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13 July 2014
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Legacies - Norfolk

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Dutch Tutch
© Courtesy of John Walker
The Dutch Tutch

The Dutch Tutch has to be one of the most unusual buildings in England. Not only did it originate from an unusual place, but its extraordinary design was the very essence of fun - a helter-skelter.

At one time, it was the focal point of amusement on the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth, but after the disastrous fire of 1914, when the pier was all but destroyed, it was rescued, and it embarked on a final journey through the Norfolk Broads. Local rumour has it that Suffragettes burnt the pier after they were refused permission to hold a meeting there.

Side of Dutch Tutch showing the extension to the helter-skelter.
© Courtesy of John Walker
The fact that someone constructed a building using part of a helter-skelter is rather different if not unique. However, the motives for the move remain mysterious. The most we can say, is that the helter-skelter was recovered by someone who worked at the pier. Although it is unclear whether this individual was the actual keeper of the slide in question.

The Norfolk Broads are the largest stretch of wetlands in the UK. From the ninth Century, peat cut from the Norfolk marshes was used as a popular source of fuel. They were created naturally when the sea level rose and flooded the area in the 14th Century.

Dutch experts were invited to carry out drainage work after the floods. They left their mark on the area with their own style of architecture, seen mainly in the design of barns and roofing.

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