Do people still send postcards these days…?
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – Atlantis Tower | St. Nicholas | Yacht Station, River Bure | Marine Parade | Seafront | Winter Gardens | Marine Parade | Anchor Gardens | Horse & Carriage
A Salmon Cameracolour Post Card, published by J. Salmon Ltd. / Printed in England
Postmarked Norwich Mail Centre, May 2015, from Ann, John, Ivy and Arthur
Nothing says British summertime like a multiview from Great Yarmouth. This is a prime example of the classic British seaside postcard from J. Salmon Ltd, purveyors of fine stationery for over 120 years. It feels as an embrace from a bygone era, not only because the photos used are at least 20 years old, but because of the glimpse back to the days of the Great British Holiday, before the lure of the Costas and the Balearics. Yarmouth has been welcoming seasiders for over 200 years and still they come, to dip their toes in the North Sea, ride the iconic Scenic Railway rollercoaster, take in some end of the pier variety, play the penny arcades with their ice cream-streaked fingers, or just stroll along the prom prom prom (where the brass band plays, tiddley-om-pom-pom).
It’s heartening to see that friends have visited Yarmouth with their bairns this week (albeit for a short stop on the way through) and that the kids found the sea and sand as enticing as generations before them. The grown-ups, sadly, seem not so enamoured. But Yarmouth holds a nostalgic place in my own heart as the destination for the first two family holidays I ever took. The years… probably 1979 and 1980, or thereabouts. I don’t remember a great deal but I do have vivid memories of the lights, a little bit of Vegas in this corner of England, that bedazzled me. Holidays as a kid were always an adventure not least because we were allowed to stay out late and I do remember the strip, the noise and the glitter, the thrill of the screams from the Pleasure Beach fairground rides and a very distinct recollection of the Merivale model village, which I’m thrilled to see is still operational (although not featured on this postcard). We stayed in a caravan park, the name of which has completely gone from my mind (if it was ever there at all). The reminiscence of our Yarmouth holidays is especially rose-tinted as it marked a rare (and possibly final) family holiday where we were all together. Soon afterwards the family would separate and estrangements would take hold that lasted decades (and in some cases ,still do). So, for me, a postcard from Yarmouth is a personal memory-jogger of good times lost, never regained.
My sister, me, my brother on the beach at Great Yarmouth, years ago.