Great Yarmouth History

Historical Snippets I

1209 - King John's Charter granting Yarmouth the status of free borough.

1427 - The river has always been the focus of life for these two towns. The first bridge across the Yare at Yarmouth Haven was built in 1427 to link Yarmouth to what is now Southtown and consequently Gorleston. Southtown and Gorleston have only latterly become part of Norfolk. For most of their existences they were part of Suffolk.

1854 - Another Haven Bridge was completed on the 21st October and it cost £60,000. This bridge was eventually closed on the 20th February 1928 and dismantled to make way for the present bridge which was opened in late 1930. During the construction period of two years, a temporary wooden bridge was put up to allow access into Great Yarmouth.

1887 - This year saw the building of the Gorleston Lighthouse which is along Brush Quay. This was the Storm Company's headquarters. The Beach companies as they were known were there to lend assistance to ships entering and leaving the harbour. They also provided ferry services across the river. The men of the beach companies manned the volunteer lifeboats located at Gorleston.

1905 - There has been much made of the storms, which in 1953, resulted in widespread flooding along the East Coast. In early January 1905 after strong northerly winds had persisted for a couple of days there was a tidal surge which left the Brush Quay area of Gorleston under several feet of water.

1908 - The Royal Navy came to town on May 17th to show off four submarines to the public. It ended in red faces for two of the submarine commanders. They lost control of their boats in a strong tide whilst trying to berth alongside Hall Quay. The pair of them ended up wedged under Haven Bridge awaiting rescue.

1962 - saw work started on the South Pier at Gorleston. The Old Dutch Pier, which was being replaced, was itself 300 years old, being started in 1650. Joas Johnson a dutch engineer was consulted in the design stage to try to create a more stable harbour entrance, which he achieved. However in 1962, the original design was not followed and the result was that Gorleston lost part of its beach. I suspect the modern designers of the South Pier must be working for the Highways Agency, another mob who go round making things worse