Sunday, 8 January 2017

Scenes from South Denes

It's a still, cool January morning with a murky mist bearing down. Where better place to head in such weather than to Great Yarmouth...

Yes Great Yarmouth. Yarco. Yarmouth Town.

I actually love this place. It has a reputation now for amusements, deprivation, greyhound racing, cheap seaside holidays and cruising along the sea front - but there is so very much more to this place. Yes it has all those aforementioned things, but it also has a very rich history.

Great Yarmouth was a hugely important fishing port, the biggest herring fishing port in the world in fact. It was a prosperous place to be and people travelled from all over the country to work catching, landing and processing the herring during the season. South Denes was where a lot of the herring were cured and packed. Alas the herring fishing industry saw massive decline during and after the war, and has today all but ceased. The popularity of white fish saw a huge drop in consumption of smoked and pickled bloaters (that's where GYFC's nickname The Bloaters comes from).

And so now the South Denes is a quieter place, with oil, gas and energy companies now operating here, interspersed with local businesses. The place is weathered, untidy and in some places practically falling down. But in amongst all this is a beautiful example of a gas tower, some fantastic buildings and the grade 1 listed Nelson's Monument, with Britannia on the top looking out across towards Nelson's birth place (rather than out to sea).

As you head past the historic South Quay towards the South Denes there are two places that always catch my eye. The first is the alloy and wheel shop with brightly coloured wheel decorations, and the second is Ivy's Noted Tea Shop. I have no idea if it is still open, and really should stop for a cup of tea there sometime. It's good apparently.

This wonderful gas tower marks the divide between housing and industry down on South Denes. There are some great alleyways providing interesting viewpoints of this prominent landmark.

There are still some signs of fishing in South Denes.

And plenty of offshore companies. Grass was growing in the roof of this one.

If you don't want to go to Ivy's noted tea rooms, then you could try Bernie's Bites. It's not going anywhere fast judging by the state of the wheels!

G.Y.C Electricity Dept. With any vandal drain cover.

South Denes is home to another kind of refreshment too. The still thriving and successful Lacons Brewery. Lovely.

The largest collection of NO PARKING notices can be found on South Denes. Some have been playfully adjusted at some point... er NO... what?

Yep that too.

Ah. No Parking!

If you're interested in the history of Great Yarmouth then a great place to start is the Time and Tide Museum.

To see the full set of photos from my trip to South Denes, visit Flickr