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You are in: Norfolk » Have your say

Can we still put the great in Great Yarmouth?
Picture: Children playing on the beach in Great Yarmouth.
Children play on the beach at Great Yarmouth

Does Great Yarmouth need a revamp or is it fine as it is?

Here you can air your views on Norfolk's most popular seaside resort.


For years, people from across the UK have been enjoying a week on the east coast.

Staying in hotels, B&Bs, caravan or holiday homes, Great Yarmouth has always been a major draw for the family break, stag weekends and as a base for exploring Norfolk. But has the shine long since left the town's Golden Mile?

This Have Your Say page exists as an archive. If you would like to discuss this or other local topics or issues with visitors to the BBC Norfolk website, please go to our new message board.

Message board

Latest messages posted: 11 March 2003 1626 GMT

I was born in Norfolk and some of my best childhood memories are from spending a week in Yarmouth for our summer hols.

I have lived in Adelaide, South Australia for the last 30 odd years and 2 years ago brought my Australian husband back to the UK for a holiday.

We spent a week in Yarmouth (we had only planned a couple of nights) because my husband loved it!

The landlady of the boarding house we stayed at was warm and friendly, the room was bright and comfortable and the cost was about half of what we spent in the rest of the UK.

Sometimes when you are close to a place it is easy to criticise but when you travel further afield it can make you appreciate what you really have!

DIANE LANDORF, AUSTRALIA

I have lived in Gorleston all my life, and can honestly say that Great Yarmouth has somewhat declined over the years.

The Council have no interest in the town, and instead ponder on their useless, underfunded housing system.

I now avoid Yarmouth as best as possible, and only enter it when required. For a start there's too much trouble, too many yobs hanging around, there's far too many asylum seekers roaming the streets, and a mutual friend has told me that there are now 'no go' areas for locals springing up due to them.

If that's not politically correct enough then hard luck, I see it as it is! And of course there's the rubbish problem!

A few extra jobs to take up some of the unemployment in the town could be given to more road sweepers, and collectors. But then the council will always complain of a "lack of funds".

Its the same old chestnut every time! For me its very upsetting, and I dream of a day when it all gets 'sorted', but I fear that day will never come.

It is high time the 'Great' was put back into Yarmouth. This is a wonderful part of Norfolk that's been allowed to crumble away into obscurity, and become an eyesore for any potential tourist.

Come on Yarmouth council, SAVE OUR TOWN!

ALAN, LOUND

Great Yarmouth could be a very nice seaside resort ( as it used to be), but the council don't seem to be interested in preserving it and making it a nicer place for people of all ages.

I think if they want people to stop people joking about Norfolk then they should do something about it, otherwise it will become a very unpopular place, and people from other countries who go there on holiday are going to remember their experience of the UK as an unpleasant one.

This could be stopped with some money, development and more police enforcing the law!

I really hope the council takes a look at everyone's comments and does something about it!

BECKI, EX-NORWICH

Although Yarmouth has a great deal of room for improvement, look at the surrounding area.

The Broads are absolutely beautiful and there are still things to keep holidaymakers and locals entertained.

Try The Village Experience at Fleggburgh or Thrigby for a change. Especially if you are a local and haven't been to these places for a while - go and see for yourself.

The kids will love them, trust me. Great value for money!

BOB, GREAT YARMOUTH

I was born in Yarmouth brought up and educated here in Yarmouth and I am still here 42 years later.

Most of my friends have moved away, they all have better jobs than I do, they live in much nicer places than I do and they will never come back.

Having said all that the truth is, its the people that stay here and do something about the problems, and stand up for the town that impress me.

People like to slag Yarmouth off, but these people have gone and now they don't care about their old hometown, shame on them!!!

These problems are socially constructed and its up to the local council, local people and companies and the tourist trade to come together and socially construct a cleaner, safer, more appealing and exciting town. Then Yarmouth will be great again!

COLIN, GREAT YARMOUTH

I was born in Great Yarmouth however i grew up in Lowestoft. Having gone off to University now i find it increasingly irritating that everyone, and i mean everyone knows where Great Yarmouth is yet doesn't know where Lowestoft is.

The only reason i can come up for this is because Lowestoft isn't surrounded by the cheap tack that makes Great Yarmouth appear to try to emulate Blackpool, and fail spectacularly!

I find it amazing that people still continue to go to Yarmouth for holidays, there's nothing to do other than lie on a beach or fritter money away in one of the many seafront arcades. Definitely a town in need of a serious overhaul.

CHARLIE, LOUGHBOROUGH

I have lived in the Gt Yarmouth area for 10 years and have seen consecutive councils blame the previous one for the state of services. The council is there for the community and whatever party has power, all should work together to improve the town. I disagree with the statement that the new outer harbour scheme is a waste of money, it will provide new work to replace those that have been lost, Birds Eye, Norfolk Line etc.

The only problem is that the National Government is unwilling to improve road and rail links at the same time as the harbour is proposed to be built. Who can expect businesses to commit to a project that has poor links to the rest of the country? A united approach by government, council and locals is needed to bring the area into the modern world and provide local employment for local people, which in turn will be put back into the local economy.

PETE BARNBY, GORLESTON

I have lived in the Great Yarmouth area all of my life, over 35 years, and I will always have a 'soft spot' for the town which is why I am very dismayed at many of the comments I have just read.

I know that a large amount of people do not have a good word to say about Great Yarmouth and many are focusing on the negative side.

I am sad that I have to agree that many of the comments are true and a lot does need to be done to improve the area.

But I for one will remain nostalgic and proud to say that I was born and I live in Great Yarmouth.

CAROL, BRADWELL

"Great" Yarmouth? Dirty, run-down, full of amusements and 'kiss-me-quick' hats? Surely a town that got stuck in the 1970s and never came out.

More like "grate" Yarmouth, as that's what it does to your sensibilities. It doesn't need investment, it needs razing to the ground and re-starting.

R.BUTCHER, NORWICH

It stinks!

ANON, EX-YARMOUTH RESIDENT (PLYMOUTH)

I lived in Gorleston for about six months in 2000 and spent a great deal of time in Great Yarmouth. Personally, I agree with both of Kenneth Jessett's comments. Warmer weather would be nice, and the focus should not be on tourism. It's your town, not the tourist's.

BRANDON MOSS, IDAHO FALLS, USA

I can't believe that Great Yarmouth hasn't slipped into the sea along with the rest of the trash it produces.

It is a shame as the older people i talk to say that they used to go to yarmouth for a good time when they were in their 20s and spend a good night out with some friends.

Now I wouldnt even walk in yarmouth after 8pm at the latest. It is well know as being rough and having a serious problem with its appearance.

I hate going to yarmouth at anytime as the rubbish and smell is Enough to turn away the most determined locals. The tourism industry is slowly dying and will be gone soon enough unless there is a considerable change in the outlook of the officials in charge.

The new ferry port is a total waste of local money and will only make the town a larger drugs and asylum problem. With the most expensive hotels being used for these people until they have a house available how can the tourism industry possible make a change for the better?

How they are going to find any homes for these people is a mystery as they are planning to pull down the old people's homes at the back of the Northgate Street hospital. Its not a nice place to live in anymore and even the police seem to be losing the will to police the streets as the job centre was shot at with an air rifle and it left police "baffled".

I have moved well away from yarmouth to another seaside resort. The fine city of Plymouth. I hate having to come home to my local village near yarmouth as it means i must travel through that hell hole before i can reach it. The people in my local village are kind, polite and are always welcoming to strangers, but it stops when you get to the yarmouth district.

I am not going to blame the local council as they inherited a huge debt from the previous council. Mr Coleman was my teacher and i still respect him today, even though he has inherited a massive problem, and i wish him all the luck in the world in combating the Yarmouth Problem.

BOB STARLING, PLYMOUTH

Tourists seem to like Great Yarmouth and in the summer there is a good atmosphere, but for those of us that live there we see what it is all about.

The local council are ignorant to any ideas unless it is someone in the council with the idea (which is rare), the police don't get enough money to do their jobs and daren't go into a club on King Street in uniform at night, I don't blame them.

I have lived in Yarmouth for about 5 years and I hate it, I'm now at University in Plymouth and it is such a lovely city, I don't feel afraid to go to the shop in the dark as I do in Yarmouth.

The crime in Yarmouth is unbelievable because people know they can get away with it (because there are not enough police). When walking through town there are two distinct smells, chips and weed, this is not very nice at all for anyone.

People say we should do something about it rather than moan but there is nothing we can do without the councils help (which would not happen)so we will just have to moan until the council finally take notice!!

RAYNA, GREAT YARMOUTH

Having only been to Great Yarmouth once I really don't feel the need to go back again. It had a feeling of a once glorious resort that has badly lost it's direction and it has an aura of sadness and decay.

The biggest monstrosity is the HUGE leisure centre right on the front which spoils walking along by the sand. It's such a shame to ruin a beautiful beach with such horrible buildings.

There are some lovely old properties in Gt Yarmouth, with a little TLC from the council and maybe some government or lottery funding this place could be great again.

RUTH CARTER, NORWICH

We have been visiting Great Yarmouth almost every year since 1976, and we love it. The people are so friendly.

The biggest let down for us is the front. Whatever must people think when they get off the ferry and drive past the disused factories and the unused caravan park.

Something must be done.

MAUREEN RAMSDALL - BIRMINGHAM

Although I do not live in Yarmouth, I visit it very regularly, and I have to agree, the local council seems to have lost its way in maintaining what could be once again a respectable resort.

First thing it needs to do is clean the place up, get rid of all these so-called asylum seekers, (why should Yarmouth or Norfolk be the dumping ground from the governments pathetic asylum controls).

Start making all these street traders put some of there revenues back into the regeneration of Yarmouth, try and improve the general perception of the area. Yarmouth can be the resort to be again.

STUART - NORWICH

I was born in Great Yarmouth and I absolutely hate it, whenever I can, I get away. Its the worst place to live, teenagers hang around everywhere and zoom up and down the seafront, its so scummy.

There is nothing to do and as said before, its been left behind and needs to modernise. I'm leaving school this year and am moving as far away as possible.

When I go on holiday I am ashamed to tell people where I live, and I don't think that I should have to feel that way, you should be proud of where you live.

I've been here for the first 5th of my life and am determined not to stay for the second! Leave it to crumble into the sea!

ANON - BRADWELL

Great Yarmouth has declined, its a dump! But the only ones to blame are the Council!!

They have shown no enthusiasm for the diversification of Yarmouth!They have stuck with the holiday theme but it no longer works, its for a dying group, yep the over 70's!

Come on, there is always hope make Yarmouth great! It has such wonderful nature, someone with some balls should start pulling down clapped-out old buildings and make the view from the hotels etc gorgeous!

Its there for the taking, is there any one in Great Yarmouth who has the guts to do it?

RON LUTON-BROWN - NORWICH

Friends of mine told me that Yarmouth was a good place to invest at the moment. I requested some details from a local estate agent and could not believe how inexpensive property is.

On this basis, I went to have a look this past weekend. What a desperate godforsaken place. I walked my dog amongst the worst kind of rubbish on and off the beach. I used my pooper scooper, but the irony was intense.

The pier looked like a huge piece of debris that had been washed in by the tide, boarded up and left to rot. Even investors need to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

When I was 14 I swam from Yarmouth beach into human poo and became entangled in used toilet paper. I thought it couldn't get any worse. Unfortunately I was wrong.

However, let's face it, things can only get better. So if you're brave get your cheque book out!

MARK FIDDY - NORWICH

Oh for goodness sake, listen to you all!!

If you don't like Yarmouth, get out and don't come back. This town has got enough problems to deal with, if all you can do is moan and whine about it... clear off.

This town needs people to turn it around, not silly childish comments about bin bags etc. Stop stating the obvious and think of something new and interesting to say about the area.

If you can't manage that then perhaps you need to start doing more constructive things with your lives!

KAREN, GORLESTON

I have grown up in Yarmouth, moved away, then came back. But I did not move back to Yarmouth itself because I didn't want my children growing up in the town.

Whatever anyone say's, it's still a cheap holiday destination for those who can't afford to go elsewhere or who don't wish to leave the country.

It does has some good point's, especially if you live in the middle of a large city tower block. We seem to forget that however dirty and smelly Yarmouth is, some people only come for the sea, Pleasure Beach, amusements, something that children living in big Cities think is fantastic!

Have we also forgotten about the history of Yarmouth? The sand bank, Scroby, Potteries tucked away down Trinity Place, Toll House and lots more.

Yes, Yarmouth is over run with drug taking scum bags and petty criminals. I
probably went to school with most of them but at the end of the day, sad as it may seem to those who have never left Yarmouth, let alone Norfolk, there are families out there who have never seen the sea and this is something that we do have.

I know it's dirty, as I found out when Jetty jumping in my teenage years, (Only true locals will understand that bit!) but we need to pester the powers that be to clean it up.

And if you are visiting Yarmouth, PLEASE enjoy yourself, but bear in mind locals are not on holiday and do wish to get to work, so stop getting in the way down Regent Road!

KIRSTY, OULTON BROAD

I often go to Gt Yarmouth to visit relatives and I have to say it is a dump.

It compares to King's Lynn a lot with no decent shops or nightlife. The beach has so much rubbish I now prefer Gorlestons.

It needs a revamp!

ANON, KING'S LYNN

I live in Yarmouth, I've been there almost two and a half years.

I hate it! It's filthy, dirty and a total hell hole!

CLAIRE, GREAT YARMOUTH

All the clubs down king street need drastic refurbishment and I'm not talking about a lick of paint.

There always seems to be a bad atmosphere down there like a fight is just about to start. Tabu in Yarmouth is brilliant!It easily rivals Norwich's trendy clubs and in ways out does them.

Caesers bar is a great place to go on a Saturday night. They play r'n'b, hip and soulful garage and has a jazz room in the back. This is probably nicest bar in Yarmouth.

STEVE, GORLESTON

Gt. Yarmouth is a dump! I think it needs a massive revamp... when I was younger we used to go there on holiday, and when I went back there to visit a friend last year I was totally shocked at how much rubbish there was.

I even have to say, that everyone I speak to in Norwich never has a good thing to say about the place! The council really need to sort Yarmouth out!

CJM, NORWICH

Come to Great Yarmouth and visit the sea of black rubbish sacks, and let your children play in alleyways littered with hypodermics.

Visit the old and crumbling town and gaze at the many boarded windows. Come back and see us soon if you dare.

ANGIE, BRADWELL

 

My wife and I have lived in Great Yarmouth for over 5 years and we have found the Norfolk people very friendly and good company. People who complain should do some thing about it. My wife and I have have opened a country & western club for country fans at the labour club on Euston Rd. If we can do it, so can everyone else. We will help to keep the great in Yarmouth.

CHAZ MACOY, GREAT YARMOUTH

Perhaps the real problem with Gt. Yarmouth is that the people who are in the position to change things for the better, (and are paid handsomely with our money) don`t have the ability to do so. SHAME ON YOU!

Or maybe if it doesn`t make money they are not interested... That explains the naff carnival every year. And so we end up with Gt. Yarmouth, the land of supermarkets, lousey shops, slot machines, high bus fares, sea front parking meters and high crime.

Even breydon bridge was built too low, it has to open for nearly every small boat with a mast.(I BET THE PLANNERS WERE PAID WELL) And when holiday makers come, the main summer shows only run for a 6 - 8 weeks season. People who come here during JUNE have no full week shows to go to, they start late in JULY.

The sea front road racers will have the road to themselfs in years to come, giving the drugies and asylum seekers a trip up the sea front at £5 a go...... There is not 1 day in the year that GT. YARMOUTH is NOTED for. The premier seaside resort of the east coast has lost it`s way in the hands of......well you tell me?

Robert, Gorleston

Great Yarmouth is an embarrassment to Norfolk. With rows of tacky amusement arcades, graffiti, boarded up shops etc.The fair is old and dated, it really hasn't got anything going for it anymore!

DONNA, NORWICH

To anyone who was planning to take a trip to Great Yarmouth and reads this site - do NOT let it put you off. If it is a fun filled holiday by a beautiful coast you want then Yarmouth is top.

You can go allong the piers if you want to do the touristy bit, but what people fail to mention on this site is the miles of beautiful beach there is if you carry on further up the shore, past the youth hostel.

As for those who say there is nothing to do, i will list the things i got up to in 5 nights....

1. Crazy Golf, 2. Boat trip to see seals (amazing), 3. sea life centre 4. The Rock making factory, 5. Pubs and Clubs (Bournville street), 6. Sunbathing (yes! it was HOT!), 7. Pleasure beach, 8. horse and cart ride, 9. reptile house, 10. Fire work display the list goes on...

I P FREIGH LEE, CAMBRIDGE

I moved to Great Yarmouth 10 years ago, when I started working in the offshore industry. Great Yarmouth at that time appeared to be a little run down but not unpleasant.

Since then I have seen the area gradually become worse: The litter problem worsens every year; the local industry seems to be departing as never before; the great white elephant that is the outer harbour is no closer to happening than it ever was; the A47 Acle Straight is still a death-trap and the public consultation into upgrading was the worst piece of mis-managed claptrap I have ever seen!

Even the sea-front, with it's lovely stock of Victorian and older buildings and the attractive historic parts of the town are being lost, either in a sea of neon and plastic, or just crumbling through neglect. And what do we have to show for all this?

High council taxes, rising at well above the rate of inflation year after year, for a real worsening in local services and no improvement in local living.

Yarmouth could be Great with some imagination, a co-ordinated structure plan and a fair bit of litter collecting. Until then, however, we are stuck in a black hole at the end of East Anglia.

MATT, BELTON

I have lived in Yarmouth all my life, and yes it has obviously declined due to years of neglect and lack of money. But if people put as much effort and energy into making the town great again as they do in moaning and grumbling about the state of the place, perhaps there would be a noticable improvment!

KAREN, GORLESTON

How I would love to hear from any of my friends when I was living in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth. Born in 1946, Christine Hunn. Attended Stradbroke Road Infant's/Junior's, then on to Gorleston Girl's Secondary modern. At the age of 17, commenced my Nurse's training at both Great Yarmouth General Hospital and Northgate. I am married with 4 daughters and 8 grand-children, living in Somerset.

CHRISTINE BURNHAM, SOMERSET

I was born not far from Yarmouth. I visit relatives a few times a year and live and work in around London.
Just a few observations:

I agree with most here that it's a sad place and reminds me of an old pet that no-one has the heart to put down, despite it being in pain
.

Way too many fish and chip shops - the town reeks of chips.

On my travels I occasionally come across someone who has been to Great Yarmouth (or a local holiday resort/area) and the comment is always "Oh yes I went there once" - once.

If you airlifted the whole of Great Yarmouth and plonked it on the Mediterranean coast - people would still not want to go there, it's just too scummy

It looks like Beirut except Beirut probably smells a lot better

It's a concrete jungle and looks nothing like a seaside resort with every available square meter developed with some of the buildings (funfair, pier, leisure centre) actually on the beach itself. You can't see the sand until you're standing on it.

I flew with Easyjet to Holland for £24 last week (return) - It costs me £50 in petrol to drive to Yarmouth and back (and six times longer - 3 hours instead of 30 mins flight)

So what to do? well I'm sure the poor old council have had no end of ideas and suggestions thrown at them from various committees, working parties, development companies etc. but I bet all those ideas/solutions are all about "revitalising" and bringing back the old days but to me there is only one way it will go - and the word is decline. Let's face it the holiday industry of the '50s and '60s will never come back. Let's be graceful those times existed and Great Yarmouth had its place in history - so let's and move with the times.

I would like to nuke/bomb/level the whole peninsula and bring it back to the condition which drew those first visitors around 100 years ago - you gotta admit it must have looked beautiful in those days. Finally, imagine what would happen if you took away every piece of concrete east of the main strip including the horrible rusty old pier and reverted it back to a clean beach - now that would be a good start! If you think that's a crazy idea - go to any Spanish island or anywhere in the Med. and you will see it works well.

MONTY BURNS, LONDON

I moved to Yarmouth with my family in 1986 from Birmingham. It was a good idea at the time. Both the outer harbour and the A47 dualling were realistic ideas at the time and would encourage the town become a greater success. Well you know the rest. Neither of these plans are likely - and it's 2002.
As for its tourism, this has dropped off year after year. Now we are more of a weekend holiday resort or for the older generation who remember the "good times".
There are little or no job prospects for most (I now travel to Norwich every day). I love Yarmouth and it's my home. But frankly, very soon I'll be choosing the increasing crime filled streets of Norwich than Great Yarmouth.

ANONYMOUS, GREAT YARMOUTH

I lived in Great Yarmouth for eight years in the 1980s. It was always a good fun place to live in winter as well as summer. The problems were when great new ideas were aired concerning development issues. They were always turned down due to local government refusing permission. This happened frequently and while those forward-thinkers predicted Yarmouth's decline it never made any difference to the council.
The trouble now is investors will not want to throw their money at a resort which has a declining holiday trade and is on the whole grubby. I might add that the people of Yarmouth in the leisure trade work all hours and are not paid very much. I feel they have suffered from the fat cats not re-investing in a resort which had made them rich! Unemployment is high and most young people have moved on or commute to Norwich. A very sad state of affairs which could have been avoided.

KD, NORWICH

Hi, my name is Ionela. I'm 23. I'm a student from Moldova and I have to write a work paper on Great Yarmouth. Searching for information, I have decided that it would be interesting to make friends in this town. Maybe you could tell me more about your wonderful town.

IONELA, CHISHINAU, MOLDOVA

I was born in Great Yarmouth and still live very close to the town in Belton. After spending most of my life in holiday industry I gave it up and started to work for an oil company. I have worked in a few odd places since then and am currently in Nizhnevartovsk, Western Siberia.

In answer to other comments on this page, I can definitely state that Yarmouth is not cold! However as a modern holiday destination it does leave a lot be desired, most of the hotels were family owned establishments and as such suffered from under investment and lack of fresh ideas. Over the years they have fallen into decline with only the minimum being done to them to make them presentable for the coming season.

Yarmouth has also lost much of the industry that also brought money into the town, again through having a local attitude in a global market. The blame can laid at many doors for the decline in the town, none of us, council, business people, or residents of the town can say that we are innocent of allowing the town to slip into decline.

But when all said and done we still have a good town, the trick will be to find a way of tuning this decline around, and making Yarmouth a great town again.

ANGUS SCOTT, BELTON

I have lived near Great Yarmouth since i was 6 and during the last 12 years - before going to Uni I thought that Great Yarmouth was OK. But having spent time away and then coming back I have noticed how poor Great Yarmouth has become.

In response to Peter King's comment about "... people...criticising the town don't look at the good things about the town" But when there are more bad things about the town than good who is going to ignore that fact?

The streets are covered in litter - FACT! The beach (in parts) is the worst I have ever seen it - FACT! And most surprisingly, it is cheaper to catch a train Norwich (22miles away!) and watch a film at the odean there than go to the hollywood cinema in the town!!! - FACT! How much of a joke is that! There are some good things about Great Yarmouth - it is generally more quiet than a city! Employment is a joke as well - there are no jobs anywhere!

STU, SHEFFIELD

I have visited Great Yarmouth for many years. What a wonderful clean family resort it is. Please compare it to other seasides like Blackpool, which are tacky and dirty.

Surely one of the towns greatest assets is the historic Hippodrome, and what a spectacular circus. But it is a shame, nobody seems to put in to the building for its refurbishment. This is a great pity. The old building has such great atmosphere.

NICK PARKS, BLACKPOOL

I'm an AVCE Travel and Tourism student and I do agree with what many people are saying in that Great Yarmouth does need to be developed more. I think it needs to compete with overseas destinations and encourage domestic and inbound tourism but this does not mean it has to turn into an over-commercialised destination like so many overseas destinations have.

My family have been going to Great Yarmouth for years and I have to say it is my favourite destination. The atmosphere is great and it has cultural significance. I really love it there as it is a traditional British seaside resort which could be built on to represent Britain.

It is more developed than other seaside areas I have been to and has lots of different charming villages such as Hemsby which really make a good holiday.

MELANIE, BEDFORD

Why does Great Yarmouth still think that it has the chance of building an outer harbour. In Essex a new container port is being built at Coryton, and other ports in the east anglia region are being expanded.

The new container port in Essex has dual carriageway links to the A13 and is only 5 miles from the M25 making it ideally located for the East of England. The main roads from Great Yarmouth are the A47 and A12 both of which are single lane roads and would cause the transport companies to incure major costs to reach anywhere.

JOHN JONES, GORLESTON

I was born in Gorleston, now live in Bradwell and have no criticism about Great Yarmouth at all. There are many places worse than Great Yarmouth in this world. The people who are criticising the town don't look at the good things about the town. Forget about the bad things that exist in both Great Yarmouth and anywhere else. Because I was born near Great Yarmouth and have got used to it now I will never move away from where I am.

PETER KING, BRADWELL

Gt Yarmouth - not so great is it? It does seem to follow the same rundown theme of other English seaside resorts (Blackpool and Southend to name a couple). I live in Norfolk and feel embarrassed at the general look to Yarmouth. Money should be invested to smarten the area up, improve road access, restore the crumbling South Pier, build a proper 'Pleasure Beach Park', tidy up South Denes and generally make it more attractive for people to come and holiday, visit and live. We put up with second rate too much in the UK - it's about time we get the quality lifestyle and surroundings we pay our extortionate taxes for!

SEAN, NORFOLK

Hi, I thought the circus at great yarmouth was abouselutly fabulous espeacially the two boys that were doing the lights Tom and Reece i know they were about the same age as me about 13 but they were well prepeared and knew exacly what they were doing well done boys.I thought everybody did a brilliant job.

I have been too lots of circuses in my life but this one was the best.I am even coming back in the winter for the winter one.I really liked the clowns aswell and all the dancers well done everyone.

LAURA, DARLINGTON

I could not agree with Jim more. I live in Great Yarmouth and often when I am away I am asked to recommend a hotel in Great Yarmouth. We have some good hotels but none with full leisure facilities and this is what the visitors want in this day and age. Great Yarmouth has not kept up with the times in this respect.

BRENDA, YARMOUTH

I was born in Yorkshire and every year when I was a little girl we would all go on holiday to Great Yarmouth. And I loved it! Then about 4 years ago my mum decided that we were going to move to Yarmouth and I have to say that in the 4 years I have lived there, Great Yarmouth has gone from bad to worse.

There is nothing for the locals to do in the winter when all the tourists have gone. There is graffiti and rubbish all over the place. There is no employment! But having said all this I do still get excited in the summer when the place is buzzing with tourists and although I miss Yorkshire I don't regret moving there at all.

- KELLY, GORLESTON

I have been holidaying in Yarmouth since my birth, in 1960, and will always have special memories, it has got a special atmosphere which I can't explain, but it does need a bit of investment. South Denes could have a marina built, smart shops, holiday apartments, exciting bar/cafes, all it takes is one person to set the ball rolling. Come on this what Great Yarmouth needs and should expect in the 21st century. Cheers to one fine town.

- JOHN BROOKS, MANSFIELD

I love Great Yarmouth, it is a top place and has a brilliant atmosphere of a traditional seaside holiday resort. What exactly is everyone complaining about? They say it has nothing to offer but I really can't see the difference between Yarmouth and many other places in Britain. Perhaps this attack should be directed at the whole of the British coast. I have already booked my five nights at Great Yarmouth and I really can't wait! Leave Yarmouth alone!!!!!!!

- TRUDI, SHEFFIELD

Me and my family have been to GREAT Yarmouth two years in a row and have had a fantastic time, despite the weather. Although the weather wasn't great, we found loads to do for ourselves and also our two-year-old daughter. The place looked clean enough to me and all the beaches we went on - Yarmouth, Gorleston and Hemsby - were lovely and clean and tidy. All that leaves me to say is, well done GREAT Yarmouth. Keep up the good work and we'll be back a few more times.

- CLAIRE, OXFORDSHIRE

I think Yarmouth is a great place - it may seem tacky and cheap, but I have been going there for many years and it is great fun. I must admit that some things could be improved - for instance the beach is a mess and litter is all over the place and the far end of Yarmouth should be improved. Then maybe it wouldn't have the reputation it has been given!

- BECKY COLMAN, NORWICH

I wrote humourously that in order to improve Great Yarmouth, they should "make it warmer". However I realize that this is a serious subject to at least the people who live there so I thought I would add another perspective.

How does one make a town like Yarmouth, which is clearly way off the beaten track with no direct road connection from the heartland of Britain, more attractive? It is cold, windy, drab having little in the way of architectural beauty (unlike, say, Harrogate) or crass commercial facilities like Blackpool. But perhaps to the people who live there it really shouldn't matter.

When one can hop on plane and be in sunny warm paradises such as Majorca in a couple of hours for a few pounds, why would one want to spend the few weeks one has for a holiday in Yarmouth? Tastes change and seaside resorts like Yarmouth are being left behind.

In this country (I am writing now from the US) many areas that had fallen on hard times have resorted to opening gambling casinos and the kind of people who frequent casinos frankly don't give a damn about the environs as long as they can assuage their addiction to gambling. Is this a possiblity for Yarmouth? Seriously though, I believe Yarmouth should just accept that it is now a back water, clean the town up to make it a pleasure for the inhabitants and occasional day tripper and find other means for employment other than the tourist industry.

Hoping for better things to come along will only postpone the inevitable. I do wish the very best for the town and its people, the salt of the earth.

- KENNETH JESSETT, USA

I have lived in Great Yarmouth all my life, and the town should do something about the litter, dumped cars, teenagers haging about on street corners, buildings that need lots of attention. I think they should look care fully at Market Row and spend money on the town before they spend it on the seafront - after all the tourists see the town before they see the seafront, put the money where it is needed, and not by pretting the sea front so it looks like Las Vegas or Blackpool. Great Yarmouth should be like Great Yarmouth, not like the other suggestions that have been brought. spend where it is needed, not where they would like to spend it.

- JENNY OXBOROUGH, GREAT YARMOUTH

I taught in Yarmouth for 15 years and met some great people in that time - students, parents and colleagues. The people of Yarmouth deserve better. Many factors contribute to the present difficulties: local landlords and public agencies who import poverty and with its extra social problems, the decline of the tourist industry and a measure of insularity in public life. In the mid 90s I set a very bright group of kids the task of making a presentation in French about the Yarmouth Council booklet 'Yarmouth in 2020'. They did well at it - they were very bright youngsters - but they all said to me that they intended to leave Yarmouth as soon as they could, so the document was of little interest to them. It is all very sad.

- NIGEL, HONG KONG

Make it warmer.

- KENNETH JESSETT, HOUSTON (EX-NORWICH)

Great Yarmouth depends on the tourist trade to survive You have to make the town attractive to tourists fist of all. Brighten up the hotels and guest houses with a coat of paint. Clean up the promenade. Plant the flower beds. Get the pier smartened up and put on good shows. Get the transport problems sorted. There is nothing so depressing as having to queue for an hour to get across Vauxhall Bridge and to see rundown guest houses, hotels etc. If you want the income from tourism, then it is up to Great Yarmouth to make it attractive enough to visit.

-JOHN KENDALL, LEICESTER

It seems that the majority of the people running down Great Yarmouth now live abroad. I think that they would find most towns in the country have gone down hill since they left their beloved country! It seems that the English Tourist Board would disagree with most comments saying that Great Yarmouth Hotels are a disgrace, as nearly all of Great Yarmouth's Hotels have been awarded NATIONAL AWARDS for QUALITY!!

- NICK, GREAT YARMOUTH

I read this forum with a wry smile, most of the people who refer to Great Yarmouth seemed to have moved away. Recently, money has started to come into the town and there are far more people trying to rescue the town than there are trying to destroy it. Landlords are finding it harder to get clients for their run down shacks due to ever increasing laws and rent help is getting harder. A study has just finished on the seafront its findings I'm sure will be great for the town and hopefully we won't have to listen to Jim davidson go on about yet more money for his beloved pier. One thing will help put the great back into this beloved town and that is people not deserting it and people who do live here pulling together and helping the council. Don't live on memories, live for the future and help the children enjoy this town how it should be and that is certainly not a kiss me quick resort. Let's go wild, lets go American, lets go theme, lets be brave?

- CARL, GREAT YARMOUTH

Hi I was born in Yarmouth in 1950 and think I saw the best of it in my teenage years. Yarmouth then, was exciting, vibrant, and, most of all - fun! After meeting my husband (an oil-rig worker) and marrying, we left the country. I returned in 1994, a few months before my mother died and was shocked to see how the place had gone downhill: windows boarded up and charity shops everywhere, no jobs! Yarmouth will revive again one day, I am sure. I just hope it doesn't take too long!

- SANDIE PLACE, AUSTRALIA


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