after the Pleasure Beach is Merrivale Model Village,
where I have spent many an illuminated evening.
A miniature railway darts about the scenes, my favourite
of which was always the fairground. Even then I must
have been fascinated with these things.
Around this area, is a pants machine. It’s been there
for years, outside a souvenir shop, selling sexy undies:
“knickers for a nicker, pouches for a pound”.
images are fading now.
I pondered getting the women’s ones and putting them on
over my trousers, but decided against it. It wasn’t
quite sunny enough for transvestism.
Wellington Pier has had quite some renovation in recent
years. What used to be an outdoor walkway up to the
theatre building is now a covered arcade.
Immediately to the side are the Winter Gardens. How I’ve
sweltered in these…Not a good place for a rendezvous!
Next we find one of the big, late-80s attractions, the
Sealife Centre. This wasn’t part of my childhood at all.
Instead, it represents Great Yarmouth remaining vibrant
through all eras.
I remember sitting in a small audio-theatre room within
the Sealife Centre, in what must have been 1989, as a
promotional video showed Pleasurewood Hills’ new
Enterprise ride (which seemed overwhelmingly massive).
Next to it, Amazonia (formerly a butterfly house) –
another attraction of a similar era - has long provided
a taste of the exotic, with its lizards and crocodiles,
not to mention the extreme humidity contrasting the
bracing air outside.
Not that Great Yarmouth is always cold. On a hot
summer’s day, I could barely imagine anywhere more
exotic. As you gaze out across the dunes, from the shade
of the columned area outside a white-painted tea room,
feelings of the Mediterranean are evoked.
Or as strong a feeling that England can muster, perhaps!
fairground at Merrivale Model Village. Photo: Graeme
"Knickers for a nicker, pouches for a pound." Photo:
Wellington Pier. Photo: Graeme Cassidy