Old Images of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Old photo of the market at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England

Glimpse the history through fascinating old images of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, England.

Great Yarmouth, which became a seaside resort as far back as 1760, is located in the English county of Norfolk, the area of East Anglia and the region called East of England.

The town has been heavily filmed through the years thanks to its popularity with holidaymakers from across the UK.

Edwardian Great Yarmouth

Shortly after 8.30pm on 19th January 1915, a Zeppelin German Airship (the L3) dropped ten 110lb bombs and seven incendiary devices onto the densely populated St Peter’s Plain in Great Yarmouth. 

Two local women died. One was 72 year old Martha Taylor, who was walking home at the time of the raid. The other was Mrs. Gazely, whose husband had recently been killed on active duty in Belgium during the first few months of the Great War.

Meanwhile another Zeppelin (the L4) dropped eleven bombs on Sheringham and King’s Lynn. That attack killed two people including 14 year old Percy Goate, whose mother saw the bomb drop through a skylight onto her sleeping son.

The irony is that the intended target had been industrial buildings in Humbershide. But engine trouble with a third airship (the L6), and later bad weather, meant that housing in Norfolk was used as a convenient alternative.

Yarmouth Bombardment (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube

German Sailing Boat (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube

1910s Great Yarmouth Fishing Boats, HD – Kinolibrary on YouTube

Happy Hours By The Sea Aka Children Playing In Water At Seaside (1919) – British Pathé on YouTube

1910s Great Yarmouth Beach, Summer, Seaside, HD – Kinolibrary on YouTube

1910s POV From Front of Car Along Great Yarmouth Promenade HD – Kinolibrary on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1920s

In the 1920s, both the local herring industry and the seaside tourist industry were booming.

Groups of young women travelled from Scotland to process the Yarmouth Bloaters, while increasing numbers of cars drove along the seafront.

Fine Yarmouth Bloaters (1920) – British Pathé on YouTube

The Herring Harvest (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1920’s. Film 32821 – HuntelyFilmArchives on YouTube

Daily Mirror Pets Pip, Squeak And Wilfred (1920) – British Pathé on YouTube

Children’s Playground (1920) – British Pathé on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1930s

In the 1930s, Great Yarmouth’s kippers were still of national interest. Meanwhile, the holidaymakers enjoyed the Carnival and beach.

When Do Bloaters Become Kippers? (1930) – British Pathé on YouTube

The Herring Are In! (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Every Man Stuck To The Ship Aka Everyman Struck To The Ship (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Sunday – A Yarmouth Study (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Great Yarmouth Very Short (1936) – British Pathé on YouTube

News In A Nutshell (1936) – British Pathé on YouTube

Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside Yarmouth 1937 9.5mm cine film www.DaveEldergill.org – Dave Eldergill on YouTube

Fisher Girls – East Coast (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube

Great Yarmouth Carnival, 1930’s – Film 40200 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

1930s Great Yarmouth and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK Archive Footage – Kinolibrary on YouTube

Yarmouth in the 1930’s — Film 414 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1940s

In 1947, local fishermen were on strike to support their demands for bigger rations and the herring fishing trawlers lay idle against the quay.

Although they won, the narrator is clear in his condemnation of this strike, and all the other (mostly unofficial) waves of strikes which had been plaguing the British population just months after the end of World War 2.

The following scenes are from London’s Savoy Hotel. The workers at this top luxury hotel were on strike in 1946 because their demands for union representation had been refused.

Things got worse the following year with a strike called in the build up to the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip, when many royal and aristocratic guests were due to arrive at the best hotels in London.

Health minister Nye Bevan (busy setting up the NHS) was worried about Communist workers spying on their wealthy guests, while foreign secretary Ernest Bevin thought the strike was a Russian plot.

It took a government inquiry to settle the matter in December 1947.

End The Strikes (1946) – British Pathé on YouTube

Herring Fishing (1947) – British Pathé on YouTube

Herring Harvest In Yarmouth (1948) – British Pathé on YouTube

Seal Hunt (1948) – British Pathé on YouTube

HERRING SEASON IN FULL SWING – British Movietone on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1950s

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston mid 1950s – Norfolk Memories on YouTube

Railway Pub (1950) – British Pathé on YouTube

Frozen Peas (1951) – British Pathé on YouTube

New Barge For The Queen (1956) – British Pathé on YouTube

It’s Cooler By Train (1959) – British Pathé on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1960s

Yarmouth in the 1960s was a town in the process of change. Holidaymakers still flocked to the town in summertime, with Southtown a busy railway station, and the approach road clogged with cars.

But the mighty herring fleets were disappearing, the oil and gas industry were getting established, and the Mods and Rockers arrived to cause alarm on the seafront.

Yarmouth in the Sixties DVD Trailer – Pastfilms on YouTube

Yarmouth in the Sixties DVD clip – TIMEREELTV on YouTube

Great Yarmouth Summer circa 1961 or 1962 – clipsbymeon YouTube

Stan Stennett (1963) – British Pathé on YouTube

1960s Great Yarmouth Pier Fairground at NIght, Colour Home Movies – Kinolibrary on YouTube

1960s Great Yarmouth Beach Holiday, Colour Home Movies – Kinolibrary on YouTube

Great Yarmouth | Tourism in the 1960’s – Coaster Scenery on YouTube

1960s, 1970s Great Yarmouth Shops and Cafes, Colour Home Movies, Summer Holiday – Kinolibrary on YouTube

1960’s Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Summer Home Movie 2 – Old 8mm Film – Ademusicuk on YouTube

Gt Yarmouth Skating 1960’s v2 – Gavin Langley on YouTube

Gt. Yarmouth in the 1960’s. Ralph’s cine films. – Peter Ibbett on YouTube

1968 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Summer Home Movie – Old 8mm Film – Ademusicuk on YouTube

Summer holiday in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – Melvyn Fickling on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1970s

Great Yarmouth (1974) – British Pathé on YouTube

Great Yarmouth 1973 – Raisa Watkiss on YouTube

Botton’s Pleasure Beach, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. – BCM on YouTube

Ladbrokes Caister Great Yarmouth 1976 – Darren Mawbey on YouTube

Great Yarmouth scooter rally 1979 – Gary Kettless on YouTube

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach 1970s Part 1 – yarmouthonfilm on YouTube

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach 1970s Part 2 – yarmouthonfilm on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1980s

Great Yarmouth | 1980s Great Yarmouth | Norfolk | British Seaside| 1981 – ThamesTv on YouTube

Great Yarmouth in the 1990s

Great Yarmouth Summer 1990 – clipsbyme on YouTube

Great Yarmouth 1st of June 1994 – henryhvideofan on YouTube

Yarmouth’s Golden Mile

A quick look back at the historic “Golden Mile” along Great Yarmouth’s sea front, in old photos.

A history of Gt Yarmouth’s Golden Mile in pictures – Norfolk Now on YouTube

Great Yarmouth’s Salem Witch

Rebecca Nurse was born in Great Yarmouth in February 1621.

Her family emigrated to Salem, where she brought up a large family with her husband Francis.

In 1692, the frail 71 year old found herself accused by the notorious Salem Witch Trial of killing 7 babies with her spirit.

By law she was forced to defend herself, although 40 neighbours bravely signed a petition defending her piety and innocence.

She was hanged as a witch on July 19, 1692, and was denied a Christian burial in a churchyard.

Her sister Mary Eastey met the same fate, while her other sister Sarah Cloyce was not found guilty.

Weird Norfolk -The Gt Yarmouth “Witch” hanged at Salem… – Norfolk Now on YouTube

Bridge Disaster (1845)

The Great Yarmouth Bridge Disaster of 1845 is largely forgotten, but the incident killed 79 people and left hundred of people injured.

Great Yarmouth Bridge Disaster – Ryan Kirkpatrick on YouTube

More about Norfolk


Frequently Asked Questions about Great Yarmouth

What is Great Yarmouth famous for?

Great Yarmouth used to be known for its port, which brought in much of England’s herring catch. Today it’s famous for being a historic seaside resort which still attracts crowds of holidaymakers each year.

Is Great Yarmouth in Norfolk or Suffolk?

Great Yarmouth is definitely in Norfolk. But its proximity to Suffolk makes it a good base from which to explore the neighbouring English county.

What sea is Great Yarmouth on?

The whole eastern border of Great Yarmouth meets the North Sea. Because of that, it offers sandy beaches, sandy dunes and stunning cliff top views. Swimmers and surfers usually enjoy local sea temperatures of 15 to 19°C (59 to 66°F) in August each year.

How long is Great Yarmouth beach?

Great Yarmouth offers a sandy beach which is 15 miles long! That’s why it continues to draw visitors and holidaymakers throughout the year. There are plenty of cafes and pubs nearby to keep you well fed and watered after a day at the beach.

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