Pier Hunting- Great Yarmouth
While the real world cleared the corpses, tended the wounded and bemoaned the Koran rancid, death wish, vampires among us, I took the slow train (4 hours on maintenance Sunday) to Great Yarmouth. Escapism indeed.
First there was the unexpected pleasure of the half hour trip from Norwich to the sea side resort. The two carriage train chugs across largely uninhabited reclaimed marsh land. The husbanded Broads. Rich in cattle, sheep, guarded by ancient windmills and well sluiced by ditches. A little gem. One of the four stops (Berney Arms) is a request. Bless.
Sunday was glorious sunshine so a resort in its pomp. Cheap eats. Cheap booze. All day breakfast. Loads of it. Fun Fair. Fair Fun. None of that Fair Trade stuff ,this Fun for all the Family. Tattoos galore, bellies to match, what’s not to like, easy on the eye-you having a laugh. Donkey rides for the kids. Go on Grandad you can do it.
This week its vintage cars, next week its the Red Arrows. Greyhound racing Monday, Weds and Friday. Tuesday horse racing. Oh I do like to be by the seaside. Its not posh, its pure Brexit, bring it on. Sorry to hear whats happened in London, they don’t come here. They’ve never heard of the place, thank God.
Britannia pier is ugly. (see link)A prefab theatre with a bar and a funfair. 400 metres south Wellington pier although graced with a wonderful but now not used glass housed roller rink, is yet another amusement arcade with a bowling alley and bar on the end. Neither pier gets much further than the wide 100 metre wide beach .
Yet for all its in your face the Britannia theatre is where many acts get some much needed life giving ozone, this summer sees Jim Davidson, Jasper Carrot, Jimmy Talbot and Marty Wilde all come back from the dead. And for those collectors of real treats there is fortune teller Rosemary Petulengro who has read the palms of stars of stage and screen and will advise on health, business and matrimonial matters.
But if Yarmouth piers are disappointing, ten miles down the road in Lowestoft they are worse. South Pier is not much more than a harbour wall with yet another amusement arcade at the end and Claremount the same with a redundant jetty which is too unsafe for pleasure walking.
But in Lowestoft I learn of Sir Sam Peto , Victorian builder- entrepreneur. He built Trafalgar Square.He went bust trying to make Lowestoft an alternative Brighton.(You have to smile) Became an MP. Ending up promoting railways in Russia and Hungary. One off.