The Beach with No Pavilion

Anchor & Hope + beach 6-7-2000This photo plus two others were given to me by a past Headmaster of Alderman Leach School .

You will note that the Pavilion was not built at this time, so this should give us an idea when this photo was taken. On the site of the Pavilion, you will observe what appears to be a Large Marque, this is next to the Rocket apparatus. Behind this you can spot the Storm Company Volunteer Lifeboat Lookout on the Quay. Going further towards the pier you will notice the second lookout attached to The Anchor & Hope, this lookout is not mentioned in any of the books I have. (I/E The Beachmen by David Higgins, or Saved From The Sea by Robert Malster). This may well be the only Photographic record of this historic Rescue company headquarters, the name of which we may never know. You will notice that there was no sign of the rank of shops where Delaspina's ice cream parlour now stands. Did you know Ron, that there was another lifeboat Station at the botton of the Cliff Hotel grounds at the seaward end of Beach Road, somewhere near to where Jacksons Faces were before the war? This would have been in the mid eighteen hundreds.

Beach.G00010This is another view of the Little Beach Arthur. I like this one as it shows where the old groins were, even though it must be pretty near high tide.



Rocket Apparatus

Boy On Beach 2This photo must have been taken earlier than the previous one Ron. Note the absence of the structure between the rocket apparatus and The Anchor & Hope, which can be seen in the previous photo.

In 1966 I loaned both of these photo's to the Borough Engineer . At that time he and his staff were trying to locate the position of the sea defences prior to the turn of the century , and these photo's proved to be invaluable.

As youngsters, us Pier headers, as we who lived in close proximity to the Harbour mouth were called. Always enjoyed watching Rocket Practice. This always took place after tea. This involved wheeling the cart from the station, down to the beach and then firing a rocket with a light line attached, over the Breakwater and over a specially constructed mast, which can be observed in both photo's. Here on the Breakwater, other members of the crew, would haul in the line, onto which a stronger line, attached to a Breech'es - Bouy ,was then hauled to to the top of the mast. A crew member would then slide his legs into the Breech'e Bouy, and the crowd on the shore would watch in fascination as he was hauled to safety on to the shore. Wilfred Burgess, the Landlord of the BelleVue Pub, was for many years in the crew, and often came ashore in the Breech'es Bouy. All seems a little old hat these days Ron, what with the advent of the modern helicopter and the large numbers of rescues which they continue to perform throughout the world.

Nevertheless the Rocket Apparatus around our shores did a grand job during the period whilst they were in operation.


Bathing Machines

bathing machines on Gorlestopn Beach circa 1934  06-10-2000Here is one of Stans Photo's he scanned on paper of Bathing Machines on Gorleston Beach in the early 1930's . The Horse was used to pull the Bathing Machines in and out of the water. I can remember as a child sitting on the Little beach one morning with my cousins Frank, John and Beryl Strowger, when a freak wind came over the clifftop. We ran quickly up the steps to the shelters which faced the beach and also backed onto the Bandstand. It truly was an amazing sight. The wind which seemed to be a mini tornado, hit the lower parade and was so powerful ,it picked up Deckchairs, Tents and even took the roofs off several beach huts. As the roofs went, the sides quickly followed ! We sat in the shelters and witnessed the whole show ! Huts and deckchairs went up in the air around 50 feet ! finishing up in the sea up to 100 yards from the shore. Even the bathing machines were pushed by the wind several feet out into the sea !

My father who had a beach site just opposite the Ravine, told us of one ladies harrowing experience. It appears she was in one of the huts preparing for a swim. She had just taken her clothes off , when the Roof plus the sides went straight up in the air ! Apparently there were no casualties. But what a great video shot it would have been ! (The huts flying in the air I mean ! )


The Gorleston Rock King

Rock Kiing 1934  06-10-2000He was a colourful character who owned a Rock shop on Beach Road . Note the stick of rock in his top hat plus another in his right lapel . He spent a lot of his time on the beach selling his sticks of rock whilst his wife took care of the passing trade from their shop . The next photo does show his shop.


Family Outing to Beach

Beach road September 1932   05-10-2000  OThis shows a family happily making their way down to the beach . Its interesting to me, as it tells a little story and also shows the Rock Shop on the left side of Beach Road just passed the old Admiral Duncan Pump. There is a sign. Rock Shop and beneath it an awning. The sign at the Bottom of the White Lion Steps States, Clowes Stores, Grocery & Provisions. The house behind the lady was owned by Henry Clay, who ran the Pops Concert Party at this time. The cottage one can see facing into the sunlight is No. 1 Bath Place . Or No. 1 Pier Road. This was the house where my father was born . The shop No. 26 Beach Road , plus the Rock shop were owned by myself & my wife Carol for 10 years through the 1960.s (But we didn't store Cycles ! ). I guess more people had cycles than cars in those days, so the Corner shop was a safe place to leave your Wheels , whilst spending the day on the beach ! The writing on the reverse side of the Postcard reads.

To Mrs Crome

No. 3 Queens Road

Kingston -on -Thames


     Dear Mrs C . We are having a very nice holiday . Fine and warm weather . We are staying at the cottage to the right of me . No. 1 Pier Road . Thought you would like our Mugs !

Postal date 5th. September 1932 .


This brings back good memories of our days on the beach throughout the late forties and fifties. It was a family outing, with football, cricket and the worst thing sand in the sandwiches. This picture brought it all back.

In the late forties when I was about four, my dad and my Uncle Auby used to walk me down Beach Road to the beach, as we lived at 13 Beach Road. I used to take my spade with me as there was alot of oil washed up and many dead seagulls, I would bury them and put a piece of driftwood on the grave. One day we found a seamine, the type with all the spikes. My Uncle went to notify the police whilst my dad made sure nobody went near it.

I loved these walks and believe it or not my dad used to tell me stories about “Willie the Whale”, he told me he came to Gorleston Beach to take me for rides in his mouth. We always told dad to write them down, he never did and somebody else made some films with the same name, some fifty years later.



Punch and Judy

Punch & Judy summer 1934  20-11-2000I mentioned before I used to spend time with the kids in our area.This photo was taken in 1934.

From right to left Arthur aged about 4 years, next Smokey Sutton, behind me Annie Rogers, the beach inspectors daughter , the little girl in the middle is my cousin Beryl Strowger.The little boy in front of the dog, is Toby Sutton the Harbour masters other little one . The rest I dont know. We are waiting for the Punch & Judy show to start . Note the coach on the lower Marine of the coaches owned by the Page family. When the father died the two daughters ran the icecream parlour in the shops opposite the yacht pond ,whilst Alfie Liffen ran the newspaper shop .


Yacht Pond

Yacht PondYacht Pond - 002

The large photo of the yacht pond must have been taken on a summers evening during the 1930's (note the long shadows as the sun was sinking in the west . Plus the fact that the deck chairs have been stacked for the day . My father had the deck chair site on the Little beach , plus the beach site for his huts and tents at the bottom of the Ravine during the 1930's.

The yacht pond was built mainly by fishermen after the first World War. They were waiting for the fishing fleets to start employing again, but as unemployed they had to work for their benefit, hence the yacht pond was built, my grandfather was one of the workmen. I used to love sailing my model yacht, Chris has one too but he likes Cromer yacht pond, its alot smaller.



Promanade and Beach

Gorleston PromanadeI think this was late 1920´s or early 1930´s, Arthur.


The Promenade and Beach. Yes I am sure you are correct Ron . The huts in the foreground were privately owned in the 1930's. There was a beach site with huts to rent to the left of photo, this was the site of George Leggett.

Roger Leggett 1949 22-11-2000 I think George died about the same time as my dad and so his wife ran the site in the late 40's and early 50's. This small shot was taken during the summer of 1948. Roger Leggett and myself, on his mothers beach site I would have been seventeen. Dads Beach site 24 -11-2000What a great age to be !

Where have the years gone Ron ?

This photo shows my dad presenting prizes on the weekly sports day .This was always on the Friday & included A treasure hunt for the kiddies with money buried in icecream cups ,a sack race , & also the greasy pole ! Etc. The holiday crowds were more easily pleased in those far off days before the war Ron !



Gorleston Bandstand 26 -11 - 2000Although this next photo is old and a bit worn , I thought you might like it . A shot of the Pier hotel & bandstand . As the trams were electrified late in 1905. Plus the first herring drifters started to turn from sail to steam at around the same time .(one can be seen with mizzen sail set heading north outside the harbour .) also the dress styles of the ladies .So I would guess it was taken around 1910 .


Bandstand.G00034This is a postcard I have of the bandstand Arthur. Seems very popular.



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