From time to time we intend to publish some of my dad’s old photos of Yarmouth, particularly if they are as evocative as the top one in this comparison. Firstly, apologies for the state of the print. It was rescued from the bin when my somewhat self-critical father was thinning out his print and slide archive. To be fair this was probably a dark-room proof and if a better print or the original negative still exist I still haven’t been able to find them.
I’ve stuck the Google Earth view in below just to give people an idea of where the shot was taken. As you can see the buildings on the far left are extant as are the chip stalls albeit modernised.
Dad’s picture must have been taken in the early seventies. The prices on Nicholl’s restaurant are post decimalisation (February 1971) and our last family holiday to Yarmouth was Summer 1974 – my great aunt whom we stayed with dying in the spring of 1975. The cars look older but that must just be coincidence and a reminder that we held on to our motors much longer in those days.
What I love about this picture is the atmosphere it conveys. Obviously night-time, the steam billowing out of the fryer vents on the chip stalls, people standing on the corner. This is 1970s Yarmouth market. Contrast with the sanitised high street frontage edging the market today.
Just looking at dad’s photo transports me back to those carefree days (Carefree for us kids anyway). We would have just left the ABC having watched Gerry and the Pacemakers (or Rolf Harris but least said….). We would go and get some chips of the market and then wait for a number 8 bus to take us back to Gorleston. My sister and I would try to guess which name from David Copperfield would be painted on the blue bus’ bonnet. Amazing how evocative an image can be