
The Temple page 22, 153, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 199, 201
Chapter Eleven Rows 38-42 Page 202
Row 38 page 202
Row 39 page 205
Row 40 page 208
Row 41 page 213
Row 42 page 216
Row 43 page 218
Row 44 page 220
Row 45 page 225
Row 46 page 229
Row 47 page 230
For individual names and places, remember to use your CD ROM, and search!
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Chapter Eight
The North Quay
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
North Quay runs from the north-west tower to
Hall Quay.
On the riverside, beside the Runham
suspension bridge, was Louis Dyble the
bootmaker. This was the old toll collector’s
roundhouse. I well remember Mr. Dyble
as a grand old gentleman, living with his
daughter in Admiralty Road to a very
good age. The building on the right was
at one time occupied by the bootmaker.
Then, at least, six sided, rather than round.
Opposite, Thompson’s fish shop sold very
good bloaters (1927), and shrimps by the
half pint, in a brown paper bag - all sieved
out to a good size. Here at no. 6 in 1886,
had been J. Liffen the shrimper. His boat
was kept on the river here, and is to be seen
on the photo from the old lantern slide. No
6 was in 1938, the Simmons’ house, and
in 1953, the family was still in residence
above the fish and chip shop when the last
really serious flood struck. Next door, at
no. 7 in the thirties, was Isaac Chaplin,
and beyond that at no. 8 was Mr. and Mrs.
Carter’s wet fish shop (Ethel and Harry).
At no. 9 was Miss Nockles, and 9a. was
the Clarke’s house. A very tiny shop was
at 10a., situated through the opening as
seen on the 1906 map, one of the residents
being “Pammy” Johnson. Past Rainbow
corner at no. 11, could be found Joseph
Harrod the barber.
Part One , east side, from the north-west tower
to Hall Quay
The ancient north part (excepting the pub and the
tower) of the North Quay was utterly destroyed
in 1971 for the convenience of modern traffic.
It had even been proposed to demolish the tower
itself, but thankfully that was avoided.
The White Swan is a very old public
house, kept recently (until 1994) by
Bernie (Bertram) Fisher, son of the
1960-70’s photographer in Regent Road
who said that it is certainly haunted.
Bernie once worked for his father in the
dark room and described the conditions
there as “stifling”, with terrible fumes
from the developing solutions. Upstairs
in the pub he claims to have seen the
ghost of a lady on many occasions.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Top two pictures show North Quay
in about 1950. Henry Simmons Fish
and Chip shop was at no 6., once
home to Liffen the shrimper , and
seen here on February 1st 1953.
(also see “floods” )
The old toll hut beside the tower, 7th January 1905.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
the North-west
Row One
The White
site of the
June 26th
1941, shows
North Quay
intact (left)
2 21
Row Nine
© M.O.D.
Above right, I have traced the 1906 map,
and overlaid it upon Henry Swinden’s
map of 1738/58. This immediately shows
the amazing accuracy of the latter, drawn
with no modern aids whatsoever. It also,
combined with the plans on the next page,
serves to show how the North Quay has
changed over the last three centuries.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Row 2 Row 3
Row six
Row 1
18 19
very small
opening in the
wall (only)
Row 8
Row 7
position of later buildings
(7-12 North Quay)
White Swan
Row 2 Row 3
The plan below is based on the survey made prior to the new road and bridge
and shows how calculating was the scheme to destroy the town as it stood.
orange edge of
proposed road
North-west tower White Swan public house
North Quay and Fuller’s Hill, having
survived the second world war, was still
intact in its ancient form in 1970, only
to fall prey to the road planners and their
bulldozers. The new road and bridge should
surely have been constructed so as to cross
the river further north, at the junction of Lawn
Avenue and Caister Road.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Instead of demolishing Fullers Hill and North
Quay, the Temple, and other great historic
landmarks, all of those could then have been
left intact. Instead of running the traffic as has
been done, cutting a new swathe to Alexandra
Road, the road should have simply run along
Beaconsfield Road, where there was already
ample room and thence to Nelson Road,
avoiding the medieval town, but also carrying
visitors directly towards the seafront and the
bus park. Underground car parking below the
beach station site could easily service
Regent Road and the seafront. The
Market and the rows could be reached
from there by an airport style (under-
ground) shuttle, but equally underground
car-parking below the market could
be accessed by St Nicholas Road. The
town is very much impoverished by
these car-oriented planning errors of
the 1970’s. It would however, still be
possible to reverse these decisions with
sufficient forward thinking and achieve
reconstruction such as can be seen at
Bruges and Verona. At Verona, the
bombed Roman bridge was dredged from
the river after the war and re-built. In the
same city, earlier, but in the same vein, the
“medieval” Juliet’s balcony, had actually
been constructed in the 1920’s. Warsaw
has been completely rebuilt as it was in
1800, from rubble, post war.
Medieval Yarmouth, famed world wide
in the 1700’s for its quay and for the
fine buildings throughout the town, was
imposing from the north, from the south,
from the river and also the from the sea.
Apparently lost, medieval Yarmouth can
still be exhumed.
North Quay is now more than ever the
first sight of the town on arrival. In former
The rail line ran east of the tower.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
times the Norwich visitor either travelled
to Yarmouth by river, or by way of the old
road through Fleggburgh and entered the
town through the stunning north gate. The
sight of the North Quay now in its present
state, as a way into the town, is simply
were added. Again,
these surely
should have been
of contemporary
The council has at last decided on a policy
of conservation, and the re-development
of the rows as the chance arises. An even
more radical approach to restoration is
achievable, but for that, read the final
sections of this work, as for the moment I
am attempting to describe the past!
from north
In 1987 the north-west tower was very
substantially repaired and altered. The old
roof was entirely replaced by craftsmen of
H.Moore and son. The son was Michael,
who then ran the firm from its Lichfield
materials, wood and stone. The earlier top was
shaped like a fish (above).
The North-east Tower was
re-roofed, 1987.
Road base, but quit the town after
he later (in 1990) left the firm
Outside the tower, an ugly modern
style metal staircase was added.
Surely this should have been of
wrought iron or preferably of oak.
Inside, concrete floors and stairs
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Henry Simmons of 6 North
Henry Gordon Simmons was born at 38 George
Street, on 1st February 1925, so the great flood of
1953 was actually on his 28th birthday! Henry’s
Mother was Lilly Kathleen (Powley), daughter of
a Caister trawler skipper. His father, Arthur James
Simmons, worked as a foreman for the council but
badly injured his shoulder when Henry was aged
11, and was unemployed for some three years.
Grandfather James Simmons had been a driver for
Smiths confectionary, first with horse and cart,
and one of the first drivers of a motor lorry in
the town. James was the occupant of 38 George
Street; Henry living with his grand-parents for
much of his younger childhood. This explains
why the children appear with their grand-mother
in the photo above. This house was next to row
36. The eldest of the Simmons children depicted
above, was Archie. The children were evacuated
from Yarmouth during the war, and worked on
a farm, after which Henry joined the navy, and
Archie the army, where he drove lorries. He
continued as an HGV driver after demob. Sadly
he soon developed stomach cancer. Gladys or
“Lally” was the second eldest, Mona and Maida
were the two youngest, both girls. Henry was the
second son, and in Henry’s account, there seems
one unaccounted for! When Henry was eight his
father took a house in row 34, off North Quay,
no.6. On tape, there is a description of the George
Street House. Father was away in the army, and
therefore the children were kept at grand-mother’s
house, though James was rather pressed
into marriage by the arrival of Archie.
When back from the army, it seems
that Henry’s father worked night and
day, seeing little of his children. When
father had his accident, Henry went to
work for Middleton’s Newsagents at the
age of ten, since the family was then
desperately short of an income. Arthur
Simmons shoulder injury prevented
enlistment in the services in the second
world war. There is a description of the
house and life at no. 6 Row 34, also in
the interview.
Henry’s Mother was born of James
Simmons’ first wife, but the children
were I think, here seen with his second
wife, hence she is young looking. Henry
was unable to attend the grammar school
as his parents could not afford the
uniform. He went into business and was
most successful, after leaving the navy.
Middleton had a warehouse near to the
suspension bridge, and he took Henry on
there as a young lad, organising the paper
deliveries, earning eight shillings a week.
Henry also had a paper round, earning
a further eight shillings. Other errands
he would run as late as 11 at night, and
so was used to hard work from a young
age. ( See Row 24 ).
The Simmons family
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
This suspension bridge replaced that
which fell into the river on May 2nd
1845, and was itself replaced by a
Callender Hamilton (box girder)
bridge in 1953. It by then had been
deemed too dangerous to use, and was
closed to traffic in 1944. Fortunately
the railway bridge at Limekiln walk
was able to take road and foot traffic
as well as the railway during the
intervening years. It can be readily
appreciated that a new bridge was
needed, but the idea of a much larger
bridge being erected much in the
original position does not seem to have
received much consideration?
White Swan
another house
against the wall
In 1845, Robert Cory junior, the
solicitor and historian, contemporary
of Charles Palmer, was the owner
of the land and rights of the ferry over the Bure, as well as owner of large tracts
of marshland to the west. First
he conceived of the idea that a
suspension bridge which could
only be crossed having paid a toll,
could be erected to supercede his
ferry with increased traffic and
revenue. Then he hit upon the
idea that if he were to sponsor
a new turnpike road to Acle,
thence to Norwich, the fact that
the journey would be cut by four
miles, would greatly enhance the
benefit of using his bridge and the
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
built, even though Cory owned the land
and the ancient ferry rights, an Act of
Parliament was required to be enacted to
allow it to be built.
The bill received Royal Assent on 28th
May 1827, (George IV).
Laughing image corner, with images and
front door on corner; altered below .
Two sets of alternative plans were drawn
for the bridge. One was an iron arched
structure with multiple cross girders
below to support it. The other, which was
subsequently built, was an arch carried on a
single chain each side, supported from two
towers each end. This was quite narrow,
only able to permit one way traffic. The
tolls had been set by the Act of Parliament
at one penny per foot passenger, whether
on foot or in a carriage, and three pence
for every horse and one person or rider. If
the horse carried more than one, then the
toll was fourpence. For a horse pulling any
type of carriage the toll was eight pence,
and if a sled was pulled, it was one and
six. There was also a toll of a penny for
a pig, sheep, cow, or other such animal.
I can only suggest that the public didn’t
wish to pay the tolls and that they simply
went to Norwich by the old road, until the
new road was constructed. The building
of the road must have cost a great deal
more than the bridge, which was probably
built on the cheap, since only one chain
each side was used, and one of the links
was found after the disaster to have been
incompletely welded.
consequent revenues.
Until the road was built,
there was really very
little use for the bridge.
Soon after, the railway
was brought to Yarmouth
across the marshes, and
although another bridge
was then built to take the
trains onto the quay, the
suspension bridge again
In order for the
suspension bridge to be
Laughing image corner photo by Leslie Goodson, 1960
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
The suspension bridge was opened on 29th April 1829,
George IV’s birthday. On the same day an East India
trading ship of 450 tons was launched from Palmer’s
shipyard. Following the official opening of his new bridge,
Robert Cory entertained over 200 of the local gentry to
A “Grand Fete” on the banks of
the Bure was announced, to be
held on 2nd May 1845 at which
Nelson the clown of Cooke’s
circus was to be pulled along
the river in a bath tub, drawn
by four geese in harness.
This doesn’t sound very
spectacular, nevertheless
several hundred people
attended, and an estimated
400 of them crowded onto the
suspension bridge to get the
best view. Although the circus
itself was the reason for the
free “taster”, the excitement
of free entertainment for the
impoverished locals, was so
irresistable, that they were there
in such numbers despite the fact
that it was actually raining.
The infamous suspension bridge, opened 1829. The
replacement bridge, seen below, after 1845, when the former
bridge collapsed. 82 died.
and toll
a feast at the Vauxhall
gardens nearby. Godfrey
Goddard, the contractor
for the erection of the
bridge, was present.
Ominously, when the
final stone of the west
pier had been laid, on
22nd October 1828, the
stone weighing two tons,
broke the rope holding
it, and crashed onto the
brickwork, very fortunately avoiding injury to the
workmen and observers. Perhaps that was why they
then left it six months before there was an official
opening, although there was the ironwork to complete
meantime. Royal assent for the turnpike road was
gained the following year on 3rd May 1830 (Acle
New Road).
The shrimp boats moored opposite
North Quay, about 1880. (Note the
woodland on the north side of the Bure at
that time.)
Cooke’s circus had never had much
luck, as it had a veritable litany of
disasters. Earlier the same year, the
circus tent, when at Hackney, had
been torn down by wind during a
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
performance, and a boy and his aunt attending,
were killed. A few years earlier Cooke had lost
his animals and equipment in a disastrous fire
whilst touring the United States of America.
Then there had been another similar disaster
whilst in Ireland.
from drowning, another dead of smallpox,
another with smallpox, the mother ill, and
the father away at sea. There is still great
poverty in the town, but little has equalled
the horrors of the suspension bridge disaster
as a single event in the history of the
What probably caused the severity of the
disaster was that just as the geese appeared
with Nelson, there was a loud crack from the
breaking of the chain. A warning was shouted,
and it was realised that the bridge was going
to fall. Shouts were made to clear the bridge, a
horse and carriage about to try to cross, pulled
back, and some did get off the bridge. The
bridge took about four minutes more before it
actually gave way. Presumably the link cracked
its weld, then slowly stretched apart.
Due to their distraction with the sight of the
clown, no-one took much notice. When the
affected side of the bridge suddenly gave way
completely, several hundred were precipitated
into the cold water. Few if any then could
swim, and eighty-two persons of all ages,
from babies to the elderly were killed. Many
others only escaped with extreme difficulty
and a number were badly injured.
Twenty or thirty boats, wherries and shrimpers
were soon picking as many as possible from
the water, and perhaps it is remarkable that
300 or so people were pulled alive from the
water. Some bodies were washed in and out
through the Haven Bridge on the tide, and one
was “missing, never recovered”. The bodies
were laid out for identification at the Norwich
Inn, and one body was still in the stables
unidentified a few days
later. Many poor souls
could not at first be
buried because they had
no funds whatsoever, but
the Bridge Company was
to “stump up” the money.
A correspondent of “The
Times” who visited the
town reported extreme
poverty among the
victims, and one family he
visited had one child dead
Memorial (above) to George Beloe ,
aged 9 (son of Louisa), drowned in the
disaster. Of the eighty-two persons who
died, seventy-one were aged twenty years
or younger. I think that this reflects the
very large proportion of children actually
on the bridge, and that adults would have
responded more rapidly to the shouts for
the bridge to be cleared.
Acle new road , was at first quite narrow, with little traffic.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
The modern court-house
certainly does its job.
It is just too modern
externally for the historic
site. Fronting the quay
should be replicas of
the old buildings as on
the right hand page.
Behind the facade could
then exist the modern
functional interior. This
is what has been achieved
in Bruges, where the
reconstructed medieval
town looks original.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
North Quay 1906, right, and
below. All this change for
the sake of the motor car,
which in another hundred
years, if not sooner, will
most likely be gone again for
ever. Hopefully the value of
quality of life will entirely
replace today’s frenetic pace
and premature death. For the
moment it looks as if biofuel
will be grown to enable us to
continue to rush about. What
is needed is global population
reduction. This will happen
naturally now in western
society, with a pan-european
birth rate now at about 1.9.
Westernisation of China and
India will cause the females
there to also deliberately
delay motherhood, and so
nature will intervene.
17 18
At no. 9 in 1886, was the
Lord Collingwood Pub. At
no. 18, as early as 1874, Fred
Delf had a grocery store. Delf
was a prosperous grocer with
several stores in the town, but
also was an investor in property, with around
50 let properties. His business was eventually
sold off in 1939 by his sons after his death.
There is a full auction catalogue of all his
properties that was kept in with the deeds of
54 King Street. This particular grocery store
stood beside the “North Tower” public house,
at no. 16a. The “North Tower” had been the
“Norwich Arms”, kept 1863, 1874, by John
Plane (the place where the bodies were laid
out after the disaster ).
On the continent, many old towns have been lovingly restored. This photo, right, shows
the restored facade of some houses in Amiens, northern France (20th April 2006).
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
14th May, 1971
“Callender-Hamilton” bridge, top
Square”, and worst of all, virtually the
entire Fuller’s Hill, even removing the
hill itself, and all the buildings sparing
only the three on the corner where now
remains The Crystal public House.
Top left is seen the temporary bridge
to the Acle New Road. Left and below,
the foundation for the bridge. Above,
twenty six piles were driven into the
It was in 1971 that the greatest
destruction took place in our old
town. Recorded by Percy Trett, this
series of pictures shows the scale
of the work for the new roadway,
that could so easily have crossed the
river where the redundant railway
had done, immediately north of
Lawn Avenue, or alternatively the
bridge opposite the brewery store.
Instead, the whole of the northern
part of North Quay, from the tower
to Row 34 was entirely swept away,
including the romantically named “Laughing Image
Corner” and “Rainbow Corner”, also “Rainbow
3rd March, 1971
14th May 1971
10th May 1971
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
In 1987, we see above, the east side of the railway bridge, and Atkinson’s caravans, which
were being sold on the site where once was the town muck heap. Here the daily cartloads
of human and animal waste were deposited. There was another muck heap outside the south
gate. This north muck heap was removed elsewhere in 1776.
Plan (below), 1970
site of Sir Thomas
n o w
site of St Andrews
runs in line
with Row
The old buildings all looked much like this,
below, before demolition in 1970.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
St Andrew’s
not yet built
Meall’s map, 1855
site of later
brewery store
This scene,
same place,
1906, the
store, seen
in about
Ordnance surv ey, 1906
Swinden, 1738/58
North Star Tavern
18 19 22 23
site to become
St Andrews
car park
Brewery Store, 1987.
site to become brewery
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Panorama across the Conge
from the north side, 25.11.07
Now the edge of the
roadway is further
No 37,
still stood
in 1965,
the extent
of the
31 32
P a g e t ’s
37. Cullum,
Ralph, 1965
about 1920
35-42., Self’s
Garage (1965)
Falcon Public
North Quay, east
side (facing west),
from Row 28 to 34,
around 1920. Self’s
garage was no 38, at
no. 37 in 1938 was
the hairdresser, John
as buildings were knocked down and re-built,
the numbering always went awry.
44. Benjafield, William,
1965 (odd numbering).
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Don’t let anyone tell you that
Great Yarmouth was under the
sea in Roman times. Then it was
several miles inland, as you will
see from volume one. Likewise,
don’t think for one minute that
Great Yarmouth was
destroyed in the war. You
may as well tell me that the
Americans (USA),
landed men on the moon!
In both cases, the photographic
evidence proves the contrary.
The North Star tavern, was alive
and well on 26th June 1946, (not
the Railway Tavern , demolished
by the council), but the Falcon ,
Watlings Malt-house, Rainbow
Corner, Rainbow Square, Brewery
Plain, the south part of South Quay,
the old Corn Hall, Hunt’s and
Lacon’s, St Andrew’s Church and
School, Southtown railway station,
the Temple, Drury House: the list is
endless, and virtually all the rows
intact, with only relatively small
areas bombed out. Amazingly, only
the blue areas below were bombed
(in this section).
North Star Tavern, 23, North Quay , Ed Barnes, Landlord,
1873 (map 2 pages earlier). (Nos. 23-24. dependant on
map and date) Still standing in 1946 as on RAF photo.
33 North Quay, the Railway Tavern , 1936, previously named the Railway
Hotel in 1896, on the north-west corner of the Conge before the clearance,
when it was demolished, 1936 (see map previous page).
C o n g e
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Map, Henry Swinden, 1738/58.
52 North Quay,
The Royal George, 1927.
This building is that which
was later used as a mortuary,
as described by Ted Goate,
entered from North Quay. (St
Andrew’s mortuary)
51 52 53 54
North Quay
Here is a
small row
or passage between nos.
55 and 56 in 1758
Below, in
Fisher’s Quay,
28th Feb.2002.
Interestingly, Red Lion Alley in
1758 was indeed a blind alley and
not a row.
The Quay Mill
Fisher’s Quay,
an open space
Inside the former Jewson’s yard, 25.11.07
Previous Shell garage site, now a quality used
car outlet, 25.11.07.
Travis Perkins have a builders supply
depot at Quay Mill Walk. 25.11.07.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Immediately south of the St. Andrew’s
(wherryman’s) Church and school, was
the brewery store. The old brewery
once owned by Wm. Browne became
the property of Messrs. Paget and
Turner; and after the retirement of
Mr. Dawson Turner from the firm,
the business was conducted solely by
Mr. Samuel Paget. Ultimately it, for
the most part, passed into the hands
of Messrs. Steward, Patteson, and
Company, who sold the above brewery
buildings to the Yarmouth and Norwich
Railway Company, by whom they
were taken down to form the present
approach to their bridge. To the north
of this brewhouse were the
town muckheaps, which were
allowed to remain until 1776
when they were removed,
and the ground divided and
leased. see Palmer, p.234
Twenty years ago, in 1987,
the buildings at 55 and
56 North Quay were all
scheduled for demolition,
prior to my submission
to the council. Although
Getliff changed the plan
and neglected all the old
buildings, they stand ready
for restoration, 25.11.07.
Below, “Getliffe Mews”
Yarmouth Mercury Newspaper
cutting, 1987 (above).
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The brewery owned by Browne in the mid 17th.
century, (see text on Wm. Browne) and then by
the Wards, was passed by marriage to the Lacons
and it was here on North Quay that Edwin Wilding
came to work in 1947 (see row 133). He had to
open up at 20 minutes past 5 in the morning, and
close at 10 pm. He didn’t have time off in lieu,
they would rather give him cash to compensate.
At that time he lived in one of the post-war
prefab houses on Coronation Green in Cobholm.
When the flood came in 1952, there was 4 foot
six inches of water there, and being on holiday
he had a week helping neighbours to get out of
their houses and to clear up. In due course the
assessors came round, and they allowed a
measure of wallpaper to be counted below
the water mark, and also for new paint
below the watermark, but not for anything
else! (continued 2 pages on).
Flooded housing, Cobholm, 1953. “Breydon House” , 2007, not 56 N.Quay,
but the offices of Smith and Weston.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
In 1965, these shops, were: Jack Nicholls’ general Stores, nos. 46 & 47. Closed up 1992, Mrs.
Nicholls left, and the building has now been boarded up for 15 years. Next is Row 34 and
a half, then nos. 49 & 50, Reilly, M.M., tobacconist, and at No. 51. Ronald E. Bristo. Mrs
Bristo left after the house fell into dereliction, in 1990. No.47 had been Goate’s tobaccconists
until 1924, when sold to Miss A.M.Wright, a single lady, as per 1927 directory . Quay Mill
Alley, or Row 34½ is between numbers 47 and 48. Three shops, now one empty house. (nos.
48, 49, 50)
Next April, 2008, there
is to be a change in the
law. Until now, unoccupied
listed business property has
been exempt from payment
of rates. From April 2008
there will be 100% business
rates charged on all these
properties, so we can
expect some change, with
properties at last up for sale
and ripe for restoration!
49 50
51 52 5354
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The foundation stone of
the new brewery store
was laid by Mrs De M.
Lacon, 15th June 1895
(top left).The store was
destroyed by bombing,
on 25th June 1942.
Faithfully rebuilt as per
the original, the brewery
sold off to Whitbread and
abandoned, it was not
known how the stores
could be continued in
use. Instead of the old
frontage being retained,
and built behind
(perfectly feasible) Aldi
were allowed to produce a
rather silly similar shape,
in a rather pointless
attempt to look the same.
(see volume one)
(continued from 2 pages earlier) Charlie
Southey next door took off his metal leg
and threw it at the assessor! Next day a new
assessor came from London, and agreed to
an appropriate sum for reinstatement. The
Wildings were then moved into a flat at Sidney
Close (no. 3). There were problems there too,
and the councillors came round including A.
W. Ecclestone, the local historian, who also
worked for Lacon’s Brewery as their architect.
Wilding, when threatened with eviction, was
able to prove that his mother-in-law had been
favoured due to offering whisky to the rent
collectors, and the councillors didn’t want this
to get out, so after a bit of an argument with our
fellow historian who was a Director at Lacon’s
at that time, he got the extra facilities to which
he was entitled. Wilding took redundancy
from Whitbread in 1978.
The Railway Tavern was at the north-west
corner of The Conge. The Lord Nelson tavern,
opposite, at no. 84, is now the famous seafood
restaurant, owned and run by Mr. Kikis.
This is rated as one of the best restaurants in
the country, often frequented by the author
when in medical practice and could afford
it! (Sunday Express top 100 restaurants, c.
1988) But, see description of west side of
North Quay, later.
Opposite here were some small cottages,
called “Bessey’s Buildings ”, running away
from the quay, mostly occupied by wherrymen.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
There were also some maltings 3 , on the site
now occupied by Atkinson’s caravans in
1987. In 2000, there was here, a second
hand car dealer.
The Falcon Public House was at the south-
west corner of row 28. At no. 45 in 1926,
White’s was a confectioner’s, but strangely,
became a maker of electrical instruments
by 1936.
The Quay Mill Public House, beside Row 34.
The Quay Mill Public House was on the north-
west corner of row 34. At the north-west
corner of row 34½ was Balls the fruiterer,
who had a store at the Blackfriars tower.
He had a horse and cart for his deliveries.
At Christmas he had fresh pineapple for
sale. He kept his pony in a stable through
the opening by Garson Blake’s. Garson
Blake’s became the NORCAS drug and
alcohol addiction treatment centre, which
in 2004 lost myself and Dr. McEvett, who
retired. I had worked as an independant and
made many complaints concerning the poor
management and the inability to retain staff,
by not paying the same rates as at Norwich.
This was one of the factors that caused the
Yarmouth PCT to become disaffected with
me in 2002, but which then meant that they
had almost no medical cover at all for the
drug addiction centre, let alone the practice
itself. In 2007, they still have not found a
replacement principal practitioner for the
practice (see also Garson Blake’s, and 43
King Street).
1960, left; 18.11.07, right, next to Row 34 1/2.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
I arranged to attend one evening to interview
Mrs. Nichols, but then found that she had
shut up shop, and it has remained boarded
up for thirteen years now, (1994-2007) I had
more luck with Ted Goate, who had over the
years written some local history and assisted
Percy Trett with recording old Yarmouth. He
agreed to my meeting him at his home on Lawn
Avenue. In the photograph of the tobacconist’s
shop at 48 North Quay, can be seen Edward
Goate snr. his wife Gertrude (Duffield), son
Edward, and Edward’s Aunt (on the left).
Edward (jnr) was an only child, and born in
the bedroom that actually sits across the row.
There was a cottage behind the house, and
then a further large house behind, together
with a stable, where there was kept a horse
and cart, used for general cartage business. The
Duffield relatives all left England for Canada,
the USA, and South Africa, and only one sister
of Gertrude Duffield’s was left in Yarmouth.
They were all farmers. Ted Goate went to St.
Andrew’s School and then to Priory, which had
a senior “commercial” class which even taught
such things as elementary book keeping. The
shop at no. 48 was converted from a private
residence. Indeed it has been reconverted
again, reverting to a residence, though Miss
Wright also lived over the shop. Showing its
origins as a living room, there was a fireplace
at the back of the shop, boarded over, and when
used by the Goates as a tobacconists, cigars
were displayed on the mantelpiece. There was
a cigar protruding outside the shop as a display
above the shop sign. Above the door there was
a very bright gas lamp, which had a number of
mantles in it, all to be lit up each night. The
shop before the 1st. W.War had a newspaper
trade, but this was sold to Middleton’s, together
with the delivery round. In the shop were
large earthenware jars containing tobacco,
which could be blended or sold by weight.
The jars were about two feet tall. One jar had
“dark shag”, one “light shag”, one Goate’s
own blend. Loose cigarettes, cigarette cases,
cigarette tubes, pipes, and cigars were for
sale. There were also Russian cigarettes, and
Turkish. The wherrymen bought plug or black
twist tobacco. There were two kinds- “Boogie
roll”, large in diameter, or “Irish twist”, pencil
thin. It was all soaked in liquorice, and the
Ted Goate aged about ten years , outside his
father’s shop (third from right). Also, Gertrude
Goate, right and Edward Goate snr. between
them (Gertrude’s sister, with baby, left).
The same shop above, in 1990, and below,
28th February 2007,
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Row 34
Row 34½
1938, saw Walker Bros., scale manufacturers
at no. 46, whereas 47 housed Mrs M. Garner,
fruiterer. Ted Goate interview.
Scots fishermen in particular, would chew
it, and spit. It was cut on the counter with a
guillotine. The fisherman would keep it in a
tin and whittle pieces off it with a knife. A lot
of wherrymen lived in this part of the town.
There was a considerable passing trade here,
with people walking down the quay to their
accommodation, especially in summer, from
Vauxhall Station.
Next-door to the tobacconist in Goate’s time,
was Wall’s sweet shop. There was a similarly
large trade here from people departing
Yarmouth, who bought enormous quantities
of Yarmouth Rock as last minute souvenirs,
mainly quite late, after 6 pm. Large pieces,
costing a shilling, would be in a special wooden
presentation box.
Left, seen 25.11.2007 , we find that Mrs
Nicholls shop remains empty and boarded up,
almost derelict now, fifteen years since Mrs
Nicholls closed it. There is an unattached bath
in the back part of the building, and a stack of
old timber and some road cones and signs. It
will be interesting to see what happens if the
new law takes effect to apply full rates to be
paid on empty business property like this.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Seemingly still thriving in 1990.
Inside the tobacconist’s shop, (Ted Goate’s
description) there was on the ground-floor
a living-room immediately behind the shop
room, and a kitchen. Above was one large room,
a smaller bedroom, and there were two attic
bedrooms above. The copper in the kitchen
was used to heat water for the tin bath. There
was an outside privy, a large coal store, and
concreted yard. Gooch was the lamplighter
for this part of the town, and he would light
the lamps here, and maintain them as well.
This lamp was more sophisticated than most,
and had a pilot lamp. The glass hinged down
for cleaning.
continued to live there. A full description
of this house follows. Lewell had actually
lived at no. 48 in 1886, and had initially
conducted his business in the same shop
(then house) in which the Goates later sold
tobacco. Earlier at no. 51, (1863-1874) there
had been two tailors- Lincoln and Hogarth,
living and working here, and in 1886, the
occupant was Anderson, the sailmaker,
which explains I think, the sail lofts that
were behind number 55 North Quay (later
Pike’s business).
The Goate’s tobacconist’s shop was sold on
in 1924, to a single lady- Miss Wright, who
had previously rented a shop on the site of
Montague Burtons. Edward Goate left here to
work as a piano tuner for Wolsey and Wolsey,
in King Street, then at nos. 15 and 16, and took
a house in Alderson Road.
Next door at no. 49 was Green the hairdresser.
Haircuts then were 4 pence, in a very small
single-roomed shop that had barely room for
the barber and his chair! Wall the confectioner
lived above his shop, no. 50, and had one
child- a daughter named Kitty, born around
the turn of the century.
The “Royal George” public house was kept by
William Randall, (no. 52). Before that, as we
walk south, was no. 51, where Ted remembered
an elderly gentleman, Ernest Lewell, who
could then be seen making shoes in his front
room. He died prior to 1927, but his widow
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
51 North Quay, 1987.
This house 4 in 1990, remained very much
as it was prior to 1758, when it appeared
on Swinden’s plan, and clearly then was
entirely in its current form, except for the
front wall, which seems on the plan to have
been moved towards the road, probably at
the time when the house was re-roofed in the
nineteenth century, say around 1880. The house
was clearly originally very much smaller, as it
is effectively now two houses back to back, the
front one being originally 18 feet deep, with
the rear house some 13 feet deep, having been
added on at a later date. This was once I
think, a separate dwelling, entered from
Row 37, the front house being entered
from North Quay.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Collapse of the ceiling has actually allowed the
timbers to avoid rotting (below).
It is possible that there was a doorway into
the front house from the row also, as the
brickwork for the front two thirds of the
row wall has been replaced, probably as
it was in bad condition, and not when the
house was re-roofed, since the small early
bricks are evident for the top one third of
this wall, and also in the new front face.
It does therefore appear that the front
face was moved perhaps a good few years
before the last date of re-roofing, towards
the end of the 19th. century. The rear one
third of the row wall of the front building
is of a mixture of brick and flint, with a
considerable proportion of flint, and a very
ancient window, which has been partly
bricked up. This mixture of flint and brick
looks to be extremely old indeed, and may
well date from the 14th. or 15th. century.
There is also some flint interspersed in the
wall of the rear half of the building, but this
is certainly of a later date, and here there
is much less flint in evidence. At
the rear of the building there is
an outbuilding that backs onto
the wall which runs along the
side of the row. There is a kink
in the yard wall behind the house,
which causes the row to run at
a slight angle. It is not clear
why this was necessary. This
outbuilding has its original roof
tiles on it, and was present in the
exact same format on Swinden’s
map, and therefore dates prior to
1758. There is a small chimney
in the centre of this outbuilding,
where at one time there appears
to have been a small stove.
All three photos taken in 1987.
The outbuilding was built onto
the wall, which was there prior
to its construction. The west
wall, nearest to the house of
this outbuilding, had however
been relatively recently rebuilt,
perhaps late in the 19th. century.
There is an extension to the
house at the rear, on its north-east
corner, which is now shared by
its neighbouring property, no. 50
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
North Quay. This was originally built
solely for no. 51, its rear wall being
brick and flint of a very ancient date,
comprising the north boundary. It is
roofed with clay pantiles of the usual
“S” type. It is likely that this building
was constructed onto the house in the
early 18th. century, as it was again seen
to have been present in 1758. There are
two tall chimneys in this building, the
western one of which has its original
brickwork, but the eastern one has been
rebuilt relatively recently. The eastern
part of this roof shows the line of the
original ridge, and the remainder of the
building, belonging to 50 North Quay,
has been added on. When the building
was added to the main house, it covered
up a window which has subsequently
been split such that the southern half of
the original window has now become
the entrance of the backdoor.
The brickwork on the east wall of this
house is a mix of small red and burned
red bricks with a very pretty chequered
pattern common in old Yarmouth houses,
but now rare. 5 Generally the wall is in
very clean condition, but has suffered
from poor repointing in modern cement
mortar. A central window at the first floor
level has been bricked up, perhaps for
about two centuries. There is evidence in
the brickwork to the south of the kitchen
window, of an old original front door to
the eastward part of the house. Inside
the house there are four main rooms
on the ground floor, although clearly
these are subdivisions, and originally
each house had only one room at each
level. It appears that the front wall of
the house was rebuilt closer to the street
between 1850 and 1906. The front of the
house has been rendered on the outside
with cement, but it is unlikely that the
Top left is the dormer window
(leaking into a bucket). Below,
another bucket was positioned on
the bed in the north-east (rear) bed
room. (Photographed in 1987.)
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
brickwork underneath is of any special merit,
and the cement is too modern to be easily
removed. Panelling in the house therefore
dates from the late 19th. century and is rather
crudely painted, stained, and later covered with
wallpaper. There are Victorian metal fireplaces
in the main rooms.
Portraits of
two unknown
young ladies,
in a collection
of old photos
found by
me in the
debris of 51
North Quay
in 1987. This
young lady’s
eyes suggest
Some of the ceiling had fallen down in the
south-west ground floor room, revealing the
underside of some very ancient floorboards
above. These are irregular hand-cut floorboards
of an early date. The “Angel”, or “Yarmouth”
cupboard in this room had been recently
repainted, and like the rest of the house was
in dire need of restoration. Nevertheless it is
built into the original back wall of the house,
and appears to have been inserted at a date
when the eastern duplication of the house took
place. It clearly was not there previously, as
the back is very close to the surface of the
plaster in the kitchen behind. Indeed, during
the refurbishment to apartments, it was found to
have been built into the former back doorway.
The kitchen has a boarded partition separating
it from a lobby, where there is a stairway up,
but originally this all was one ground-floor
room. There is a large fireplace, with carved
supports for the mantelpiece. The kitchen and
the outbuilding at the back had in 1990, the
same quarry tiled floor, which was at a higher
level than the floors of the western house, of
suspended timber that might hide an old cellar,
but if so there is now no access. (After I wrote
this, the floor was lifted, and no cellar was
found.) I continued:
that if we
only knew
just a little of
her life story,
that it would
be surely
of great
Likewise the
younger girl
on the right
is dressed in
her very best
for a studio
“The beams in the ceilings are of interest.
The beams are all in the western house. There
are no ceiling beams in the later house. It is
likely that the beams can be used to date this
part of the house, which I would tentatively
put as around 1580. The beam in the north-
west room is in its original state, whereas the
southern one has been cased. There is little to
support this northern beam at either end. The
windows had been inserted in the new front
wall below the beams”.
This photo has the lady’s name on
the back - “Annie Burling.” some
other photos have dates on, and range
between 1906 and 1909.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Row 34 1/2
Row 37
The outbuildings here are unchanged
over 150 years.
Henry Swinden’s plan of 51 North Quay,
Row 34½
Row 37
51 North Quay, 1906
Ground floor plan as the house was in 1987 .
The wall, shown blue, in the centre of the
house is of flint and brick, and had exterior
windows plastered over, within it.
rear single
storey wing
pa ssa ge
Panelled room
Ro w 37
“Angel” cupboard
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The moulded “Yarmouth” or “Angel”
cupboard , proved later to have been inserted
in the original rear doorway (see text).
the beam on the first floor
(northern room) ran between
the front and back walls of
the western dwelling, and did
not extend any further east.
There are no corresponding
beams in the eastern house.
There had been considerable
ingress of water during 1990-
91, when the roof became
grossly defective, particularly
in its central gutter. As a
result a considerable amount
of water pouring down the
common centre wall caused
plaster to fall from the wall
on the north-east stairway to
reveal a plastered-over original window
frame of the back of the front house. This
would otherwise never have come to light,
and it cannot be seen from the other side even
though it presents as a recess
in a cupboard. It had been
roughly boarded over and then
plastered. There were other
windows and doors to be found
in this way. In the kitchen it
was subsequently found that
the “angel” cupboard is in the
position of the original back
door. This was in due course
revealed when the plaster was
removed from the kitchen wall
during renovation.
There is a metal bracket in evidence to hold up
the beam. The east end of the northern beam
is also unsupported, as there is an arch cut
below it. The windows in the original house
would have run horizontally, and been less tall,
allowing timbers to support the main beams
at their ends. Nevertheless there is no sign of
any movement.
In the attic of the eastern
house is a Victorian fireplace,
and there the detail of the back wall of the
original house was visible as a mix of brick
and flint, with very soft lime mortar that
had been leached by the rainwater pouring
down it. The ceiling in the attic was reed
and plaster, but most of this had fallen
away. There was no connection at attic
level between front and rear properties. The
front house (west), has two moulded metal
fireplaces at first floor level, which date the
partitioning of the rooms. The southern one
is the larger, the room there having similar
panelling to the room below, and likewise
a cased beam. The west house has two
Up to the first floor are two stairways. One is
for the eastern building, and is at its north-east
corner. This again substantiates the separateness
of the two dwellings as originally constructed.
The other stairway is in the south-west corner
of the original house. Likewise it is clear that
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
staircases to attic level, and the attic
has been partitioned by Victorian thin
wooden partitions into three bedrooms
and a passage. There is an ancient small
attic fireplace at the south-west corner,
which does not have a Victorian insert,
and is original. The chimney at the
north-west end does not appear to have
ever had a fireplace at attic level. The
holes in floors and ceilings had been
produced by years of water pouring
through the roof in various places. I
don’t know whether this was then used
for any other purpose, or just bailed out
of the windows. Remember that this
Top left is seen, panelling and cupboard
at first floor level, south-west room,
entered by climbing the stairway from
the panelled room below. This stairway is
at the south-west corner of the building.
The photo on the left shows the kitchen
so piled high with debris, mainly old
food packaging, that it was unusable,
and a miracle that it was not over-run
with rats.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Left - open to the sky, this is where I used
the tiles that came from Long’s house at
house was still inhabited by Mrs Bristo until
evicted by the council a month or two before
I sealed the leaks. There was no bathroom,
and only an outside toilet. I think that water
did run in the downstairs kitchen sink, but the
sink and kitchen were full of such debris as
old newspapers and boxes and such-like, piled
so high that it was not possible to get near to
the sink. It was certainly NOT safe to have
any electrisity in this property. I have seen
any number of places like this in Yarmouth
on my visits. Fortunately here there were no
pets, no vermin, and no birds.
This is the staircase at the north-east corner of
the building, non-compliant with building regs.
now, but better than any stairgate for babies.
There was a man that we used to visit in the
Middlegate flats, actually one of Dr Cubie’s
patients, Malcolm Wood, who kept a flock
of birds in his council flat. They were not
caged, but swooped around the room. I
usually instructed him quite forcefully to
leave them in the lounge whilst I examined
him in the kitchen, which was not in a
much better state, but the presence of some
dozen birds flying free did tend to put one
off the examination. His problem was
asthma, and when calling at the surgery
one was perplexed as to why none of the
treatments had any effect. When calling
at his home, it made the diagnosis of
feather allergy and psittacosis, somewhat
easier to make. In Mrs Bristo’s case, I was
not her doctor, but I think that a relative
had mentioned the panelling, and I first
knocked at the door to try to arrange
to view it. For some reason Mrs Bristo
was not keen to allow me in to view it!
I only got in once the place had been
vacated. By then the water and dampness
was many-fold worse, not only gaping
holes in rooves, but the central gutter
had completely broken through, thus
collecting all the water from the central
valley to fall though the two floors and
somehow seep away under the ground
floors, where fortunately they were above
bare earth.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Restoration of 51 North Quay
I was very concerned at the neglect and
deterioration of the house. The tenant had paid
rent for the previous seven years to a solicitor
at Wisbech. The solicitor could not be traced
after the tenant left. He had disappeared, and
the deeds to the property had disappeared also.
It seemed that the owner had died and the
solicitor had from then on pocketed the rent.
Water was pouring in through the roof and
down the centre wall in particular, damaging
several ceilings and floors which in places
had rotted right through. Probably the fact
that there was a free air flow through various
holes kept the whole building from rotting.
The tenants - Mrs Bristo and family, had
continued to live in the building with buckets
placed strategically and an accumulation of
household rubbish. Amazingly, rodents had
not moved in.
Restoration by a housing association.
The concrete tiles on the back of this roof
were damaged, and a number missing. When
I went to Jewsons (by then at Boundary
Road, Southtown - see Jewson’s history)
they could not match them. I had one with
me to show them. A man standing next to me,
also a customer, said “I can help you” He
was working on Long’s house in the middle
of Fritton wood, where the workmen had
stripped the identical tiles, all laid on the
ground. I purchased £80 worth and repaired
the main roof. The tiles on the rear extension
were the older Norfolk clay S shaped pantiles.
By mistake, and for no clear reason, since I
was going somewhere else at the time, I drove
down Victoria Road, where the tiles stripped
from the roof of the Bricklayers Arms were
stacked on the pavement. A workman agreed
that I could help myself. Those tiles remain
on the back roof where I patched the hole.
Stephen Earl the conservation officer said
that the council would reimburse me for the
tiles, but I am still waiting!
compulsory purchase. I sealed various leaks
in guttering and replaced tiles on both roofs. I
padlocked the gate and doors. Steve Earl, the
council’s conservation officer later rang me,
worried that I had seized the building before
they could complete the legalities. Maybe I
could then have retained it, but I reassured
him that they could have access once they
were ready to take it over. They subsequently
spent about £200,000 on it and did a good job.
Although I am sorry that it was split into units,
economically that was then the only answer.
Furthermore, an old house made into 1,000 year
leases is protected against further alterations.
Whilst I was in this caretaking role, I stole a
printed English Heritage sign from outside
Wiseman’s warehouse,
and affixed it high up
the row wall to make it
look as though official
work was in progress.
There was a real risk of
vandalism meantime,
which was thereby
successfully averted.
Eventually the house was bought by the council,
sold to a housing society and developed into
flats. I secured it for a while against vagrants
and vandals who kept breaking in. The council
had not yet completed the formalities of the
Miss Vallender , 1914,
(see next page)
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
William Browne’s House, 55 North Quay.
three lanes, normally considered
more dangerous. (Photos by Leslie
Bircham, an employee at that time
- also see Row 27).
In June 1943 (the picture at the
bottom left of page 42) Boultons
store was confined to No 55, and
next door, at no.56, was Miss
Vallender’s school for training
servants, still functioning during
the war! The school was open 1883
to 1945. In the 1960’s though, Roy
Carr (see Lime Kiln Walk), rented
a flat on the ground floor of this
building before it was bought by
Mr Boulton to add to his store
About 1970, Boultons remained of the major department
stores. Below, centre, is the furniture department, and the
lower left photo shows the carpet department, with fine
carpets hanging like tapestries. The shop failed because
yellow lines were painted in the road, and there was no
parking available for the store. Quite shocking really,
as there is room for one line of parked cars outside
with ease; the road here being un-necessarily made into
We have the evidence of what the
building was like at no. 56 before
the shop front was added. Now the
building is being converted to flats,
starting in October 2007, I suspect
that the original appearance will
not be restored. The main entrance
to no 55 had actually been at
the rear from the street, on the
east side, during the 17th., 18th.
and 19th. centuries, having a
large portico entrance, that can
be seen on Henry Swinden’s map.
What, if any
doorway to
the street on
North Quay,
existed is
not evident,
but it would
surely not
have been
like Miss
which looks
like the
insertion of a
Gothic arch.
Detail of doorway, no 56.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
about 1990
about 1994
June 1943
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
55 North Quay
Front of nos. 55 and 56, 1987, on the extreme left are the old iron yard gates.
Between row 37 and row 45 on North Quay
there are two houses which were for many
years the residences of the Fisher family.
The southern house now divided into two
occupations, (nos 56 and 57) was built about
the year 1756 by William Browne Esq., an
“opulent” merchant and brewer. He was a native
of Framlingham who came to Yarmouth to seek
his fortune, “in which pursuit” Palmer said
that he was “eminently successful”. “William
Browne took an active and energetic part in
the politics of the Borough, putting himself in
direct opposition to those who were in power,
and who were supporters of Walpole and
Townshend. Browne joined the corporation,
and in 1744 was elected Mayor after “the
severest struggle on record”. The inquest by
which he was chosen according to the custom
of those days, lasted for ten days before they
could arrive at a verdict. The men involved
in this inquest had been shut up and confined
by themselves for the whole of this period -
somewhat in the same manner that is still used
to elect a new pope to this day. It is said that
by that time, his opponents, who had formed
the majority, were starved into submission.
Boosted by this success, Mr. Browne, at the
general election of 1754, added his influence
in the town to that of Mr.Fuller, of S.Quay
(see row 96), and together they opposed the
re-election of Mr. Charles Townshend, a
brilliant wit and orator, (who was a member of
the cabinet and paymaster of the forces from
1765, and secretary of war from 1761. 8 ) and
of Sir Edward Walpole, son of the late Prime
Minister. In this he was not successful, and
after he became convinced of the hopelessness
of this task, he then went over to the enemy,
for which he was rewarded with the lucrative
position of “Receiver-General of Taxes for
Norfolk”. In 1734 Mr. Browne erected a
brewery upon the part of the North Quay next
to the river, just north of Lime Kiln Walk,
the same site forming after demolition of the
brewery, the approach to the railway bridge .
William Browne’s brewery. (map)
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Rear of no. 55, 1987.
sons: John, who married Margaret Seago,
and James. John (the son) died in 1769 aged
77, his eldest son, also John; grandson of the
first John, was elected Mayor in 1767 after
a severe struggle, the inquest being shut up
for three days and three nights before they
could agree on a verdict. He died in 1775.
William Fisher, the second son of the second
John Fisher, married Abigail Browne, and
rose to be Receiver-General of Norfolk. He
resided in the northern of the two houses. He
was a fervent supporter of the Walpole and
Townshend influence in the Borough, and
was Mayor in 1766 and 1780. This William
Fisher was responsible also for a restoration
of the Tolhouse, and of the old vicarage. He
was a man of “ready wit, great urbanity of
manners, and given to hospitality”. He was
extremely popular, and was said to have lead
the corporation with a “silken string” for many
years. In 1792 he became the “Father of the
Corporation”, being its oldest member. When
he died in 1811 aged 86, the corporation paid
him an unusual mark of respect, the whole
of the elected body attending his funeral. He
left two sons, William and James, and three
daughters, Mary Ann 10 , who married John
To the north of this brewery until 1776,
were the town muck-heaps, when they were
removed, and the ground divided and leased.
The town’s sewage was carted here and
must have caused a dreadful smell. Most
likely this was why this part of the town
was only used by fishermen, wherrymen
and brewers.
Browne died in 1769 aged 81, and his arms
appeared on a slab in the South Chancel
Isle of St.Nicholas Church, and were a gold
chevron, and three lions paws. He left one
son who died unmarried, and two daughters,
who eventually inherited his great wealth.
These were Mary, who married William
Fisher; and Abigail, who married John
Ramey. Upon a division of the property,
the houses at 55 and 56 North Quay, were
passed to William Fisher.
The Fishers of Great Yarmouth : Palmer
thinks that the Fisher family did not originate
in Gt. Yarmouth, but moved here early in
the 18th Century.
John Fisher died in 1728, leaving two
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Inside of the stable, the other side of the wall below, showing one of the hatches on the
right that appears below
William Fisher the eldest son,
succeeded his father in the
occupation of the north-most
house, and also in the Receiver-
Generalship. He was Mayor 1786
1799 and 1806 and died in 1835
aged 82. 11 He married Ann, daughter
of Benjamin Gibbs by whom he had
an only son, William, who died in
1806 aged 19, and two surviving
daughters, Maria, who married
Capt. Alexander Nesbitt R.N., and
died in 1865 aged 65, and Mary
Ann, who died at Hammersmith
aged 82, unmarried. James Fisher,
the second son of the above-named
William Fisher, was Mayor in 1788
and 1797, and died in 1837, aged
81. He married Helen, one of the
daughters and coheirs of Samuel
Kettridge, and had an only son,
the Rev. Charles Fisher, Rector of
Oulton, Suffolk.
Left, is seen the north side of the coach-house . This ancient wall
may have been part of the ancient White Friars monastery .
Watson; Elizabeth who married
Thomas Burton; and Sophia who
married Thomas Cotton.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Fisher’s Quay, 1987.
the roof of the old stable block into Red Lion
Alley. I saw that the property was for sale, and
obtained the keys from Messrs. Aldred’s, the
estate agents on Hall Quay. Over a period I
visited these buildings many times, exploring
and photographing them. There were still
the remains of the original fine flint front,
and the old dormer windows, which were as
they had been in the days of Browne and the
Fishers. Inside the roof were the stout beams,
centuries old.
Opposite these houses on the quayside
was, and still is, Fishers Quay. In 18th. C.
there were gardens here, then Fisher’s deal
yard, then Preston’s and Wenn’s timber
mill and box factory. Then Jewson’s 12
timber merchants until 1984. Slightly to
the north was the Quay mill . I first really
noticed the old houses at 55/56 North Quay
in the summer of 1987. They were very
dilapidated, and the tiles were falling from
Beams inside the roof of the stable block, no 54, 1987.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The ground floor of the previous coach-house
was of cobblestones, and there was a very
ancient fireplace. From the 1850 map by
Laing it is clear that there had been a well in
the back yard. This was now concreted over.
Quite possibly it is still under the concrete,
capped over. I have since been told by Geoff
Bowles who worked as a furniture maker’s
apprentice for Boulton, that there was an old
water pump inside the stables
Below, the cellar under no 55 , seen in 1987
with some of the furniture that had years
earlier been made in the workshops at the
back for sale in the store, but now neglected
and rotting away.
Below is the cobbled stable floor .
Above are the cellar step s, that
I found hidden under a trap door
just inside the rear entrance to no.
55. The cellar floor was concreted
over, presumably to keep damp
out so as to store furniture. Under
here also, I was told that there
had once been a well. It doesn’t
look from the photo as though
possible to get down through the
floor joists, but the actual trap
door is just above my head whilst
taking the photo., and the steps
carry on behind me as I face back
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
The cellar wall.
Within the cellar, it would be
very interesting, not only to
take a sample of this beam for
dendrochronology, but also
to analyse the ancient wall.
Equally there may be interesting
archaeology under the cellar
floor, but that has unfortunately
been concreted over.
From its shape,
this might once
have been the
site of the
a yard here
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
A tour to show the layout and interior of the old buildings as they were in 1987.
Picture, 1
(Remember this is 1987.) First we’ll have
a look around the buildings on the site.
Enter the yard at the back of no.55, passing
though the iron gates that close off the yard
picture 3
sail loft “B”
at night. Now we turn to the right into
the yard, this is the view in front of us
(looking south), picture 1. The rear of
no.55 is to our right. There is an ancient
overhead gantry for hauling goods to the
upper floors. In front of us is a small
brick built hut, and if we walk across
the yard, we can see it better, (picture 2).
Turning left, from view 1, still within
the same yard, there is a sail loft - a
Picture 2
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
rectangular building, to the left side, built against an old wall (picture 3). In the picture
is some currugated iron roofing above the door, which no doubt aided the unloading of
vehicles in the dry, avoiding damage to the furniture fresh out of the workshops. In a minute
or two, we will venture through the doorway, ahead, but first, glance into the old sail loft
on your left (picture 4; building 5 on the plan).
sail loft “B”, east wall
Notice the multi-
coloured, somewhat
down-market matresses,
the trolley, definitely
Some of the floor was cobbled for horses and carts.
belonging to Tesco (how
did that get there?), and
the beams of the sail
loft, which are placed
very close together, and
presumably all had hooks
and pulleys on, half a
century before, when in use by
Pike the sail-maker. One sail
would hang from each beam.
Closely beamed ceiling of
Loft “B”.
In the far corner, rolls of
brightly patterned linoleum
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Before we pass though that door in the
wall, just take a look at the old fireplace
with its washing copper still in place,
probably last used before WW2, just
before the buildings were taken over
as a shop, in the days before washing
machines, which were not generally
introduced until the 1950’s.
Now we pass through the door in the
wall, half shut behind us (picture 6).
Looking back, we can see that this was
another ancient wall, which, as part of a
listed building, should never have been
demolished. Now we can see that there
was another storey over the sail loft,
and a walkway that passes from it to
picture 7
Ancient brick and flint wall, later demolished.
another similar building beside it. The
passage-way between the buildings was
quite over-grown with elder, having been
neglected and empty for years. Directly
ahead through the undergrowth was a
small toilet block for the craftsmen who
made the furniture in the sheds which
we will find around the corner to the
right. They look like scout huts, with
corrugated asbestos rooves, which were
very popular for out-buildings, although
this was not the very dangerous asbestos
fibre used as insulation, which was easily
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
inhaled and found to cause mesothelioma, a very nasty lung tumour. (see Mardle House)
St Francis Way flats
“ F ”
loft “B”
So having come out of the archway, we walk
along the path of the yellow line, turning to
look back, we see the composite view above.
All the sheds had been in use as furniture
workshops or store rooms, the low shed on the
right was the further workshop, “G” (11).
The two photo’s merged below are at
different angles, so show both sides of
Coronation Terrace twice! Too late now to
take another photo!
standing here
Looking the other way, east, toward
Coronation Terrace, we see the metal
gates barring the way to what was
a private street, unadopted. The
composite doesn’t quite fit together,
but shows the scene well enough. All
these buildings were demolished to
make way for Getliffe Mews, and
then the old buildings left in total
neglect for twenty years. The first
sail loft could have been converted,
and the old walls adjoining the house
preserved, but they were not.
Looking up into the upper floor of
the second sail loft, “B”.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
9, below,
see also
This was the interior of the sail loft “C”,
numbered building “4” (1987).
Sail Loft “C”
The end
of the rear
wing of
Yet another out-building, seen from up on
the old wrought iron balcony.
Sail loft “C”
A doorway from the main yard led though this
wall into garden “G1”, the rear garden of no
56. A wonderful ancient walled garden that
could have been made delightful.
Seen from ground level, looking east, looks
a bit different. The right hand edge of the
photo shows the edge of the rear wing of
no. 56, with a single storey extension.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Another ancient wall was the inside of Sail loft “B” looking west towards its “front door”
onto the main yard.
Picture 10, shows the upper part of the
balcony at the rear of no 56.
This view is seen between sail lofts “C”
and “D”, having passed though the doorway
from the main yard, and looking to the south
(opposite way to picture 7).
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Seen on 19th February 2007, all the old
walls cleared, windows boarded, and
rooves sealed, twenty years after I put
in plans for restoration and took the
photos. My outline plans were accepted
in 1987, keeping the old walls and the
main outbuildings, but as soon as I had
the plans passed, John Getliffe thought
that he might do something himself,
and removed the property from sale, on
the day that the contract should have
exchanged. Instead of restoring the
buildings they just built new houses
behind, and left everything else to
rot, until eventually purchased under
a compulsory order by the council.
At the very end of 2007, the Suffolk
Housing Trust has put up fencing around
the site and is apparently about to start
conversion into 22 flats or apartments.
At the time, Getliffe, his mother and son
were actually my patients; but when he
attended surgery, I remained professional
during the consultations by ignoring
what had happened with regard to these
Below is the east end of the extension of no
57., previously “Advision”, where my first
“Perlustration” was printed in 1994-5.
These two photos taken 18.11.07. by poking my
camera through the crack between the doors into
the boarded-off building site.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Now we will explore the interior of
nos. 55 and 56 in 1987.
Below is the main shop on the ground floor.
Here we see most of the ground floor. The
archway at the end is into the ground floor
of no.56. At one time there was a large
main fireplace in no 55, at the north end,
behind the photographer in this view. The
actual fireplace had been removed inside
stairs to second floor in no 55, at right end,
bottom left photo..
the building, but the remains of the chimney
is still present externally. If we ascend the
staircase, then the picture below shows
the stairs coming up from below, rising to
a point on the right, just out of the picture.
There is a door at the far north end. This
crosses into what had been another show-room
in the stable block. The actual crossing from
one building to the next was through a “flying
corridor”, now removed, but looking similar
to that seen between the sail lofts, in what was
there numbered as “picture 7”.
First floor of no.55, walk though
the far door.
Having crossed the bridge from 55, we see along
the first floor of the coach-house (looking east).
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Looking south-west, first floor. This is in no 56. Turning left at the end of the first floor
of no.56, we find this doorway into the rear wing (above right). Below centre left, is the
ground floor of the rear wing of no. 56, looking back towards the main shop, and then
below, centre right, there is to be seen a fireplace, art deco style, circa 1910, and another
room beyond. Lower centre shows a quarry tiled floor of the same date, which is in the
passage and on the ground floor of the wing, in the room with the fireplace (below).
There was a fine staircase leading to the first
floor within the wing (below + p.59).
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
1 2
There was a seeming warren of passages
and rooms in the upper floors of no 56
and its east (rear) wing. Twenty years
ago, these rooms look to have been
abandoned since Miss Vallender left
in 1945. Water had been penetrating
freely through the roof in several
places. The dividing wall between nos.
56 and 57 was particularly affected,
and it is hardly surprising that Michael
Finn, at no.57, was complaining in 1994
of damp coming through his wall. He
had not seen the state of it seven years
earlier, as I had.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
6 7
in photo 9 is also onto south Quay, and
is the next window south, the south-west
corner of no 56.
The photo numbered 7 above right, shows the
wall that he complained about. Photo. 4 shows
the door through from the shop. Photo. no 6 is
a room off the stairway.The room in photo 8
has a window onto North Quay. The window
Looking down the stairway that ran in the
wing to all the upper rooms of no.56.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Now we complete our tour,
in the attic, where the roof is
a double one, and the valley,
running along between, is
drained through a lead
aqueduct, that had a wooden
cover, seen removed, in photo.
no.4. Photo 1 shows the north
end of the west roof. Photo
2 is the inside of the gantry
bay, that was seen at the rear
of no 55, projecting into the
yard, for hauling up goods,
now removed. Photo 5 shows
the inside of one of the two
dormers in the front roof, that
looks out onto North Quay.
Photo 3 shows the east or rear
roof, looking south, where
an opening leads into the
roof space of no 56. Photo
6. shows the north end of the
front roof, and seems to show
the brickwork edges of the
Through to roof of
s t e p s
out onto
Front dormer window.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
In 1987, the sale board was up at no 55 , “Aldred’s”
were the agents.
volume at 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Finn lost a very good member of
staff, and I had then to train up the
succeeding members in how to set out
the issues. I said I would forgo any
share of profit, purely to ensure that
the rest of the work got published. I
did learn on the job myself, and by
the third volume I was laying out all
the issues myself, but the staff placed
the pictures, often poorly reproduced,
and the technology not really up
to it. I did not have any of the data
afterwards, but this may have been an
advantage, as I had to start entirely
over again for this book. Computers
now handle images so much better,
and the Pagemaker programme used
then, crashed frequently. The advent
of quality digital photography has
made a real difference. I have always
done all my own typing since 1989, but
take no responsibility for the captions
in the magasine issues, which, when
inserted at “Advision” were generally
a disaster!
On 28.2.07, no.57 was now for sale , all three
properties empty. This time Aldreds had posted a
“sold” sign. 56 &57 originally one, see more pics.
No 57 became empty and for sale just
at the time when grant money enabled
a development of nos. 55 and 56. The
three are now to be combined in the
new development by Suffolk Housing
No 57., “Advision” owned and run by Michael
Finn for approx 20 years, produced advertising
materials, posters and suchlike, for clients including
Lord Somerleyton, the Yarmouth Stadium, and
the Hippodrome. Finn had previously worked for
the Yarmouth Mercury newspaper, but set up as a
printing and advertising agency on his own.
He was a tyrant to work for, and had a great
turnover of staff, many of whom worked
their fingers to the bone for little thanks.
When producing the first volume of the
Perlustration in parts in 1994, Sharon, the
layout artist, used “Pagemaker”, to do the
typesetting, and I was given 24 hrs to proof
each copy. I produced all the text and photos,
but the print quality was very variable. She
fell pregnant to the young man working in
the office, and they married shortly after the
baby was born, having completed the first
Below, the ground floor of “Advision”
had been used for screen printing.
Here it has been gutted, prior to
development. 18.11.07.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Finally, we look at
the windows and
structure outside no
56 to see that this and
no 57, were one house
as short a time ago
as 1943, centre left
photo. It was divided
when converted to
shops, when only
half of the building
was acquired by
Boulton. Now it is
to be restored as a
dwelling, but I have to
bet that it won’t look
as it did in 1943.
June 1943
Below, the slate roof valley is that of the whole of no 56
& 57. The rooves of no 55, seen in 1987 below, had been
replaced with asbestos sheet many years ago, leaving
just the small bridge between the attics covered with the
original pintiles. It is to be hoped that these rooves will
be restored with pintiles in the original manner.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
In 1938, no. 55 had been Boulton’s Drapers
Ltd., presumably then thriving. Number 56
was “H.E.Buxton” training school for servant
girls, with Mrs.R Aubrey Aitken, the vicar’s
wife, as Vice President. Miss B.A.Vallender was
lady superintendant. There was also the Ladies
Association for the care of girls (Branch 1) I
assume this to be a charity for destitute girls, set
up by the vicar. At 57, on the edge of Row 45,
was the mortuary, though it was entered from
up the row according to Ted Goate. This was
called the “St Andrew’s Institute mortuary”.
Ted Goate described the mortuary as a building
with a stone entrance and large wooden doors.
T. Goate snr. was called there from time to time
to sit on the coroner’s jury. “Light up your pipes
boys”, the foreman would say. They had to view
the body, which might have been in the river
for several days, and then walk in a procession
past the it, smoking furiously! Across Row 45,
next down the street, was the St John’s Head
public House.
The flats in the ‘90.s were reduced in height
and improved. The row took a slight curve
towards the south, from west to east.
Detail from 1946 air photo.
Row 45 was quite a bit wider
than some, but nothing like the
width of the roadway here. It
had a covered end into George
Street. It was perhaps the
most severely bomb damaged
of all Rows, as seen on the
detail of the 1946 photo, and
bad as the flats were, they
only replaced open ground
after the war. What was so
tragic was the unrecorded
archaeology turned up on the
site from the White Friars’
St Francis Way, 1987.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
In 1917, top left, the customer certainly went
straight to the bar, it being about six feet inside
the front door. Good for passing trade!
The landlord of the
St John’s Head in
1917 came over
from the Globe Inn
at Lingwood.This
then, as seen, was
a Lacon’s Brewery
Public house. Not
far to deliver the
beer, and we can
see a substantial
turnover, to judge
from the number
of barrels being
changed on this
particular day.
(Actually eight,
one more out of this
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Here we see Brian, the
landlord at the bar. He
has a splendid trophy
cabinet on one wall in
this bar, where the local
teams proudly display
much evidence of
their success at sports,
including a trophy
gained at Caldecot Golf
Left, about 1959.
In 1960 the public house
was seriously made
over. The front had long
been cement rendered,
and a conservatory type
lounge had been added
in front. Now all the
cement was stripped off,
exposing some ancient
oval windows, and new
replacement Georgian
style windows made to
insert into the original
positions as seen below
left. A Georgian style
portico entrance was
also added to surround
the front door. A low
brick wall was built
in front to maintain
the boundary line to
the street where the
lounge extension had
protruded. The entrance
doors to the cellar that
had been seen to the
right (south) of the front
door, were bricked in.
Left, about 1960.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
When “CADS” took over
Garson Blake’s premises,
there were found to be a
large number of documents
in storage, some dating
from as early as 1884.
From these it is possible to
learn a little of The Garson
Blake family and their
businesses. Documents
exist from 1884 to 1956. I
have preserved them, and
for future historians there
is a great deal that can yet
be researched. The Garson
Blake family had long been
associated with the “Royal
Eastern Counties Institution
for Idiots, Imbeciles and
the Feeble Minded”. There
is a copy of the full Annual
Report of the Institute
in 1916. Ernest Brightin
Blake, in 1920, leaves us his
account book for his bank
account with the London
joint City and Midland
Bank Ltd., Joint Stock Bank
Branch, Hall Quay. This is
overstamped as becoming
the Midland Bank Ltd., as
from 27th May 1923, but
the entries start March 11th
59 North Quay, between The St John’s Head and Garson
Blake’s former Offices and showroom, 28.02.07. No.60 has
been the offices of CADS or Community Alcohol and Drugs
Service, since buying the empty offices. Garson Blake’s
business was unfortunately bankrupted in the 1990 property
crash, when many builders and builder’s merchants were
similarly affected.
Row 47
At 59 North Quay in 1938, was D. C. Rayment the estate
agent. He was evidently quite an entrepreneur, and a wheeler
and dealer in property himself. He made some profitable deals
I have found from the deeds of 53 King Street. Ian Sinclair has
an Estate agency now at the very south-east corner of North
Quay, which seems to maintain its business. He had been a
partner at Howards Estate Agents, until this was bought by
Francis Holmes in about 1989, just at the turn of the property
boom. Holmes never made a worse deal, nor Sinclair a better
one. Estate Agents are in better times again now, but in the
early 90’s they only had repossessions to sell and profits fell
“through the floor”.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Despite a balance on June 30th of £1,325.9.6,
bank charges had been £8.19s, and interest was
accrued at a mere 1 shilling a half year!
The gate into the factory
was operated by Bacon
the gatekeeper. He had
no left hand, having lost
it in a circular saw. He
bought two packets of
Woodbines every day.
Wenn’s factory was
purchased by Jewson’s
in 1955. The railway
and the tram track both
ran along the west side of
the road, and there were
points in the line to let the
trucks into Wenn’s. 18 Other
premises such as Garson
Blake’s had their own
little siding off the line, to
bring goods to and from their premises. (see
Leonard Blake in the 1930’s, was involved
with the gathering of subscriptions for the
Royal Institute for the feeble minded in
Yarmouth, and Miss A.M.Blake, had a small
subscription book in which she recorded
the donations that she collected from others
(photo last page).
Garson Blake had their warehouse store
opposite the office. The goods were paid for in
the office, and collected from the yard opposite.
They were an old established firm. There is a
photograph of Garson Blake’s memorial and
that of his wife, Elizabeth Lovewell (page
104). The firm in 1992 became bankrupt as a
result of the deepening recession, and ceased
to trade. Building firms were increasingly hard
hit. The Thatcher government was determined
to have no inflation, yet high interest rates,
and as a result the economy continued to
spiral downwards. I then correctly predicted
that only ten years and considerable re-
inflation would see a turn around in property
and allied businesses. Garson Blake’s office
was bought for use as a drug intervention
clinic for NORCAS. (Norfolk Community
Alcohol Service (and hard drugs clinic) We
had a “shared care” scheme with some general
medical practitioners like me, contracted
to work in conjunction with the nurses and
counsellors at the clinic, but most GP’s in
the 90’s and 2000’s wanted little or nothing
to do with any addicted patients and just sent
them packing. It was not always pleasant or
rewarding or successful work though, and I
was threatened and had my car tyres slashed
for not agreeing addicts demands.
G a r s o n
Blake’s shop
and office,
1987, south
side of St
John’s Head
public house.
Garson Blake’s premises went right down
to the river bank, and the young Ted Goate
used to play hide and seek in there, and little
pleased his mother by returning home covered
in dust. Further up the west side, Wenn’s box
factory had its own rail loop. This was on the
site of the old Millmont House of the Preston
family, on the site where once the Fishers
had their mill (see map). This was a wooden
box factory, a very noisy sawmill, where they
made wooden boxes for bloaters and kippers.
The boxes were of very thin wood. Five sheets
from an inch (thick).
Captain Wenn still lived in Millmont house here
in front of the factory. His daughter went into
Goate’s shop to purchase “Gold Flake” for him.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Clearly the family liked their haddock from
Woodgers. The quantity is not specified,
unfortunately, and for the moment I don’t
know the family size, nor what servants
may have been employed or living in at
33 Southtown Road, the family residence.
There are all sorts of bills and accounts from
a wide range of dates, and I include a few
examples for interest.The grocery bill shows
the range of seasonal vegetables to be quite
limited. There was no TV or radio, and we
see that Ernest Blake was interested in stamp
collecting and was in correspondence with
the Phoenix musical society in London.
This is a monthly account, for purchases
during November 1926, and interestingly,
shows a regular supply of bananas, something
that would survive long transportation.
On 29th August 1924, the wine and spirits bill
was settled for the previous month. It appears
that Blake had a monthly account with Williams
Frere. The dates are given during the month for
the various purchases, the claret looks of good
quality at £1.2s. a bottle, but is that really one
gallon of Scots whisky, on July 1 st ? There also
is a book of accounts to ascertain how long
this would last, and whether this is a typical
month or not (but that is future research!).
These are just a few selections of many
such treasures, the next we examine, being
an account for domestic repairs (next
page). An account for June 1923, Charles
Munford, of Theatre Plain, has attended
the residence at 33 Southtown Road, and
repaired a wash basin, and redecorated.
A ceiling (or more)has been coated with
“ceilingite”, presumably a fore-runner
of “artex!”, and nine rolls of wall paper
have been used, about enough materials
to redecorate one good size bed-room.
Labour seems very cheap, if compared to
the cost of the items specified. Plumbing
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The former
G a r s o n
B l a k e s
offices, now
and below, the
offices of the
In between,
no.61 was a
lodging house
(dark red).
detail, no 59
Row 48
In the 1980’s the “Britannia
Restaurant”, next became a
“gay” bar “The Jockey Bar”;
now being converted to flats,
looking impoverished.
was much more
laborious, using
putty on screwed
joints, and
soldering lead pipe
with a blowlamp
and iron. To
repaper a room and
redecorate a ceiling
remains many hours
work when done
The Blakes do not
appear to have had
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
time was undertaking speculative building at
several sites, such as Depwade, Drayton and
Dickleburgh. They sub-contracted various
parts of the work on pre-agreed contract
terms, but Playford fell behind, both with
work and with payment for materials, which
were supplied by Blakes themselves, a good
arrangement. Leonard Blake seems to have
not pressed matters for some time, but then
the matter was passed to the solicitors,
Chamberlin, Talbot and Bracey. Incidentally,
their own car, as they have a regular account
with William Pitcher, of the Camden Road
Garage. Amazingly this account appears to
cover eleven months of car journeys before
being tendered. Presumably the firm had
some work vehicles, perhaps maintained at
the same garage, and Mr Blake could easily
walk to and from his office, across the bridge,
and no doubt, home for lunch.
The correspondence on this page is a small
sample from an apparently complete archive of
correspondence concerning an impoverished
carpenter, Mr W. Playford. Playford got into
difficulties, had a family, was out of work
with illness, and fell behind in payments
for materials used in work done on several
building projects that were being undertaken
by Garson Blake’s. It appears that Blake at this
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
when the younger Chamberlin took over from
his father he stopped paying his donation to
the charity for the imbeciles. W.H. Playford
had employed several men, but his health
declined, and he seems very poorly, to judge
from his handwriting in February 1937. His
Uncle at Norwich was then acting for him
by way of support, but W.H. seems unable
then to do much for himself at all. There is a
series of detailed correspondence, also with
another contractor, Mr Lubbock. There also
is a lot of material to examine concerning the
management of the Charity work. Income tax
accounts survive, as does a complete ledger
of accounts for the year 1956.
Income tax
accounts have
clearly been
paid twice
yearly for many
years now. This
is one of a series
of tax receipts
for Ernest
Brightin Blake,
this one being
for the second
instalment of
tax assessed the
previous year,
the rate then
being 30%
1 C. J. Palmer.
3 There is a description of work in a malt-house- see row 134
4 Once Christopher Eaton’s house, see row 37.
5 This brickwork is the same as that on Hurry’s house, no. 130 King Street, now Skipping’s
drapery store.
6 1990-91.
7 Initially postulated before the house was cleared out. Subsequent removal of the plaster on
the kitchen wall showed the doorway that had indeed been bricked up.
8 Ref. Oxford History of England, vol. XII, p.577.
9 This must surely be the brewery pictured by Charles Paget.
10 A memorial is in Lound Churchyard.
11 A memorial is on the south wall of Lound church, behind the choir stalls.
12 Jewson’s in 1990, but Hamilton’s in 1991.
13 In 1886, no. 55 was called “Langwith Hall”.
14 Mike Teun in particular, who as a small boy lived in Coronation Terrace, and observed
many relics here being taken away (unrecorded) such as old stone coffins, at the time when
the St. Francis Way flats were being constructed.
15 See also Bowling Green Walk.
16 In 1886, no. 56 was called “Breydon House” girls school.
18 There was a disastrous fire at Wenn’s wood yard, just west of Queen’s Road, on July 11th.,
1895. (Rumbelow Vol. 20, p. 42.)
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
A composite panorama, looking at the south-east corner of North Quay, and into Hall Quay.
The Samaritans’ offices at No.62.
“Angel Villa”
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
St John’s Head
1885 map
Here we see the south part of North Quay
in 1885 and then in 1906
Rail line to yard even in 1885
Rail lines and tram lines
Blake’s office
Blake’s yard
1906 map
Jewson’s timber yard
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
The west side of the North Quay
Photo 18.11.07
Now returning to the north end of the North
Quay road and proceeding down the west side:
The north-west corner of the North Quay is
defined by the intersection of the town wall
with the river. The wall originally ran from the
tower right to the river’s edge. We have already
looked at the tower and its surroundings in
some detail. The quayside here now is just used
a mooring place for holiday craft, no longer
is there a thriving shrimping industry. There
are still shrimps in the rivers, but only one
or two fishermen ever go shrimping, such as
David Grimmer of Nottingham Way, who keeps
his boat more usually near the haven bridge,
though there are in 2007 some small fishing
boats moored just south of the 1971 road bridge.
Photo. 5.12.07
Allison Motor Body Co., 5.12.07
Runham Mission
(left) was just north
of Allison’s where
the road now runs.
These fishermen
sell their catch from the quayside, or from
a van parked in the layby just north of the
stadium, on the Caister bypass.
Selling fish from the van,
Caister bypass.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Fuller’s Hill
The North Quay by Speed, 1664.
The Quay Mill
Say’s or Sayers’ corner
The Conge, notice how
the south-west corner
juts out
Also, the corner of Row 28, later, Watling’s
Lime Kiln Walk
This is where the bridge and new road should
have been built, instead of destroying so
much of the old town in 1971. (This map,
In 1964, St Andrews Infant School was
on Rampart Road, now it is off Northgate
Street. The former site is now that of the
site of the Probation Service Offices.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
North part of North Quay, 1738/58.
The 1906 map of the
north part of North Quay
and the surrounding area,
shows just how much of the old
town has simply been swept away.
There is almost nothing drawn
on this map that is still standing.
About 90% of all the buildings on
the map have been un-necessarily
This (photo., right) is the area
where the town muck heaps
were ,(removed 1776) beside
the river, the sewage allowed
to ferment and then be removed
by wherry up-river to fertilise
Alternatively the rail bridge, redundant for years, as a new road route,
would again have avoided all the destruction
Railway bridge closed except to
“Kwik-Fit” exhaust and
tyre centre.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Mid part North Quay,
Browne’s then Fisher’s then Paget’s then
Steward and Patteson’s Brewery, 1734-1840.
The railway line to Norwich was opened in
1844, and Henry Patteson was Secretary to the
Company. The first journey was made in an open
truck, and on Board were Sir Edmund Lacon,
(another brewer who wanted the line for his
trade) the Rev. Dr.Stanley, Bishop of Norwich,
Captain Stanley, and some engineers. The line
was extended to Brandon in 1845, and in 1847
to Cambridge and to Peterborough. Sir Stanley
Morton Peto was responsible for the separate line
to Lowestoft and Ipswich from Southtown. See
Palmer, VIII, pp.270, 271 . A head-on collision
had occurred on the line before the extension
to Brandon, and another terrible head on with
an express at Thorpe in 1874. At that time one
quarter of all the fish consumed at London was
sent down the line from Southtown, which had
become the “Great Eastern Railway”. In 1874
the Great Eastern Railway had capital of thirty
million pounds, and a turnover of 1.25 million.
In 1873 the railway carried 27,046 tons of fish
to London. Superintendent of the line, Charles
Capper, moved on to manage Victoria docks, chair
Southampton docks and became MP for Sandwich
in 1866, but died aged 46. ( from overwork?)
note all this open space, from the corner of
Lime Kiln Walk, south, some orchards.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Now I shall describe the
west side of North Quay,
from the Norwich Road
Fuller’s Hill intersection,
Left is the Kwik-Fit tyre
and exhaust centre, where
I have always found the
staff to be exceptionally
helpful, not charging for
very minor work or advice.
See the photo two pages
earlier, this then leads to the
Before 1976, the Lord Nelson Public House,
after and now the “Seafood Restaurant”.
empty ground and path to the old
suspension bridge to the railway
that was used for shunting down
the quay, and which has been
closed except to foot traffic for
20 years now. We then pass Lime
Kiln Walk as described shortly.
On the corner of Limekiln Walk
remains the “Seafood Restaurant”.
This opened here in 1976, after
moving from premises sold on to
Mr Papachristostomou (“Jumbo”)
as “Othello’s” restaurant on Marine
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Parade. However, no.85
North Quay had previously
been the Lord Nelson
public house. Although
still looking much as it did
externally when a pub, it
has been converted to a
most successful restaurant,
popular with businessmen
and the trainers from
Newmarket who book here
in advance of their race
meetings. It has always
been expensive, but you
won’t find better or fresher
seafood anywhere. Mr
Kikis travels to Lowestoft early in
the morning to purchase the very
best of the catch, and he and his wife
Miriam have lived “over the shop”
for thirty years now. I have in the
past, eaten there many times, when
pharmaceutical representatives were
allowed to entertain and pass on the
latest information on their products
to doctors. This practice has been
outlawed, but I found it a pleasant
enough way of gaining some up-to-
date knowledge. In this restaurant in
the 1980’s one day, I for the first time
expounded my theory of “Copresumy”
to Rebecca Webster, one such medical rep. More on
“Copresumy” later, but it has been on the internet for
some years, un-noticed!
1987, a taxi office on the corner, the cafe then an “American” diner; lease for sale, 2007
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
The public house that is now the “Seafood Restaurant”, and formerly, “The Lord Nelson”
in 1974, was “ The Staff of Life” P.H. in 1863” , and listed in the 1874 directory , but not in
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
1886 when empty. Then it was up for sale in with a blacksmith’s, a bake house, and three
houses, all in the possession of a charity, see details of further sales, with No 80 in 1919.
Note that in 1874/86 the “Lord Nelson” was a different pub, at number 24 on the east side
of North Quay.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
LIME KILN WALK As early as 1668
there was a terrace of houses here ( clearly
seen on the 1668 map ). The gardens on the
south were known as Auburn’s Gardens,
occupying the space up to the woodmill
that was used by the Fishers 3 for cutting
Lord Roberts Public House, 19.11.07
Palmer wrote that “the ground lying
between Quay Mill and the Lime Kiln
Walk, originally open Quay, was set apart
in 1678 by the corporation for the benefit
of the Children’s Hospital. It had long been
held under leases granted by the charity
trustees. A portion of the property was,
as early as the 17th century, used as a
green for the then fashionable amusement
of Bowls” (the access to this green later
became known as Bowling Green Walk).
Either Palmer was biased, or bowls had
fallen out of fashion in the 19th century,
for now bowling has become very popular
indeed, with many outdoor grass rinks
maintained to a very high standard by the
corporation on North Drive, and Gorleston
Marine Parade. There are large indoor bowls
rinks in the Marina Centre, and at Browston
Hall. There are still more, at Lound, the
James Paget Hospital, Northgate Hospital,
Filby and Fleggburgh. The Rumbold Arms,
Lord Roberts public house, have sadly lost
theirs in the past two decades. The game
is popular, and fairly commonly seen on
Bowling green now a chicken run 19.11.07
Seventy-one acres of land, including
gardens and orchards belonging to the
Children’s Hospital, lay outside of the
North Gate, as seen in the separate survey
by Henry Swinden of that area. Within the
town, Swinden’s 1758 town plan shows
buildings either side of Lime Kiln Walk,
and the gardens as well as rows of trees
surrounding the bowling green. Lime kiln
Walk commences opposite the Conge, on
the west side of North Quay, and runs to
the river in a north-westerly direction. The
passage to the south is still called Bowling-
Green Walk. In 1855 there was a garden
there, and some trees, but the bowling green
then had warehouses built upon it. There are
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
now warehouses also upon the south
side of Lime-Kiln Walk, where earlier
there were houses, and there is nothing
on the north side but the old roadway
to the railway bridge, and some open
storage yards. The railway has been
long discontinued, but the tracks have
never been removed.
Dorothy Carr
Dorothy Carr, (pictures on left) was
born at 9 Lime Kiln Walk, and went
to live with an old Aunt when she was
two. Her neighbours were the Bird and
Dye families, also her relations, the
Underwoods. They were a close knit
group, all living in rented properties.
Her old aunt Mrs. Underwood, was
a Midwife and a nurse. Mr. Tom
Underwood used to sell tripe on a
market stall. This family had moved
into Yarmouth from the country before
Dorothy was born (in 1894). See
residents list 1886. Sally Underwood
had a son who was Skipper of one of
the fishing-boats. Dorothy’s mother
went by the name of Pettingill when
they moved to Rainbow square, but
she was previously of the name of
Cushion. (Dorothy’s maiden name was
Dorothy Maud Cushion) Dorothy’s
Father worked for the Eastern Daily
Press. Her aunt Matilda worked in
the Salvation Army. Dorothy used to
walk from Rainbow Corner up the row,
and into Northgate Street, and thence
to Northgate School. When older,
she was sent to the Hospital School,
and in due course she went to Priory
School. She had one sister, who after
leaving school went to London and
married an Irishman, but was killed
by a lorry. Dorothy met her husband
when they were both at the hospital
School, and when still only a young
lad he used to tell his friends that he
would marry Dorothy when they were
older. She was just twenty when she
was married in 1914, and Charles Carr
(photo with Dorothy, top left) went to
sea on one of the small fishing boats
as one of a ten man crew.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
When the first world war came, the
fishermen were called up together
with their small boat. Dorothy went
away to lodgings in Dover, to be near
to Charles, who was stationed there.
Charles was posted abroad later in the
war. He went initially to Greece, and
then to North Africa, and was away
for three years. He came back after the
war and went back to sea again on the
fishing boats. Dorothy had returned
to Yarmouth before the end of the
war, and Mrs. Philpott, with whom
she had been lodging in Dover, came
to stay with her in Lime Kiln Walk.
At that time they had tickets to cash
from the labour exchange, but they
took 10 weeks to come through, so
they must have been in great difficulty
meantime. My own grandmother was
at that time a Belgian refugee, who
was on the last boat out of France at the
age of 19. Much later, at the end of his
career, as a bank manager (Nat-West)
my grandfather settled in Dover, and
had two houses on the sea front - No’s
17 and 19, which are now converted
into an Hotel.
Dorothy Carr’s workplace
lime kiln, where the lime was processed to be taken
up river in the wherries to be used as fertiliser. The
Carr’s landlord was Mr. Pratt, and the rent was four
shillings and sixpence a week. As a girl, Dorothy
was sent to shop for her mother in the market, and
remembered going to Leach’s shop in the market
place for the paraffin, this at about the turn of the
century. Leach’s then was a very old fashioned shop
with very slow service, and if she went in at twelve,
she would never get out before one.
At the end of Limekiln Walk was the
Charles Carr
Dorothy’s son Charles went to Northgate School,
and left there with a scholarship to the Grammar
School, but instead chose the Art School. He for
a while after was a window dresser for Palmer’s
staying there for three years before a period at
Uxbridge. He subsequently worked as a freelance
window dresser, and then arranged the displays at
Montague Burton, and a number of other shops
for some fourteen years. Dorothy sometimes went
to Foulsham’s Restaurant in the Market Place,
where they had very nice salt beef. They had their
restaurant on the ground floor, and another room
upstairs. At Palmer’s store (photo, top left) in those
days were Frank Palmer and Hurry Palmer, who
would always bring a chair out for an old lady to
sit upon. Dorothy used to buy material there for
lining her coats, and there was a seamstress who
would make it up. The tailoress would also work
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
for herself away from the shop.
Dorothy Carr died peacefully of old
age 30th. May 1991, then residing
at the “Dovedale” residential home
for the elderly in Princes Road.
John Hubbard lived in Lime Kiln
Walk, and his son Donnie grew up
friends with Roy Carr of Bowling
Green Walk. They babbed for eels
and fished for smelts and shrimps.
This John was the son of John
Hubbard of Filby, who married Eliza
Louisa Brown of California. They settled in
Caister, and had five sons. Bertie Reginald had
been born earlier at that same address, on 2nd.
July 1913. They were all fishing families. Mrs.
Brown’s father was shipwrecked three times on
different fishing smacks. One was the Venus,
wrecked on the Barber sands. John Hubbard
came to Yarmouth when he became “ship’s
husband” for Bloomfield. As
such he oversaw all the ships in
the fleet. Eventually the family
firm of Bloomfield was taken
over by Leverhulme. He had
been on the Caister lifeboat
and survived the disaster in
1901 when it capsized. There
is a spectacular memorial in the
Caister cemetery.
first war with a wooden leg, then worked for
Bloomfield as a ransacker, and latterly kept a
public house. Eva moved away to Leicester
and died in 1993; Bertie died 16/10/93. When
John and Eliza moved to Yarmouth, they first
lived in a large guest house, no. 21 Wellington
Road, behind the “Windmill” theatre, but Eliza
didn’t like it, so they had a house built by Mr.
Chase (snr.) at Caister on Beach Road. (Robert
The Brown family owned the
fishing smacks: “Gladys”,
“Gertrude” and “Pride”. Eliza
Brown’s brothers and sisters
were Solly, Dan, Maudie, and Dennis. John
Hubbard’s brothers included Jimmy, Charles,
and Billy; they were farm labourers, but all
went to sea also. John and Eliza had seven
surviving children, Gladys, Jack ( pictured
outside the fisherman’s hospital) , and who went
to sea all his life, from the age of fourteen (died
1991, age 93); Charles nicknamed “Buff”,
who also went to sea at the age of fourteen,
born 1906; Gertie who married a fisherman
(Lance Watson) and moved to Fleetwood
(died 1991); Leo who had his leg off after an
accident playing football. Kicked in the shin,
it went gangrenous. He went to sea in the
Lee Barber fish meal works, 20.4.1995.
Only some warehouses survive on the south
side of Lime Kiln Walk. Here is the entrance
to the “NTC Cash and Carry”, 21.2.07
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Chase jnr. is currently Chairman of Norwich
City Football Club (1994). They migrated
to Ormond Road, then to Admiralty Road,
nearer to Bloomfields, then 58 Alderson
Road, then again to no. 40. Bertie Hubbard
went to the Daniel Tomkins’ school at the
junction of Nelson and Rodney Roads,
and later was an engineering apprentice
on Southgates Road for just four shillings
a week (equivalent to twenty pence),
apprenticed at Gus Lee and Boswells firm.
The wage increased to twelve shillings
over three years. He learned the trade of
boilermaker, then went to sea on the “Rose”,
a Westmacot’s boat. Father also had a small
boat for inshore fishing.
Jack Hubbard lost his eldest son Jack at sea
in about 1955 on the “Playmates”. All the
crew were lost with the ship. Jack’s other
children were Donnie and Gladys. Bertie
Hubbard was married in 1935, to Dorothy
Hubbard (Dolly), of Row 117 (Education
Row). Her father was a docker. They lost
their only child a few hours old in 1936,
and then their house in Whitlingham Place
was destroyed during the war. Bertie was
away on HMS. Rosette, a drifter trawler,
commandeered as a minesweeper. His wife
had caught the 7 o’clock train to Leicester,
when the bomb fell an hour later. Not knowing
that she had just gone away, men were
digging for hours afterwards trying to find
her. There were seventeen residents killed
in Whitlingham Place by the bomb. Dolly
worked as a machinist at Johnson’s clothing
factory, at first making dungarees, then
“oilys” at the oilskin factory. Whilst Bertie
Hubbard was on the minesweeper “Rosette”,
they used electric coils and a generator to
“De-Gauss” the mines whilst striving not to
be blown up themselves. They destroyed 147
mines, and one Dornier Bomber, that Bertie
shot down with a Haulican twin gun with
a drum of bullets on the after-deck. When
working inshore they would “long-line”
from the Sunday after the Yarmouth fair,
with pieces of mackerel.
This photo of Mr Gobbett was found by me
together with a number of other old photos
in a pile of debris at 51 North Quay in 1991.
Mrs. Ellis, retired headmistress of St Andrew’s
School, identified Mr Gobbett as the one time
Headmaster of Tomkin’s “British” School at
the corner of
Nelson and
St Georges
Road, later
by Bertie
The school
b e c a m e
(site of)
Garage, and
now is some
m o d e r n
p r i v a t e
houses, built
circa 1990.
“Sadie and little Sadie” , photo found at 51 North
Quay, dated March 12th 190(6?) a second photo card
is from “Sadie Ward, 1909”.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
the life on the boats sorely, despite his age of
80 years.
The Residents of Lime Kiln Walk , in 1938 ,
From 85 North Quay
1. Gallant, Robert Charles
2. Underwood, Henry
Early plans of Lime Kiln Walk
3. Hubbard, John
4. Walker, Jack Llewellyn
5. Watson, Robert
13. Smith, Charles
6. George, Albert
14. Carr, Charles
7. Bird, Frederick
15. Baldry, Arthur
8. Hurrell, Mrs.
9. Dye, Mrs.
as bait on long lines to catch skate and
cod. As the months went on, and they
came towards May, they used Mackerel
nets for as long as they could get a good
catch. Later, during the summer season,
they would operate the same small
inshore fishing boats as pleasure boats
off the Yarmouth beach.
1 Palmer, I., 134,135.
2 See J.H.Taylor, History of the First
World War.
3 See 55 North Quay.
4 Interview, May 1991.
5 Interview June 1993.
Jimmy Unsworth had another boat, the
“Sailor Prince”, which Bertie and Buff
bought from him and used from the other
side of the jetty. (The Prince was YH59.)
There were twenty eight or twenty nine
boats operating off the beach at that time.
Each paid a licence fee to the council.
The only two remaining in 1993 were
the “Glenda Margaret” and the “Haven
Lass”. Bertie Hubbard sold his boats in
1994, having only ceased to work on
the boat during the season in 1993 due
to illness, and when I interviewed him 4 ,
stricken by terminal cancer, he missed
10. Lovick, Frederick
11. Underwood, Edward
12. Docwra, Nathaniel
The NTC cash and carry (see the previous picture).
Here we peer through the open side door, and get
a glimpse of goods through a window.
List of residents, 1886, with those of North
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Like many other Yarmouth businesses, sold to larger concerns elsewhere, machinery left to
rot, closed and neglected, whilst the business that they had is carried on elsewhere. Photo.
The original firm had been taken on by
the management, and continued to be run
as “Lee Barber Fish Meal Ltd”., for a
few years, until January 1st. 1995, when
bought out by “Fish Meal UK.,Ltd., with
its headquarters in Hull. At one time prior
to the management buyout, it had been
owned by “Anglia Maltings”. The fish
meal company had started processing
the waste products of guts heads and
suchlike, excess produce and spoiled fish,
in the days of the local fishing industry.
After that industry’s demise it was forced
to seek supplies elsewhere. Now in the
1990’s the fish meal was imported from
Peru and Chile. It was shipped from South
America to Germany, and then some off-
loaded and brought into Yarmouth. Once
at Yarmouth, it was stored, ground, and
processed, ready to be pelleted elsewhere
as animal foodstuffs (pet food). I was told
that even in the days of the Yarmouth
fishing industry, fish meal was imported,
but I think that this would have been in
the later times, not 19th Century.
Bowling Green Walk, 1987.
This appears to be the same warehouse in the
old photo of the Bowling Green Pub.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Lee Barber Site 2007,
See photos on succeeding pages
1. silos
2. hopper shed
3 and 4. storage sheds
5. offices
6. see photo
7. and 8. hoppers
superimposed upon the 1906 map.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
John Lee Barber and
Co former premises,
Hopper shed “2”
buildings “6”
Steam dried fish
meal had been
brought from
Chile, and was
stored in silos
and hoppers.
compressed by the
weight, it was then
transported around
the works by screw
Shed “4”
Storage shed for unprocessed fish
The screw mechanism is seen above, centre, and
some fairly sophisticated electrical equipment.
There were several large sheds where the fish
meal was initially stored after unloading from
Chile via Germany. There doesn’t seem to have
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Top of the hopper
shed (2)
Offices “5”
View from reception or possibly the manager’s
been any drying here, just compression and
storing as pellets. The offices at the back
south-west corner of the site had a pleasant
outlook, the manager looking towards the
yard. The general office was at the back. The
buildings have been severely vandalised and
set fire to, some rooms burned out. The desks
and filing cabinet remain in their positions as
when the firm ceased business. The room seen
top left, is in the main hopper house, although
the corridor is at the back of the office block.
Centre right picture is the air vent at the top
of a hopper.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
Charles Carr senior lived at no. 5 Bowling
Green Walk in 1927. This was a Victorian
terrace off North Quay. The houses faced
South with their narrow gardens running in
front. No. 5 was towards the west end of the
terrace, and there were seven houses in all,
but much later, no. 7 was lost in a war time
The house at no. 5 had three rooms up, and
three down. The kitchen at the back had its
range, a shallow sink, and a copper for boiling
clothes. There was a middle room, and a
front room. Upstairs were three bedrooms,
one quite small, which was Roy’s. There was
electric light there in the 1930’s. Grandfather
Carr moved to Coniston Square, leaving one
of his two sons, Arthur, with the house on
Bowling Green Walk, so that he is seen (in
the directory) to have been still in residence
here in 1937. The other son, Charles, was
now living in Limekiln Walk (see Lime-Kiln
Rented Property
Mr. Larn rented these houses out, and did
all the necessary repairs. Before world war
I, 90% of all property in Britain was rented. 3
Grandfather Carr worked for the Corporation,
and later died in an accident, falling from
a scaffold. Arthur Carr also worked for the
Corporation, driving a dustcart. During the
war this family was evacuated to Haddenham
near Ely, and Arthur at that time worked in
pest control.
Foundry Walk was a narrow passage behind
those of Bowling Green Walk, and thus ran
between Lime-Kiln Walk and Bowling Green
Walk. It had its entrance between the public
house (now the fish restaurant) and the cafe.
There was also a little passage behind the
houses of Bowling Green Walk.
The houses in Foundry Walk only had
an outside privy (toilet) that served three
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
The Bowling Green Public House, see
The houses in Bowling Green walk also
had outside toilets, but there was one for
each house. Consumption (Tuberculosis)
was common in those days. Arthur Carr’s
wife developed consumption. There was no
prospect of a cure in those days. Sadly, in her
worry and desperation she took her own life.
Arthur had two children by his first marriage,
a girl and a boy. Roy was born in 1934, and by
the age of fifteen he was hanging around the
wharf and started to go out in the little boats
there onto Breydon, catching eels, something
that his grandfather used to do. George Gates,
known as “skins”, was one of the first of the
characters that young Roy went out fishing
with. He had a little boat called “Cheerio”,
and made something of a living by pulling
yachts off the mud. He would sit in his boat
on Breydon watching them go aground, and
then be available for the service of pulling
them off! Roy was married to Doreen in 1956,
and they then rented a flat from Mr. Boulton,
at 56 North Quay. At that time 56 North Quay
was a separate house to the shop, and the
lower part was inhabited by Mrs. Chubbock
(see North Quay.)
Jack Harwood and his partner,
Below: Roy Carr, the last professional eel
catcher on Breydon, May 1994.
The Breydoners Jack Harwood and his partner
were punt gunners. They had
a Breydon or Broads Punt in
which they would lie in a hide
with a long-barrelled half-
pound or pound gun (taking
half a pound or a pound of
shot), used to shoot water fowl.
The men who made a living on
the Breydon water, whether
hunting or fishing, were called
the “Breydoners”.
Eel Catching
Roy Carr and his pal Donnie
Hubbard first bought a boat
together when they were about
fifteen, for the sum of 50/-. The
Hubbards lived in Limekiln
walk . Roy and Donnie went
babbing for eels. 4 They would
first dig for garden worms,
and using a copper needle
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
have pulled the bab completely
to pieces, so usually a second
bab was ready in the boat. Billy
Barber, who lived with Mrs.
Hurrell, (no.8 Lime Kiln Walk)
was an old eel catcher who went
out babbing, and would stake his
boat perhaps a hundred yards or
so away from Roy’s.
[ In the picture of the “GVH” left
centre, (Gladys Violet Hubbard),
are seen Buff Hubbard, Jimmy
Ellingsworth, Siddy Wilson,
Bertie Hubbard, and “Brownie”
(George Brown). The boat was
first owned by John Hubbard,
then Gladys, then Bertie and
Buff. It had a Kelvin engine.
In the summer-time it was used
for pleasure trips to Scroby, and
sometimes for trips to Cromer,
Lowestoft or Aldeborough.]
As soon as they returned from
the fishing trip, the eels were
sent to Billingsgate, in boxes
about 3 feet by 2 feet, and 2 feet
deep. There were trays within
the box, and about 20 pounds
Buff, Jimmy, Siddy, Bertie, and Brownie
with about ten feet of nylon, threaded the
worms onto that from end to end, to produce a
continuous line of worms. The two ends were
then tied together, bound round a finger, and a
piece of cord put through the centre, to produce
a bunch of worms. A lead weight was fixed to
one end, the line connected to a pole, and all
was then ready for the day’s eel fishing. The
boat was staked down on the edge of the flats
in about four or five feet of water. The lead
weight used to find the bottom, was gently
bounced on the mud with the worms. The eel
would see the disturbance and grab hold of the
worms. Eels have very small fine teeth and
won’t let go. The one bab could be re-used
many times, and sometimes it was possible
to catch two or three stones in weight of eels
before they finished. Eventually the eels would
Donnie Hubbard with his mother.
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
of eels on each tray. If the weather was hot,
ice would go on the top tray. The boxes were
despatched from Vauxhall Station, and Dutch
firms Braemar and Mork, or Salamunsen,
bought the eels. During the rail-strike Roy
and Donnie took a car load to Billingsgate
themselves. The price used to vary between
as little as sixpence a pound and perhaps at
most two shillings and ninepence per pound,
depending on size and condition. Roy and
Donnie only fished for eels commercially,
but grandfather Carr had fished for Smelts,
as had Billy Barber. Smelts are a very smelly
fish. Eels come all the way from the Sargasso
sea, and normally return there for breeding,
but occasionally an eel gets landlocked in the
Broads, and grows to an exceedingly large
size. When fishing for smelts they used a net,
with one man on the shore, and one man on
the stern of the boat, who would row the boat
away and round in a circle, shooting the net
out all the way. The net was 6 or 8 feet deep,
with leads on the bottom and corks on the top.
At each end was a “trammel stick”, a long
pole, the length of which was equal to the depth of
the net. Again there was a lead at the bottom. The
pole was about four feet long to the top of the net,
from that was a bridle to the rope on the shore, for
the shore man to hold onto. The boatman would
row out and “do a rounder” back to the shore. Then
both men came together and hauled the net into the
shore up to the bite at the end. They might catch
eels, smelts, mullet, flounder, or mudbuts. Before
they started they would wait for low water, so that
the flats were uncovered, then they could put a stick
in the water to mark their position, and wait for the
water to start to cover the stick. Then they were ready
to “shoot” their net. There might be several boats
waiting to “do a rounder”, and sometimes there was
fighting as to who should go first.
Babbing was always best on the start of the tide,
and along the edge of the flats. After the tide got
through and there was too much water, it was a hard
job to keep the bab on the bottom.
The Revised History of Great Yarmouth
In 1994, when he took me out fishing
for eels with him, Roy used “fight” nets.
Dutch fight nets are like a keep net, but
the mesh is a different size, and stronger.
These are tubular and each about twelve
foot long, joined by a leader. The leader is
a flat piece of lint with corks on the top,
and pieces of lead at the bottom. One net
leads to another so that they are fished in
pairs. In the net there are three funnels, the
first is a big one, the next one is smaller,
and the third is smaller still. Once the fish
get in they can’t get out again. Roy usually
shot ten pairs of nets, all joined end to
end, and worked about 120 single ends in
various places - sixty paired nets in all.
This is without assistance, and everything
worked from the boat. After five pairs of
nets have gone over the side, there is a
fifty-six pound weight as an anchor. At
the other end is another anchor. Roy Carr
was in 1994 the only man still doing this
for a living on Breydon, using a 18 foot
longshore boat with an inboard diesel
engine, called “Brot 2”. In the old days,
with no engine, he and Donnie would row
all the way to the top of Breydon, which
is nearly four miles in both directions, and
sometimes even against the tide! This at
that time was only in their spare time, yet
they went every evening whatever the tide
(Every other week the tide would be the
other way of course). During the fifties
they rebuilt an ex-ship’s lifeboat with a wet
hole in the centre to store the fish. This was
called “The Brot”. They had a year at this
as full-time employment, having given up other
work, but there was not sufficient money in it
for two families. The boat had been purchased
at Peterborough for £90, and rebuilt by them
over on “suspension yard” (a boat-building
yard opposite the White Swan).
Donnie Hubbard and his grand-mother.
The shrimp boats , Jarvis in the boat, with
Liffen’s boat moored behind.
The photo of the old shrimp boats (left) shows
the nearest boat to be that belonging to Jack
Jarvis, no. 435. The next behind was that of an
old shrimping family- the Liffens, who can be
found in the directory of 1886 to have lived at
no. 6 North Quay. Charlie Liffen and Chrissie
Liffen were brothers, who also used to go onto
A New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth
Roy Carr, eel fishing 4th May1994, near the
Berney Arms Public House and windmill.
and worked on a houseboat. Roy
Carr was once doing a small job
for Liffen, putting some gunwales
round his small boat, after which
Liffen asked what Roy would like
for payment. At his request, rather
than money, Roy was given an old
eel-pick made by Flaxman, one
of the top eel-pick makers from
Southtown, and which used to
belong to Jode. The eel-pick has
four staves which are flat, slightly
flexible blades with two barbs on
each side that hold the eels without
damage when they get caught
between them. The old eel-pick,
last used in the 1950’s, was used
in freezing weather, with ice and
snow on the ground, and the men
wore pieces of rag around their
arms to prevent the water running
down as the pole came up and down
out of the freezing mud where the
eels were lying dormant. Nowadays
a tubular Dutch “Fyke” net is used,
getting narrower toward the cod end.
The eels swim with the tide, and run
along the leader- a flat section of