Great Yarmouth 2009

The sky is grey again today and the atmosphere humid and misty. We didn’t manage to get to the station in time for the 9:17 so we took a walk to fill in time until the 10:08.

Window, St Nicholas
Window, St Nicholas

We had a look at the church of St Nicholas and at the North-West Tower, built 1344, which is part of the old town walls, surviving today as an architect’s office.

North West Tower
North West Tower

While we were exploring, a siren began to sound. The noise was eerily similar to the air-raid warnings of WWII. At first we assumed it was a test but when the siren continued wailing we asked an elderly native what its significance was. He informed us that it was a flood warning. Let’s hope we will not find the town under water when we return this evening.

In its day, Great Yarmouth was an important town and can boast a long history.

North West Tower from Bure Bridge
North West Tower from Bure Bridge

Sadly, it has not made anything of this. Unlike Kings Lynn, for example, it has allowed its historic treasures – of which the North-West Tower is one – to remain uncelebrated and to slide into oblivion. The column erected to Nelson has been rescued and renovated, however, and perhaps this is a sign that interest in Gt Yarmouth’s heritage is beginning to revive, although it’s already rather late.

Town sign...
Town sign…
...made in jail
…made in jail

The 10:08 is non-stop to Norwich where we transferred to the 10:57 Lowestoft train. As we have plenty of time, we had hoped to break our journey at Reedham but are out of luck because this train too is non-stop to its destination. It’s ironic how you get the fast trains when you don’t want them.

We left the train at Oulton Broad – the same place we had visited yesterday by bus. Moreover, we now took the bus to Carlton Colville, the place of which our bus driver yesterday had said “There’s nothing there.”

The area is famous for poppies
The area is famous for poppies

There is something there:and that is what we had come to see: The East Anglian Transport Museum. Today it is open only between 2 and 5pm which is why we had wanted to visit Reedham first. In the event, we went for a walk and had lunch at The Bell, the pub we did not go to yesterday.

After lunch we still had some time to wait so walked slowly to the museum and waited half an hour or so for them to open.

The trolley bus
The trolley bus
The trams
The trams

<pWe rode on everything moving: a London Transport electric trolley bus, a double-deck Blackpool tram, a single deck Netherlands tram and the narrow gauge railway. Of all of those my favourite was possibly the trolley bus. I would like to see these quiet, non-polluting vehicles make a comeback in our cities but I cannot imagine that this will occur.

There are various other exhibits of interest to historians or people of a nostalgic disposition. It turned out that 3 hours was sufficient to see all that was on offer. Like all museums run by volunteers, this one has difficulty recruiting staff, especially for the less glamorous jobs such as the cafe, but I hope the museum will survive and carry its many projects to completion.

Narrow-gauge railway loco
Narrow-gauge railway loco

On emerging from the museum, we found that we would have to wait for nearly an hour for a bus. We decided to walk further along towards Oulston Broad in the hope of finding a wider choice of buses. This turned out to be a bad idea. We walked a considerable distance and then waited for an hour at a bus stop without seeing more than one bus which was going only a short distance.

We were by now very tired so we decided to walk to a Tesco store and filling station and ask whether they had a phone number for a cab. They kindly phoned for a cab and this took us and out aching feet to Oulston Broad North station.

Tram staircase
Tram staircase

We had an hour before our train so went for dinner to the Indian restaurant that occupies the old station building. We hurried through the meal, which was very good, only to find that the train was late.

The train eventually arrived and carried us first to Norwich and then to Great Yarmouth. We dozed during much of the two legs of the journey and still felt tired enough at journey’s end to take a taxi to the hotel.

This was our last full day in Norfolk. Tomorrow we return to London.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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