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A Selection

of the writings of

Harry Beale Johnson,

the Yarmouth Mercury Corner Man


Compiled by
Paul P. Davies

The Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

Monograph Twelve

Copyright © Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

Published by
Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society
Registered Charity No 277272

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopy-
ing, recording or otherwise) without prior written permission of the publisher.

Every endeavour has been made to trace any copyright that exists on the material in the book,
but often the owner of the copyright is unknown. If the society has contravened copyright, please
accept our apologies and the publisher will be happy to include a full acknowledgement in any
future edition

RPD Litho Printers, Gorleston, Norfolk

Monographs Published by
the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

Monograph One:
Excerpt from the Sailor’s Home Logbook 1861 to 1864

Monograph Two:
Record of the Surviving and Legible Memorial Slabs in
St. Nicholas’ Church, Great Yarmouth at the Commencement of the
Restoration Work: 2nd June 1957

Monograph Three:
Little Yarmouth

Monograph Four:
Homocea: YH 573: A Diary of the Autumn Herring Fishing Season: 1908

Monograph Five:
Photographs of Great Yarmouth taken between 1942 and 1944

Monograph Six:
Plaques in and around Great Yarmouth and Gorleston

Monograph Seven:
Window Display par excellence
The work of Philip Musgrave-Gray of Palmer’s Department Store, Great Yarmouth in the 1930s

Monograph Eight:
A Snapshot of Great Yarmouth 150 years Ago
Advertisements from the Yarmouth Independent of 1863

Monograph Nine
Some Bye-Laws of Great Yarmouth Borough Council 1862-1873

Monograph Ten
Caister Causey Act 1722

Monograph Eleven
A Proposal for a New Cattle Market and Slaughter House for Great Yarmouth 1877

Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

On 25th January 1888, the Great Yarmouth branch of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological
Society was formed. On 27th February 1953, the Society became independent and its name was
changed to the Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society. At the Annual General
Meeting on 15th May 2009, it was decided to change the Society’s name to the Great Yarmouth
Local History and Archaeological Society in order to reflect members’ changing interests.
The aims of the Society are: to encourage the study of history and archaeology, especially in the
Great Yarmouth district; and to secure the preservation and conservation of historic buildings and
monuments within the town and district.
Its activities include lectures in the Christchurch, Deneside, Great Yarmouth, at 7.30pm, on the
third Friday of each month, January to May and September to December. The lectures are on
local and national, historical and archaeological topics.
At least two excursions are organised each summer, including a coach trip to a place of interest
in East Anglia, and an evening visit to a village or a site.
The Society’s journal is a compilation of articles, written mostly by local people on mainly local
historical and archaeological topics, and is published each autumn.
The Society produces a quarterly newsletter, giving news, articles and notices of events, which is
sent out by email or post.
The Society also erects blue plaques around the district to commemorate buildings people or
events of local interest.

The Committee of the Great Yarmouth Local History

and Archaeological Society
President: Andrew Fakes
Chairman: Paul Davies
Secretary: Patricia Day
Treasurer: Derek Leak

Committee Members:
Carl Boult
Stuart Burgess
Ann Dunning
Alan Hunt
Peter Jones
David McDermott
John Smail
James Steward
Michael Wadsworth
Patricia Wills-Jones


Harry Johnson became a regular contributor to the Yarmouth Mercury. In the late 1920’s and early
1930’s he was given a regular column entitled, The Corner Man. His contemporaries praised his work
with such comments as:

And in time his writings will gain historical value.

He has left his mark on his native town as one of its most assiduous historians.
We recognise in him one of our local historians, comparable with Palmer and Finch-Crisp of the last
It is as the historian he will be best remembered and as such his name will be perpetuated.
Possibly, some day we shall see these articles in book-form, but in case we do not, I might advise readers
to cut them out and paste them in a scrap book; that is, if they care to. (Arthur Patterson)

In view of these comments, the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society decided to
publish some of his early articles in book form so that they are readily available to the public. Of course,
he wrote many articles and this may be the first volume of his writing.


Great Yarmouth Public Library

Yarmouth Mercury
Peter Allard

From the Yarmouth Mercury

The Mercury Asked and Answered Corner
For Notes, Queries, and Replies on Old Yarmouth

Within the past few years our correspondence columns have shown a marked tendency towards a revival
of interest in town events and matters of the past. Our local history is worthy of review, and this new
feature, The Mercury Corner, we feel sure will prove popular and of great value to our many readers both
at home and abroad. Letters, queries, and answers will he welcomed, and Mr. Harry B. Johnson, who for
many years has contributed to our pages, will be delighted to assist. His Row Series, and other articles
will in future appear under this heading.



It is with sad hearts that we have recorded the death of Mr. Harry Beale Johnson, which took place early
on Wednesday morning at his home, 20 Nelson Road Central, after a severe illness lasting some six
weeks. He had not been well throughout the summer, but his restless, indomitable spirit would not give in
and he carried on until growing weakness and pain obliged him to take to his bed. Despite every care and
attention and, the devoted tending of his wife, he steadily got worse and
the end came as stated. He was only 43. The sympathy of the whole
town, which has suffered a very real loss by the passing of this modest
and unassuming citizen, will go out to Mrs. Johnson in her grief.
He loved Yarmouth with a passionate devotion. Although he will be
remembered for his affection for its past and for his researches into all
phases of local history, especially those which touched the common life
and doings of the inhabitants, he was extremely modern, progressive and
go-ahead in his outlook. His tireless brain teemed with ideas for making
Yarmouth a better place for those who live in it and an even more
attractive and pleasant locale for visitors and holidaymakers. It mattered
little to him, that when some of the suggestions he originated were
adopted, the source of the inspiration was overlooked. This will probably
happen again, when schemes he has thought of for improving our front,
particularly our rather ugly central parade, are carried into effect. It is the
fate of all such lively brains to be ahead of their time; even to be regarded
indulgently by their slower thinking contemporaries. Being quite destitute
of self-assertion, he was untroubled by these considerations, but just went
on. He had crammed his short life full of endeavour.
Educated at St. Peter's School and brought up under the shadow of St.
Peter's Church, he was always an ardent Cross-key, and he had written and
published, no doubt at considerable sacrifice, a book on the history of that
church. After school days he was apprenticed to Mr. Wright, the then well-
known confectioner of King Street. This was one of the old-time businesses,
which was destroyed by the war, and when H. B. J, as we all loved to call
him, returned home from active service after the Armistice, he was one of the
many unfortunate men who found the job they had left to serve their country,
had disappeared. For some time he was in a difficulty, but eventually his
quick discernment saw an opportunity. He acquired the disused premises of
the old St. Nicholas Laundry and by great industry and perseverance
founded the Northgate Rooms. With his own hands, for he was adept at
manual work, he made them comfortable and attractive. His foresight was
amply justified. Johnson's Rooms have become a household for whist
drives, meetings, weddings and social gatherings; myriads of which have
been held within its walls ever since. He saw the need for such a
headquarters for the many organisations, not over blessed with funds, and he really performed an act of
true Socialism in providing such a long-wanted centre. Many a society, take for instance the Art Society,
Horticultural Society, the Naturalists’ Society, football clubs and so on, were thus enabled by his sympathy
and considerateness, to found themselves able to keep going. In some cases he helped by making no
charge and always his charges were very reasonable. Gain was not his first thought, but as always, these
things shall be added unto you, and he was successful. In the summer many visitors used his house for
their stay and appreciated the care and attention he and Mrs. Johnson, who worked just as hard with him,
lavished upon them. At the rear he built some cottages, acting largely as his own builder, designer and
bricklayer and enjoying every moment of the work. Later, he acquired St. George's Hall, doubtless again
with the idea of making something useful for the town and, in more recent days, he bought Anna Sewell’s
birthplace in the church trees and devoted himself and his knowledge to turning the old house into one of
our show places. From various premises in the Rows he procured ancient beams, tiles, bricks, windows,
etc., and by his own exertions rebuilt the front and roof in its present form. There, during the summer, he
was wont to meet visitors and chat with them about the town's history and particularly the life of this local
And all the time he was keeping up his journalistic and research work. All the local newspapers benefited
by his knowledge and his carefully docketed facts of local happenings, but it was chiefly as the Mercury
Corner Man that he became known to every household in the town and to every Yarmouthian exiled in
other places. They read him with avidity and revelled in the memories he was such a wizard in calling up.
His books of cuttings were a marvel of watchfulness and industry, and in time to come will gain historical
value. If his pen was never idle he was no less prolific in imparting the knowledge gained by his
investigations to others and, as a lecturer, particularly at the schools, he was in great request. The part he
was playing in this side of our life was recognised by his co-option as a consultative member of the Public
Libraries Committee of the Corporation, which concerned a subject very near to his heart. In politics he
might be well described as a reformer, often impatient with the slow way in which wrongs are righted and
injustices removed. He was large-hearted for the down-trodden and the unfortunate, having himself
tasted the bitterness of hopeless despairing side-walking. Now he has been taken from us in the full spate
of a torrent of various activities and we shall miss him sorely. He was a true and loyal son of Yarmouth,
kindness itself, as honest as the day and entirely un-mercenary in his works and, young as he was, he has
left his mark on his native town as one of its most assiduous historians. The funeral is at noon on Monday
at St. Peter's Church.

The Funeral: Yarmouth Mercury 20th October 1932

A striking display of public esteem was witnessed on Monday morning at the funeral of the late Mr. H. B.
Johnson. The large congregation, which gathered in St. Peter's Church, where the initial portion of the
service was conducted and at which the deceased gentleman had worshipped and worked, included the
Deputy Mayor (Mr. F. W. Lawn), Mrs. Carr, Messrs. A. W. Yallop, H. T. Howe, G. F. Hatch, E. J. Middleton
and J. R. Chapman (members of the Corporation): E. E. Palmer, E. W. Kerrison, W. J. Hall, D. Drummond
and R. H. Teasdel, F. S. A. (members of Public Libraries and Museum Committee); the last named also
representing the Great Yarmouth Branch of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society; C. Mellon,
W. E. Mayes and A. C. Barkaway (Yarmouth and Gorleston Art Society): W. Wyllys, Humphrey Lynde, J.
E. Dyson, C. H. Beckett (Yarmouth Swimming Club), O. H. Beevor (Priory School), A. W. Castle, A.
Teasdel, C. A. Bailey, W. H. Bunn, P. P. Causton, W. J. Sayers, G. H. Gower, W. R. Masterson, T. Parke
P. W. Chambers, B. Dye, S. Coleman, J. Burton, A. R. Bishop, J. Skitmore, W. King, A. Hatch, J. Lee
Spink and A. H. E. Brunning (Yarmouth Naturalists' Society), B. Cox, C. Reade, R. W. Crome, G. E.
Lupson (Parish Clerk), E. Barnell, F. Butler, W. J. Welham. A. E. Lang, R. H. Montgomery and J. W.
Farrant (Schools’ Football Association), F. Westgate, T. Hubbard, F. W. Chambers, B. Pike, H. T. Tinkler,
William Porter, Charles Skippen, Charles Grice, A. H. Patterson, Fred Foxhall, H. Brundish and many
ladies. And, afterwards at the graveside in the old churchyard, gathered many other friends, including Mr.
G. J. Barber and representatives of the Labour Club. It was here in this quiet old burial ground, where he
had loved to ramble and point out the interesting tombstones to visitors, that he was laid to rest.
The mourners were: the widow, the father, Beale Johnson and wife (brother and sister-in-law), William
Johnson (brother), sisters Nan, Kitty and Blanche (and husband), Mrs. Hart (sister-in-law), Mr. and Mrs.
Gibbs, Mr Cecil Duffell, Mr George Harrod (cousin), Mr. Keen (London), a war-time friend, and Mr. R. G.
Watlow, Borough Librarian and Curator and an old friend.
There was no music or singing by request, but at the close of the service in the church, the Rev’d. P. W.
Vale expressed a few thoughts about him, whose memory had brought them together. When I remember
Harry Beale Johnson three things come to my mind. Firstly, I always found him a man of great courage
and faith. Secondly, a man of very generous impulses. Thirdly, a man who loved his town and never
spared himself to help it. With regard to his work for St. Peter's, I remember four and a half years ago,
when we had our first meeting in connection with the restoration of this church, as most of you know, the
architect decided it was necessary to restore the church at once. Otherwise these doors would have to be
closed. When the estimate was put before the Church Council for £2,000, most of us hesitated to shoulder
the burden, and I remember how he got up at the back of the room and in a very wonderful speech
exhorted us to be strong and have faith to go forward with the scheme. It was largely owing to that speech
that we immediately undertook this great task. The fact that to-day we have a church almost completely
restored is largely attributed to his own high faith. He was a most generous hearted man and no one ever
went to him with a burden and in trouble without receiving help. There are hundreds in this town, who will
miss him for his generosity. He loved his town as few men have loved it. In this church there are many of
you, drawn from all classes of life, from the highest to the lowest, to bear tribute to the fact that he is
essentially a Yarmouth man, who never spared his time and energy on behalf of the town. There are some
who think; he laboured too much, he devoted himself too much and too unselfishly to be of service to the
town and so he brought on his illness. But, he has left a wonderful example of how we should never spare
ourselves to make our town a better place for ourselves and our children. He has passed from us to
higher service at an early age, in the very prime of life, and our deep sympathy goes to his widow and

Thanks: Mrs. Johnson wishes to thank all enquirers and all who sent letters of sympathy and floral
tokens, as they were too numerous to be answered personally; also Messrs. Brundish and Son for the
funeral arrangements.

To thousands of the Mercury readers, H. B. J. was just the Corner chronicler of local happenings of
bygone days up to recent times, but others, who followed him closely unravelling the past, recognised in
him one of our local historians, comparable with Palmer and Finch-Crisp of the last century.
Looking back into the distant past was not solely his forte. Ever a man of vision, but never a dreamer, his
fertile brain was always working out some scheme for the benefit of the town he loved, as the columns of
this paper for some years past will testify. His worth was recognised by those who sit in high places, who
often sought his advice and acted on his suggestions. As a speaker he was of more than average ability,
generally to be heard at his best when speaking on the social problems of the times. There was nothing of
the soap-box orator about him, as is common with many of our so-called social reformers, ready to hurl
the improvised platform at those who do not see eye to eye with them. To the questioner he was always
courteous, answering with a tongue that never knew malice.
It is as the historian he will be best remembered and as such his name will be perpetuated. Oft times he
brought to light and to the public’s mind some long-lost link of this town's history. The acquiring of the
birthplace of Anna Sewell, the authoress, in the shade of the church trees, the remodelling of it and
placing of a tablet, so all who pass may read, will now bring this well-known writer nearer to the hearts of
the people of the town, which gave her birth. Children coming home from the nearby schools, who pass
the door, have been taught more of the town's history through the foresight of H. B. J. than they have
been within the walls of the school they attend. To me, it was a pleasure to meet him and have a walk
together. As we walked, so we talked, and as he talked, so he taught; taught me a lot of local history that
had laid buried for many years, which in time he would have had set up in print. It was only a few short
weeks since we were having one of our walks together, in fact it was last time we met for a walk and a
talk. The hand of sickness had already laid its hold upon him. I noticed the one time quick step now
seemed laboured. Apprehensive of his health, I suggested a rest awhile from his activities, historical,
social and otherwise. His reply I shall ever remember, I have a life’s work in front of me. Readers will note
the significance of it all. That life's work is finished. The history of the town may not be complete, but his
labour of love for his own town will long be remembered. So we gathered together at noon on a fine
autumn day in the church, where he had laboured since a boy. We, who had known him from boyhood,
met with those who sit in high places; all come to pay our tribute to one who had spent many years of
brilliant and generous service to the town. And so onto the old churchyard where, in the corner near the
scenes of many of his labours, were laid to rest the remains of H. B. J. Historian, Reformer and Man.
Slowly, I made my way back through the churchyard, for the most part alone. As I walked, so the thought
came to me that the Yarmouth would not be complete until Harry Beale Johnson’s name was inscribed in
some suitable and appropriate place for all time.

Harry Johnson’s
grave in
St. Nicholas’

2nd October 1926
Any more for a sail? Nice day for a sail, sir! and Now for a trip in the Skylark! Such savings as these
were familiar with the visitor to our beach; the advent of the motor-boat has brought about a change.
Last week, the last of the large cutter-rigged sailing-boats came under the hammer. As advertised the
Cambria was to be sold at noon on September 22nd 1926 on the beach just south of the Britannia Pier.
It was indeed a glorious day; the sun shone brilliantly, there were several visitors, the heat was intense
and the scene presented a picture long to be remembered, for gathered around the Cambria was a host
of beachmen, all of whom had seen Yarmouth in calm and stormy times. Men who had manned the
lifeboat, managed the yawl, been long-shoring, spent many days and nights at salvage work and also
cruised our Roadstead with the pleasure craft with such familiar names as Skylark, New Skylark, Moss
Rose, Grace Darling, Britannia, Princess of Wales, Primrose, White Wings, Garibaldi, Duke of
Connaught, Prince of Wales, Palace and Star of the East.
Mr. E. J. Mullen, acting for Norford Suffling, auctioneers, described the Cambria, and in a loud voice
(reminding one of a beachman) read the conditions of sale. The purchaser was Mr. G. W. Thomas, a
local fish merchant, and he secured the boat for £62/10/0d. Meanwhile Mr. Martin (Little Bill), a beach
photographer, took a fine snap.
The following morning at 10 o'clock the Cambria, under ideal conditions, was launched, probably for the
last time, from the beach and was towed by motorboat into the harbour. This event marks the closing of
a chapter in our beach history.
The Cambria was a fine vessel, and owned by Mr. James Harper, a life-long beachman, whose father
and grandfather were also beachmen, the latter coming from Halvergate. Originally, this vessel was the
Skylark, but owing to the memorable and distressing wreck of the New Skylark on 1st September 1903,
the crew, through superstition, wished for a change of name and, in 1904, it became the Cambria No. 5.
A long-boat of 37 feet, she was the fine handiwork of William Spence of Southtown in 1891, a local
craftsman in whom the beachmen put confidence. This shipbuilder is still alive. The Cambria was clinker-
built, such craft always finding favour with Yarmouth beachmen. This boat in breadth was 11 feet 4
inches and depth 4 feet 3 inches; built of American oak.
Like her many companions, the Cambria during the season was spic and span, the familiar green and
white paint was conspicuous. This class of craft had their washboard and top streak green with a yellow
line under the top flank of green. All below was white, with exception of the bottom, which generally was
The Cambria, in all her career, knew of no accidents and lost no lives. She was licensed to carry 96
persons, and her official number was 24.
During the war, 1914-1918, some of the Essex Regiment bayonetted the boat, which lay on the cab-
stand south of the Britannia Pier, and in 1922, it went temporarily aground on Scroby Sands; and once a
trip was made to these sands and the passengers landed. Ballast to the weight of 25 cwt. (being shingle
in hessian bags) is carried by these boats. The last crew to work the Cambria were the owner James
Harper, Tom Caton and Joe Hart. Ten beachmen usually work a boat like the Cambria and many times
their total ages have been over 600 years.

13th November 1926

How time flies! Yet, it is 23 years since the town was shocked at the news of the tragic disaster, which
cast a gloom over the visiting season at the latter end of 1903. September 1st proved to be a sad day
for the hardy beachmen and his dependents. Year after year; season after season these weather-beaten
heroes had borne as their motto, Safety First, whilst giving pleasure to thousands of visitors, and no
accidents had occurred from our shore with this type of large sailing pleasure boat.
The New Skylark (a name always to be associated with pleasure boats), a cutter rigged open boat, a fine
craft 42 feet long, 12 feet breadth and with a depth of 4 feet 6 inches, capable of carrying (registered)
133 persons, was returning just before dinner time from its trip around the Scroby Bell Buoy with a crew
of three licensed boatmen and ten passengers. The S. S. F. E. Webb, of London, was passing through
the Roadstead upon a voyage from Shoreham to the Tyne. This steamer was proceeding at full speed,
equal to about 9 knots, and was steering the usual course of N. by E., 3 E. through the Roads. As the
two boats got into dangerous proximity, the passengers on the New Skylark became greatly alarmed for
their safety. They shouted to the steamer F. E. Webb, and when about 20 or 10 yards from her, one of the
boatmen, named Shreeve, called out to another of the boatmen, named Sutton, who was steering, to
slack the main sheet, and then hurried aft to assist him in doing so. The mainsheet was slacken, the helm
put up, and the jib sheet hauled to windward in order to pay her head off quickly, but before these
measures became effective for the boat's safety, and when she had almost crossed the steamer's bow,
the latter's stem crushed into the port quarter of the former, sinking her immediately.
The F. E. Webb's engines were reversed, but owing to the vessel's speed, she was carried two or three of
her own lengths past the scene of the accident before she came to a standstill. A boat from the F. E.
Webb rescued two lives, the Lowestoft trawler Intrepid, and the drifter Boy's Friend also rendered
assistance, saving five passengers. Those who unfortunately lost their lives were: James Sutton,
Yarmouth, boatman; George Shreeve, Yarmouth boatman; Arthur Beckett, Yarmouth boatman; Henry
Meek, of Norwich ,a tram inspector; C. Baird and F. Baird, both of Euston Road, London.
A court of enquiry lasting four days was held in the Town Hall, before Colonel Walter Diver (Mayor),
William Palgrave Brown J.P.; assisted by Captain Alexander Wood, Commander W, F. Caborne, C.B.,
R.N.R., and Admiral Churchill, R.N.

20th November 1926

When an old beachman tells you the beach is not what it was and times have altered; to recall times past
in memory is an easy matter and my brief span permits the recollection of most of the large sailing
pleasure craft, when the shore was crowded with these and their smaller brethren, the 20 feet boats; old
time photographs of these scenes present a wonderfully animated seashore. The white slopped
beachman, the skeets, gangways, the large bathing machines, the old time ferry boats, and the yawls, all
these familiar objects remind one of boyhood days, when Gillings' monkeys, Cubitt’s donkeys and the goat
chaise were the general form of amusement.
The selling by auction in September last of the Cambria reminded one that a phase in the beach history
had ended, the last of the old gang had passed. The motor boat had come to stay and future local
recorders have yet to be born who, will see the passing of the motor boat. Last season saw 21 motor
boats taking folk for the popular trip to Scroby and the Bell Buoy, etc., and the old cry; Any more for a sail?
was conspicuous by its absence.
Brown Bros., hardy old beachmen and owners, were popular with visitors and townsfolk alike. The four
brothers were associated with The Duke of Connaught, a large boat carrying 115 persons. Feney Brown
acted as skipper, and his brother Bacca (William) managed the Prince of Wales, the Albert Victor, and the
Palace. Smaller craft, carrying about 40, also were the property of the Browns. I believe the Palace
afterwards became a wolder.
The oldest living beachman, probably about now about 90, is William Leech, of 8 Stanley Terrace, Market
Road, who owned the Primrose that carried about 70, and left for Skegness about 20 years ago. He also
owned the small craft; Triton, Earl of Beaconsfield and William and James. Mack, the boat builder of
Southtown, built Primrose and Wicker. Brundish, the oldest working beachman alive today was one time
skipper. Charlie Smith, who lost his life from Britannia Pier in 1901, was also a popular member of the
Mr. Amis had four boats from the beach, and who does not recall the Moss Rose? (with Skipper Bob
Boulton); built about by 1893 by Spence, the craftsman who took a delight in shape and form and
seaworthiness. The Moss Rose carried 106 and, I believe, was sold in 1914 to Mr. Miller and went to
Scarborough. Mr. Amis owned also the Duchess of Edinboro’, an earlier boat of the large class. That was
sold to Lowestoft and was later seen with cuddy fixed and a cargo of red herrings bound for the London
Skipper George Haylett worked the Grace Darling for Mr. Amis. This fine vessel carried 120 persons and
was built about 1884 by Spence.
The Star of the East belonged to Mr. Amis. The Harper family owned the Cambria, which originally was
the Skylark (see Part 1). Skipper Woolsey worked the Princess of Wales for William and Mark Green.
This boat was formerly the Mosquito and, when lengthened, was re-christened. She left Yarmouth before

1900 for Skegness and was afterwards upset in a thunderstorm. The Greens had a smaller boat, the
Volante, carrying about 40 persons.
John Green, of the well-known family, owned the Royal Tar in the early days, say the 1870's, and also the
Visitor. The old Garibaldi, nicknamed the Dockgate, because she had as much beam as she was long,
belonged to Walter George, built by Mack about 1890.
The White Wings is to be remembered. She carried 73 persons, and was Mack built in 1890 or 1891. The
popular skipper, Mun Symonds, worked her for Mr. Wilde, the owner, who was connected with H. M.
Customs. John Gilbert, the shipwright, owned the Britannia, a fine sea-going boat built by Beeching and
carried 133 in 1893. She was later sold to Lowestoft for coaling drifters.
Toosh (Robert) Holland owned the William, and J. Haylett, the Friends. Other small sailing boats recalled
are the Rosa, belonging to George Haylett and Charlie Symonds; the Tiger Lily by Mr. Curtis; John
Sharman's William and Arthur and his Jenny Lind named after the famous prima donna. Charlie Steel's
Skylark and the Fashion; Geo. Milligan's Favourite; Mr. Amis and his Lily of the Valley; the Beatrice
belonging to Mark Green. Then to we must not forget the Harry owned by Harry Masterson one of the old
The Leander, a favourite belonging to H. Gibbons; the Princess owned by W. Starkins. Then on the South
of the Jetty we recall the Emu and the Quiz belonging to George Symonds, and amongst others to be
included is the Red Rover owned by J. Duffield.
I have omitted the Dawn of Day, a small sailing boat that met with a serious loss of life before I saw the
dawn of day. All the above named boats were clinker-built, copper fastened, cutter rigged open sailing
boats, that are missed from the beach today, and rob the scene of much of its attractions.

9th October 1926

St. George, that swinged the Dragon and ere since,
Sits on his horseback, at mine hostess door
The Dragon (an imaginary animal something like a winged crocodile) is one of the oldest heraldic charges
of this kingdom, so writes Charles Hindley in his book, Tavern Anecdotes,1881, obtainable at the Library.
It would be interesting to learn, if in the days that are passed and prior to rebuilding in 1897, the sign was
displayed at this tavern? A green dragon is in compliment to St. George. This well-known sign may be
seen on a golden sovereign or on paper; more readily viewed on St. George's Church, King Street, built in
1715. A former vicar, Canon George Venables, used for his crest a dragon wounded through the neck by
an arrow upon a child in a cradle.
The George and Dragon has long been a link between the village and the town. James Outlaw, the genial
host 100 years ago, gave shelter to man and beast. Here the Catfield Carrier in 1829, made his
headquarters on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In 1835, Abraham Tooley was the landlord. This well-
known family, at this time, were represented by Robert Tooley, miller, Factory Gate and Church Square;
Tooley & London, coachbuilders, Fullers’ Hill; and Edward Tooley, Market Gate, Beerhouse. In 1844,
King Street possessed a George and Dragon Tavern and William Flaxman was the tenant. Formerly
many publicans were tradesmen and in 1844, William Hallett, the cork cutter, was mine host at the
Church Square Tavern. Some four years later we find the Curtis family of cork cutters established on the
White Horse Plain and removing to the S. E. corner of the George and Dragon Row. The trade of cork
cutting seems to have been a close trade for families, and today, Mr. J. R. Palmer successfully continues
an old established business on the White Horse Plain.
It was William Curtis, cork cutter, who was summoned in 1857 for non-payment of the Church Rate, with
other Primitive Methodists.
James Blogg was landlord in 1850 and was followed by William Trevett Read, a well-known local
carpenter 60 years ago. In 1886, Mr. Tom Shreeve was opposite and established a hay dealer's and
jobmaster's business on Priory Plain. He died on 9th of May this year and left estate of the gross value of
£20,614/1/3d. Mr. David Hollis is the present landlord.

In these days of charabanc and railway, it is interesting to remind ourselves of times when transit was not
so rapid or luxurious. In 1850, Bullimore the carrier, left the George and Dragon for Hasboro’, Carrier
Plane for Horsey, and Carrier Betts for Upton. Few are there amongst us who can recall old lady Whall, a
red-haired dame, who could, with ease, handle the whip and three horses (I believe at that time women
drivers were not allowed to manage more) and proudly bring her from Stalham to town. I have been told
this was formerly a London coach with a red body and yellow wheels. It was a familiar conveyance, but
gone are those times and we cannot exclaim with the poet:

Go call the coach, and let a coach be called,

And let the man who calleth, be the caller:
And in his calling let him nothing call
But Coach! Coach! Coach! O, for a Coach, ye gods
Henry Carey 1663-1743

This Row with its covered east end is most picturesque and many are the visitors, who have especially
visited this Row to see the zigzag or herring-bone pattern brickwork on the overhanging open-timbered
house, No. 18, on the south side.
In 1844, Rev’d. R. Hart published his Antiquities of Norfolk wherein he mentioned this house, and stated
that only two other specimens have been found in all Norfolk, namely, at the Infant School, St. Andrew’s
Norwich, and Little Fox and Hound Yard, Ber Street, Norwich. This latter is still to be seen, although
To readers interested when visiting Norwich a visit is worthwhile to Elm Hill, where during the past much
herring bone pattern brickwork has been discovered upon the open timbered houses now being restored.
It is to be regretted that the George and Dragon property has two years since cemented and this fine work
hidden from view.
There are two large open spaces on the north side, one occasioned by the Corporation purchasing two
houses in 1906 for £10 and demolishing them. It will be noticed that high door steps are prevalent in this
Row. Prior to paving, this Row was much higher and many of the inhabitants recall the cobblestones
when the cattle would stampede through the Row on the way to Hog Hill (Priory Plain) and only last week
two bullocks strayed through the Row.
William (Peggy) Gates, the well-known Breydon smelter resided in three house in this Row, dying a few
years since in Row 11 or Garden Row. He had a wooden leg, hence the soubriquet, Peggy.
It is not many years long since that young fishermen frequented this Row. Here on the north side was the
back entrance to Captain Robin Purdy’s house, who lived in No. 18. Here he had a nautical school. In
addition to teaching navigation, he published a book of verses in 1912 at 2/6d. from which the following is

In times gone by the Norfolk men went freely on the wave

Some were hardy fishermen and justly counted brave.

In 1844, Alfred Harvey, the bird stuffer resided in Row 12. He was probably related to Isaac Harvey, who
was the bird stuffer living in 1829 at a house in Barnby’s Row (42)


Reply to Aquarius: Captain G. W. Manby. The following should be of interest: Under 1836: Met Captain
Manby at dinner today at Mr. Paget’s and happening to sit next to him was surprised by him telling me that
he could not swim. It is a little strange that a man, who has all his life been employed in devising means
to save lives of shipwrecked mariners should be ignorant of the first means of self preservation in such
cases. This is taken from page 43 of Leaves from the Diary and Journal of the late Charles J. Palmer F.
S. A., published in 1892.

16th October 1926
Although living in an age of progress, oft times we fail to recall the past, more so is this noticeable with our
street lighting.
Prior to the introduction of electric light (our town works were erected in 1894), gas was the popular
lighting. This brief article will remind many of the brave individual, who was shouted at when he exhibited
the first electric light in Yarmouth, quite a faint light, from the Bull Tavern, top of Market Gates.
Two years since the Great Yarmouth Gas Company celebrated its centenary, and the enterprising
manager, Mr. Percy D. Walmsley, compiled an excellent brochure of its history.
Prior to 1824, the town was very badly lit, oil lamps were the recognised form of street lighting, and
Yarmouth men and ships were engaged in the Greenland whale fisheries. Such prominent local
gentlemen as Messrs. E. Lacon, W. A. Palmer, M. Palmer, J. Symonds, J. Ives, J. Preston, W. Steward
and T. Pit formed a company and received encouragement from the Crown with the promise of bounties in
1788. Early in the 17th Century Yarmouth ships went whaling. The oil stores were situated along the
Quayside, west of Queen’s Road and were taken down 60 years ago; much of the wood and bricks being
used to build houses nearby. It was customary to set up whale bone arches in the town and, today may
be seen in the Tolhouse Museum, a fine specimen that stood on the South Denes, and was procured for
the town by Mr. A. H. Patterson.
Our splendid South Quay still retains many of its old features and attractions. Although the trees have
disappeared, there remain the old lofty houses, the porches, the tapestry irons, the old Town House, the
compass or measuring stone and the railings with their old lamp standards.
No. 38, late the residence of Mr. Fred. Wenn, and No. 51, Mr. Herbert Bellamy’s (late Quay House) exhibit
these standards spanning the gateway; also Paget’s House, erected 1814, now the Navigation School,
No. 59 has a fine set of railings, which suggest, at one time, being ornamented by oil lamp brackets at the
north and south. The present Education Offices, No. 28, display two exceptionally fine specimens,
differing in ornament from all the others in the town. Under the open portico at No. 20, now the Custom
House, which had originally had been the grand residence of the greatest herring merchant in Europe,
John Andrews, may be observed a unique whale oil lamp bracket with its extended arm on the left for a
ladder support. The splendid wrought iron gateway of exquisite design that beautifies the old front of the
Cromwell Hotel, Hall Quay, once the residence of the Symonds family, when ornamented with the dolphin,
probably held a whale lamp. For an interesting account of these houses see Palmer’s Perlustrations vols. i
and ii.
The pair responsible for this article are to found at Nos. 26 and 27, ornamenting the railings of a Quay
mansion, once the residence of the England family. This splendid house, many years ago, was converted
into two dwellings and I well remember, as a lad, eagerly scanning news of the Boer War, so prominently
displayed at the Advertiser window, for this was the resident and printing works of Mr. Arthur Peaton,
Mr. Edward Crow has secured these extensive premises, No. 27, and intends to convert the same to meet
the needs of his successful business. Alterations will ensue, and Mr. Crow has promised me that this
unique oil lamp standard in its entirety, with a part of the original railings, will be offered for safe keeping to
the Museum Committee as a memento of the times, good old times some might suggest, but most
certainly dark old nights.


To Sally: yes, Henry Carey, the poet, quoted in connection with the coaches and the George and Dragon
Row, was the author of Sally in our Alley and, by the way, wrote God Save the King.
Enquirer writes: many Yarmouthians, I feel sure, enjoyed the several letters some months ago relating to
Peggotty’s famous hut. Your practical Queries and Answers Corner, would be an ideal medium for further
letters upon the subject. Might I enquire, where, oh where, has the sign Peggotty’s House that was affixed
to the present building gone? This board, I believe, was a portion of the old boat. Are there any portions
to be recorded (letters would be welcome). It is a great pity this link with Dickens was lost to the town.
Only last week, two Australian ladies enquired of the situation of Peggotty’s Hut, and were keenly
disappointed when they learned of its demolition in about 1879.

23rd October 1926
Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too. Cowper
The latter name is easily accounted for. To the modern thinker it is suggested by the whole of the south
side being occupied by the well-known brewery premises of that name. These are of recent erection,
1895. One hundred years ago there stood at the south-west corner of the Row extensive maltings, these
belonged to John Lacon, hence the Row name. In 1700, Robert Ward owned the maltings site, then a
garden. But what of Garden Row? It needs a great imagination to picture this locality with the monk that in
trim gardens takes his pleasure for prior to 1509, from the river to the Market Place was the site of the
Carmelites, or Whitefriar’s monastic buildings; these were destroyed by fire in that year owing (as Leland,
the writer tells us) to a defective water supply. The whole site was disposed of by licence from the Crown
in 1507. Probably this area was the last to be built upon. On the south side of the Row there existed an
open space, known as the Green Yard. The next Row to the north is known as North Garden Row. In
1829, James Thirkettle, the coal meter, resided in this Row. Yarmouth in the past, had many residents
with names of Danish origin. Palmer tells us that often this was spelled Thirkle and Thirketel. In the same
year William Farman had his cooperage here, and some 6 years after Thomas Money, the sugar boiler,
probably made Yarmouth rock to delight the boys, who since have been fathers, grandfathers, and long
since passed on. There is an open space, the site of old houses midway on the north side, and a passage
leading to Row 11. This Row is fairly steep, leading from George Street to Bessey’s Piece or Bessey’s
Paddock. In times past, when open spaces were abundant, and the town both within and without the wall,
had not expanded, the Piece and The Bleach, were common terms. William Henry Bessey owned the
large plot of land whereon St. Andrew’s (the Wherrymen’s) Church was built in 1859, through the
exertions of Rev’d. John Gott, who later became Dean of Worcester. This family of Bessey probably dates
back to the Freemen of that name, in the 16th century. W. H. Bessey took part in the memorable
investigation by H. M. Municipal Commissioners on the Corporate affairs of Yarmouth in 1834. We find
Mr. W. H. Bessey on page 124 of Barrett's Report speaking of his father and the ballasting of ships, etc.
Mention is made in this report of a Mr. Bessey having the mud dredging contract and also trespassing on
the North River, by throwing a craft load of mud overboard and causing a bank. He was ordered to take
up and remove the soil. Mr. W. H. Bessey, see page 227 of the report, said my father held, for several
years, a small piece of the town's waste, for which he paid 8/0d. a year. He petitioned to have a lease of it,
and was charged £4/4/0d. He put a paling round, it was restricted from building.


Sir, in reply to A. B., who asks what were the good wishes sung by Gorleston boys to sea-going
fishermen, the following, yelled with breathless expectation from one end of the pier to the other, may
have been one of these:

Fay you well, my dear old sould,

Fay you well, cried 'e,
An' if I never come back any more,
Oh, don't you wait for me —
Oh, don't you wait for me-e-e-e

(Followed by a frightful scramble for the elusive penny which, with care and precision, has rolled through a
crack in the boards and has disappeared for ever.)
Fay you well means, of course, Fare thee well, but what the last lines implied, and whom the he and dear
old sould are, I cannot pretend to know.
A. G., Dollis Hill, London: can, and will, any of your readers kindly tell us whence came the rather
disreputable epithet, Jew-killer, applied in years gone by to Gorleston folk by their Yarmouth brethren? It
would be very interesting to have the story, the true story, which is said to surround the term; that is, of
course, if such revelation does not reflect discredit upon Gorleston’s fair fame and glory.


Prior to the season of Lent, folk made merry; hence we get the saying Welcome, merry Shrovetide.
Yarmouth in the old days was not lacking in this national merriment, in fact, probably its jollity was more
so, owing to one of its two fairs being held on Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday, in addition to the
usual Easter fair.

It would seem that Yarmouthians, if, solemn and fasting during Lent, gave way to mirth both before and
after. The carnival spirit spread through the whole land, and on Monday, known as Collop Monday through
collops of meat and eggs being the fashionable dish, the merriment commenced. The good folk of
Yarmouth were delighted with the song by the boys:

Shrovetide is near at hand,

And I come a-Shroving;
Pray dame, something,
An apple or a dumpling.

Then on the morrow, Pancake Day is heralded by the church bells ringing, and together with pancakes
and revelry at the old-time fair, the whole town recognises a holiday (no Bank Holiday then), and
Lengthentide (or lengthening of the day), Lent is ushered in.

30th October 1926

LACON’S ROW (Continued)
The Bessey family used this open space for a store for masts, spars, timber, etc., and later a saw pit
occupied some of the ground. Prior to the introduction of the steam mill and circular saw, a 6 feet deep, 10
feet long and 4 feet wide pit, was dug in the ground; the tree trunk or timber laid lengthways above, and
two men operated a pit saw, one man from below and his mate at the top above ground. This was tedious
work for the sawyer, and in these scientific days, one cannot understand the motives which prompted the
violent opposition to the introduction of the saw mill into this country. Saw mills were erected near London
in about 1770. At one time, it is to be presumed, this saw pit was a flourishing business. The tavern on
Fullers’ Hill, facing east, prior to losing its licence, and known as the Albion was formerly the Sawyer’s
Arms and described at the Corporation investigation as a house for vagrants.
The circus and wild beast show at times camped on this site, and in the early years of last century a show
was billed to be on the market, but the Corporation banned it. The watchmen met the caravans on
Southtown Road and forbade the circus people crossing the bridge. (This was the former bridge, and for
an excellent model see Allen’s Wine Store window, four doors south of the Mercury Office). News reached
the keeper of the huge elephant and the gentle creature was brought to the fore, and with swinging trunk,
triumphantly led the procession, to the great delight of the younger generation, across the bridge, along
the North Quay, and held their show on Bessey’s Piece.
As I have mentioned, at the south-west corner stood the maltings, next south was the tavern the Lord
Nelson and next door resided for many years, until his death in 1828, the well-known botanist and
naturalist, Mr. Lilly Wigg, F. L. S., the Latin, French and Greek scholar, friend of Dawson Turner, M. A., F.
L. S., F. S. A., F. R S., etc., Dr. Aikin, Hon. T. Wenman, Mr. Woodward, Sir James Smith, Rev’d. Norton
Nicholls, and other prominent scientists, etc. Lilly Wigg was born at Smallburgh, Norfolk, on Christmas
Day 1749, and later came to Yarmouth opening a school in Fighting Cork Row, i. e. Row 25.


The Ferry Boat Row, Enquirer, P. M: yes, for a great many years Mr. E. J. Lupson, the parish clerk (father
of the present parish clerk) was a district visitor in Row 8. I believe this was his district quite up to the time
of his death. Many of the residents there still speak of his Bible readings.
Re: whale oil lamps: Mr. George Howes tells me in the course of an interesting talk, that he believes that,
prior to the exhibition of electric lighting from the Bull Inn leads, Mr. Stonex (a son of the well-known
organist) had a forge in the Broad Row, that was later occupied by Newark. Here, he as a hobby,
experimented and made his own dynamo, being quite successful with his electric light.

Although I have turned countryman in my old days, it does not follow that I have lost interest in the old
town of Yarmouth. I am often in thought back again to the days when cab men and ostlers were a
prominent feature and old Limmer jostled people for twopence in a queer old box on wheels to Gorleston,
more rattled up than in these days of cars and motor cars, although the last named all too frequently
smash them into unrecognisable beings.
During the past 60 years, vast changes have come about, from the time when troll carts rumbled up and
down the Rows with tuns of wines and brandies and hogsheads of sugar just landed on the tree-lined
Quay, from quaint, but picturesque old brigs and freighters; and when mackerel washing women held their
heads high on the beach, near the old Jetty, as Scotch lassies do now in King Street on Saturday nights;
and Scotchmen, today clad in flea bitten coloured caps and pilot cloth, expectorate on the pavements,
because an economical Corporation have failed to provide them with spittoons. They are not treated now
as hated foreigners unwanted, but as a great asset to the town’s prosperity.
I remember playing marbles in Charlotte Street in the stoned gutters, trying my skill against old Tom
Fisher; or giving old Frost, the cockle man’s dickey a shove up Cockney Smith’s Lodging House Row, to
watch the ancient hawker get out of his box built atrocity, known as the pop and cockle cart. Hold my whip
(which was a dry trimmed horse’s tail) while I get orf and the good folks lowered him to terra firma.
Possibly, some day we shall see these articles in book-form, but in case we do not, I might advise readers
to cut them out and paste them in a scrap book; that is, if they care to.

6th November 1926

H. Allen enquires re the two figures that adorn the front garden of Steward and Patteson’s Hall Quay
Many Yarmouthians have remarked upon these two curious figures upon pedestals. The man represents
a working gardener (against a tree-stump) in a red sleeveless jerkin, with a spade in his left hand and an
eager face with a beard. The companion figure is of his wife; a long grey skirted dame carrying a black
cat in a white apron. Councillor Grand’s letter to me last April will fully explain, and more will view them,
when the temporary bridge brings the traffic north.
Dear Mr. Johnson: it is a great pleasure for me to assist you in any way in my power, in your researches
into bygone Yarmouth. With regard to the two figures in the forecourt of my company's local office the
history of them is as follows:
For many years this office was the private residence of an old gentleman, Mr. George Stagg, and on his
decease, my directors purchased it from his executors in 1908. Mr. Stagg, during the many interesting
chats I had with him from time to time, often pointed out with much pride, the two figures in question
standing on either side of his front entrance door and told me the history of them was, that many years
ago the warehouse (now our ale stores) adjoining his house was a stone-cutter's yard, hence the
present name of Stonecutter’s Quay. (The stonecutter's arms are displayed in a evidently copied block
of stone in what is now our present office yard).
He, as a young man, remembered it as being used for that purpose, so, possibly some very aged
persons still living may remember it also. The tale goes, that one day, a disreputable looking individual
applied to the stone cutter for work. The stone cutter enquired of the man what work he could do. The
man replied that he was a stone cutter by trade and seeking a job. The stone cutter said, well, there is a
block of stone, get to work on it, and let me see what you can do. The applicant did so and cut a figure
out of the solid block of stone representing a gardener. The stone cutter was amazed at such
craftsmanship upon a single block of stone, and said, you have done the man so well; now carve out his
wife. This was done and the tale ends. These two figures have been admired and coveted by many.
Trusting this information may be of use to you.
Yours faithfully,
Richard Grand

Ex 1926: yes, Yarmouth was formerly governed by Bailiffs, by two up till 1702, and four from 1269 until
1425. But it must also be remembered, that the town prior to 1269, was governed by a Provost. King
Henry the First (1100-1120) appointed this chief magistrate. Our present Town Clerk, Mr. W. E. Stephens,
makes a special point of this governorship in his popular lectures upon the town's history.


Each season prompts queries, and I was not surprised to receive the following old enquiry: was Benjamin
Engle Yarmouth’s first Mayor in 1703? The answer is yes and no. Many are misled by the wording of
Queen Anne's Charter of 1703, which is as follows: and make, our beloved Benjamin Engle, Esq., to be
and to remain, the first and modern Mayor of the Borough aforesaid. Without referring to what many
believe to be, dry as dust books, the splendid lists on marble in the vestibule of the Town Hall will
enlighten one. There we find, Messrs. Ward, Medowe, Bradford, Fenn, Mew and Albertson, named as
Mayors from 1684 until 1688. This is explained by the fact that during the reign of Charles II, this King
granted a charter, which was abrogated in 1688 by King James II, altering the form of Government. The
wording is as follows (and suggests that those who were responsible for the Queen Anne Charter
evidently copied: Our beloved George Ward, Esquire, to be, and remain, the first, and modern Mayor of
the Borough aforesaid. This was in 1684, and strange enough, he, the King, cited George Ward to be
Mayor. The gentleman who, with Sir Thomas Medowe, had as Bailiffs, in 1671 entertained His Majesty,
when he paid that memorable visit to Yarmouth, and stayed the night on September 27th 1671. So it really
amounts to this: George Ward (with Thomas Godfrey, Town Clerk) was the last of the Bailiffs in 1683, and
the original first Mayor in 1684. Also Benjamin Engle (with James Davison) was the last Bailiff in 1702,
and the first Mayor of the long unbroken chain since 1703.

13th November 1926

In reply to M. A., Bedford: The length of our Parish Church is 230 feet: one of the widest churches in the
country. Seating capacity, 3,000. The pillars of the Nave; three shapes, octangular, round, fluted. Font,
octangular; English, of Purbeck marble. Pulpit, unique; 12 feet long; 18 large figures, prophets, martyrs,
Apostles, Evangelists. Pictures; copy of Rubens’ Elevation of the Cross, St. Veronica's Veil, photographs
of the Vicars for 120 years, choir organists, and the old parish clerk 1863-1908. Large Sanctuary, with
beautiful reredos and sedilia; and east window, Congress and G.F.S. banners, and Red Cross Hospital
flags; beautiful alms dish, presented by the Essex Regiment 1910. Choir Stalls, with finials illustrating the
Passion and other New Testament subjects. Bibles; Cranmer's 1541, Breeches’ 1582, Vinegar's 1717.
The War Memorial; Stained glass window, setting forth the ancient Borough Arms, badge of the Norfolk
Regiment, patron saints of Allied Nations; declared to be one of the finest war memorials in the country.
Revolving Reading Desk; 15th or 16th century. Its six shelves contain the Roll of Honour, over 800 names
of Yarmouth men. The large beautiful organ of 1735; four manuals, 66 speaking stops, 3,714 pipes, Large
vestries for clergy and choir. Elizabethan Communion table. Money sieve for sorting offertory coins. The
tower contains 12 bells. The Vicar or Sacristan will conduct visitors over the church by appointment. Mr.
Lupson, the Parish Clerk, of Church Plain, would be pleased to lend M. A. a small leaflet guide.
Yours truly,
Herbert Nicholas.

Further to the article of 13th November 1926: Mr. C. J. Wiltshire appeared for the Board of Trade, Mr.
Harold Chamberlin represented the owners of the New Skylark. Mr. J. Patrick Harper and his mother, and
the widows of the three members of the crew who lost their lives. Mr Dawson Miller represented the
master and owners of the S. S. F. E. Webb. As a result of the enquiry, the master of the steamer. Mr. R.
T. Ling, had his skipper's certificate suspended for six months. It was decided that a good and proper
lookout was kept on the New Skylark, and also that she was navigated with proper and seamanlike care.
The damaged pleasure boat was salved and later sold to Collins, of Wroxham, and I believe still is a fine
craft on the Norfolk Broads, with a new name, the White Heather.

26th November 1926
Most of us have been asked by the small boy for the picture cards now so popular, yet this collection
hobby is not confined only to the small boy. A young lady friend of mine treasures a cigarette card of a
local view. It depicts the last of our gateways to be demolished, i. e., The South Gate. 1812 seems quite a
while since, yet there are links, for was it not Jonathan Poppy, the furniture broker, and the tall fine special
constable, whose office was the present Mercury Office, who purchased the old South Gate for £28, and
pulled it down? I, naturally of an enquiring mind, wished to learn if any other local gate has been so
published under the title of Celebrated Gateways by this enterprising firm of cigarette makers, and after
much correspondence, the following letter satisfied me:
Castle Tobacco Factory, Nottingham.
Dear Sir, Referring to your letter of the 22nd inst., with reference to Yarmouth Gateways, we have now
been able to obtain a set of the Celebrated Gateways stiffeners from our printers, but we find that the only
Yarmouth Gateway included in the series is the South Gate to which you have already alluded. This
series was issued as far back as 1910. We are returning the card enclosed with your letter.
Yours truly, E. S. Tamsley: for John Player and Sons.
The interesting particulars of our old fortifications upon the reverse of the picture are worth quoting: The
fortifications of Yarmouth date from 1260, in which year Henry III granted leave to the inhabitants to build
a wall, and make a moat round the town. The walls were strengthened about 1545, and again in Queen
Elizabeth's reign. In the 17th Century they were allowed to fall into ruin and, in 1792, the North and South
Gates were almost all that remained.
Old Yarmouthian writes: your correspondent, A. G., of Dollis Hill. London, has not quite got the words of
the Gorleston song right (23rd October 1916). Mr. Hoyle, a fisherman from Gorleston, a writer of songs,
was the originator of the verse misquoted, and often sang it in the Yarmouth Market Place:
Fare thee well, my dear old soul.
Fare thee well, says he,
I am going where the wind and waters roar.
And if I never come back no more.
But don't you wail for me,
Oh, don't you wail for me.
Later, Harry Windley sang it as a comic song on the beach. Another favourite chorus of Mr. Hoyle was:
Haul, haul the trawl,
The fisherman's call
Of buskey boys, busksey,
That old fashioned yawl.


Sir, I was interested in your Mr. Johnson’s very concise account of the above disaster and I trust he will
allow me to add a few notes. H.M.S. Hearty, the fishing patrol cruiser, was anchored in the Roads at the
time and she promptly sent out a steam pinnace and a cutter, which greatly assisted in the work of rescue.
The Lowestoft trawler Intrepid and the Lowestoft drifters Alert and Boy's Friend, which were in the vicinity
at the time, also assisted in the rescue, and the seven survivors were all landed at the Britannia Pier.
Actually the Skylark was not sunk immediately. The force of the collision with the S. S. F. E. Webb
smashed up the stern and threw the crew and passengers into the sea. The Skylark became waterlogged,
and being a wooden vessel, she drifted about Yarmouth Roads for some time, being ultimately picked up
by one of the local tugs and towed into the harbour, where it was berthed on Beeching’s Yard.
The writer well remembers seeing the Skylark there a few days after the disaster happened, and after
viewing the extensive damage the vessel had sustained, it seems almost a miracle that the loss of life was
not greater. The colliding vessel, the S. S. F. E. Webb, of London was a well-known East Coast collier of
about 450 tons register, and at the time of the accident was owned by Messrs. Stephenson, Clark & Co.,
Ltd., coal exporters, of London, E. C. She came into the harbour a few years ago with a cargo of coal, but
shortly after that she disappeared from Lloyd’s Register, and I heard recently that her owners had sold her
to foreigners. The Skylark, I believe, was afterwards overhauled and re-conditioned, and used as a
pleasure craft on the Norfolk Broads.
Yours etc., Welldeck

Gas ceased to illuminate the Rows recently, and electricity has ended the career of the lamplighter, a
familiar personage in the Rows. Mr. W. Carter, the curator, has secured a lamplighter's pole and torch for
the museum (and here might I digress and appeal to all: These Times to future Yarmouthians will be
known as the Past. Let us remember the museum, when an excavation takes place, an old landmark
removed, a fine piece of panelling is discovered (or anything of interest is brought to light and pass the
word along to the right quarter, much might preserved, and Yarmouth be the richer for it). Nos. 12 and 11
Rows were lit by electricity on the 30th of last month, and No. 10 Row on November 1st; the same
evening that Caister saw the light.
During the recent municipal election campaign I remarked that here in Row 14 was scope for energetic
candidates. On the north side there is an open space that needs clearing of its refuse and debris, cleaning
and piling or railing off.
Probably, the prolonged coal trouble accounts for the disappearance of the previous hoarding.

4th December 1926

Baptist Meeting Row, 1756
Goymour’s North Row, 1806
Bett’s North ROW, 1834
Rev’d. Green's Meeting Row, 1852

A type of building, not uncommon 300 years ago in the Rows is still to be found today in Row 14, and this
house is the last of its kind on the west side of Church Plain, namely the open timbered over-hanging
house adjoining and belonging to the shop now owned by Mr. T. Smith, the harness maker at the north-
east corner. This example exhibits the heavy timbers, projecting 18 inches, extensively used in this class
of wood and brick dwellings, and it is to be regretted that the intervening spaces do not contain the
herringbone pattern so much admired in the brickwork of the house in the next Row to the north.
During the past 200 years many owners have resided here, and the will of Abigail Barlow, dated 21st
December 1738, makes interesting reading. It appears that this property was formerly owned by Mr.
Charles Ingram, who left it to his daughter, Abigail. She, by the above will, left it to her daughter, Abigail
and her husband, Hugh Debbieg. The following is interesting: I give and bequeath unto Mr. John Cotman,
15/0d. to buy a gold ring, therewith to wear in remembrance of me. On the back of the parchment,
assigned John Cotman, Mayor, 1842, a fine autograph.
The old peppercorn rent is mentioned in further deeds, and to these are appended the signatures of John
Ramey, later Mayor, and his wife or daughter Elizabeth. Other Mayors’ signatures are: Robert
Warmington, George Thompson, John Reynolds, Francis Riddell Reynolds and Robert Walpole,
A family of Bokenhams resided here. Then Samuel Savage, a cordwainer in 1792. During the last century
many tradesmen occupied the premises. In 1851, the property was put up for auction at the White Horse
Inn, but was bought in. Beneath are spacious cellars; 70 years ago they were the workshops of William
Curtis, the cork cutter. The old wooden benches and fire place are still intact. William Curtis died 28th
October 1906. In 1908, Mr. E. C. Saunders, the naturalist and taxidermist, occupied this shop, until
recently, removing to the next north, now occupied by Mr. Bromfield, tinman. In the back yard is a fine lead
pump, with the date 1837.
It is quite probable that 300 or 400 years ago these Church Plain dwellings had enclosed gardens in front.
A well has been discovered in the present roadway, and a cobble stone path, leading from a cellar
staircase to the well, was also laid bare.
It was in this house and shop, 70 years ago, that Robert Palmer, the well-known brush maker (Ellis, of
Broad Row, and Rigby and Co., of 21 Market, Place, were also brush makers at that time), carried on his
extensive business. He was uncle to Jonathan R. Palmer, the present day cork cutter and popular friendly
society worker, of White Horse Plain.

In those days William Trett, the mineral water manufacturer and sugar boiler, had premises at the south-
east corner. Mr. Trett was a very frugal man and an oddity of his was to meet his cork cutter’s bill with a
bag of 3d. and 4d. silver pieces totalling several pounds, the sorting and counting of the same and the
probable shortage was always deemed a nuisance. Mr. Trett died in 1915, aged about 90 years at his
Market Place residence, long known as the Weavers’ Arms, and residence of Miles Corbet, the Regicide,
Recorder, and M. P. for Yarmouth, hanged April 19th 1662, at Tyburn. Lacon’s premises now occupy the
site of Trett’s sweet shop, and a tablet bears the date, 1899. Row 14 was not only noted for the
eccentricities of Mr. Trett, but also by hearsay. A reporter has always insisted, that in a small cottage,
long since demolished next, westward, to the Baptist Chapel, on the south side, an atrocious murder was
once perpetrated. Particulars are lacking and would be welcomed from any old Yarmouthians. Evidently
this event, if true, was before the notorious John Hannah murder in Row 90 of 1813. Unlike the
arithmetician, who puts one and one together and knows the result, I prefer to state next some incidents
and not connect them with the supposed murder. Not many miles from this spot there is talk of a person
having, upon two occasions, had her face slapped when bed making. When I embarked upon the History
of Yarmouth's Rows I knew that quaint tales would present themselves and ghostly, not a few.
The chapel mentioned was the Baptists’. This building was erected in 1756, midway on the south side,
and had its main entrance in Row 15; some old directories give Row 14 as the address. I am told a door
was in this Row. The whole length of the buildings now occupying the entire south side belong to Lacon’s
and the old chapel walls, north boundary, can be traced by the filled up doorway and window spaces now
chipped in readiness for cementing.

11th December 1926

Probably content with life and things as they are, many of us to-day care not to probe into the future, or
delve into the past; we are too intent upon accepting; and returning thanks is a minor item, if a detail at all.
The learning of local history most certainly did not cease when we closed the books upon leaving school.
Townsfolk, all of us, are continually conforming to rules and laws, etc., in a varied everyday life, and
continually learning our lessons.
We, in Yarmouth, might well trace back and imagine the brilliant scenes of pageantry, mix with the excited
crowds outside the Guildhall, and listen to the clamouring voices of the surging mass assembled around
the Market Cross, enter into the enthusiasm of the humblest folk and of the far-seeing Bailiff and Mayor;
recall the busy scenes of the beach and the roadstead, try and envisage the great effort of past
generations, who sought to fortify the town with wall and moat, and who were not dismayed at their
repeated failures with the Haven. Remember also the early struggles against the invader, the armed and
the sea itself, and profit from the thought that life and existence is, and might be even better, to-day, far
removed from the conditions under which our forefathers laboured.
The early days of our corporate existence makes interesting reading and the granting of Yarmouth’s first
Charter, on March 18th 1208, by King John, is an event to which we can allude with civic pride. Former
Burgesses of the Borough zealously guarded their rights and privileges granted by the Charter and sought
to promote the prosperity and security of the inhabitants. Yarmouth in these times is traditionally
emulating the great example set, and it certainly is recognised that any movement inaugurated would be
welcomed, whereby the town generally may be reminded of its wonderful and glorious past, and
impressed with the importance of looking back to 1208, then pressing forward is always great.
The Mayor, Councillor E. J. Middleton, hopes to successfully inaugurate Charter Day. His wonderful
personality and happy way of getting things accomplished will win for him the esteem of all who love their
old town and who believe it to be capable of great achievements in the future.


The welcome enquiry from E. J. W., of London, has brought forward this interesting letter from an old
correspondent, J. W. P: there were at one time ten windmills in Yarmouth and Cobholm; seven tower and
three post mills. I have a fine photograph, with Mr. Pratt (of Ferriers’ office) sitting upon the wall of the last
to be demolished, which was on North Denes, and owned by Mr. Thomas Greengrass. It formerly stood
on a site on Nelson Road North, between Southampton Place and Middle Market Road. When erected
upon the North Denes, the Trinity Brethren kept it painted white as a guide for sailors coming through the
Cockle Gat; but after the lights were erected upon the Britannia Pier (north side) and the Sailors’ Home
roof, they did not require the white mill and it was tarred over. (The red light has recently been removed
from the Sailors’ Home).

Another post mill stood opposite the old cemetery, and was destroyed by fire. This was the property of Mr.
Hammond. The remaining post mill, this one at Cobholm, also was destroyed by fire in March 1850, long
the property of Mr. Waters. The two largest tower mills were at Cobholm. The green top mill of Mr. Press,
destroyed by fire, 29th January 1898, and the tallest in England, belonging to Mr. Woolsey. The latter was
built in 1812-13. The total height was 120 feet and a diameter of 96 feet. It contained 12 floors and,
possessed an open roadway, enabling the miller’s carts to unload inside the mill. There was an iron cage
at the top, from which a splendid view of the town and surrounding villages might be obtained. It cost
£10,000, and was sold in 1904 for £100. Mr. W. B. Skinner's mill stood opposite (east) Tottenham Street.
W. J. Tooley’s mill was near Northumberland Place on St. Nicholas’ Road. After commencing this long
terrace, the mill owner objected on the grounds that the houses would take the wind from the sails. The
result was that the houses were set further back, hence those long gardens today. The mill on the north
side of Albion Road belonged to Mr. Cole. Mr. Sexton had one on St. George’s Road; and Mr. Skinner, of
Tunstall, had his mill to the south of the Arches. Those arches I consider to be the best piece of
craftsmanship in brick in our town to-day, and they were the work of a Yarmouthian.
B. A., of Halesworth, writes: I have read from time to time records of longevity amongst parish clerks. Has
your parish church any interesting items upon the subject. I read in Ditchfield's book, The Parish Clerk,
that the clerks of Great Yarmouth Parish Church in years past were men of importance and position.
In 1760, John Marsh was a town councillor.
In 1785, Richard Pitt, the son of a former mayor. (He and his wife and 16 children were interred in the
north chancel aisle, where a mural monument records their memories).
In 1800, Richard Miller resigned his aldermanic gown to accept the office.
In 1811-31, David Absolon was a member of the Corporation before receiving the appointment. These
men were not only appointed by the Corporation, but also paid by the Borough.
The next two clerks, 1831-1863, were John Seaman and James Burman. The last named was an
accomplished campanologist and composed several peals, and he was the last clerk to respond aloud the
Amens. In the north aisle of the church there is a poppy head or finial erected to his memory, with an
open prayer book inscribed on it.
From 186l-1908, Edward Lupson held the office (and earned the respect of all who knew him) for 45 years
and was 80 years old when he died. Like the patron saint of the church (St. Nicholas), he had a wonderful
knowledge of the scriptures, which he obtained by continuous daily study. When a young man he was
clerk at St. Botolph’s Church, Cambridge, for five years. He succeeded his father in 1851, who had held
the appointment for 50 years. Edward Lupson was an extremely busy man. In addition to his church
duties, for many years he was secretary to a penny bank, which took up two evenings per week. He was
also secretary to the Church Helpers’ Association, a collector of church subscriptions, a teacher in the Old
Priory night school and, on Sunday afternoons, he taught in the Sunday school. Scarcely a week passed
without him giving a lecture in one of the old mission rooms or at a cottage service. He wrote a History of
the Church, Town Guides, A Volume of Matrimonial Experiences, and some short devotional works.
During his life he conducted many hundreds of visitors round the old church. Within a fortnight of his
death he carried out the honorary duty of a district visitor in the Rows of this town. In 1908, the Vicar,
Canon Willink, now the Dean of Norwich, erected a small brass tablet in the church, which speaks
volumes for the earnestness of his late Parish Clerk: In loving memory of Edward John Lupson, who for
upwards of 51 years served this church and parish with conspicuous ability and loving devotion. On the
tablet is mentioned the number of marriages he attended, over 12,600. His son, George, has carried out
the duties for the past 18 years. The total number of years that the three generations of Lupsons, Thomas,
Edward and George, served, is 118; at Cambridge 55 years, and Yarmouth 63 years. Yours, etc., H. N.

To C. S.: the Fishermen’s Arms was one of the many small beer houses in Charlotte Street, now Howard
Street North. It was situated at the north-west corner of Row 27. In the old days of trawling, it was noted
as a lodging house for smack boys and, it was hoped, of better repute than its notorious neighbour across
the Row, i. e., the Victoria Tavern. Many are there alive today, who survived the terrible gale of 1881, and
probably many, who upon that occasion, decided, if they were fortunate enough to return to port, would
never step aboard a ship again. Such was the decision of two lads, who had given up hope in the teeth of
this memorable gale. But the Law and Coffee Smith determined otherwise. Papers had been signed for
seven weeks and the two lads, lodgers at the Fishermen’s Arms, were removed bodily from these
premises by constables and conveyed on a cart to their smack and thence to sea. One of the lads
continued at sea all his life and is now a local tugmaster.

18th December 1926
MARCH 18th
Looking back to Twelve O Eight,
Then pressing forward, always great
With this slogan in mind, let us try to picture the town early in the 13th century. The inhabitants were
governed by the Provost. The municipal and customs offices were, together with the general trade of the
town, situated near the Conge, the Market Place and the Fuller’s Hill area. This was accounted for by the
former harbour, Grubb’s Haven, being at the north, between Caister and Yarmouth. This entrance, had
prior to this time, choked up. The Parish Church of St. Nicholas had been established 100 years (but not
with its present fine dimensions) and the stately Priory was close by. King John was in great trouble with
the Pope, and the churches of the land were closed to ecclesiastical functions, except confessions,
baptism of infants and sacrament to the dying. Dead bodies lay unburied, says the historian, or were
interred in un-consecrated ground, without the service of the priest.
The herring fishery was the trade of the town and the Cinque Port Bailiffs assisted in the government of
the town during the fishing season.
The Yarmouth folk then were probably a peace loving community, content to fish and trade, if
unmolested from without. A little export trade was done, because in 1206 the town paid nearly £70 fine
for exporting grain to Flanders.
It was not to be wondered at, that a possible invasion of the coast and the consequent depredations gave
rise to alarm from time to time, more especially when the King was conniving at such. Hugh de Doves, a
French knight and adventurer, sought to occupy Norfolk and Suffolk, and started from Calais; but a
violent storm averted his plans, and some 40,000 of his followers perished, many bodies coming ashore
at Yarmouth, and the stench of them is said to have so affected the air as to cause a sickness among the
inhabitants. However, despite the many setbacks, the town was gradually developing, for it must be
remembered, possible flooding might occur at any storm, and completely cover the small town, which
had originally been a sandbank, formed at the estuary of the three rivers.
Much has been said against King John, but suffice it to state that from his reign, seaports began to
flourish and prosper. John realised the value of exporting and importing and encouraged commerce. He
granted many charters, Three are worthy of note here: Yarmouth's first in 1208; at Marlborough;
London’s 1208, whereby the citizens had the power to elect their Mayor and Sheriffs; and 1215, Britain's
Magna Carta at Runnymede, where annually Charter Day is celebrated. Of the 25 charters granted to
Yarmouth, it may be truly said: that the two most important are King John’s of 1208 and King Charles II’s
of 1684.


Greyfriars’ Cloisters: these wonderful and valuable cloisters, many years ago, were divided into three
small rooms and families lived there, but before my time (I am not the aged scribe many take me to be);
1888 would be the time, and from about that date the cloister was cleared, and the excellent groining, the
admiration of all sightseers (the informed and the uninformed) was brought to light. Fortunately, since the
dissolution of the monasteries, this ceiling had been hidden by a plaster ceiling. In these days, when
treasure hunting is indulged in by the American and others, we are to be congratulated as a town, in
having such a rare link with the Franciscan Friars. However, mere interest or congratulation is not
enough and what were we told in the report of the Historical Buildings, Ltd.? This beautiful groined
ceiling was crumbling, and a danger to the visitor. Urgent restoration work was needed to save so great a
treasure. That was the message in brief, and it is to be hoped that the suggested fund be commenced, in
order to put necessary work in hand prior to the next visiting season.
To Fakenham Reader: Kitty Witches Row, No. 95, is 27 inches across at the west entrance. The fire
probably was when Mrs. Coultwas, 70 years ago, lost her life from burning at a house in this Row. James
H. Harrison, removed her, after extinguishing the flames, to the Turk’s Head Tavern, Middlegate Street.
She died later at the Hospital.
Full Penalty for bad language: at the Police Court yesterday, Annie Mills, who has been several times
previously convicted, and was described by the Chief Constable as a perfect nuisance, was fined the full
penalty of £6 or 21 days for using obscene language in Howard Street.

24th December 1926
Here’s to you and yours,
Here’s to us and ours;
If any of you and yours
Come in the way of us and ours,
We’ll be as good to you and yours,
As you and yours have been to us and ours

John was the last of the ferry boatman, who took his boat across the River Bure. With the building of the
Suspension Bridge in 1829 for Robert Cory, this occupation ceased, and he turned his activities to
shoemaking, and assisted as a waiter at the well-known and equally well patronised Vauxhall Gardens
across the river. The above was his favourite toast to the many visitors, who appreciated Humphrey’s
humour and ready wit.
Christmas comes but once year and the following is taken from an advertisement page of the Yarmouth
Free Press of December 6th 1856:
William Bird and Co., opposite St. George’s Chapel, offer the following hampers at £2/2/0d. containing:
2 bottles Sherry, 2 bottles Rum, 2 bottles Gin, 2 bottles Brown Brandy, 2 bottles Pale Brandy, 2 bottles
Whisky and 3/0d. deducted, if the bottles and packages are returned.
My friends, who delight to offer Christmas cheer in the glass, would welcome such a hamper at this price.
Today; probably £7/7/0d. would be nearer the bill, but these were times, when brandy was 15/0d. per
gallon, D. D. whisky 12/6d. per gallon and coal 15/0d. per ton.
In the same year, Edward Stagg, the auctioneer, announces a
To be held upon the Hall Quay, comprising: Horses, Fat Stock, Shipping, and Fishing Property,
Carriages, Harness, etc.
Mention of auctions remind me of the many inns and taverns years ago we used for property sales. The
Cattle Market Inn on Priory Plain (Hog Hill), was kept by the Hicklings in 1856 and was used by the Priory
Plain Auctioneer, for his sales by auction.
If a local pastry cook exhibited the following advertisement today his shop would be crowded:
To Housekeeper: three pounds of Rivett's noted Dundee cake at the low price of one shilling,
at No. 11 Broad Row, Yarmouth.
Many will recall James Rivett’s shop, now Platten’s on the north side. Blyth, tobacconist, and Ellis, the
brush maker, are the only surviving old established shops in the Broad Row to-day and Mr. A. W. Ellis,
who was a lad in 1856, recalls Rivett's double-fronted shop with the great display of Dundee cake at

J. W. P. writes: as a past patron of the theatre and a lover of the drama and an old admirer of the good old
fashioned pantomime, I pen these lines knowing that such will revive memories of the time, when 3d. was
the charge for the gallery or gods and here, let it be said (especially in the west corner), the actor's voice
could be heard to the best advantage.
The Theatre Ghost (an old lady) frequented this corner. To some she was known as Lady Florence, a
person of good education, conversant with the players of the day; and between the acts would keep the
gallery b'hoys enthralled with tales of actors and stage favourites known to her. She gained a livelihood
by letter writing and telling fortunes, at her residence in the Ramp Row, on the east corner of Hall Row. At
a panto in the 1860s a clown asked us the following conundrum:
Why are the fishers of Yarmouth sand
the biggest robbers in the land?

The answer was:
Do not they the lives of little fishes rob.
More the merrier, as if they liked the job;
And not content with cutting of their thread,
But smoke their carcase till it blushes red;
And write on them per car by Eastern County.

The Norwich line was called Eastern Counties Railway. In the old fashioned panto, the scene anticipated
most was the transformation scene. The characters were: clown, columbine, pantaloon, harlequin and
policeman. On one occasion the curtain went up to the tune of a popular song of the period: Thy face is
ever clear to me and the conductor, Mr. Hulley, turned to the gallery playing his violin. The b’hoys usually
sang whilst the harlequinade was enacted. This procedure lasted during the staging of the pantomime.
Another incident, I well remember, upon the occasion of Mr. Waldron’s Christmas panto. Many of the
Naval Hospital inmates attended, and after a fortnight’s stay, a curtain raiser entitled Poor Joe, the Street
Arab was staged. When Mr. Waldron commenced to flog poor Joe (Miss Harriet Oxley), one of the
inmates leaped from the boxes upon the stage and so quick was he that Mr. Waldron was struck down.
I well remember Mrs. Sidney’s panto, White Fawn. It was a brilliant company. Her company was the last
to play Ixion at Yarmouth at the time of wreck of the Hannah Patterson, a full rigged ship, opposite the
Workhouse on March 1st 1869; her husband, who was the lessee of the theatre and occupied a box. Mrs.
Sidney played her part well, Leah the Jewess, and her husband was seen to leave his box, when it came
to the Curse Scene.
Mr. McFayden, the actor, was often at Yarmouth. Miss Carrie Nelson assisted him in Capitola and the
Daughter of the Regiment. Both had singing parts. When the curtains should have gone up on the
Saturday night, Mr. Sennitt appeared and, after quelling the rowdyism of the gods, he stated that the
company had not been paid, so they would not perform. Then commotion ensued and the audience
wanted their money back. This, said Mr. Sennitt, was impossible, because Mr. McFayden had taken that
evening’s door money away. Some seats in the gallery were pulled up and ginger bottles were flung
through the curtains. The company was reorganised for the following week and stopped for a time to
Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Young, the well-known actor and actress, who helped amateurs for hospital funds at the
Regent Hall, I well remember in the 1860s. I liked him best as Rip van Winkle. His wife played Gretchen.
As Dr. Moncardo in the Sightless Bride, he was great and this incident is worthy of recall. When saying:
and the ships sailed gaily on he stood with his back to the audience and while lifting the bride’s eyelids,
the audience were staggered to see a local post office messenger place a telegram in his hand. This he
held in his hand until the scene finished. The telegram was to inform Mr. Young that his brother had been
killed in a railway accident at Brockley.
J. W. P.

1st January 1927

CHARTER DAY: March 18th
Mayoral Christmas cards are at all times marked by their originality. The Mayor of 1912, Reginald
Granville Westmacott, issued probably the largest one, containing a reproduction of King John’s 1208
Charter, which translated from the Latin is as follows:
John by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of
Anjou; to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Justices, Sheriffs, Provosts and to all
Bailiffs and others, his faithful servants, greeting. Know ye that we, have granted and by our present
Charter, confirmed to our Burgesses of Yarmouth, that in fee-farm for ever, and that the Burgh be a free
Burgh for ever; and have soc and sac, toll and theam and infangenthief and outffangenthief. And that the
same Burgesses through our land, and through all the sea ports, be quit of toll, lastage, passage, paage,
pontage, stallage, and of levee, and of Danegeld, and every other custom, saving the liberty of the City of
London, and that they do no suit of counties or hundreds, for tenures within the Burgh of Yarmouth. We
have also granted to the same Burgesses and by this Charter have confirmed that none of them plead out
of the Burgh of Yarmouth, in any plea, except the pleas of outward tenures.

We have also granted to them acquittance of murder within the Burgh of Yarmouth and that none of them
shall fight the combat. And that they may try the pleas of the Crown among themselves, according to the
law and custom at Oxford; and that within the Burgh aforesaid none shall take quarters by force, or by
assignment of the Marshals, and that in that Burgh there shall be no plea of miskenning, and that
hustings be holden but once in a week. We have also granted them a Merchants’ Guild, and that they
shall have their lands and tenures, their securities and all their debts, which anyone shall owe them.
And concerning their lands and tenures, which are within the Burgh aforesaid, the Writ of Right shall be
tried by them, according to the law and custom of the Burgh of Oxford; and concerning all their debts,
which shall be contracted at Yarmouth, and concerning securities there made, the pleas shall be held at
And if anyone in all England shall take tolls or customs from the Burgesses of Yarmouth, except as
above, the said City of London, and afterwards that person shall desist from his right, the Provost of
Yarmouth shall take out Naam at Yarmouth. Moreover, for the amendment of the said Burgh of
Yarmouth, we have granted, that whatever merchants shall come to the Burgh of Yarmouth with their
wares of whatever place they shall be, whether foreigners or others, who are at peace with us or by our
permission shall come into our land, they may come, stay and depart in our safe peace paying the right
customs of the Burgh. We also prohibit that no one injure or damage or molest the aforesaid burgesses
upon forfeiture of ten pounds.
Wherefore, we will, and strictly command that the aforesaid Burgesses of Yarmouth, and their heirs, have
and to hold for ever, all the franchises aforesaid, hereditarily, truly and peaceably freely, quietly and
wholly, fully and honourably, paying there out annually, fifty and five pounds, by toll, by the hand of the
Provost of Yarmouth into our exchequer, at the term of St. Michael, and the Burgesses of Yarmouth shall
yearly choose such Provost out of ourselves, as shall be agreeable to us and them.
The witnesses named as:
Lord Peter of Winchester : Lord John of Norwich : Lord of Salisbury
Bishops: Geffrey, FitzPeter, William Marshall, William Earl of Salisbury, William Earl de Ferrars, Peter
FitzHerbert, W. Brewer, Hugh of Nevill, Adam of Port, Garin FitzGerald, William of Cantilupe, John of
Bassing, Jeffrey Lutterell, Thomas FitzAdam.
Dated by the hand of Hugh de Wells, Archdeacon of Wells, at Marlborough, the eighteenth day of March
in the ninth year of our reign.
I believe King John’s First Charter is the smallest in the town’s possession, measuring 8½ inches by 10
inches. It was a matter of great importance that the town took steps to preserve recently what charters
we still retain. I believe 11 out of the 25 and today the borough might well be proud of the collection.
When I last viewed them, upon the occasion of Mr. W. E. Stephen’s (Town Clerk) Charter Lecture, I noted
J. J. Hall, the local illuminator, simply revelling in the delightful colouring and tasteful craftsmanship of the
designers, whose fine work remains after hundreds of years.

8th January 1927

Baptists' Meeting Row, 1756
Goymour's North Row, 1806
Bett's North Row, 1834
Rev’d. Green's Meeting Row, 1852
Beers from the Chapel
To the modern Yarmouthian, who is unobservant, 15 Row does not exist, but a portion, some 60 feet,
included in Lacon’s Brewery, may still be seen in George Street; on the left or north wall, is the No. 15,
and upon the south side a sandstone tablet bearing the date 1894. This Row extended quite through to
Church Square. On the N. E. corner site, now marked by Lacon’s tablet 1899, for many years Robert
Ceiley, the well-known herbalist, had his shop. His advertisements of 1803 make interesting reading
these days:

Though prejudice, truth’s worst of foes,

And interest may long oppose,
The light will win its way.

The foregoing appears above the announcement of R. Ceiley, Medical Botanist, Church Plain, Great
Yarmouth. Then follows many testimonials appros his dandelion pills and worm powders. Two claims for
the latter are distinctly worthy of mention. Two brothers, James and Frederick Ames of this town being
cured of tape worms 250 feet and 210 feet long. The same, preserved, may still be seen, with Ames’
photograph, in the window of Mr. Charles Kidman, who continues this old established herbal business,
adjoining the Church Gates. Previous to removal 32 years ago, this business was for a time at Sufflings’
old flour shop, on the Plain next to Burroughs’ corner. Robert Ceiley could be consulted gratis daily from
9am till 10pm. This prominent tradesman was closely associated with the local Primitive Methodists at the
Temple, where his son George officiated at the organ. David Gillings (the well-known Yarmouthian known
upon the stage, as George Mozart, in his youth) assisted him with cantatas. Robert Ceiley attained a
great age; born on 11th September 1811 and died 31st October, 1896. He voted for Lacon and Goodson
in 1865 and when over 80 he appeared upon the stage at the theatre as a Yarmouth watchman, in
character with lantern and rattle, and sang the radish boys’ song.
It is to be regretted that the early compilers of directories omitted the Rows. In 1863, William Cobb briefly
dealt with them. James Lamb, the basket maker, resided, and had his workshops in Row 15 in 1845. An
interesting entry is to be found in Charles W. Godfrey’s Directory for 1874: Row 15, Wright, Edward,
keelman. The keel was the square sail forerunner of the modern wherry. A fine model may he seen in the
Bridewell Museum, Norwich. Mr. Walter Wicks in his work. Inns and Taverns of Old Norwich mentions
the Keel and Wherry Tavern in King Street, Norwich. It is to be hoped that a model of a river keel may be
obtained as an addition to that excellent collection of boats in the Tolhouse Museum.
Old Yarmouthians delight to speak of the past and many of them recall the old chapel of Row 15, its
gallery, the crowd, and its minister, Rev’d. Joseph Green, the father of the late Alderman Thomas Green,
who died on 14th July 1907 at 123 Southtown Road aged 62, and the present Alderman George Green J.
P., of Norwich, the energetic ex-Lord Mayor, who was born in 1847 and still going strong. At present he is
a useful member of our Port and Haven Commissioners. Tom Green, the hatter, as we knew him, was the
founder of Tom Green’s corner, the man of many parts. A successful businessman, a keen politician of
Liberal principles, educated at the British School, entering the Town Council early, he was elected in 1876,
became a J. P., and sat as magistrate when the Passive Resisters came to court. He was Mayor in 1903-
04 and officiated at the installation of the late High Steward, Lord Claud Hamilton, on 8th January 1904.
It appears that the early Baptists settled in this Row district (as did the Wesleyans and the Methodists) in
1756. William Jolly, in 1783, left them property, and here, under many ministers including; Jabez Brown in
1781, Edward Goymour 1806, Rev’d. W. W. Horne, Rev’d. Betts 1834 and Rev’d. Joseph Green 1852,
this meeting place flourished and many speak of crowded congregations.
There died on 12th October, 1926 an old worshipper, who remembers Rev’d. Green asking from the
pulpit. that the south windows of the chapel be closed because the steam from the brewery was coming
in. This gentleman, the late Mr. W. L. Scott, who had been the President of the Co-operative Society for
19 years, was an employee of Lacon’s and had a rich store of anecdotes about the old chapel, wherein he
had worshipped and later worked.
The chapel was sold to Messrs. Lacon’s and in 1871 the meeting removed to the Yarmouth Tabernacle on
Wellesley Road. The inscription may be seen upon this building: Erected A. D. 1870 for the Baptist
Church formerly worshipping in the Old Meeting, built 1756 in Row 15.
Other stones record the officials and the architect, S. K. Bland, of Beccles.
One inscription worthy of quoting in full: This stone was laid by Rev’d. G. Gould of Norwich, August 25th
1870, in the 18th year of the ministry of Rev’d. J. Green. The Rev’d. Green came to Yarmouth from
Cambridgeshire and lived at 6 Nelson Terrace, Nelson Road North, later removing to Caister Road, just
north of Apollo Walk. At the opening of the Wellesley Road Chapel, great praise was showered upon him
for his organising and lawyer-like abilities. The site of the old chapel, extending from Row 14 to Row 15,
is still traceable, the north wall being the boundary of Lacon’s bottling stores. The employees still refer to
it as the chapel. Bones have been discovered from time to time and, I believe, a small breast stone, about
15 inches by 15 inches, with the inscription Sarah Penny, died 1836, was discovered years ago.
Yarmouth Poll Books contain much that is interesting today: Rev’d Joseph Green arriving in the town in
1852 was ineligible to vote at the General Election for that year, but at each election from 1857 to 1864 we
find him voting against the Lacon interest. The following is the final note to an appeal issued by the Rev’d.
Green’s candidates: Already you have struck terror in the camp of our opponents. Complete the triumph
you have thus inaugurated. Be early at the poll on Saturday morning. Be true to yourselves. Be true to
us and our victory shall be your victory. Signed Torrance M’Cullagh and Edward Watkin; March 27th
The defeated candidates were Sir E. Kentacon and C. S. Vereker, who was dubbed Colonel Very Queer.

In reply to Robert Minns: the beautiful Victorian arch between Camperdown and Waterloo Place, 1926
(late Royal Place), spanning Wellington Road has evoked much interest to townsfolk and visitors alike. I
have heard it described as part of the old town wall. In 1840, prominent local gentlemen desired to
develop the waste denes at the south end of the town and the Victoria Building Company was formed, and
it was intended to lay out Kimberley Terrace, Albert Square, Brandon Terrace and Camperdown. The
architect to the company was T. Marsh Nelson; the solicitors were Charles J. Palmer, of Perlustration
fame, and W. Worship. At the time the scheme was projected it was highly spoken of as being, when
completed, an elegant and delightful suburb equal in beauty and accommodation to those of Brighton and
other fashionable bathing places.
I believe that the company and various builders were handicapped by a lack of financial support at times.
The architect for the arch was Mr. John Brown of Norwich, the County Surveyor, who designed the
Infirmary in 1838 and also the Hospital Schools in 1842. The bricklayer, whose work has been praised,
was Charles Hockley, who in 1845 lived near the site of Pudding Gate, St. Nicholas’ Road and later had
his workshops on North Market Road and resided at 13 Audley Street. He built some of the houses on
North Denes, namely 1 to 8 Churchill Road.
The Victoria Arch was built as a north boundary to the Victoria Company’s estate and the smaller arch as
an entrance to the Mews.
15th January 1927
Young, the Actor drew enormous crowds. His magnificent Rip Van Winkle star-turn created excitement.
On a Thursday evening he was given a ticket benefit. The theatre was over-crowded and, only upon this
occasion, can I ever recall people standing upon each side of the stage. The last visit of Mr. Young was as
Ecclea in Caste. Mrs. Young was to be seen at her best in sensational scenes such as; The Stranger,
which always brought tears, Leah, Lady Hatton and special Saturday night turns; Jack Shepherd,
Cartouche, Sweeney Todd, etc. Mr. John Manley, wife and son, visited the Theatre often. The boy was
considered the best child actor at the time. Mrs. Manley (Pearl Lester) had a canary that only sang when
its mistress was upon the stage. The Manley family proved themselves favourites by producing East
Lynne, the son taking the part of Willie Carlyle. The Tichbourne Claimant (Arthur Orton), after his release
from prison, toured the country, visiting Norwich and Yarmouth. I saw him at the Theatre in 1885. Weston
the Walker also appeared here whilst on his l,000 mile walk. It was a crush to gain entrance upon this
occasion, and for just the extreme, I remember in 1870, when only 17 of us were in the pit, and the
management gave us our money back. Such were the times when the Theatre was the only place of
amusement in the town. I well remember Terry Hurst, the lessee. He was responsible for many good
companies visiting the town. It was Hurst, who introduced the modern scented programme issued by the
Graphic newspaper. Prior to that, one had to keep following a playbill nearly two feet in length. Upon this
occasion, the company staged Money, and included Mrs. Florence Harrington, Eva Marryot, and the
comedian, Arthur Williams. Mr. Hurst’s favourite was The Colleen Pawn, taking the part of Myle Na
Cappaleen himself. In those times one got two or three plays each night. Upon one occasion (Saturday)
he produced first The Dumb Man of Manchester, and as a second item, Maria Marten, and the Red Barn,
he taking the role of Corder. When taking the pistol to shoot, he found it would not act, so, equal to the
occasion, he struck Maria Marten down with the pickaxe that he had used to dig the grave with. This just
suited the gallery patrons, who shouted to Mr. Terry Hurst, upon his next appearance: who shot Maria
Marten with a pickaxe? Mr. Auguste Creamer was at the Theatre for several seasons. Irish plays were
his speciality, and if my memory serves me correctly, he last came to Yarmouth and acted at the
Aquarium in the Two Little Vagabonds.
At the many intervals, a hawker sold oranges, apples and stone ginger beers. These bottles were useful to
knock upon the seats for encores. The gallery boys were up to all sorts of tricks. I have seen them above
the trellis ventilator at the top of the Theatre, emptying a handful of nutshells upon the pit audience below.
I have heard it said that Yarmouth’s Theatre is unique, it being the only one in the country with a carriage
drive all round. Seven o’clock until often midnight were the old-time Theatre hours, and many, a time
have we strolled home in the early hours, after going mushrooming, laden with a full pillow case and
baffling the old keeper of the toll-gate, whose proud boast was that he kept a light all the night and never
slept. I conclude with Rip Van Winkle's toast:
Here's your good health,
Here's your wife’s good health,
Here's your children’s good health,
May they live long and prosper.
J. W. P.

Reply to Old Hospital Boy: the two figures of a boy and girl adorning the master’s house entrance to the
Hospital School, on the east side of the Market Place, have been there since the erection of the schools in
1843, when the headmaster was J. W. Hewke and Mary Crowther was the mistress. J. W. Hewke wore a
large white shirt front and an amusing story is told by Ben Dye, the blind naturalist, who was in the school
when one daring scholar took aim with a stone and catapult and burst the large ink bottle on the master's
desk, bespattering the face and shirt of Mr. Hewke. No lad owned up to the deed, and the order was
given to empty pockets: result was that 37 catapults were produced. Formerly these two figures were
more prominently placed, being upon the entrance gates to the Children’s Hospital, which stood westward
of the present school site and was demolished in 1842. For many good views of public buildings over 100
years ago, see John Preston's book, published in 1819. A good view of the Children’s Hospital, with these
figures is included. In 1819, according to Preston’s illustration, there were two figures of fishermen holding
strings of herring, upon the pillars at the entrance gates to the Fishermen’s Hospital. These were carved
from wood, and were removed owing to decay just prior to Preston publishing his fine work, the Picture of

22th January 1927

Mr. Leavold, junior, of Howard Street, handed me recently a bulky volume (one of six) and the two pages
upon Yarmouth written by William Mavor, LL. D. in 1806, and published in 1809, are well worth
reproducing for the benefit of the any Mercury readers who take delight from our popular Corner.
From hence (Norwich), we directed our course to Yarmouth…….. In the annals of sea bathing this town
has acquired some celebrity; and as it possesses numerous recommendations and offers a great choice
of lodgings at a reasonable rate, it has some pretensions to the favour of those who wish to blend
economy with a little relaxation from business.
Yarmouth stands upon a peninsular at the eastern extremity of the county of Norfolk, distant 124 miles
from London. It is connected by a handsome bridge over the Yare with the county of Suffolk, and extends
at least a mile in length and a half-mile in breadth, containing four principal streets, with various lanes and
Rows, as they are called.
A wall with ten gates and 16 towers enclose it on three sides, and its population amounts to nearly 15,000
souls. Among the amusements of the place may be reckoned the theatre, the assembly room, and the
concerts, which are well-frequented during the bathing season. The fishing carried on here, and the arrival
and departure of ships throw a constant animation over the scene, which is highly gratifying to visitors
from inland districts.
The vehicles for the transport of goods and passengers in this town and vicinity are whimsical to a high
degree. They are long narrow carts, drawn by a single horse and some of them, which are somewhat
elegantly made, go by the name of Yarmouth coaches on the sandy roads in the environs. They sink so
deep that they look like sledges, and on the rough pavement of the town they are sufficient to shake the
strongest nerves, but nevertheless they are useful, and their novelty amuses.
The quay, which is upwards of a mile long, forms a noble and fashionable promenade. Here the assembly
house is situated, among other handsome buildings.
The theatre was erected about thirty years ago, and is respectably conducted. I have found on its boards
some performers, who would have done no discredit to a London stage.
A bath house erected on the beach is a commodious building and has separate accommodation for ladies
and gentlemen. The machines are likewise of a good construction, but as they are at some distance from
the town and must be approached over a sinking sand, their uses are confined to those who study
frugality rather than comfort.
Adjoining the bath house is a public room, where company is accommodated with tea and coffee, public
breakfasts and occasional concerts during the season. The London and country newspapers are provided
for the entertainment of subscribers, and, indeed, nothing is wanting to render this an agreeable lounge.
The inns are large and good, and though the Market Place is generally preferred for lodgings, they may be
hired in any part of the town.

Yarmouth Roads, on the east side of the town, are a great rendezvous for shipping passing and re-
passing. Yet the shore here is extremely dangerous, and many lives are sometimes lost. On one
melancholy occasion, 200 ships of sail and 1,000 lives were lost in one single night.
For about two miles on each side of Yarmouth the sea coast is nearly a level common, elevated only
about two or three yards about high water mark. Here, we found some curious marine plants, which
render the walk highly interesting to botanists.
William Mavor evidently was impressed with our town 120 years ago. Although giving much detail, had he
mentioned the name of the stage coach, the inn, and a few tradesmen's names, we could the better
visualise our town in the early years of last century.
Bathing seems to have been the attraction, and one can almost picture the visitor waiting his turn for the
Times. When one reads his description of the Yarmouth trolly, one really appreciates a Corporation
saloon bus. If the tourist wished that the troll cart might someday be housed in a museum his wish has
come true. Yarmouth has preserved one at the Tolhouse and, the Bridewell Museum at Norwich, has
another fine specimen. I had an interesting chat last week with Clem Symonds, a veteran beachman,
residing at 28 Russell Road. When the Young and the Standard and Holkham Companies of Boatmen
were prosperous, he occasionally drove one of Yarmouth’s fish troll carts. The tit-bit, re the Market Place
for lodgings, sounds village like, and to-day a passing glimpse at local tablets upon buildings giving date of
erection, etc., reminds us that Greater Yarmouth is but of recent growth.


Taverner: probably the dinners to which you refer were the Annual Tradesmen’s Dinners arranged by the
landlords of the local inns and taverns 70 years ago. The dinner at the Crown and Anchor in the 1850s,
whilst Franklin, the popular caterer, held sway was often quite an event.
The following advertisement for 1856 is typical of the period:
Samuel Balls begs to return his most sincere thanks to his friends for the kind patronage bestowed upon
him and begs to inform them that his Annual Dinner is fixed for February 3rd
Dinner at 3 o’clock
Tickets: 10/0d. each, including wine and dessert to be had at the bar.

29th January 1927

As a seaport we must certainly look for weather vanes typical of the nautical association of the town. In
this respect we are assuredly compensated at Yarmouth.
Our municipal building, that was opened by H. R. H, the Prince of Wales on 31st May 1882, displays a
work of art. Fashions change in the type of craft used in the nation’s fisheries and visitors to the town will
here find a splendid representation of the 3-mast buss or lugger; a type of boat used 150 years ago. E.
W. Cooke in his Book of Etchings, 1829, gives a fine view of Yarmouth’s old bridge and craft of this type in
the river.
A similar class may be seen displayed at the Fishermen’s Hospital. This vane is significant from a nautical
standpoint, because the mizzen sail differs from the Town Hall boat, it being a square sail, a small jib or
trisail, which is used while shooting the nets, is set at the stern. A fine 3-mast fishing lugger of the above
type is to be seen below in a stone panel, giving some idea of these types. Very probably the 3-mast craft
was the popular boat, when the Corporation built these alm-houses in 1702.
The Wellington Gardens, with its shelters and coloured glass depicting sea pieces and the fine vane
surmounting the dome of the bandstand, is quite in keeping with its surroundings. This quaint model of a
galleon is admired by the visitor. Another vane, an old time craft depicting a 17th century full rigged ship,
during the past year, has appeared next to Mr. Taplin’s residence on North Parade.

One would imagine the herring, as a vane, to have been more numerous, but we must content ourselves
with the fish upon the spindle at the Beachman’s Church, erected 1857 and the herring vane at No. 22
Euston Road.
The oldest weather vane, and of unique design, is to be seen at the Greyfriars’ Cloister. It measures 4
feet in length, contains the town’s arms, and the initials J. H. and R. I. and dated 1664 in stencil. It is more
the remarkable owing to the repairs upon it being executed from old patens containing initials. The vane
was probably on the Children’s Hospital in the Market Place, demolished 1841. In the Tolhouse Museum
is a splendid carved door head from the workhouse (next to the Children’s Hospital) bearing the same
initials and date. The Bailiffs for that year were John Hall and Richard Jermyn. This vane in later years
was displayed at Milton House, Regent Road and at the sale of Mrs. Fenner’s effects the energetic Hon.
Secretary (Mr. R. H. Teasdel) of the local Archaeological Society, purchased it for £5, and thus saving it
from leaving the town, or the country.
A beautiful 17th century vane is still doing good service upon the original tower along the fortifications
fronting Alexandra Road (the Pinnacle Tower). This vane is typical of the period and contains, in stencil,
the date 1680, W. C., S. F., L. A., and I. G., with star and fleur-de-lys ornamentation. The two former
initials are of William Cash and Samuel Fuller, the Bailiffs for that year. This vane is in good preservation,
but the north indicator needs attention.
The next in order of antiquity is the remarkable ornament to the quaint building built as a chapel-of-ease to
St. Nicholas’ Church in 1715. This vane represents the valiant knight slaying the dragon. At the base of
the spindle are four dragons in wrought iron work. This vane attracts great attention in the summer, as
does the weather beaten (but broken) sundial on the south-west side of the building. St. George and the
dragon are also to be seen opposite upon the church rooms.
The weather cock adorning the steeple of St. Nicholas’ Church is not so ancient as many imagine. It is
only 189 years old and was upon the old spire that was dismantled in 1893. This vane, was about 20
years ago, on the ground when many viewed it. The late Mr. E. J. Lupson informs us that the bird from its
beak to its tail is 3 feet 11 inches, and from the comb to the lowest part of its body it measures 2 feet 8
inches. Many arguments arise at times re the size of the large ball at the summit of the spire. The ball is
3 feet in diameter and Lupson tells us that, in 1840, before it left the workshop, four small boys were
enclosed for a few moments within it.
The largest vane in the district is the large arrow displayed at St. Andrew’s Church, Gorleston measuring 7
feet 6 inches. It was made in 1895 or 1894 by Mr. William Barber of Gorleston and after its recent fall it
was reconditioned by his son, William Barber at Yarmouth Stores who, when an apprentice, assisted his
father to make the vane.
The next church with a vane that excites curiosity is the Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary’s in Regent
Road, built in 1850. This vane is of unique design containing the Virgin’s initial M with a diadem. The
steps leading to the top of the tower number 100 and one is struck by the decay of the masonry of so
recent a building. This church was designed by Scoles, the architect, and its exterior is somewhat similar
to St. Peter’s Church, erected 17 years earlier from designs by the same architect.
A walk down Row 111 will be the means of viewing rather an artistic vane upon Daniel Tomkins’ school
house at the rear of the present Education Offices, 18 South Quay.
An unusual weather vane, typical of the trade, is displayed at Hammond Road. This large bottle shaped
vane also acts as a guide to the extensive mineral water manufactory, established some 67 years ago,
upon the site of the Moat. In old deeds, Mother’s Milk is the name given to some water here, becoming
stagnant, which was filled in by order in 1854.

Mr. W. Ecclestone, the architect, has enlivened the old Golf House vicinity at his new residence, Endor,
Balmoral Avenue. It consists of an old witch astride a broom and his neighbour to the north has a unique
vane of a foul being driven by a female.
There are many small arrows as vanes in the town. Yarmouth can certainly claim to possess some
remarkable and antique weather vanes.

5th February 1927

This Row has not existed for the past few years and took its name from the well-known brewery.
The unacquainted would marvel at the number of brewers in Yarmouth 100 years ago; there were thirty-
four, 300 years ago. Surnames as the following are familiar: Lacon, Paget, Bell, Lubbock, Tomlinson,
Vince, Watling, Thurston, Martin, Minter, Purdey and Harper. An equal number of maltsters are recorded
for the same period.
Our fisher folk formerly consumed regularly quite a large quantity of beer (this in passing, was prior to the
days of Cold Tea Harrison and Coffee Smith) and, in King Charles II reign, £160 per annum was allowed
to the town as a Treasury warrant for compensation upon the duty on beer consumed in the North Sea
Fishery. This sum later was transferred to the Fishermen’s Hospital. Apparently the local boats were
supplied with quantities of beer for their voyage and there was scope for the small, old-fashioned brew
house in the Rows.
With the coming into favour of tea, coffee and cocoa aboard ship, and the diminishing number of free
houses in the town, the small brew house has passed. Also, the housewife, who made her own bread
purchased her yeast at the breweries. In this district, the oldest part of the town one is not surprised to
learn that a brew house existed from a very early period, according to Palmer.
In 1665, the well-known family, Wards, owned the brewery property; a Margaret Ward released her right to
some of this property (see page 190, vol. ii, Palmer’s Perlustration), which then was in the occupation of
Richard Nightingale, brewer. George Ward, the same family, was the first Mayor of Yarmouth in 1684.
The fine building depicted on Corbridge’s map gave place to a large mansion at the S .E. corner of Row
16. That is the subject of unique photograph, which appeared in Vol. ii, No. 1. of the Lacon Magazine, The
Falcon, edited by Mr. A. W. Ecclestone, to whom I am greatly indebted for a copy. The house front depicts
a stately bay window on the first floor, supported by columns similar to Dr. Meadows’ house, King Street,
and an interesting old wrought iron lamp bracket spanning the entrance. The cobbled path leading to Row
16, observable and upon the brewery plan for 1883, and the site of the Row is marked and in the plans for
1890, between two long tun rooms and west of the old hop store, Covered Row is plainly noted. In this
residence died John Lacon, in 1811, who bequeathed £200 to the Fishermen’s Hospital. A sister, Miss
Judith Lacon, died here in 1817. Later, Captain Matthew Gunthorpe resided here prior to removing to
Theatre Gate. He had been most successful in his operations against the local smugglers. On one
occasion he took a prize, containing 40 casks of spirits, and 500lbs. of tobacco. He certainly made himself
unpopular with the daring smuggler, for in the same year 1792, he took another craft with 240 casks of
spirit and tobacco aboard. His ship, the Lively, was evidently typical of its captain, who, upon his
retirement, was popular in the town for his hospitality and conviviality. Palmer tells us he was an officer in
Sir E. K. Lacon’s troop of yeomanry cavalry. The latter gentleman was knighted for quelling a riot, whilst
Mayor in 1795. The houses in this Row, in common with most Rows, have rainwater cisterns sunk in the
back or front yards. The cistern was covered by a wooden lid, and proved very useful in more ways than
one. Old Yarmouthian smacksmen and wherrymen, tell tales of the Excise officers actually standing upon
the cistern cover unconscious of the fact that brandy and tobacco was weighted below the water beneath.
The tobacco had previously been hidden in a cork fender, whilst the wherry was passing up under the
This Row district, in former days, housed a class of folk who worked the Quays, from the Stonecutters’
Quay to the North-West Tower, shrimpers who moored their craft between the Lime Kilns and the
Suspension Bridge, the eel catcher and Breydoner of gun punt fame and the bird catcher. The inhabitants
of this Row were not too far south for the North Denes geese. These daily visitors toured the Rows,
commencing at Ramp Row, seeking what they might devour, and in those days, when the Medical Officer
of Health was not so vigilant as now, the open gutters and uncovered refuse tubs became a happy hunting
ground for the fowl, who quite unconcerned, toured up and down the Rows in this district unmolested,
much to the amusement of the children, to the interest of the passer-by and to the profit of the geese
keeper, who knew when to collect the golden eggs at his poultry runs in the North End site of Palgrave
and Alderson Roads.

Sanitary conditions in the Rows have greatly improved within recent years, and the one thing needed is
quietly and gradually coming about, namely, demolition. And whilst upon this subject might I suggest to
those in authority that the Kitty Witches Row and adjoining properties be retained in their entirety to exhibit
for future people to understand the original cramped formation of an ancient borough, with its prefix:
Almost opposite the north-west entrance of the Row stood the Grapes Tavern with two shops north and
south, midway between Rows 13 and 17, in George Street. This Tavern we find no record of previous to
1845 (perhaps a reader could supply its former name), when John Holl was the landlord in 1863, Charles
Bullen in 1874, Thomas Berry in 1878, John Crisp and in 1886, W. Harrison, who probably was the last
landlord prior to its demolition before 1890, for further extensions to a rapidly growing business. A
significant feature in the Brewery, is the many tablets affixed to buildings, rooms, tuns and extensions,
setting forth the year of erection. The entrance and gateway displaying the Falcon, on Church Square (or
what is more popularly known as Brewery Plain) was erected in 1868. The coopers’ shop is on the right of
the gateway. The chestnut tree is an object of interest in the centre of the large yard, and close by is a
large disused well. The site of the former Row No. 16 may be located a little to the north of Lacon’s clock,
the east entrance being the old Hop Store. This flourishing Brewery has embraced eight or nine Rows,
and yet critics say the Rows cannot be done away with.
This quaint and musty bit of Defoe affords a fine description of the old herring town as it appeared to him
200 years ago. He continues: Yarmouth is an ancient town, much older than Norwich; and at present, tho'
not standing on so much ground, yet better built; much more compleat; for the number of inhabitants, not
much inferior; and for wealth, trade, and advantage of its situation, infinitely superior to Norwich. It is
plac'd on a peninsula between the River Yare and the sea, the two last lying parallel to one another and
the town in the middle. The river lies on the west side of the town, and being grown very large and deep
by a conflux of all the rivers on this side the county, forms the Haven; and the town facing to the west also,
and open to the river, makes the finest key in England, if not in Europe, not inferior even to that of
Marseilles itself. The ships ride here so close, and as it were, keeping up one another, with their head-
fasts on shore, that for half a mile together, they go across the stream with their bowsprits over the land,
their bowes or heads touching the very wharf; so that one may walk from ship to ship as on a floating
bridge, all along by the shore-side. The Key, reaching from the draw-bridge almost to the South Gate, is
so spacious and wide, that in some places ‘tis near one hundred yards from the houses to the Wharf. In
this pleasant and agreeable range of houses are some very magnificent buildings, and among the best
are, the Custom House and Town Hall and some merchants houses, which look like little palaces, rather
than the dwelling houses of private men.
Many old Yarmouthians remember the vessels lying with bowsprits across the Quay, sterns facing the
west. A great spree with the boys was to jump and swing on the ropes connected with them. They were
mostly, in our day, bluff bowed old collier brigs, regular wash-tubs of some 120 tons burthen. The men
who emptied these vessels were known as coal heavers (a rather exclusive class), ran up three steps,
three abreast, and jumped all three at once to the deck, to lift the caldron of coal in the old baskets, the
three ropes converging into one, rapidly running round an iron wheel hung above their heads. In our
boyhood, much foreign produce came to the Quayside; Dutch cheese sloops from Holland and cargoes of
wines, brandy, cork, nuts and fruit from the Mediterranean. The old ship, Agnes, so many years ago
scuttled and sunken in the Ship Drain on Breydon, to fill up and collect the mud, in order to save the
strong bend of the ebb undermining the South Breydon wall, at the Mile Point, was a noted local brig in
Nelson’s time.
The present repair work to the Jetty and the uncovering of many of the weather-beaten old piles this week
recall a gale, flood and disastrous night 50 years ago. Chatting with some old-time beachmen, I was
thrilled with their tales of the 30th January 1877. The Jetty was damaged considerably, the beach chairs
were swept out to sea and the beachmen feared the loss of gear. The north-westerly gale was responsible
for many Yarmouth fishermen (about 100) losing their lives and upwards of 18 smacks were reported
wrecked or lost. The sea came up to the Holkham wall and dislodged the Drive pavement. With pride
they spoke of the lifeboat Mark Lane, and its crew’s fine rescue work from the barque Constantia, which
came to grief on Scroby Sand. Beachmen have a wonderful way of associating gale and wreck dates with
other events or buildings.
To Beeching’s Hard; probably the year to which you refer is 1870-71. The shipyards then were very busy.
No fewer than 30 fishing (wooden) boats were launched from local yards. Many of our shipwrights and
caulkers alive to-day will recall those days of their apprenticeship.

Re: the Fishermen’s Hospital: yes the establishment of these almshouses has proved of great benefit
during the past 200 years. It was John Preston, Controller of H. M. Customs at this port, who suggested in
his book The Picture of Yarmouth, 1819, almshouses for the shipwrights and caulkers (see page 111). So
also it would have afforded the author much gratification to have had it in his power to have recorded an
establishment founded by the liberality of the wealthy, for the refuge and support of the poor, aged and
decayed shipwrights and caulkers of Yarmouth. Our shipyards, when wooden craft were built, presented
busier scenes than the post war period.

19th February 1927

Turn the wheel boys,
So I do.
Half-a-crown a week boys.
That'll never do.
So round go the wheel,
All troubles I defy
Jogging along together boys,
My dear old wife and I.

The familiar sounds of the shipyards and the merry singing of the wheel boys at the rope walks grow
fainter as the years slip by. Steel supersedes timber and machines displace the old time twine spinner.
Such is the evidence of a transitional period that could well be multiplied and extended to many industries.
Just a century since, over 100 rope makers and twine spinners voted as Freemen of Yarmouth and
familiar are those names today. Behind well-tarred wooden railings on Ordnance Road, at the last of the
rope walks east of the river, I found Mr. George Mayman, the veteran twine spinner and local Methodist
preacher, whom Arthur Patterson in his book, Hayloft to Temple, speaks well of. George was hastily
engaged dressing hemp in a shed at the north end of the rope walk and his man, John King, was spinning
twine, making sou’wells out in the open, assisted by a boy at the wheel under a lean-to shed at the south
end of the walk. Another boy was making nor’sells in a shed.
It was a bright and sunny morning and ideal for outdoor work, but rough weather, north-east winds and a
nip of frost would deter many from attempting, what to me, always seemed a monotonous and
uninteresting daily toil.
Mr. George Mayman began work at the twine grounds at the early age of ten years, when quite eight or
nine rope works existed north of St. Nicholas’ Church. Originally Mayman’s rope walk was Robert
Barber’s (residence; 4 St. George’s Terrace). Next west was Mary Crow Lettis of Crown Road and next
west was the machine ropery, belonging to John Taylor Bracey of Deneside. This latter firm was
established in 1802 and were the first in the district to introduce rope making by machinery. Today,
Hector Fuller, boat owner, occupies the premises. The above named twine grounds extended from the
site of Mason’s Laundry in Queen’s Road at the north quite through to Barrack Road at the south.
Burwell, George Nutman and George Myhill also had short walks here.
Mr. George Mayman was in a happy mood reminiscing his early days and recounted many incidents. He
laughed heartily whilst telling the story of Dr. S. J. F. Stafford’s pony throwing its rider and stampeding
after getting mixed up in some rope that was being made across Nelson Road North, prior to the M. & G.
N. Railway.
Formerly the rope makers walked almost to the sea. This was before the New Cemetery was opened.
Upon one occasion in the pre-shingle period, a lady attempted to pass along Nelson Road North at the
Escourt Road junction, by getting under the fishing warp, which was in course of completion, when,
unfortunately, her hair became entangled and the method adopted to extricate the lady, without bobbing
her hair, was to wrap her long flowing dress around her and two twine spinners carefully passed the lady
over and under the rope. Often the traffic was held up when rope makers were engaged upon long
lengths. Many Yarmouthians talk of Shuckford’s spinners coming quite across St. Nicholas’ Road from
out of Belfort Place and across Regent Road from Chapel Denes.

The old rope makers, spinners and hemp dressers, known to many today, are included in the following list:
Woolsey, Holmes (Richard and Edward), Church and Kerrison (east of Hammond Road), Henry George
(of Cemetery Road), Webb and Tom Smith (of Apollo Walk), W. Watts, W. Church and George Myhill (at
Stanley Road), Pearson (of York Road; south side), Whittleton (of north entrance) and Jackman on
Johnson’s Bleach (i. e. Victoria and Nelson Road), Woodhouse and Amis and later Everitt (on Blackfriars
Road; east of St. Peter’s Schools); Everitt’s have their rope works today on Southtown Road, opposite the
Fish Wharf. This and Mayman are the last of the hand spinners in the district.
Other rope makers include the Whiley’s, Robert Clarke and Saunders, Tom Gardiner, Moughton’s, John
Todd and Mr. J. F. Kerrison; the latter still working at his trade.
The tools used in the trade are not numerous. The manila hemp arrives in bales, eight to the ton. The
grades most in favour are E., C. and D., and also the streaky. Prices range from £60 to £90 a ton. Pre-
war £27 was a fair price and during the late war often it cost up to £150 a ton. The hemp is dressed on
pins. These pins or spikes are of steel measuring 9 inches long and comprise sets of varying sizes; quite
100 to each set. The dresser holds a bunch of hemp 5 feet long. This he continually throws upon the pins
and pulls through until the hemp is clear enough for spinning. The spinner wraps two lengths around him
and makes fast a strand or two upon the wheel head, a board containing four runners. He then walks
backwards some 50 yards, deftly releasing the hemp from around him in sufficient quantities through a
piece of cloth or duffell. In the meantime the wheel boy is contributing by turning a large wheel, which
twists the threads according to the size of cords required. The spinner on his return journey to finally
make the twine uses a top (a grooved conical shaped wooden top); this binds the thread into one twine.
Mr. George Mayman kindly exhibited an old jack, a simple piece of mechanism of wheels and runners that
has become obsolete. This, he promised, to send to the museum for a local industry section. The trowel
used for norsell (a twisted length of twine 13 or 14 inches long) making appeared to be an antiquated
mechanical contrivance, aided by a weight, and worked by a boy.
Nearly 70 years ago, one of the Holmes’ was summoned for not paying the wheel boy, named King, more
than 3/0d. a week and during the evidence it was stated that the wheel boys were unruly with no one in
In the early 1850’s, the Town Council sought to buy out the owners of the rope walks on Chapel Denes
(St. George’s Park). Eventually Messrs. Barber, Lettis and Bracey removed to the site, now occupied, to
the south of the Queen’s Road buildings.
At the south-west corner of the Foulsham’s Blue Anchor Row (No. 21), the Rope Makers Arms is the sign
painted above a greengrocer’s shop. This public house lost its licence three years since. It formerly was
the Spread Eagle. Caven’s Directory for 1856 first mentions the Rope Makers Arms, Charlotte Street.
E. K. of Edmonton writes: the Rows are much more sanitary than in former years. Today cow keeping
would not be tolerated in a congested area. I have recollections of my parents speaking, many years ago,
of milk sellers, who brought their cows from off the marshes, across the bridge, to sheds in the Rows.

26th February 1927

The original Row 17 was demolished to make way for the Lacon’s Brewery extensions in 1895. The
roadway now numbered 17 is wrongly numbered, this being the original Row 18, or Say’s Corner, South
Row. Old Yarmouthians will recall Row 17. It extended from George Street 40 feet north of the south
boundary of the modern Row 17, 65 yards to the east boundary of Say’s Corner, a 37 feet opening from
North Quay, similar to Laughing Image and Rainbow Corners to the north. The name Say appears to be
from Sayers, a baker, who had a bake office in this district almost 100 years since. There are many entries
in the local directories calling it: Sayes Corner, Says Corner, or Sayers Corner.
The recent criticism of the healthiness of our Rows might have had a greater effect 70 years ago. It was
in the summer of 1859 that the police court listened to a sequel of a neighbour’s quarrel. According to the
evidence of the complainant, Frances Watson of Row 17, she requested the defendant, Sam Barwood, to
throw his slops into the gutter and not in front of her door. One can imagine the state of the cobble paved
Row and the nature of the assault. However, the assault case was dismissed and the open gutter existed
until the Row was demolished. We learn that in 1844, a cow keeper, Samuel Julier. resided or had his
sheds here in Row 17.

Although the Row extended only midway between George Street and the Quay in 1878, nineteen houses
were inhabited, including Angel, the sweep, and his brush was a familiar sign in the Row and Alger, the
shoemaker. This name has a long continuance in Yarmouth in this trade. The directory for 1888 (Cook’s)
mentions Row 17 and includes George Amos and George Barber, both twine spinners, living in the Row.
Trawl net making was extensively carried on in the Rows years ago. This was a survival of the net making
in the congested area when the Rows only comprised the town. Old townsfolk still speak of women
making heavy trawl nets at home and it was a common sight to see three or four at work with nets
attached to a hook upon the door posts, gossiping over the latest family of fishing news. Row 17 was no
exception in this respect. Records of the times 130 years ago, as found in handbills, letters, circulars and
adverts preserved in our Reference Library, are of great assistance in piecing together row history and a
name prominent at the time was Dr. Thomas Girdlestone of 26 North Quay. His residence, pulled down
for brewery extensions, was situated at the north-west corner of Say’s Corner, and formerly it had been
the residence of Brightlin Wakeman in the 17th century, according to C. J. Palmer. The Wakeman family
provided bailiffs and mayors in the 16th century and later the Brightins occupied the mayoral chair.
The Dictionary of National Biography deals, at great length with Dr. Girdlestone, who was invited to take
up residence here upon the retirement, in 1792, of Dr. Aikin of 26-27 King Street, a literary genius. Of Dr.
Girdlestone’s generosity we find much evidence in the subscription lists of the period. During the very bad
weather of 1809, when Robert Warmington was Mayor, we find Dr. Girdlestone’s name amongst the
subscribers for the relief of distress. He heads the list of local doctors, who comprised the Yarmouth
Medical Book Society in February 1799, then upwards of 80 books were in charge of the librarian, Dr.
James Borrett of 141 King Street, late the residence of Dr. A. H. Meadows on the north-east corner of the
Lion and Lamb Row. Dr. Girdlestone was an Army medical man and served many years in India. Palmer
tells us having used much calomel abroad he was rather profuse in the use of it here. Tall, slender and
upright, scrupously dressed in black with silk stockings and half gaiters, a white cravat, an ample shirt frill,
powdered head and pigtail, he was seen daily in the town with a gold headed cane. He died immediately
after a fall on the Quay in 1822. A. H. Patterson, the local author and naturalist, speaking at the Rotary
Club at the Duke’s Head Hotel on 19th May 1926, upon Girdlestone’s son, Charles Stuart (the Christian
names probably after Sir Charles Stuart, Governor of Minorca, under whom Dr. Girdlestone served), the
Norfolk naturalist gave an interesting lecture upon a remarkable character, who took delight from the
Breydon mudflats that could be seen from his North Quay residence. This young naturalist’s (for he died,
aged 33, in 1831) dairy came into the hands of the late Mr. T. M. Baker, Town Clerk, who gave the same
to Mr. Frederick Danby Palmer, who lent it to A. H. Patterson. Records of snipe shooting would stagger
Breydoners today. In 1826, young Girdlestone shot 615 and in 1828, 675 snipe. Patterson remarks: such
slaughter might seem terrible, but the vast acreage of suitable breeding grounds, much of it inaccessible;
they made for a vast snipe population. He was a companion of Colonel Peter Hawker, the naturalist
author, Richard Lubbock of Fauna of Norfolk fame, often went upon expedition on the Broads with
Girdlestone and in one of his copies of Bewick’s Birds inserted many notes, including the following
interesting entry: In the winter of 1828-29, Mr. Girdlestone saw five eagles at once hovering over Horsey
Warren. In the museum there is a plaster bust of Dr. T. Girdlestone and the Reference Library contains
some of his papers, including an address to Yarmouth on Vaccination. The house afterwards was the
residence of Rev’d, John Thomas Davies, a curate at St. Nicholas’ Church (whilst Rev’d. Richard Turner
was the vicar). He died on 19th February 1827, exactly a century ago as I write. The Rev’d. Davies was a
studious individual and inspired to issue an edition of the New Testament with the pronouns relating to
God the Father in capitals and those to God the Son in italics. But, says Dawson Turner, in Sepulchral
Reminiscences, the Archbishop of Canterbury dissuaded him from proceeding and he relinquished the
design. The Rev’d. Davies was held in the highest esteem by the uncle of Dawson Turner, who placed
the mural tablet and sepulchral stone in St. Nicholas’ Church to his memory, closing the inscription with:
He was, when living, universally beloved. He was, when dead, universally lamented. He died at the early
age of 20 years. Councillor John Fenn J. P., a prosperous ship owner lived here in the middle of the last
century and later the house was occupied by the Misses Preston till about 1860, when Mrs. George, the
china dealer, also of the Market Place, took the property over. Larson’s plan of 1863 shows this
residence, also a malt house at the rear with numerous cottages extending quite through to George
Street. Plans for 1890 denote the north side of Row 17 wholly occupied by a new tun room with a well at
the S. W. corner. No 25 North Quay was long the residence of William Lambert, and next north was the
Lord Nelson public house, kept by J. W. Becket in 1886. An interesting (300 years old) stone relic of this
tavern is still retained in the cooper’s shop upon the south wall. Thanks to Mr. W. J. Paston, foreman
cooper, it is in good preservation. Next north, being in line with the north boundary of Row 17 stood a
large malt house in 1883. Immediately at the rear of the Lord Nelson were the stabling of Lacon’s, and
further east stood the Grapes Tavern in George Street. This huge area comprising exactly one acre, is
the site of a huge building with the above mentioned floor space, admirably adapted for a loading out
store. The front of the building is imposing with terracotta dressing; the large falcon, the Lacon crest is
prominent. The following upon a red sandstone tablet is interesting: This stone was laid 16th June 1895
by Mrs. Ernest de M. Lacon. Directors: Ernest de M. Lacon, Chairman; Sidney H. Lacon, Admiral Sir
George Wilson G. C. B., Charles J. Lucas. W. Cork, Builder; James E. Teasdel, Architect. Such tablets
make an interesting history as the years pass on.


Man Traps and Spring Guns, Nursery Tavern
In the early 1850s, market gardens occupied the site now covered by the Nursery Tavern, Northgate
Street. Mr. Bush, a nurseryman here, suspected one of his men. The loss of vegetables and seeds must
be stopped, he said, and upon one occasion he set a man trap, fastening it to a hawthorn with a padlock.
At midnight, Mr. Bush, with lantern in hand, was not disappointed. The suspect was fairly caught with a
bag of vegetables. He greeted his employer in sepulchral tones with the following: How come I here, Mr.
Bush? I must have walked in my sleep. Don’t come near me, I am a ghost. Needless to say he lost his
employment in the gardens and later got his living with a donkey and cart, having a stable on Nelson Road
in 1873. Unfortunately he became a mark with the boys at the time. I saw him at his stable office and
once when unloading some grass, I jokingly called How came I here, Mr. Bush? This angered the old
chap, who drew from the grass a pint bottle, bearing the familiar label with a head on it. This he threw at
me, but the door post was the first object it struck.
Upon Nursery Tavern may be seen the stone: J. Yaxley, Nursery Place, 1872.
Mr. Fred Bush, a carpenter, was a son of the gardener mentioned. He was very clever at training
bullfinches. It was his hobby and he had a large collection at his house in Soap Boilers’ Walk, North Quay
(Houghton’s Yard). These finches would whistle to a tune as played by Fred upon a pea pipe sort of
instrument and not only was the performance amusing it was most instructive.
But, to getting back to spring guns, I saw one in the woods of Herringfleet in 1868. It was an old time
muzzle loader, the stock was fastened into a nut bush, with a piece of dressed canvas tied over to keep
the damp from the percussion cap, I presume. A wire was attached to the trigger and led 10 feet through
the wood raised some 8 inches above the ground on crotched sticks and from the direction pointed by this
gun, it would have shot a person in the legs, who happened to touch the wire. Mr. Carter, our museum
curator has a man trap on view and states in his Mercury article for December 1924 that the use of man
traps were made illegal in 1861.

5th March 1927


The above title and enquiry has set tongues a wagging. Mr. William Harbord of 14 Nelson Head Central
called for a talk and spoke of the 60's, when his father kept cattle over at Cobholm, and our streets daily
were the parade for cows from the marshes and denes at feeding and milking time. He recalled the
cowsheds in Row 79, kept by John Finch midway down on the south side, 60 years ago.
Mr. Robert Smith also speaks of the same Row and of cows being kept at a tumbledown place on the
north side of 21 Row.
A.S., of Lincoln, writes of William Leeder, the milk seller, who kept cows in St. John's Head, Row 45 and of
John Fox, who in the early 60's, kept his stock in 54 Row, Almshouse Row, known to-day a Palmer's
Mr. Ellis, of Broad Row, laughed heartily, as he recounted the experience after stepping through mud and
slush of the cowsheds, receiving a drink of warm milk at the dairy in the Conge. When a boy, this was a
fashionable cure for whooping cough. I think I should prefer the milk to the cure that I underwent, namely
standing over a hole at the local gas works.
Mr. W. Johnson, of Howard Street North, informs me that some 40 years ago his uncle housed calves in
his yard in Ramp Row.
Milky Whey writes from Doncaster: exiled from the old town we delight to be reminded of events that in
memory take us again to our childhood. Connected with the South End, I recall the Chapmans, about
1873, having sheds in 135 Row for their cows. They also were fish curers. I believe later they had cows in
141 Row, the Spotted Cow Row.

Custom House Row Enquirer writes referring to E. K.'s letter: years slip by, and possibly I may be wrong in
the number, but I believe round about 1872 or 73, Mrs. Staff kept cows in the Custom House, South Row
104? And I have heard that in No. 40 Row leading to the Market, sheds for cows and milk selling were
midway on the south side. Your readers, perhaps, can verify these items from directories of the period.
The above response should satisfy E. K., of Edmonton (which, by the way was pasture not many years
since). A pleasing feature is the many letters received for the Corner from readers away. Undoubtedly the
popularity of the Mercury tends to brighten and cheer up Yarmouthians in all parts of the world.

12th March 1927


In times long since, when neighbouring villages had feuds, friction was to be expected and the impounding
of Yarmouth men's cattle by the Caister men and vice versa, caused much trouble in the 16th century.
Our Bailiffs, John Garton and John Palmer, in 1522, were reprimanded for allowing Sir William Paston of
Caister, to carry away a wreck.
In these progressive times, when one realises that our neighbour to the north has installed electric light,
and taken unto itself a motto and a council hall, it is well to recall times less than 100 years since, when
troubles existed between the two places. At the investigation by H. M. Commissioners, Buckle and Hogg,
in 1834, the question of a neatherd was enquired into, as the following evidence will show:
Mr. Cobb presented to the Commissioners a memorial from 40 people, who kept stock upon the Common
stating that they were not protected in the pasturage of the town, that their cattle were impounded and that
they were put to serious inconvenience and expense. Mr. Cobb said there were rails and posts put up to
divide the pasturage of Yarmouth from Caister, which the Corporation were bound to keep up. It was not
The Town Clerk (Samuel Tolver) said: as often as the rails were put up, they were pulled down by the
Caister people.
Mr. Philip Scott Grudgfield had been neatherd since 1813. His duty was to see the stock up and down
and take the money: 1/6d. for a cow. 1/0d. for a horse and 9d. for a foal.
The boundary rails should be kept up. The Chamberlain orders them to be put up; the last were put up 3
or 4 years ago. He has applied to the Chamberlain to put them up, but received for an answer, He could
In 1813, Mr. Glasspoole had the whole mended and then the Caister people pulled up 50 posts and rails
in one night. The Caister people pound the Yarmouth people’s stock, and make them pay 5/0d. or 6/0d.,
according to the damage.
By the Commissioner: I am a free man. I have voted for the Blues, but not since I have been neatherd; I
changed about the time I was appointed. Mr. Colby, Mr. Cory and Mr. Costerton appointed me. Mr.
Clowes is the Lord of the Manor.
Mr. Clowes said: when Sir Edmund Lacon had the property adjoining the Common, the fences were kept
up. When he sold it, they were let down.
William Bowles said: he had paid 30/0d. for his stock being impounded.
Mr. Clowes, mentioned above, probably was father to John O. Clowes, a former Town Clerk, Lord of the
Manor, Caister and popular solicitor, who died 50 years ago.
At Yarmouth, two pounds existed in the North End. Upon the site of Estcourt Mission Room stood a large
pound with a 5-barred gate entrance facing the Infirmary wall. Another pound, a square one, stood near
the river walls, west of Ormond Road. Parmenter, the salt merchant, used it for a manure store.
Middleton Road supersedes Pound Lane at Gorleston.
Philip Scott Grudgfield lies buried in the churchyard, his headstone bearing the date of death, 10th
February 1845, aged 84, may be seen from Northgate Street; three stones north of the pathway, 13 feet
parallel, west with the railings. He was a Freeman by birth and he first entered the lists in 1784 and voted
continuously till 1841. His occupation was a butcher. The Palmers, Cobbs and Shelleys have their resting
place in this portion of our churchyard.

26th March 1927

A casual remark passed by one of my interested hearers when, showing a party over the N. W. Tower
recently, led me to enquire further; and to my delight, I realised that here was a link in Yarmouth's brilliant
chain of history. I had found a pipemaker, and the Pipemakers' Rows, 45, 47, 51, and Broad Row, would
be illuminated from first-hand information. And here, let me say, although I’m a non-smoker and total
abstainer, the knowledge gleaned from pipemakers and brewers is greatly appreciated by me, and eagerly
read by thousands who never tire of reading about events and personages known to them.
John Harris, although almost 81 years of age, is very energetic. He comes of good stock. His father, John
Harris, a pipemaker of Yarmouth, came from Norwich in the year 1849, where he had learned his trade at
the well-known firm of pipe and match makers, John Lincoln, of Common Pump Street near Castle
Ditches. This firm was the first to introduce match making into Norwich and district. The matches, when
dipped at both ends, were bundled up. Later round boxes were introduced with sandpaper at the base. It
was upon this class of box that the young lady, Miss Cox (later Mrs. John Harris, senior) worked. Her
father was by trade in Norwich a master twinespinner, of such there were several at this period. Of John
Harris the elder, we know but little.
John Harris senior, served his apprenticeship of seven years at Norwich 100 years ago, when five other
master pipemakers had shops in the city, including George Browne of Pipemakers' Yard, St. Gregory's,
Joseph Brown, of St. Stephen's, James Clements, of Ber Street, and William Hensall of St. James’. Today
there is a Pipe Burners’ Row at Norwich.
In 1840, John and his family (including young John, who was born in Pump Street, Norwich; 6th April
1816) removed to Yarmouth; he having obtained work with Mr. James Taylor, the Yarmouth pipemaker of
Pipemakers' Row 47, and Broad Row: a relative still survives. At that time there were three shops (these
small pipe factories were called shops) in Yarmouth.
Thomas Page, pipemaker of St. John's Head South Row, Row 47, was also an old established business.
Page voted as a Freeman in 1820. James Taylor secured for the Harris family a house adjoining the
pipeworks in Broad Row Alley. The house to-day is occupied by Sid Powell as an electrician's workshop,
at the rear of Aldred and Sons, George Street.
Local journeymen pipemakers came out on strike in 1852, and all returned to the shops except John
Harris senior, who, finding himself standing alone, decided to set up in business himself. The old time
apprenticed pipemaker was an all-round man, being expert in making and burning, and also efficient in
kiln making. To John Harris, senior, who possessed initiative, skill and added zeal in consequence of the
strike failure, the acquiring of suitable premises and converting same into a shop was an easy, if not an
inexpensive task at No. 2 White Horse Plain (now occupied by Henry Doughty, the tailor), as workshops.
This double-fronted house, with protruding steps, is unique. John Harris took over and converted it into a
shop, and pulled down at the rear, a bake office and oven and erected a kiln for burning the pipes. Young
John was taken from the Priory School's (Peter Brand, master) at the age of eight, to help in the
construction of this kiln. It was whilst here that we find him voting in 1857 for McCulloch and Watkin. For
seven years this business flourished and in 1859 he took over James Taylor senior’s shop in Black Swan
Row, No. 51. This was the father of his first employer. Vacating the White Horse Plain, the family settled
from that date in No. 51 Row, now Canister House, No. 19. John Harris senior, died in 1871, and young
John, who having been apprenticed to his father for seven years, managed the business for his mother.
Upon the death of his mother, John erected a kiln and started a shop next to the Bowling Green Tavern,
fronting the river. At this time, Mr. Long was the landlord of this popular rendezvous, which enjoyed 80
square feet of green. Here pipes were made until the final removal (in 1904) to 10a North Quay, at
premises formerly occupied by Tom Burgess, the stone mason, north of Rainbow Corner, almost opposite
the Suspension Bridge, where this old-established industry survived until the war came, which was mainly
responsible for its extinction, in 1916.
The old style pipemaker was the practical man and the vendor, and in times when public houses were
more numerous than at present, he had quite a full round locally; but his activities were not confined to the
town, local makers would travel by road as far as Bury St. Edmund's
Questioned as to his best customer, John Harris spoke of the times when the caulker, shipwright and
fisherman frequented the Rose Tavern (Boots, the chemists, to-day), at the top of Regent Street. This
popular tavern in former days had a long open room from King Street to Theatre Plain. Here the long 16
inch pipe was smoked. Weekly orders from Mr. Hudson here oft times totalled 10 gross, and 4 gross for re


Daily my attention is drawn to something pertaining to Old Yarmouth, or a query put to me, and an
interesting titbit is made a note of for further reference.
Quite a lot of good work might he accomplished if several persons interested met and talked together
monthly, each contributing their knowledge of Yarmouth. The society's motto might well be: Do you
This week I am indebted to Mrs. S. Hales, the Howard Street dealer, for the loan of an album containing
verses, sketches and photographs of 60 years ago. A view taken from the bridge depicts the river, with
numerous wherries, seven colliers, and the London Trader. The cab stand is to be seen, with three open
carriages for hire, but the cab man's shelter had not yet been built. The lower portion of the flint work now
comprising the Cromwell Hotel shows up to advantage, as also does the Star Hotel and the two fine
residences to the south of the Star. The Russian guns, now at the foot of the Jetty, are observed north of
the old Town Hall near the tall flag staff, and real old-fashioned shop fronts can be seen quite up to the
modern Mercury Offices.
Of more than passing interest is the view taken from the west side of the river, showing the present bridge
and Gurney's Bank, No. 14 (Clowes' north shop), William Hunter's draper's shop, and building operations
are in progress next door to the south; this would probably be for Clowes, the grocer, whose signboard is
displayed at No. 19, between Lacon and Youell's Bank, and John Franklin's Crown and Anchor Hotel. At
this time, Lady Elizabeth Orde's residence was north of Row 57 and the Star and Garter Tavern was south
of this Row, adjoining Youell's Bank.
The site of the present bathing pool, with long yawls in the forefront, makes an unique photograph. The
boats on the beach seem to be lying where today the tramway metals are, in the middle of the Parade.
Another relic of the old Drive contains a windmill, towering high above all the buildings. This mill probably
stood on the bleach between Crown and Trafalgar Roads. Many old ferry boats lay broadside, near the
water's edge, the whole scene presenting quite a changed view from the beach of to-day.
Perhaps the photograph to create the greatest attention to-day would be a north view of the Market Place,
the Fishermen's Hospital and the Church, with five rows of trees. Quite in the foreground is an empty
china crate, belonging to Mary Mitchell, also an earthen glazed pot and a large pedestal flower pot, etc.
The stately Market Pump, due east of Bumpstead the grocers (Barnes), top of Row 22, appears to be
quite 20 feet high. This erection of wood has a square base, and the upper tapered portion is panelled,
surmounted by a ball. The site to-day is 48 feet due east of North Wall, Row 22, marked by a stone slab,
which covers the well. The smaller pump of similar pattern is also observed near the church gates. It was
from this latter pump that the Runham Vauxhall folk fetched their drinking water.

2nd April 1927

Take not abroad a lighted pipe,
Or else a pot you're fined.
But stay till your tobacco's out,
Or leave your pipe behind.

The foregoing rhyme was displayed at the Crown Inn, Banham, for many years.
The great number of pipes mentioned in Part 1, surprised many folk, and more so when they learned that
the clay pipe was given away by the publican.
The Anchor and Hope close by the Barking Smack evidently did enormous business when the mackerel,
herring and trawl fish, were ferried to the beach, and the Roadstead was crowded with sailing craft, whose
crews landed at the Jetty to provision their ships. It was Beales, the landlord of the first-mentioned house,
who contracted alternately with Harris and Taylor for pipes to the value of £20 per year.

H. H. Smith, at the Albert Tavern, on Southgates Road, did a great business with the trawl fishermen, who
had no use for long pipes at sea, but preferred broken-stemmed pipes for the pocket and slop. £12 per
year has been paid by him for broken pipes.
The New Royal Standard, Victoria Road, gave away £12 worth when William Johnson kept it, some sixty
years ago.
Mr. Harris considered Yarmouth years ago the ideal town for the flourishing trade of pipemaking; the best
customers were the sailors. Before the advent of steam, a ship was longer discharging her cargo, and in
those times there was greater drinking amongst the sea-going fraternity, and also amongst the townsfolk
engaged in ship-building and the fishing.
The coal heaver was the early morning patron of the Quay taverns and another important customer was
the Dutch sailor. The local pipe seller could always engage a beachman to take him and his wares out to a
Dutch fleet and dispose of everything.
The Hollander formerly could not make a curved pipe, his pipe was the straight specimen, although in later
years the knotted, twisted and curved pipe has come into vogue and, in Holland, a leaf decorated 3 foot
clay pipe was considered a lucky wedding present.
John Harris bought up the pipe-making business of Knights at Lowestoft, whilst a dwindling trade
accounted for the shutting down of Sherwood of Thetford, Clare at Beccles and Goodwins of Ipswich.
Pipe-making was a chartered trade; no one was permitted to work unless he had served his seven years'
apprenticeship, and upon production of his society card would be believed when upon the road by his
At the time of my apprenticeship, said Mr. John Harris, with my father in Black Swan Row, only long pipes
were manufactured. These included the 18 inch churchwarden, 18 inch parlour and 16 inch kitchen pipes.
Many years later the 9 inch straw and the 6 inch straw was introduced, and then a 4 inch cutty, and
several other small pipes soon found favour, thus eliminating the longer variety. The 4 inch cutty was
styled the Robbie Burns.
Workers in the trade were paid according to the class of pipe and the first change came noticeably when
the public house altered their parlour smoking to larger bars. This caused the short pipe to be in greater
Questioned as to the most important and responsible work connected with his trade, Mr. John Harris
stated that the making of the kiln and the burning of the pipe was the most exacting and needed the
greatest technical knowledge.
Mr. Harris laughed over the many and varied pipes made, including King Theodore facing Lord Napier,
whilst the popular head of Madame Rachel, of trail fame, found great favour.
Punch was always in great demand, and upon occasions Mr. Harris executed freak orders for the ugliest
head possible. Judge and jury, a cricket bat and ball basket, and the favourite shoe in hand were also
good sellers.
A special order of 50 gross for the regiment at Colchester was executed, but the pipe, a small sloping
pipe, did not find favour in Yarmouth.

9th April 1927


The making of a pipe entails seven processes.

1st Stage: The pipe-clay comes from Newton Abbott, Devon, in large lumps, 70 to the ton. These have to
be dried, then broken into small portions, and steeped in water for twelve hours.

2nd Stage: The clay is beaten upon a stone block until it becomes pliable and workable, like dough.

3rd Stage: The pipemaker rolls two small lumps in sizes sufficient for the moulds required. Rolling two at
one time a man can roll about 300 in the hour.
4th Stage: Then comes the drying in readiness for the moulding. The moulds are of iron, in two sections,
made sixty years ago by Jones and Bagshaw of London. These are greased with oil, formerly whale oil
was used, and later a mixture of one part colza and four parts paraffin, by a small wool brush. The clay is
pulled upon a blunt pointed wire (note: the wire is not forced through the clay) and placed in the lower half
of the mould, the remaining section of the mould is then placed on the top, and the whole is fitted into a
machine termed a screw, which he pulls with left hand, whilst with the right hand he works a lever known
as the gin-handle, with a stopper attached, to form the bowl of the pipe. The surplus clay is removed, and
the pipes are ready for drying, to be next handled by a finisher. A moulder could do about 200 in the hour.
One has heard of writer's cramp, housemaid's knee, telegraphist's cramp, painter's colic and other
disabilities, but a pipe-maker's hand is news to many. Mr. Harris bears remarkable evidence in his right
hand of a deformity caused by long working the gin-handle and he informs me that many an old pipe
maker's second finger upon the right hand is almost closed. These old gin-handles must have been relics,
some bearing the imprint of the palm and finger joints, through continual usage. Evidently there is
something to be said in favour of machine-made goods in some directions.
5th Stage: The finishing of the pipe usually was the work of women, who carefully removed all seams from
the front and the back very smoothly, then placing them in position on a drying grate, i. e. a wooden frame,
in readiness for the kiln. To trim 200 would occupy about one hour.
6th and 7th Stages: The pipes are taken over by the potter or burner, who dries them. When sufficiently
dry, he stacks them in the pot, a fireclay receptacle. All stand bowl downwards, tier upon tier (fire-proof
clay plates or dishes separate the tiers), and when full the kiln will probably hold 80,000 pipes. The
burning occupies about 10 hours, white heat being needed to perfect the process.
Others engaged upon pipemaking are the washers, who glaze and imitate meerschaum and the tippers,
who colour the mouthpiece with sealing wax or glaze. All straws were tipped at 6d. extra per gross, and
the breakers, who deal with the broken-stemmed pipes, by further breaking to fit a mouthpiece.

16th April 1927

Taverner writes: the public house that A. B. enquires after was the Bird in Hand in the Old Gaol Row 108.
This beerhouse later was named the Tuns and stood on the north side, almost at the top, immediately at
the rear of the Tolhouse. No Yarmouth Directory mentions the Tuns, because its licence had, early in the
last century, been removed to the Weavers’ Arms, in the Market Place.
There was strong feeling at the time, and the case was mentioned at the Commission of 1834. It had been
stated that the price of the property, £650, was excessive in 1820, as paid by the Corporation for prison
extensions, compared with buildings of much more value in the same Row, that realised but £160.
After the September Sessions, 1818, the Recorder recommended the Grand Jury to inspect and report
upon the Gaol, and overcrowding and the need for extensions was the dominant feature of the Report.
(See Preston's, Yarmouth, 1819).
It appeared that the trade done by the landlord of the Tuns was, to quote the evidence, nil. Mr. Barber
said: inasmuch has lost all its custom. The house had been the resort of men engaged in fishing and
shipping and was one of the rare instances of public houses in the Rows. This, of course, might be
explained by the fact that Row 108 was long known as Walking Row, it being the first to have flag-stone
paving. Many Yarmouthians today refer to it as St. George’s Paved Row.
Evidently, this comfortable walking thoroughfare was well patronised and more so owing to the fact that
the courts were held at the Tolhouse. The tavern in question has, since 1735, been referred to as the
house wherein the Dutchman was murdered. Palmer describes the event in his Perlustration, vol. ii. pg.
282. It appears that after a drinking bout by a number of Hollanders, one remained in the house and his
brother returned later to fetch him. The Tuns he found closed, and he was twice fired upon from the inside
and he returned to his ship. Two days later a body of a Dutchman was found in the river minus two ears.
These were supposed to have been cut off to obtain the gold ear rings. However, the landlady, Elizabeth
Thompson, a daughter, and eight other women were committed to gaol and later, Mrs. Thompson was
hanged for murder, she not disclosing the actual murderer, although a free pardon had been offered to
her. The guilty one confessed some years later after upon his death bed.

Yarmouth had (in common with most towns) its pillory down to 1812, although for many years a temporary
erection, when needed, was used. The site in the Market Place is unknown. Evidently our Market Place
200 years ago was picturesque, when one remembers that in addition to the Market Cross, there were
stocks, a cage (or stockhouse for vagrants), a pillory, and pumps.
It was the custom to put a person in the pillory during a market or fair. It seems that in times past, publicity
was the ideal.
Branding upon the cheek and forehead and also nailing the ears to the woodwork was a common practice,
whilst in the pillory. Bakers often were pilloried for short weight; brewers for not keeping the assize;
butchers for selling unwholesome meat, and this was burned under their nose.
Libellers paid the penalty in the pillory, and authors who offended the political or religious chiefs were
subjected to the pillory.
Of the pillory at Yarmouth, we have no definite details. Palmer tells us it was a substantial affair, and when
dismantled in 1729, the lead was used to cover the Town Clerk's office.
Generally, pillories were wooden erections upon platforms, scaffolding, or an upright post with moveable
boards with holes large enough to enclose a person's neck and hands. Many included a whipping post
and stocks combined.
Here at Yarmouth, William Flaxman, for perjury in 1812, was pilloried, and records state that John Royal
and his wife were both subjected to this form of open-air punishment in 1757.
The use of the pillory was discontinued in 1837.

To Bugler: any and varied are the queries that daily confront me. However, an answer must be found, and
the searching for others means knowledge gained. No, Bugler, the incident was not connected with the
Volunteers, Rifles or Artillery; but with the old-time Militia, when in the late 60's Lord Suffield, in command,
issued the high-handed order for those times: that all beards must be shaved off. By tact and good
humour he was successful after giving the sentries orders to let no man through the Barrack Gate
(Admiralty Road) until he was clean shaven.

23rd April 1927


Old Poll books to most people are just a collection of names, householders, freemen and candidates. But
to one who delves into the past and takes delight in piecing together threads of local history; mere names
and occupations afford a great deal of pleasure.

The following entries are the basis of my talks upon clay pipemaking: 1796, James Harpley, pipemaker;
1835, Thomas Goodwins Page, pipemaker; 1835, James Taylor, pipemaker, Black Swan Row; 1859,
John Harris, White Horse Plain. Also some information is gleaned from Yarmouth's first Directory of 1830.
Both Page and Taylor are mentioned as pipemakers.

Probably one of the most interested readers of the Mercury Corner Old Time Trades has been Richard W.
Taylor of 51 Nelson Road North. He is a pipe-maker, grandson of the above mentioned James Taylor of
Black Swan Row. Although nine years junior to our friend John Harris, R. W. T. has an interesting tale to
tell of old Yarmouth, and one of its Row industries. Born in Pipemakers' Row (47), in 1856, in the
residence adjoining the pipe factory or shop, he spoke of his early days when (as H. M. M., of
Walthamstow, mentioned) cows were kept in sheds opposite, by Mr. Fisher, and Mr. Barrett had his boys'
school close by. R. W. T., as a boy, assisted his father at the trade, and during the fishing twice weekly
took the pony and cart loaded with clay pipes to Lowestoft, returning after midnight, often through snow
and rain.

Although eight or ten in the family, Mr. James Taylor found room for apprenticing and boarding 2 boys
from the Union, as was the custom. Mr. James Taylor was a familiar figure at Parmenter's Bowling Green,
North Quay, smoking the long churchwarden whilst playing Drake's game in a tall hat.

Upon leaving the Hospital School, he served 7 years' apprenticeship to his father, who had also a pipe
burning kiln in Broad Row Alley.

In prosperous times, i. e. the fishing, upwards of 20 employees were engaged upon pipemaking, and
although working 14 hours a day, only 18/0d. to £1 per week were the wages received by the best

The firm of Taylor was the largest in the Eastern Counties. Boatloads of clay were chartered from Newton
Abbott and Tynemouth, in Devon. A cargo of two stone blocks weighing 150 tons, being discharged at the
Stone Cutters' Quay, north of the Haven Bridge, was a familiar sight, and wherry loads were despatched
to customers at Norwich (Browne's) and to Clare, of Beccles.

Clay was sent also to Sherwood, of Thetford, B. Wade, of Wymondham, and makers at Wells, Lynn and
Dereham. Cargoes of manufactured pipes from Holland and Belgium, some measuring 3 feet 6 inches
were dealt with by the Taylors, who had an extensive business.

R. W. T. smiled when he recounted his experiences on the road, and the outwitting of the Norwich
dealers. His figures relative to the amount given away by publicans seem enormous; £75 a year was the
bill for churchwardens and re-burning of smoked pipes used by the Suffolk Hotel, Lowestoft. Probably the
Crown and Anchor, upon Hall Quay, was the best Yarmouth customer, when J. J. Franklin, the caterer,
was in charge, his bill totalling some £60 per year. It was for Franklin that a special Freemason clay
churchwarden mould was ordered. The Duke's Head and the Star Inn took nearly £40 worth of clays, the
Angel Inn, Bell and Crown, Trinity Arms and the Ballarat, each paying nearly £30 annually for pipes. Mr. F.
Carpenter, the Regent Street tobacconist, and R. J. Blyth, the old established tobacconist of Broad Row,
were good customers giving orders for 100 gross of clays.

Long churchwardens, the 21, 24 and 27 inch pipes, were sold from 2/6d. to 5/0d. per gross; and the 4 inch
and 10 inch 9d. to 1/6d. per gross. Probably to-day these would from 7/0d. to 8/0d. per gross.

Wooden spills (pipe lighters), cigars and safety matches were also sold by the travelling pipemaker.
Purchased by ton lots, the safety match cost from 8d. to 9d. a gross boxes. These were resold for 10d. to
10½d., to be retailed at Id. and 1½d. a dozen boxes.

R. W. T. informed me that he remembers when quite 15 or 20 pipemakers traded in Norfolk and Suffolk,
where to-day there exist none.

The Scotchmen were good customers and when returning after the fishing they would pack their marns
with pipes. From the pipe and tobacco shops at 60 and 61 North Quay, R. W. T. retired from the business
2 years ago, but still retains many moulds and working tools. Some of the former, he assures me, must
be 200 years old, and interesting items he has promised to present to the museums.

Recently, in company with John Harris, I visited, by kind permission of Mr. Aitken, the George Street
colourman, the pipe shop of Mr. R. W. Taylor, in Row 47. There still stands the two kilns, probably the last
remaining in Norfolk. It certainly would make a fine study for the artist. I note in the Connoisseur for April,
photographs of a pipe kiln in Willow Row, Derby, supposed to be the kiln wherein the noted Derby
porcelain maker fired his pieces.

What R. W. T. claims to be the largest clay pipe in the world, I was privileged to see at his warehouse.
This would hold a stone of tobacco and was made for the great Paris Exhibition and has been exhibited
locally. It was made by hand by Bob Fiddy, a clever potter and burner, whose son still lives in the town.
Also I saw a novelty clay pipe with 28 bowls. Such pipes would be poplar in these Churchillian days.

A look of surprise and did you know that? greeted me when I reminded Mr. Richard Taylor of the
counterfeit coiner, who purchased his clay for moulds at the pipe shop, in Pipemakers' Row some 60
years ago.

30th April 1927
An Artist and the Rows

The Museum Committee continues to cater for the townsfolk and visitor, and the coming summer season
will mark another stage in its useful history. The forthcoming art exhibition should appeal to many. It is
anticipated that quite a large number of good pictures will be loaned, and not a few by local present day
artists, who take more than a passing delight in palette, paint or pen. Local scenes will be the subject for
exhibits, lending a two-fold charm, for not only can we admire and appreciate the excellent work of the
artist, but also delight in reminiscence. The past, when portrayed, captivates us, whilst the handiwork of
the artist, who sees a building or scene to-day and presents us with a picture, reminds us that we still have
the original with us.

Exhibitions of this character foster art. Many an enthusiast has enjoyed his hobby alone. He has not
found others so keen as himself. An exhibition widens his circle of friends, whilst probably his work has
suffered for lack of criticism or the need of timely advice.

We wish the exhibition every success, and probably many, who this year exhibit will be heard of in the
future, bringing honour to their old town with their paintings.

Recently I picked up a nice little book, entitled Yarmouth and Caister. It contains 50 pages of interesting
sketches. Those include the panelled Nelson Room at the Star Inn, four towers, the Fishermen's Hospital,
the Cloister Row, 83 Row looking east, the Tolhouse, the Middlegate Arch and Drury House. The artist
and author, (C. R. B. Barrett) has not been idle whilst in the town, and his closing remarks in 1893 upon
the scope for the artist are well worth including in the Mercury Corner: When sketching in Yarmouth,
where so much is picturesque, it becomes a matter of no little difficulty to determine which Row should be
taken as a subject for illustration. I wandered up and down several score of these curious by-ways, and
finally decided upon Row 83, which in addition to its quaint appearance, is overlooked at its entrance by
an historic house; the house, where according to tradition, the execution of Charles I was decided upon.
These Rows of Yarmouth are unique in England, the plan of this portion of the town resembling not so
much a grid iron, as the backbone of a sole, slightly twisted. Something akin to the Yarmouth Rows will
be found in the Tewkesbury Courts; up and down which the Chartists alternately fought and fled. But the
element of the picturesque, so eminently present in Yarmouth, is absent from Tewkesbury. Let none be
deterred by narrow entries and darksome passages from visiting these curious old world paths.



To E. J.: pubic rejoicings in the past were celebrated in Market Places and that a wonderful tale could be
told of Yarmouth's magnificent Market Place celebrations of 1821, when on 19th July, £200 was spent at
Yarmouth upon festivities. I have not the weight of the bullock, but one weighing 60 stone was roasted in
Norwich Market Place and one of 44 stone in Ber Street, whist sheep were roasted in other parts of the
city. At Lynn, also roastings took place. It seems not a little strange that upon such occasion a good feed is
proffered to the populace. I have heard it said that feasting functions, such a treat cannot come often. To
sum up in few words; the public like celebrations. From amongst many handbills at the Reference Library,
I have copied the George IV particulars. In the times of associations and societies the word froth-blowers
would take the place of persons at the bottom of handbill:

19th July 1821
Arrangement of Festival.
At two o'clock the BULLOCK (with bread and beer) will be distributed by signal, the band playing
The Roast Beef of Old England. The bullock at the area where roasted, and the bread and the beer at the
Cross and Market Pump.

At 5 o'clock a
will take place on the South Denes
At nine o'clock.
A grand display of FIREWORKS
will be exhibited in the Market Place to conclude with the band playing God Save the King.
Persons are requested to supply themselves with pots.
Meggy, bookseller, printer and stationer, Yarmouth.

A. B. C. writes: a few days since a little girl died from injuries received whilst playing the game of mock
skipping, minus the jump ropes. Reading of this again reminded me of an old query: why do skip ropes,
heads and marbles re-appear round about Eastertide.

Re: Yarmouth Fair: yes, each year since the introduction of mechanical transport, fewer horses are
employed by travelling showmen. This year but horses came, and delighted I was one morning to see a
Yarmouth young lady artist, Miss Marjorie Bacon, who's aquatint, Wymondham Church, is to be hung in
the Royal Academy Exhibition this year, busily sketching the scene near Ceiley’s, portraying the old
caravans upon Church Plain.

7th May 1927


When the Rows were first numbered, in 1804, up to this point on North Quay eighteen Rows existed.
Today we are minus Nos. 1, 6, 14, 15, 16 and 17. The postal address of Say's Corner is Row 17, the
wrong numbering evidently occurring sometime after the erection of the large brewery premises that
occupy the whole length of the north side from George Street to the North Quay, in 1895. Formerly Say's
Corner extended east and west almost midway between the North Quay and George Street, its north-east
boundary being the west entrance of Row 17, at the Quay; 37 feet was the width. The origin of Say's
Corner came from a baker named Sayers, whose bakery occupied the S. W. corner. A bake house existed
down to a recent period on the south side, but has since been converted into warehouses.

A picturesqueness reminiscent of the past greets one in this Row. Almost at the west entrance may be
seen an old dwelling with grouted exterior, approached by a covered way, through which one learned of
cows and horses having been led to sheds beyond. An eight-light mullioned window and heavy oak
beams in the ceiling are the existing features of an age when air space and ventilation counted but little.
The origin of Hannent's Passage I have not yet found, probably so called from a tradesman who resided
at the entrance.

Visitors to this quaint quarter of Yarmouth must have noticed the half-timbered house, with a covered
portion in No. 10 yard. Here lived and died a well-known Breydoner, whose exploits have been chronicled
by that prolific writer, A. H. Patterson, in his books upon Breydon. Short 'Un Page, the mussel dredger,
smelter and eel catcher, was a typical old-time water man, and as his soubriquet implies, was small of
stature, being about 51 inches in height. Many Yarmouthians will recall a familiar pre-war figure in our
streets dressed in sailor clothes, delivering handbills for the Gorleston boats. This was Short 'Un Page, his
brass ear rings and curls adding not a little to spectacular effect. Mrs. Page was notorious for her long
black drop curls, a feature of the pre-shingle period.

No. 7 displays the two spurs of protruding doorstep supports, also a pointed over-door, a vanishing feature
of the Rows; also may be seen here a heavily moulded small window that gives light to a cupboard. There
are many such still to be seen, but when house fronts are rough cast or cemented, many of these
interesting items, including panels and cow-mouth windows are hidden from view.

Upon gables east and west of a passage entrance may been seen tablets with inscriptions: W. C. 1800
and what appears to be A. E. B. 1806.

An unique view of Breydon Water (partly obscured by the M. & G. N. R. bridge) may be seen from the east
entrance of Row 18, it being quite upon a hill. Certainly this Row can claim inhabitants, who probably are
loath to vacate the district, one with 40 years and another with 46 years residence. Mrs. Codman, now
over 80, widow of Codman, the nigger banjoist, resides here. These folk have an interesting tale to tell.
Meacham, the Market stall sugar boiler, had his place at the S. E. corner 30 years since after vacating the
shop at the S. E. corner of Row 17, and tales are told of times, when the premises adjoining the Duke of
York Tavern, were a greengrocer's store and liquor might be obtained under the pretence of purchasing
cabbages, etc.

Next south are premises now used as a lodging house, but were formerly notorious as a tavern, the
Princess Charlotte. In 1820, John Gold was the landlord, and at the general election for 1831, Anson and
Rumbold paid tavern bills amounting to over £342, the Princess Charlotte bill being £13/4/0d. This tavern
lost its licence nearly 40 years ago. It took its name after 1796 from George IV's only daughter, Princess
Charlotte of Wales, and Yarmouth, in common, with all other Norfolk Towns, upon November 19th 1817,
went into mourning, shops closing and suspending public business when her remains were interred at

21st May 1927

One can picture the scene away back in 1800, excited crowds at the east entrance to this Row listening to
Lord Nelson, who spoke from the leads of the Wrestlers’ Inn. This Row takes its name from the well-
known hostelry nearby, that dates back to 1691, and forever it will be associated with the Norfolk Hero.
For many years, there has been no thoroughfare through to George Street as iron gates are fixed at the
east and west ends, and in November last a portion of the Row was bricked up near the east end. Tall
chimney stacks are to be seen upon the north and south sides of the Row. The enamel tablets, bearing
the No. 19, are still to be seen here.

Brewery extensions for Lacon’s have been responsible for the demolition of much Row property in this
area and it is believed that the brewery originally commenced at the north-west corner.

Palmer tells us that two half-timbered houses existed here until 1868, whilst at the south-west corner a
substantial mansion, up till 1865, bore a stone tablet dating back to 1635, and the letters: T. H. E., being
the initials of Henry Thompson and Elizabeth, his wife. After the death of King Charles I, Thompson, with
others, resigned from the Corporation. Much excellent carved stone was discovered when the building
was demolished. Near here, in the 1820s, when the Gas Company were laying mains, a quantity of
leaden pipes, probably early-water pipes, were unearthed.

In 1829, two fish curers had their premises in this Row, namely, Daniel Hubbard and Walter Campbell,
formerly on the south side, leading to No. 21 Row. Mr. R. T. S. Smith tells me there were cow sheds.
Early in the last century, Rev’d. Rice Hughes, one of the vicar’s (Richard Turner) curates, resided in this
Row. This individual received notice to terminate his office after preaching a fiery National Defence
sermon in St. George's Chapel. He afterwards published it in pamphlet form; to be had of the curate only
at his house in the Wrestlers’ Row.

Mention of Town Criers and bellmen at this month’s Council meeting revives old time methods of publicity,
when the crier was an individual, who had an official position in the town.


Prior to 1786, Samuel Bowles filled this important position; succeeded by Josiah Curtis. This character,
who is the subject for an engraving by Swan Borough, the artist, resided in the King’s Head and Queen's
Head South, Row No. 32. Palmer tells us in the Perlustration (vol. i pg. 217) that the Curtis family were
great lovers of beer, and the bellman's old song was:

O Ale ab alendo, thou liquor of life,

That I had a mouth as big as a whale,
For mine is too little, to tell the least tittle,
Of all the fine things that belong to fine ale.

In 1829, we find Joseph Ablitt, the Yarmouth Bellman and Church Beadle, residing in Wrestlers’ Row and
following the ancient custom of publishing a handbill at Christmas to the townsfolk, upon a variety of
subjects, including the following:

On the Right Worshipful the Mayor

For you, good Sir, no flattering verse I raise,
I only echo to a people’s praise:
I only tell what justice might demand
That truth impartial guides your steady hand,
That while a Preston governs, we rejoice
Maintain the Peace and bless the Borough’s choice.

(The Preston family supplied Mayors in the years 1793, 1801, 1813, 1816, 1818, 1822, 1827, 1830, 1831,
1834, 1870 and 1871, and the Coroner and Magistrates’ Clerk to-day is a descendant of this family). Then
follow verses to the Deputy-Mayor and Aldermen and certainly the ode to the Commons is well worthy of

May justice always in your Council sit,
And wisdom be the substitute of wit!
May each good townsman ill Council find,
None but of great and generous mind.
Friends to good order, commerce, trade and law,
From which alone we every blessing draw.

The verses upon modern improvements include many sayings typical of Mother Shipton.

The simple rustic often hath been told

The streets of London all were paved with gold.
But nowadays he'd surely be surprised
To find the streets are all macadamis'd.

(This form of road making was introduced by Sir John L. Macadam, 1756-1836).

Upon Joseph Ablitt’s tombstone is inscribed:

in memory of
Late Bellman,
Died June 22nd, 1831.
Aged 48 Years.

Henry B. Thompson, Sergeant at Mace and Bellman, died January 1882, aged 65, and was followed by H.
Thompson, who still resides in the town, and was granted a gratuity of £5 and a certificate of service by
the Corporation this month.

Hunt's Directory for 1850, gives Row 19 as the residence of James Burman, the Sexton, and here 80
years ago William Briggs conducted a day school.

The tall chimney stack at the north-east corner of the Row belonging to Lacon, was removed in 1922 and
a new building with date 1926 occupies the site.

Tom Colman, an old mail coach driver, the last Yarmouth man to ply the coach, lived in this Row. The
directory of 1868 shows the Norfolk and Norwich Arms, St. George's Road, direct opposite the east
entrance, which was long known as Skouldings Corner.

28th May 1927

How most interesting are people, getting on well in years, who can recall vivid happenings of their
childhood? This week, through the kind agency of Councillor Hatch, I have been fortunate in learning the
details of the tragic event that occurred upon the South Denes 64 years ago.

It appears that Charles Marsh, violinist, and his mate, Henry Wharton, banjoist, the minstrels, who added
gaiety to the concert room of the Half Moon (landlord; Henry King), later the Edinburgh Tavern, now
Plumbers Supplies, Market Place, strolled to the Monument Tavern and after partaking of refreshment
between four and five o’clock in the afternoon, decided to ascend the Nelson Column. This was upon May
26th 1863. Childlike, Mrs. Gedge, took notice of these minstrels, but had little thought of the impending
disaster. Whilst ascending the column, Marsh played the National Anthem of God save the Queen. This
evidently was his final tune. When at the top he looked through a visitor’s glasses, but declared he could
not see anything and handed them to his mate, Wharton, meanwhile clambering outside, gaining access
to Britannia after climbing above the caryatides.

The crowd beneath were horrified. There, high up some 140 feet was Marsh, minus his violin, sitting
calmly upon the shoulder of Britannia, then excitedly waving and throwing kisses to the assembled crowd.
In attempting to descend, he placed his leg around the trident handle and kissed Britannia, then somehow
he missed his footing and headlong he plunged to the base of the column.

Mrs. Maria Gedge heard the thud, and although only eight years of age, rushed with the crowd to view the
sad spectacle. Marsh was removed to the Monument Tavern stable and the doctors arrived upon the
scene on horseback.

Living at No. 6 Isabella Square, St. George’s Road, in her 72nd year, Mrs. Gedge is still able to get about.
She spoke with pride at having been reviewed by the Prince of Wales at the old Assembly Rooms
Officers’ Mess, where for many years, she assisted as the vegetable cook.


Some 30 years ago, attention was drawn to the plight of an old couple, both 83 years of age, living in
Lacon’s Office Row. A native of Lowestoft, young Tom Colman came to Yarmouth at the age of eight,
commencing his career in the service of Dr. William Smith Ferrier at 135 King Street (now A. Duffell’s,
fruiterers), who was the Borough Coroner from 1836 to his death in 1848, aged 43.

Tom’s next situation was at the age of 13 years with the landlord of the Angel Inn, Market Place, John
Browne, then being the mail coach contractor for the Post Office, situated in Row 63, at the rear of
Kerridge’s establishment.

At this time the mail guard was George Watts, who resided in Row 106, and probably young Tom longed
for the time when he might be entrusted with the mail and making the journey to Ipswich, instead of stable
work at the Angel, which naturally was heavy, all transit being by road, for in these times no railways
connected up Yarmouth with the outside towns.

By assiduous toil and honesty, Tom Colman’s chance for promotion came and before three magistrates,
(Messrs. Hammond, Barker and Fenn), he was sworn in as post boy at the Star Inn. Rough roads, bad
weather and always the possibility of a hold-up with robbery and violence, were the experiences of our
post boy. His journey included stops at Woodbridge, Saxmundham, Yoxford, Wangford, Wrentham,
Kessingland, Lowestoft and Gorleston and tales of gale, storm and flood made talks with him most
interesting. Often he had to ride the leading horse, and for this he was paid a 3d. a mile; a night’s
earnings being 13/0d., whilst for an ordinary journey his wage was 2/6d. He left Yarmouth at 5.30 in the
afternoon and arrived back at 8pm upon the morning following.

Upon one occasion, when the beach from Yarmouth to Lowestoft was strewn with wreckage, young Tom
braved the storm, leaving the coach and riding the mail bags on horseback.

The post of mail guard was a great responsibility. Post boys, of whom Colman was wont to speak, were
John Gardiner, Tom Hodson and George Wilson.

For some 20 years, Colman was a familiar figure at the Post Office in Row 63, and later upon Hall Quay,
when the Post Office was transferred in 1840 to the north-west corner of Row 53, succeeding the coffee
rooms or subscription rooms that had existed here since 1807. The premises are now occupied by the
Midland Bank.

From about 1857 until 1875, Colman was the genial host at the Norfolk and Norwich Arms, St. George’s
Road and did extensive business with the livery and bait stables.

In June 1872, Colman had the distinction of posting the Prince of Wales, late King Edward VII, upon his
first visit to Yarmouth. It appears that the Prince brought a closed carriage with him, but the weather was
so fine that he preferred an open conveyance, and in that way Colman’s services were as coachman

His retirement from public life was occasioned by the loss of trade consequent upon fish landings upon the
beach ceasing. The Fish Wharf was completed in 1869.

In later years, Tom Colman earned a livelihood as a cab driver and, in this, he was succeeded by his son.

For many years the Colman family were tenants of Mr. R. T. S. Smith, the upholster, to whom I am greatly
indebted for much information.

18th June 1927
In all places where there are objects worthy of detail or observation, then should be a short printed
directory, for the use of the stranger wrote Dr. Johnson (1709-1784).
In my local collection there are a score of books that I greatly prize, and these are:
Humble directories of Yarmouth. Many folk would find no room upon their bookshelves for such, but with
me they are close companions.
The story of Great Yarmouth is written upon their pages. What to many appear to be mere names and
trades, convey much to one who delights in associating a residence with a famous family, or weaving a
narrative around tradesmen who plied a bygone trade or craft.
The modern businessman or householder probably never stops to think of the difficulties that confronted
past generations, who had not the assistance of Mr. Kelly. At the mention of so familiar a name, the word
directory immediately comes to one's mind, and rightly so, for have not the Kelly family a thousand and
one times solved the problem for us, secured us new business, and smoothed the day's difficulties.
These popular compilers of directories, although commencing in 1799, never came our way in the 18th
century, much to our regret, and the first directory containing names of residents, trades, coaches,
carriers, etc., of Yarmouth that I can find (and this probably the only copy in Yarmouth) is Pigott & Co.'s
London and Provincial New Commercial Directory for 1822-23 containing particulars of 20 counties. This
was published at Manchester, June 24th 1822, and sold to non-subscribers at 30/0d.
The Yarmouth items, including a brief history of the town, are from pages 316 to 322. The same firm
published a similar volume in 1830, containing ten pages devoted to the town.
Mr. George Gower J.P., and myself have a copy of the latter, and are desirous of obtaining one for the
Reference Library.
By the kindness of the Librarian, Mr. R. G. Watlow, I am possessed of a complete list of some 50 local
directories in the Reference Department. These commence with a Norfolk by William White of Sheffield, in
1836, 1845, 1864, 1883 and 1890. Francis White published a Norfolk Directory in 1854. Hunt & Co., in
August of 1850, published a handy volume for East Norfolk, with part of Suffolk, including 166 of the
circumjacent villages.
Craven & Co., the Nottingham publishers, issued a Commercial Directory for Norfolk in 1850 with a map,
for 10/6d. Kelly's two years later, in 1858, issued a Norfolk Directory, and have continued to publish the
County Directory for the past 70 years. The local printer to claim the honour of publishing Yarmouth's first
Street Directory is William Cobb of Hall Quay (now Clowes, grocers, north shop), and this in July 1863. T.
G. Harrod & Co., of London, the same year issued a large volume of Norfolk and Norwich, followed in
1864 by W. White. Undoubtedly encouraged by the success of Cobb's publication, George Nall, of 182
King Street (now Jarrold's) arranged with the London printers, Mathieson's, to publish a Yarmouth and
Lowestoft Directory in 1867-68. This volume deals more fully with the Rows.
Morris & Co. of Houndsgate, Nottingham in May 1868, issued a bulk Directory and Gazetteer of Suffolk
with Great Yarmouth. This deals with the history of the town and alphabetically deals with private
residents and trades.
T. G. Harrod & Co., of London, again published in 1872 a Norfolk Directory, to be followed in 1874 by a
local printer, C. W. Godfrey, of 7 Regent Street and Row 66, with a Yarmouth Directory of 200 pages, for
Harrod, in 1877, issued yet another Norfolk, and Charles Steer, a local printer, issued from 15 Howard
Street, in 1878, a handy volume including the Corporation, local companies, names of fishing fleet and a
comprehensive list of the Rows, the inhabitants, trades, etc. In 1886, G. S. Cook of Lowestoft, publishes
a similar work to Steer's, but with illustrations. The portrait of Yarmouth's M. P., Sir H. W. Tyler, is the
frontispiece. The East Norfolk Printing Co., a local firm, published a directory in 1888, and two years, later
the last of White's Norfolk appeared.
In 1894, W. J. Cook of Derby, in conjunction with Jarrold's, issued the first of four editions, subsequent
volumes appearing in 1896, 1898 and 1901. It is at this period that Kelly appears upon the scene with a
purely local Directory for Yarmouth. Gorleston and Southtown and the villages. Fourteen editions since
1900 have been issued by this enterprising firm, and it would be true to say, that no businessman's desk
is complete, if it is minus the buff book.

Reply to Beachcomber
Probably you refer to the grand sight nearly 100 years ago when at the end of October 1837, there had
been from 1,500 to 2,000 vessels wind-bound, and at anchor in the Roadstead. These got under sail on
Sunday, and were immediately followed by about 1,000 vessels from beyond Lowestoft, and it was
estimated that more than 3,000 vessels passed Yarmouth in five hours in so close procession that the sea
could not be discerned beyond them.
I am greatly indebted to Mr. J. A. Christian of Market Road for a nice gift, neatly framed in black, is a 15
inches by 7 inches theatre bill, with the heading:


By desire of the stewards of the




will be performed the comedy

of the


and a farce entitled


Tickets were to be obtained from

Sloman's Library, corner of the
Post Office Row

Such quaint items make for interesting reading these days, and to those readers who are especially
interested in old local play bills, folios of such may be seen at the Reference Department of the Library.

7th July 1927


J. W. P. writes: The block of buildings and caretaker's house (the last tenant was Jonas Barnes), called
the Oil Houses, which I helped to demolish, were purchased by the late James Gillings, builder and fish
merchant, of this town, in 1870, and carefully taken down as they were very substantially built of hard
Norfolk red bricks. The walls were 14 inches thick.

The roofs were constructed of clean Norwegian timber, which would make a joiner’s heart glad to get
these days. The tie beams were 5½ inches by 11 inches, and the covering was good red pantiles; the
gutters were 8lb. lead. The materials were used in the erection of Columbia Cottage, opposite the
Gardener's Arms and the premises now in the occupation of Mr. Leech, builder, and other work Mr.
Gillings had on at the time.

23rd July 1927
From faraway Vancouver an old Yarmouthian, J. W. P., brings along The Sunday Province from
Vancouver, B.C., an illustrated paper sent to him by his son, who is a regular reader. It contain a reference
to Yarmouth under the following title: Flesh of the Porpoises once highly prized. The porpoises are a
sociable lot, swimming in shoals or in schools, as the sailors say. Their object is usually mackerel,
herrings and other small fish, which scatter before them in terror. Nor are they content with that chase.
They sometimes approach the shore, where they forage amongst marine vegetation rooting it up with their
snouts. Epicures in the middle ages prized the porpoise as a delicacy. A church dignitary of the period
was frequently regaled with porpoise, and at the solemn installation of Bishop Neville, four of these
cetaceans figured in the menu. In 1491, the Bailiff of Yarmouth presented a fine specimen of a porpoise to
Lord Oxford. It was accompanied by an address, in which it was stated that they had chosen this present
as one which would be specially acceptable to him.

It would appear that the porpoise was highly prized many centuries ago. In 1488, the Bailiffs entertained
Sir John Paston on porpoise as Palmer tells us: a royal fish which was then esteemed a great delicacy
and was frequently served at the civic dinners of the Lord Mayor of London. Both Druery and Palmer
state the porpoise was presented to the Earl of Oxford.


Past historians, artists and lovers of the old town all took delight in the double row of trees, which lent a
quaint picturesqueness to our famous quay.

Today, we deplore the loss of those trees. During the re-making of the roadway now in progress, the roots
of the trees have been discovered. Much astonishment was caused when a large root and tree stump
were found almost midway across the road opposite the site of the old Quay Angel Tavern. Workmen
under the ganger, G. W. Symonds, discovered the large root of the tree that sheltered some of the 8,000
diners upon the occasion of the great dinner on the Quay in 1814. This tree stood near No. 11 table and
was 40 feet 8 inches west of Nos. 33 and 34 South Quay. Thirty-six feet further south, a similar stump has
been unearthed. Undoubtedly the use of salt water upon the Quay many years ago accounted for the
decay of this fine avenue.

Reply to Seven Dials: presumably the following is what you refer to: in 1664, John Gayford, Yarmouth
locksmith, obtained his freedom by grant. The Corporation records state the particulars us follows: upon
furnishing a substantial clock with a swing in the territ, and fix and place the same in the territ upon the
Workhouse, and keep the same clock bell and dyall in good reparacon gratis during his life.


M. P., K. S., and others: yes, the beautiful watercolour by Charles H. Harrison in the exhibition depicting
the S. S. Transit as a wreck upon the beach opposite Trafalgar Road, will cause some argument. The date
of the collision was January 23rd 1876. It was a calm day and the collision between the S. S. Glamabunta
and the Transit occasioned some surprise.

The former steamer was captained by a Yarmouth man, Mr. Ablitt. Old beachmen still have their
interesting yarns about local ladies, who for many years after, had silken dresses. Those were the days
when some real good salvage work was to be had, an old beachcomber informs me. The price paid as
salvage was £2,000 upon this occasion.

6th August 1927


To J. P.: this old established brewery was in Row 103 and a sandstone plaque refers to the same on the
N. E. Corner. The brewery was sold in October 1884; the auction prices being: Residence, Middlegate
Street £300; the business premises Row 103, £190; stable and premises opposite, £130; malting in Row
110, withdrawn; house and shop, late the Red Lion, Middlegate Street, £150; house, late the Sailors’
Home, South Quay, £195, private house, formerly the Neptune, Priory Plain, £160; and other lots, making
a total of £2,134.

20th August 1927

Our interest is invariably excited when in a strange town we espy some almshouses, but how many of us
have read the inscription just within the gates of the Fisherman's Hospital, close by the church trees?
The following is a copy:

This Hospital was erected at the expense of the Corporation of Great Yarmouth.
At a Common Council on the 3rd July 1711, it was ordered:

That no person be admitted under the age of 60 years.

That fishermen only be admitted, but if married their wives to accompany them.
That if any fisherman becomes a widower in the Hospital, he shall not marry out of the Hospital without
the approbation of the Committee.
That no person be allowed to lodge in any house, other than such as are regularly admitted under any
pretence whatsoever, except as a nurse for the sick, and even that not without the consent of the
foreman, under the penalty of losing the allowance for that week in which such lodger shall be taken in
and be continued to be so lodged.
That the Committee make no weekly or other payment to those who do not live and lodge in the said
Hospital, unless some extraordinary reason for a short non-residence should be allowed by the said
committee, and in case any person wilfully and without leave absent themselves for seven days, such
persons shall be suspended by the said committee and discharged at the next meeting.
That the outward gate at the Hospital be locked exactly at 9 of the clock every night and that the key of
the said gate be kept by such dweller in the Hospital as the committee shall from time to time direct.
That the benefactors and the above orders be painted and affixed at the gables on each side of this
Hospital gate.
The foregoing is upon a large oval plaque surmounted by some massive affixed to the south gable and a
similar oval upon the north gable contains the following interesting particulars.

The following benefactions have been made to this Charity:

1705: the executors of Thomas Bradford erected a gallery in the nave of the Parish Church, and the rent
from the sittings were appropriated to this Hospital. Subsequently, in lieu of the rents the churchwardens
paid £5 annually until 1857, when the payment ceased.
1707: Mr. John Filkin gave by will, £25.
1708: Mrs. Blennerhasset gave in her lifetime to the Corporation upon trust to pay 50 shillings every
Christmas Eve and Easter Eve to the inmates of this hospital, to be equally divided amongst them, £100.
1709: Captain Gabriel Milleson, gave by will, £10.
1725: Mrs. Susannah Master gave by will, £20.
1762: Mr. Benjamin Jolly gave by will the sum of £100, the interest of which to be applied to the benefit of
this Charity for ever, £100.
1811: John Lacon, Esq., gave by will, a legacy of £200.
1811: John Boldra gave by will £100.
1812: Robert Warmington, Esq., gave by will, £500.
1819: Miss Eleanor Wright gave by will £100, the interest to be distributed upon her birthday, £100.
1850: William Larke, Esq., R. N., gave by will £19 19s. Od.
1857: Mr. James Gunton Cannell gave by will £25.
1866: The Dowager Lady Lacon gave by will £100.
1884: William Norton Burroughs, Esq., gave by will £500.
1902: Mr. Robert James Webb of Gorleston, smack owner, gave by will £20.
1915, July. T. Beck Forman, £30.

The gatekeeper is Mr. Adams, who tells some interesting yarns of trawling days when Hewett, Leleus,
Morgan and others were here. About 100 years since the inmates of the Hospital were not all fishermen.
It appears that the almshouses were then used for political purposes. Promises of accommodation at the
hospital were given in return for votes. The wife of one voter remarked: what a fool you (the husband)
are. You have been depending upon their promises more than 20 years. At one time an allowance of

£160 per annum was granted to the hospital by the Government in lieu of the beer duty after the local
fishermen protested against the tax.


Through the kindness of Mr. A. W. Ecclestone, architect, I was able to copy some old Yarmouth papers
dating back to 1780. These pasted within the lid of an old deal tool or seaman's chest rescued from a
builder's yard. The description of the events make for interesting reading. Bills are headed by a show of
wheels, fireworks, and the announcement:


On Monday evening October 9th, 1780 at the Bowling Green, Yarmouth exhibits of curiously superb
fireworks. These included a Chinese wheel illuminated with white, red, blue, green and purple fire. A
large windmill curiously illuminated. A large battery of Roman candles, which will discharge 400 fire
balls. Bacchus by Baptista Pedralio, who will change himself into a cascade of Chinese fire, which will
extend 60 feet; also a putty wheel, with a spiral wheel at which will fall in imitation of a Maccaron

Admission to the display was to 1/0d. and 6d. was to be returned in liquor, etc.

The other bills refer to May 29th 1780, being the restoration of King Charles II, and to June 5th 1781.

13th August 1927


To Anonymous: the epitaph you enquire after was erected in the churchyard at Haddiscoe, Suffolk, and
reads as follows:

William Salter.
Yarmouth Stage Coach Man,
Died October the 9th 1776,
Aged 59 Years.

Here lies Will Salter honest man

Deny it envy if you can.
True to his business and his trust
Always punctual, always just.
His horses could they speak would tell
They lov'd their good old master well.
His up hill work is chiefly done.
His stage is ended, race is run.
One journey is remaining still,
To climb up Zion’s Holy Hill.
And now his faults are all forgiven
Elija like drive up to heaven.
Take the reward of all his pains,
And leave to other hands the reins.

The stone was surmounted by two cherubs heads. It is said that William Salter met his death at the foot
of the hill near the church by falling from his coach.

3rd September 1927

It was the poet Longfellow, who said time has laid his hand. Now were I to say, time has laid his hand
upon the Quay taverns, some folk would retort, yes, but the Licensing Justices have had a word also to

From time to time many have enquired for a list of public houses along the South Quay of 60 years ago.

The old time coal heavers have passed beyond. Then, too, the mussel dredgers, tugmen, anchor
swipers, riggers and caulkers and shipwrights, and many quay-skiers, who had several pints before
breakfast are lost patrons to the warm cosy bar.

It is not my intention to deal fully with the Quay public houses in this brief article, but just to locate them.
Commencing at The Bush (which 100 years ago was known as the Peace and Plenty), lately situated at
the north-west corner of Row 96 (then it was kept by James Pumphrey, assistant crane master and coal
meter), we pass along to the southwest corner of Row 100. Here stood the Sons of Commerce, kept by
James Dearn. It had been formerly named the Custom House and The Rampant Horse. Bessey and
Palmer's coal offices now occupy the site. Next we come to the Royal Exchange, when Samuel Fulcher
was the landlord. This house to-day is the Crane Hotel, with Albert Henry Dyer as the genial host. Both
these taverns were the resorts of coal heavers and shrimpers.

At No. 30, the familiar golden sign of the Gallon Can is seen. Here, David Brown did good business
despite the fact that the two premises south were also licensed, being the Sailors’ Home (south-west
corner of Row 117) and the White Swan, James Barrett at the former and Mrs. Catherine King at the
Swan, No. 32. One residence divided the last mentioned tavern and the Angel, known as The Quay
Angel, kept by John King, at the south-west corner of Row 123.

George Lawson was the landlord at the Collier's Arms, a tavern situated at the north-west corner of Row

Ben Powell in those days kept the Newcastle Tavern at the south-west corner of St. Peter's Paved Row
West, which still retains its licence, the sign being The Ferry Hotel, kept by Mr. Charles R. Cole. Formerly
this house and adjoining property was a fine mansion wherein for many years the Johnson family resided.
In 1671, Sir James Johnson here entertained King Charles II, the merry monarch, for a night, and received
a knighthood.

Pass three houses and we are at the Bell and Crown, kept today by Mrs. Emily Bartlett, which formerly
was kept by Mr. George Cornelius Carter at the north-west corner of Row 133.

The Three Herrings is a missing sign today, probably taken from the original Yarmouth Coat of Arms. The
tavern is known now as the Upper Ferry, the landlord being a relation of Mr. William Gedge of 60 years
ago. Here may be seen a nice piece of Peggotty's Hut, and a leaded light from the old hut. For many
years, the well-known Cromer Hoax placard has been on view here.

At the opposite side of the Row 136 resided the widow of John Shelley, and only last week a grandson
called upon me for information respecting the family. Such is the fame of Mercury Corner.

Old Yarmouthians still speak of the Dog and Duck Row, for this was a well-known tavern sign (and all the
Rows took the sign names). John Cox was the popular host at the north-west corner of Row 138, when
trade was more brisk at this end of the Quay, 60 years since. The Dog and Duck figures in the Anson and
Rumbold general election.

At the south-west corner of Row 142 stood the Mariner's Compass, a noted tavern kept by Nathaniel
Page. Later the sign was the Distillery, and here Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bennett had their last drink before
the tragic murder on Yarmouth sands.

The Brothers Tavern, next south, later was licensed. This, too, became redundant.

At the south-west corner of Yarmouth’s last Row, No. 145, stood the Unicorn, kept by William Denton.
This tavern was the subject for discussion at the Commission of 1834. Formerly it was the Nag’s Head,
then later in the 18th century the Hat and Feather. An excellent portion of a beautiful square cut (very
small) flint gable is still to be seen.

At the Sceptre, situated at the north-west corner of Friars’ Lane and at present occupied by Mr. George
Ellis; sixty years ago John Mainprice was the landlord. This property had only just licensed. A few years
previous the lane had been widened, when a large portion of a fine old house was taken down, once the
residence of Bailiff Robins, who in 1692, October 18th, entertained King William III. Later the property
was the residence of Admiral Sir George Parker, K.C.B. At the opposite corner of Friars' Lane stood the
Britannia, kept by Mr. Matthew Groves.

At No. 79 South Quay, was the South Star, for many years in the Bammant family. This still enjoys a good

trade under the management of Mr. George Frid. A very fine oak timbered roof is to be found here.

The appropriate sign, First and Last, completes our tour here at 84 South Quay. Sixty years ago, John
Teasdel filled the role of fish curer and publican. Today W. George is the landlord. A narrow passage,
Crowe's Court, divides this old-established tavern and the town wall that abutted upon the South Gate,
which was removed in 1812.


Bostock's Fire: in reply to Phoenix: the draper's shop of Mr. E. Bostock, next to the Rose tavern opposite
Regent Street, was ablaze on November 3rd 1871. How time flies. But probably you refer to the
disastrous fire there during the night of November 3rd 1884, when the whole place was gutted and all
stock and trade effects burnt out.

Johnson's Record Mackerel: A. H. Patterson writes: Mr. H. B. Johnson’s expensive mackerel, which he
believes were caught at a good profit per fish in 1832, must retire with their tails behind them into the
shade when he and they read the following, which I have copied from my scarce little book, Rough Notes
on the Fish and Fisheries of East Suffolk (1910), page 15. The highest price on record for mackerel
occurred in May 1807, when the first boat load from Brighton realised forty guineas per hundred of six
score; seven shillings each. In the following year mackerel struck the neighbourhood of Dover so
plentifully that they were sold at sixty for a shilling. The mackerel migrate where their food is most
plentiful, but are otherwise subject to a queer and unaccountable caprice.

24th September 1927

The last week has been a busy one for the Corner Man. Amongst the many readers, who have brought
along local items is Mr. G. W. Doughty with quite a bundle, from which I selected a card printed by Duncan
for J. Thorold. When newspapers were not so popular or so plentiful, such publications as cards, sheets
and leaflets were sold in the streets.


On Tuesday June 1st 1819
On reaching the summit of NELSON’S MONUMENT, YARMOUTH

I sing not of great Nelson’s praise,

Nor yet in such exalted lays,
As he who sang the falloff Man,
Or his triumphant rise again,
The subject is of equal weight
To every man whate’er his state,
‘Tis Sutton’s sudden death that cries,
Awake, O, mortals! And be wise,
Behold him early on that day,
Busy, bustling, light and gay,
Ascend the Column’s lofty height.
Where soon his spirit took its flight,
Let me one ask the reasons why
The ALMIGHTY pleased he thus should die.
Tho’ useful in his active sphere,
And his whole pride this shalt to rear:
Yet for reasons none can tell
Was called in other climes to dwell.
This mysterious circumstance
Is not uncommon, or by chance:
How very often do we hear
Of deaths as sudden, far and near.
Neither to accidental cause
Should be ascribed Jehovah’s laws.
But pray from such like ends as these
Exempt me Lord, if Thee it please.

To Indian Game: certainly Yarmouth had its cock fighting. An old advertisement announces that the:

Old Annual main of Cocks would be fought near the Feathers Inn
on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 7th and 8th September 1830,
between gentlemen of Norwich and Yarmouth
for 5 sovereigns a battle and 50 sovereigns the odds.

In 1831, this event took place at the Bush Tavern, South Quay.

1st October 1927


Was it not Shakespeare who said, let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs.

It's of the former and the latter we will speak and leave the worm to the early bird.

At the Angel Inn, in the Market Place during the latter part of the 18th Century, the popular host and
hostess were Mr. and Mrs. Absolom Darke. Both were buried in St. Nicholas Church. The husband died,
aged 60, at Tewkesbury, in 1792, his wife having died the previous year, aged 58. Frequently is the
Corner Man to be seen searching amongst the tombs, pulling away the overgrown moss, the grasses from
the large slabs, making notes for future reference. An inscription worthy of note in the north chancel upon
the floor of the aisle is:

Under this stone are Interred the

Remains of Amelia Darke,
The Wife of Absolom Darke,
Who departed this life 9th Dec.1791

To an excellent understanding she added the pleasing manners of a gentlewoman, with the charity of a
Christian. Her situation introduced her to the great, all intercourse she cultivated, not from vanity,
but that through them she might promote the favourite object of her life; administer comfort to the
distressed. After a life thus invariably spent, she resigned it in humble hope of favour from Him
who is the Author of all good works. She was beloved by the poor, esteemed by her friends, and
respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.

The reader is advised to procure, from the library, Dawson Turner's book, Sepulchral Reminiscences. This
was published in 1848, and contains much that is interesting about local families, in addition to the list of
interments within the walls of St. Nicholas’ Church. The author ascribes the above beautiful epitaph to
none other than the renowned James Sayers, a great satirist and caricaturist, who resided in Yarmouth
until about 1780. We learn that he was a Town Councillor, and as an attorney entered into partnership
with William Taylor. However, from his youth the writings from his pen and pencil involved him in many a
dispute. William Pitt, the Prime Minister, appointed Sayers, Marshall of Exits, at £200 per year; the only
duty being to walk before the Chancellor of the Exchequer once each year, when he went to Court.

Sayers undoubtedly was a frequent visitor to the Angel Inn, it being the Tory headquarters, and the
following epigram from his pen and famous in its day, is typical of the landlady whom the epitaph

At the Angel at Yarmouth: a singular inn,

There's the shadow without, and the substance within.
This paradox proving, in punning despite,
That an Angel, the Dark, is an Angel of Light.


You were correct, Enquirer: that portion of Southtown Road was for a brief period designated The Strand,
but not officially. I believe the idea originated with Charles Steer, the printer, of 15 Howard Street, whose
foreword to his Street Directory for 1878, Southtown Section, I give in full:

The Southtown Road, owing to its extreme length, reaching from the Bridge foot to the High Street,
Gorleston, has been found extremely intractable in compiling the street arrangement for Southtown (it
must be remembered that Station Road, Anson, Albany, Gordon, Boundary, and Waveney Roads had not
been made then). The compiler has therefore deemed it expedient, on behalf of public convenience, to
break the road up into four divisions, the first of which, from the Bridge to the railway, he has called Bridge
Street, a name it has partly acquired by popular consent; the second division, reaching from the railway
station to the path which leads to Burgh Castle, he has called Southtown Road; the third he has called the
Strand, a word which means a street opening to water on one side, and is, therefore, very appropriate; the
fourth division extending from the Southtown ferry boat crossing to High Street, Gorleston, he has called
Ferry Boat Hill, which aids the purposes of identification, and has beside the advantage being commonly
adopted by the public already.


Upon a rainy morning last week two T. T.'s were seen to take refuge (apparently) in the Turk’s Head,
Middlegate Street. These individuals were none other than Mr. Ernest E. Palmer, J.P., and the Corner
Man. Their object being to inspect some particularly fine remains of the convent buildings belonging to
the Greyfriars, that are to be found in the spacious cellars beneath this popular tavern. Robert Reilly, the
landlord, was our guide, and takes a pride in preserving the relics. The Turk's Head was originally the
Town Arms.

8th October 1927

The method adopted to convey merchandise prior to the introduction of the steam engine, the railway, the
motor transport and air services, is plainly seen by a reference to the undermentioned list of vessels
trading out of the port in the early days of last century. In addition to these there was a good service of
local carriers, who regularly plied their routes inland to the adjoining villages and towns:

From the Custom House Quay:

James Laws (agent)

William, William Laws

Ceres, John Pull.
Commerce, Robert Mansfield
Mary, William Ottey
Constant Trader, J. Plowman
Hannah, T. Butcher
Hope, Robert Mansfield, junior

From Symond’s Wharf:

Daniel Ding (agent)

New Astley, R. Stoker

Priscilla, R. H. Theobald
Thames, J. Nicholls
Isabella, Joseph Fulcher
Fair Trader, C. Stewart
Doue, Thomas Leighton
Susanna, Elias Miles

Hull Traders and their Captains:

William Saunders (agent)

Windham, W. Elgate
Norwich Merchant, T. Cozens
Vigilant, W. Ives
Swallow, W. Hubbard
John Hull, Martin Pie
Telegraph, J. Mansfield
Thomas, J. Carridge

Keels, etc., are announced as leaving for Acle, Beccles, Bungay, Coltishall, Loddon, and North and South
Walsham weekly.

Steam packets are listed to leave Yarmouth, as follows:

Hannant’s steam packet during the winter season sets off from Mr. Fisher's Quay every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday morning, at 9 o'clock, and returns the following mornings from Norwich. At the
same hour, in the summer season, it goes and returns the same day.

Wright’s packet sets off for Norwich from Cooper's Bowling Green every morning (Saturday excepted) at 9
o'clock. Another sets off from Norwich at the same hour.

Road transport will be popular until superseded by air transport. Meanwhile we continue with the railways,
excepting when the road is more convenient.

This morning, Monday, I noted a local stationmaster avail himself of a bus service into the country district
served by the line he represents.


To A. C. (Beccles): formerly there stood a very tall look out at the rear of the Marine Hotel. This can be
seen in the views published in 1842 by J. Harwood.

Probably, you refer to the beachmen’s look out that stood at the west end of the Jetty, known as Durrant’s
Look Out. The stumps can still be seen where sawn through in the Jetty pumping station yard.


It was resolved that the crossing to the new road, now being built at Southtown, to be called Albany Road,
be laid with granite, and that the lamp be removed by the Corporation workmen upon payment of £3 5s
0d. from the owners of the road.

It was resolved that the drain in the public road lying too high to take the drainage of the proposed Albany
Road, that the drain he lowered at a cost of £6.

And the first plans of houses, upon Albany Road, I can find approved by the Sanitary Committee are two
for Mr. E. Winter, on March 26th 1886.

Jacob Gosling, who for years had his farm and buildings on Boundary Road, still speaks of the good old
times when he ploughed the land quite up to Anson Road. He was born in 1840.


To Boreham: it was quite 80 years ago that the skeletons were discovered between the two towers at the
South End.

In all there were 10 skeletons in two tiers, the coffins were in a decayed condition and situated about 15
feet from the Town Wall.

At the time nothing was established to identify the human remains with the Black Friars that had their
monastic buildings from Friars Lane, east to the towers and wall and south to the town wall and gate.


Shops and business premises I know alter with time, and often one is misled as to the correct position
occupied by a missing tavern. Often when handling old title deeds of property the mention of some having
been a licensed house are to be found in innumerable cases. Yarmouth certainly had its share of tippling
houses in the past. Now, commencing at Dr. Burrough’s, he had his well-known liquor shop at No. 2, next
south to Isaac Brunning’s seed shop. By the way Forder's shop, 200 years ago, was the White Bear
Tavern. Pass three shops, and we arrive at the Swan with Two Necks, kept by Mrs. Mary Ann Ellis. This
house at the S. E. of Row 20 was formerly the Three Fleur de Luces, and a popular tavern sign at the
time when Edward III halved the Yarmouth Herring in our Coat of Arms.

Next upon the long list, comes the Blue Anchor, at the S. E. corner of Row 24, kept by Isaac Spencer and
more popularly known as Foulsham’s. This was a typical market tavern early in the last century, when
Robert Symonds, carpenter, was the licensee. Who has forgotten Lorimer’s Golden Canister, and next
south the Edinburgh Tavern, kept by Robert Giles. This house, but a few years previous, had been the
notorious Half Moon, with its gay sign displayed from the balcony. Robert Fleming was the landlord about
1820, but the historians say of him: he was a harem-scarem fellow and turned a runagate in the
newspaper department (?reporter). He was known by the sobriquet, Newgate Bob. The Plumbers’
Supplies are now in possession.

On the opposite side of Row No. 20 is the King's Head, then kept by John Mainprice. Here were the
Liberal headquarters in days past, also a posting house for the coach, and frequently, cock fighting took
place here; Norfolk versus Suffolk.

Now we come to the Angel Inn at the S. E. corner of Row 44. It is said to be one of the oldest inns or
licensed houses in the town.

Now items such as these are very interesting to townsfolk and visitors alike. However, the Angel is
historic and 50 years since was kept by John Garatt. I can picture this quaint character now. At that time,
Backs, Ltd., had no shop, the site being Hiltons, the grocer.

Opposite the pillar box stood the British Lion, kept by Edward Brown. This is now Cooper’s at the N. E.
corner of British Lion Alley, a half Row, No. 51 with no light in it.

Occupying the site between Rows 56 (Excise Office Row) and Row 58, was J. C. Bartram’s Elephant and
Castle, later well known as Rackham’s and today Rich’s. Kerridge’s ironmongers is just outside our
scope that 60 years ago was the notorious Oxford, kept by Lucy Ann Garrod.

Crossing the Market to the to the S. E., next to the Charity Schools, was the Market Tavern, formerly the
Jolly Butchers, also the Fish Stalls House, a name it has again assumed.

Dick Watson was the licence holder at the Bull, next the corner, whilst John Harbord was the popular
landlord at the Duke of Sussex, a house of call for carriers and musical evenings. Fletcher’s, the
butcher's, now occupy the premises.

The Weaver’s Arms, made famous by being the residence of the last man to sign the death warrant of
Charles I, Miles Corbet, who also was Yarmouth's M. P and Recorder from 1621 to 1655. Surely Lacon's
could be persuaded to affix a tablet giving the visitors this important information regarding the residence
that stands back next south to bow-fronted harness maker's shop.

Our journey ends at the Coachman’s Arms, situated next north and at the S. W. corner of St. Nicholas’
Road. Here 60 years ago, George Gooding retailed beer, but Horsley, late engineer on the Newcastle
boat, made the house famous for his speciality of old ale and hot purl every morning.

Totalling up, we had thirteen licensed house 60 years ago in Yarmouth Market Place, where to-day we
have nine. Back's being a later arrival, the licence coming from the old Prince Regent at the N. E. corner
of Queen Street.

29th October 1927

This Row leads from Howard Street North to George Street; the north side is wholly occupied by Lacon's
Brewery, between their north boundary.

At the commencement of the past century, the Fill family were auctioneers and appraisers, Fill, of
Charlotte Street, recording his vote as a householder in 1837 for Rumbold and Wilshere. This James
previously resided nearer the New Street, 1813, (Regent Street), and also at Jetty Road. He was probably
the son of William Fill, who was made a freeman in 1795. James Fill lies buried in the new extension to
the churchyard immediately at the east of King Henry Tower. Inscriptions are upon both sides of the

The Smith family followed the Fills at the south-east corner of the Row as cabinet makers, upholsterers
and paper hangers. This was about the early 50's, and Robert Sharman Smith we find in the Poll Books
as having voted for Sir Edmund Lacon and Vereker on 28th March 1857. Up till quite a recent date, 1919,
a son, Robert Thomas Sharman Smith carried on the business. He has, throughout his long life, been
closely associated with St. Andrew's Church, having been churchwarden many times.

The residence formerly was private. It has a splendid flint front and stone dressing around the windows. A
tablet in a fair state of preservation, bearing the date 1577, is still to be seen. The gable at the north was
re-built some years ago, when some fine old oak beams were disclosed.

Mr. Fred J. Purt now continues the cabinet maker's business. He had, prior to 1919, worked at the same
shop for over 30 years.

At the north-east corner of the Row, fronting Howard Street, are the offices of Lacon’s, erected in 1885.
Formerly upon the site was an eating house, 1853, kept by J. Bartlett, a flageolet player in the Town Band.
Here the members, including Van Hutton, clarionette player, who died aged 102, used to come to practice.
The shop was noted for its large rice puddings, and at times it was used for exhibitions of the fat woman
variety. Also, it was a newsagent's and general shop, kept by Mr. James Pitt in 1874, Richard Forder in
1867 and in 1863 by William Blyth, the shoemaker. The shop next north was Freeman,, the grocers for a
great number of years.

The Pitt family have been of long continuation in Yarmouth and connected with the fruit trade. A relation
still has a stall at the south end of the Market. He is the grandson of Elizabeth Warren, who obtained the
ripe old age of 104 years and eight months, dying on November 28th 1879, after two days in bed, at Row
21. When over the century she fell and broke her thigh bone and Dr. Stafford marvelled at it knitting
together again. She could darn without spectacles up to the end. The Warrens must delight in longevity.
Eleanor of that name is buried east of Matthew Champion aged 111. She died 22nd April 1854, aged 102.
Her husband, Thomas Warren, was a noted stage coach driver and a clever hand at the ribbons. He was
the last of the coach drivers to ply his coach, and this ran from the Wrestlers’ Inn, Church Plain. Old
Warren is credited with the following amusing incident, according to C. J. Palmer:

When engaged in the promoting of the Yarmouth to Norwich railway, the solicitor of the Company had
frequent occasion to journey to Norwich outside Warren’s coach. His errand was well-known and it often
excited the ire of the old man. Why, look ye here he would exclaim, I have but three passengers and how
is a railroad to answer, I should like to know.

Formerly, Old Warren drove the London stage coach, the Lord Nelson, leaving the Star at eight in the
morning. The fares charged in those off times are interesting: £2/2/0d. inside and 23/0d. outside; 4d. a
mile short distances inside and 2d. outside. One cannot imagine taking 15 hours to reach London in those
days. In the Tolhouse Museum is a combined knife and pistol as used by the stage coach driver on the
London coach. It is a great pity that previous historians or compilers of directories have not stated a few
particulars of the Yarmouth stage coach times and places of residence of these celebrities. However, we
must be thankful for the tiny links we have in the chain of local history that so much can be pieced

Here also in Row 21. At No. 12 lived the last of the post boys, who conveyed the mail to and from
Yarmouth by road. Tom Coleman was born on January 4th 1824 and, by a coincidence, the same date
as his future wife. He came from Lowestoft at the age of eight and commenced service with Dr. William
Ferrier at 135 King Street, now Duffell’s, the fruiterers. At 13 years of age, Tom engaged himself to John

Brown, the landlord of the Angel Inn, who was the mail coach contractor for the Post Office at Row 63. At
this time the mail guard was George Watts, who resided at Row 106. It was not long e'er young Tom was
sworn in as post boy before Messrs. Hammond, Barker and Fenn, at the Star Inn. Other post boys locally
were John Gardiner, Tom Hodson and George Wilson. For some 20 years Colman was a familiar figure
at the Post office in the Row and later at Hall Quay, when in 1840 it was transferred to the north-west
corner of Row 53. Later Coleman was the licensee of the Norfolk and Norwich Arms from about 1857 to
1857. Whilst here from the adjoining stables he had the good fortune to Post the Prince of Wales, late
King Edward VII in 1872.

On the north side of this Row formerly there was a passage leading to Row 19, and near here were
Kemp's cowsheds. Many Rows had dairies, and it was a common sight daily to witness cattle coming
home from the Denes and the marshes.

Row 21 shared in the general mourning, occasioned by the tragic fall of the Suspension Bridge on May
2nd 1845, of four persons over 30 who were victims, Frederick Lucas, aged 62, was one, he having
resided in this Row.

Samuel Newman, the whitesmith lived here years ago.

Who amongst us do not know or have not heard of Mr. Ruffold, senior, a famous man of the street 30 odd
years ago and Judge of The Black Swan Judge and Jury held every Sunday. He was popular at verse and
song making, and could reel off Caudle curtain lectures etc., not only locally, but also at foot of London
Bridge. Lolly, as he was called eked out a meagre existence as a rag and bone dealer, and is credited
with being one of the batch of news sellers, who sold the Eastern Evening News in Yarmouth on January
2nd to Mr. Wigg, the Regent Street jeweller. Lolly Ruffolds died at No. 1 Row 21.

5th November 1927


At the kind invitation of Mr. George Chasteney and Mr. J. Starling of Leach's a few weeks since, I was
privileged to inspect a beautiful interior of a long apartment surmounted by a wonderful octagonal dome at
the rear of No. 22 Market Place, occupied by W. and E. Turner and made sketches of the ornamental
plaster work and the unique and delicate detailing,
which was beneath the entire cornice. Speculation was
rife as to its former use. Could it have been the
General Headquarters of the Masons prior to erecting
the Masonic Hall in Row 108, Free Library Row?

Had there been shows and exhibitions held there

similar to the tavern shows of a century since? Did the
long room connect the front property with the peculiar
roof, i. e. No. 22 Market Place? According to C. J.
Palmer, we relied upon Boulter's Museum, having
been attached to the premises situated at the south-
east corner of Row 35, where the beautiful carved fire
places are (see vol. i, page 223, Perlustration), and we
dispelled the idea of Boulter being at the south-east
corner of Row 38 that had been known as Ferrier Row,
and Ellis, the Basket Maker’s Row. However, the work
of demolition began under Mr. James Hogg and
securely fastened to the block supporting the dome
was a lead tablet as pictured.

I have a catalogue, 165 pages, containing thousands

of exhibits that comprised this Museum as collected by
Daniel Boulter. Pasted on cover is an advertisement of Daniel Boulter at No. 19. Market Place, Yarmouth,
who sells, wholesale and retail, a great choice of the best London made, Birmingham, Wolverhampton,
Sheffield, and Pontypool goods; silversmith, jewellery, cutlery, and toy line etc.

He mentions that the museum, that has taken twenty years to collect, is daily open for inspection.
Admittance by ticket, 1/0d. My copy belonged to W. Ticken of Norwich and written is: January 7th 1794,
visited the Museum; May 13th, 1794, again visited the Museum in company with Mrs. Warren, F. Elvin, J.
Keer, C. Bensley, and spent two hours. Very much to my satisfaction, being attended in the museum by
my young friend, J. Boulter, junior. In the open yard below dividing the property to the south is a lead
pump with the following important lettering: B. J. P. 1797.

Probably in the near future an opportunity will be afforded to inspect the title deeds to the property and
discover that J. B. is connected with Mr. and Mrs. Boulter.

No. 19 Market Place, for the past 70 years, has been at the north-east corner of Row 35, successively
occupied by the chemists Mabson, Eldridge, Cossey, Welch, and Roberts.

No. 20 was occupied from 1863 by Breeze, the ironmonger, Burt, Burt & Welham, Hacon, the grocer and
Leach Bros., and No. 22 for a long time was Freeman, the leather curriers, hence the workpeople at
Leach's to this day term their warehouse across Row 38, Freeman's.

The copper dome as seen from the west end of the Row was picturesque, and now demolished, will be
missed. Little did the Boulters and Howes, the carpenters, who had their workshops back of the walls,
imagine that after 125 years their forethought in recording the event and the place would settle an
interesting point and gladden the hearts of a few who like to record things as they were. Several old
Georgian copper coins have been found.

The Peace referred to was the Treaty of Amiens, 27th March, 1802, between England, France, Spain and
Holland. I should imagine Moore & Nuthall, the first class tailors 60 years ago, fulfilled all the
requirements re air space and light, under the Factory Acts. This was their large workroom at the rear of
No. 22 Market Place.

John Fletcher Cooper
A noted individual, a century ago, in Yarmouth was the above
named student of the stars. He resided at a house in Lion and
IN THE MEMORY OF Lamb Row (No. 109) and, above his doorway, he displayed a
MARY ALDRED signboard typical of his cult. Formerly, he had been employed
by three local solicitors.
Aged 25 years
Near the west wall of the church was a headstone erected in
1829; the inscription I give in the box.
Aged 22 years
To the casual observer, there was nothing of particular note
ELIZABETH WATERS regarding the stone beyond the fact that three young ladies had
Aged 20 years so tragically lost their lives one summer's day on Breydon. But
there is a story to unfold. The astrologer, Cooper had warned
who were unfortunately drowned on Miss Aldred and Miss Bax less than a month previous to be
ware of imminent danger on water excursions and sea
the 9th August 1829 voyages.
near the Half Mile Stake Within 12 months of the erection the tombstone was minus the
name and age of Elizabeth Waters. This was accounted for by
the fact that the poor family of Waters did not contribute a
Cut off were we in life’s fair bloom proportionate share of the stonemason's charges and the name
From pleasures here below; was erased; by whom? We at this age cannot determine.
And rest beneath this sacred tomb The stonemason, John Logdon, died on 1st December 1834
From sorrow, grief and woe and lies buried near the Chapter House.
Originally this stone stood west of the church, but after
Logdon continuous searchings I can find no trace of it.

26th November 1927
In many parishes to this day the old custom of beating the bounds is annually performed. At Yarmouth the
Burgh Water Frolic was a similar custom and, rightly so, an occasion for jubilation by the inhabitants of a
seaport who jealously guarded and maintained their rights and privileges.
King John granted Yarmouth its first Charter in 1208. We learn that a Provost governed our town until
1269, when four Bailiffs were appointed. It was at this period that the Bailiffs for the time being, once at
least, ordained to make due serche upon the waters and stremes, withinne and so fer, as the jurisdyccyon
and lyberties of thys towne extend, for all unaware unlawful seynes, tramailles, flues, bowe nettles, or
other nettes, or hoordys made, sette, or used, contrary to the lawes, statuts, or ordinances for the
Eel catchers at a later date had to pay toll for their eel settes. Much litigation ensued between the
Corporation and the Paston family as to the rights, resulting in a Commission which met at North Walsham
in August 1577, the verdict being in favour of the Corporation, they being entitled to all their rights upon
the rivers.
Queen Elizabeth had given consent for the farming out of the fishing places or settes in 1576. For these
the town received £30 of the water bailiff, John Everist. Many are the entries in the town's assembly
books (Council minutes): in 1641, March 26th, “that Mr. Medowe (afterwards Sir Thomas), and others,
take care of the settes in fresh waters that the town's rights be preserved therein.
Formerly this function was purely a civic item, but later it developed into a water festival or regatta.
The three rivers, Yare, Bure and Waveney, were traversed and the proclamations made. Two days it
lasted and the Mayor of Norwich was met at Hardley Cross.
The state barges conveyed the Bailiffs, accompanied by public officials, musicians and entertainers.
Many episodes might be mentioned in connection with this annual event, including a fatal accident when
Sir Edmund Lacon was Mayor.
Undoubtedly the water frolic was a great gala day in the past; an event anticipated and thoroughly
enjoyed. One can conjure up the old time scenes, when the pleasure craft of our rivers presented a
pleasing spectacle, the old Bowling Green, North Quay, and the Preston residence were scenes of
conviviality and rejoicing. No wonder J. Berney Crome made this great event a subject for his brush.
W. F. Dickes, in his large volume, the Norwich School, gives the following interesting particulars of this
wonderful picture, page 156, The Yarmouth Water Frolic, canvas 41 x 68: Lord Iveagh.
We see, in a golden dream of heat, a regatta for sailing craft without a breath of wind to fill the sails and
yet alive with crowds of merry makers afloat and ashore.
On the high stern of the ship in the centre, the white ensign droops over the Arms of Yarmouth. The
masts, the brightly painted state barges, the gala-clad people with their reflections on the glassy water,
and the rosy-clouds sleeping in the sunshine, makes this a charming record of the civic holiday.
Exhibited by J. B. Crome, in 1821, it became the property of Dr. Turton, the Bishop of Ely.
In the sale of 1864 it was catalogued as by Old Crome, Yarmouth Regatta in the manner of Albert Cuyp.
Its next owner, Canon Selwyn, lent it to the Old Masters in 1873. In Captain Selwyn’s sale in 1894, it
realised 2,600 guineas.
W. F. Dickes also gives particulars of a smaller canvas, 16½ x 30 of the same title, by the same J. B.
The late Lord Iveagh has given 63 valuable pictures to the nation, also Kenwood Mansion, to house the
collection. These include 8 Gainsborough, 10 Romneys and 14 Reynolds, but what will mostly interest
Yarmouthians is J. B. Crome's, Yarmouth Water Frolic, the larger picture above mentioned.
This well-known artist resided at the N. W. corner of 81 Row (now Sullivan’s, King Street), where he died
15th September 1842, aged 48 years.

3rd December 1927

Controversy occasionally arises around the oft quoted Old Parr and Methuselah, attributed to Dickens.

Amongst many important papers kindly loaned by Mr. Harold Chamberlin, is a supplement to Sloman’s
Monthly Advertiser issued gratis on Saturday July l5th 1854, and published by Charles Sloman at his
office in Row 56. It contains advertisements, including R. M. Brand, the tailor of the corner of Broad Row,
and mention is made of the Times and other newspapers lent on hire.

A lengthy article, What Sand Is by Charles Dickens, commences: sand is sand; everybody knows what
sand is. Yes, but all sand is not the same sand. Look at a portion of the Norfolk sea sand with a strong
magnifier; it is very beautiful, as well as very curious. Then he describes in detail the minute forms and
shape of the grains of sand, continuing: we have a variety of sands in Norfolk, but the sandy beach, on
which I will suppose you to be listening to my second course of seaside gossip, tells its own history.

Dickens' novel method of describing coastal erosion is interesting: The manner in which the insatiable
maw of the devouring sea is incessantly supplied with provender by the falling cliffs of East Anglia
resembles to my mind nothing so much as those racks in a stable in which, as fast as a horse eats his hay
more is dropped down upon his nose, or those corn-hoppers by which pet poultry are supplied with an
inexhaustible feast of grain, never too much at a time, but always enough to go to work upon. Every tide
eats its meal from cliff, and when it happens that no new course of earthly dislikes is tasted, they are only
reserved, for a future treat, the glutton's appetite is appeased for a time with the remains of yesterday's or
last week's banquet, and meanwhile the function of oceanic digestion is for ever going on unwearied and

He deals with the early formation of the town and mentions the fact that at recent excavations for draining
the town disclosed a deep and unmixed Sandy stratum. The South Denes are fully dealt with, whilst a
footnote tells us that a tavern has been recently erected contiguous to the Nelson Monument.

His reference to cattle is good. The South Denes is covered with herbage so short and fine that to turn
sheep and cattle there to feed seems almost as cruel as driving them to graze upon a green Brussels
carpet, which has undergone a dozen years of family service. It is marvellous that they do live and grow.
Numbers of brood geese also find materials whence to produce their eggs and young.

Mention is made of the squall and wind, and of the Corporation of Great Yarmouth and drifting sand.

Really, I must quote in full the most important paragraph following a reference to Swinden and Dry Land.

He writes: dry land, or make-believe land, might appear, and yet not be very tempting to resort to. The
temptation first offered here was that the excellent fish, the herring. Attractive as was the fact, the reader
is requested to remember, in addition that the new made terra firma on which the infant Yarmouth was
planted, was not a mud bank but a sand bank. Wide is the difference in point of health and comfort.
Whether in the African desert or in those northern latitudes, on such a sub-soil the air above and the sand
below are both perfectly dry, pure and wholesome. No deadly dews and damps to scare the traveller or
torment the resident with the dreaming fancy or the waking truth of racked bones or fevered blood.
newspapers still constantly furnish us with instances of good folks, who cannot be induced to quit this vale
of tears till they approach or arrive at their hundredth year. IF YOU BEAR A GRUDGE AGAINST ANY

This latter part was said to be included in David Copperfield.

Others were sure it appeared in other of Dickens' works, and the ever obliging staff at the Reference
Library located it in Household Words, vol. vi, 1853, pages. 422-427.

10th December 1927
A few weeks ago, several Yarmouthians in Canada were discussing together the topic served up by the
Corner Man, and whether Napoleon Place was ever termed Napoleon Road. The Place people were
correct. Nowhere can I find reference to Napoleon Road. Probably, about 1860 the place was named
about the same time that Wellington Road was named. Whilst upon the Napoleon question, will it surprise
many readers to learn that originally this quarter was known as Archer’s Buildings.
To Mr. Philip Rumbelow, a clever antiquary and naturalist, I am indebted for his information, re two houses
that a few years since were demolished, immediately north of Standard Place. It appears that these
cottages were Archer’s Buildings, the Denes, and painted upon the gable was the name that had been
covered up since the erection of the long narrow terrace which forms the north side of Napoleon Place.
Who was Archer?
Before the introduction of steam saw mills, a saw pit six feet deep, ten feet long and four feet wide was
dug in the ground and had to serve the purpose when a log or tree trunk had to be cut. The timber was
laid lengthways above and two sawyers operated a pit saw, one man from below and his mate above
ground. Saw mills were erected near London in about 1770, and in these mechanical and scientific days
one cannot understand the motives, which prompted the violent opposition to the introduction of the saw
mill into this country.
John Archer, of White Lion Gate, had his saw pit on Standard Place, residing in Row 138 and in 1841
voted as a householder for Baring and Homes, but we can also trace Archer's Buildings earlier. It appears
nine times in White's Norfolk of 1836; Pigot’s Directories for 1822 and 1839 only refer to the Denes.
Readers are asked to supply information regarding a Rope Walk that occupied the site of the north side of
Napoleon Place.
Seventy-two years ago, Mr. Francis Rix lived at Litchfield Place, Rope Walks. Bracey and Son,
ropemakers were established in 1802. Their name appears in 1820 upon the Denes and in 1830, Jetty
John Heally, a twinespinner lived at Standard Place in 1863. It would be extremely interesting to locate all
rope walks east of Nelson Road.

Tavern Tales
Upon the South Denes, close to the Harbour’s Mouth, is the least likely place for a tavern. However, close
by the old fort stood the Ship, for many years designated Jacob’s Boat. At that time their existed a ferry
across the river from Gorleston. We know that houses stood here and today there lives a Yarmouthian,
who was born there. The late Captain J. C. Holmes was also born in one of the houses near the fort. In
1835, John Newson was the landlord of the Ship.

24th December 1927

As in the present our Municipal Chief makes his round of the local institutions. So we find in the past that
the Mayor was not unmindful of those who were away from home at Christmas.
At Christmas 1842, application was made to the Poor Law Commissioners to sanction a special menu at
the Union. This was refused, and a local subscription list was arranged in order to provide the unfortunate
inmates with a special treat. In 1849, the inmates were granted plum pudding, roast beef, with one pint of
strong beer each.


To be a supporter of temperance during the early part of the last century was to court ridicule, and often
insult, and to publicly arrange demonstrations as a mode of propaganda was asking for trouble, which at
times was forthcoming.
Upon Offering Day 1840, a temperance procession was arranged, when a new banner made its
appearance, the work of the tailors at Brands. A lifeboat was depicted and the motto: TOTAL

Two years previous, the procession was led by a boy on horseback, when the town roughs broke up the
party and destroyed many of the banners.
It was the annual event to hire the Town Hall and have a demonstration, when some of the Town Band
were employed. To-day, I was privileged to inspect the late Bandsman Bartlett's cash book, showing
entries from 1841, including payment for playing upon the Terrace (Kimberley), Vauxhall Gardens, Burgh
Water Frolic, etc.
For Christmas 1846, William Norton Burroughs purchased an ox weighing 70 stone and distributed the
joints to the poor of the town.
Three hundred hundredweights of coal were given away by Robert Steward, the Mayor, in 1858.
Early in the 60's the newly formed Rifle Volunteers at Christmas had a route march to Hopton Hall, where
Major J. H. Orde regaled them with bread and cheese, hot sausage rolls and plenty of old ale.

28th January 1928


Endeavouring to identify a post mill from an old time photograph (kindly loaned by Mrs. John Lee Hunt,
junior, after my recent talk upon Cobholm and Southtown), I have stirred up quite an enthusiasm amongst
those who recall the famous landmarks of the district.
Will it not surprise most townsfolk to learn that less than 80 years ago there were no fewer than nine
windmills that stood upon the east denes between Sandown Road and Camperdown, five at Southtown
and two at Gorleston, making a total of 16, being a fair number for so small a district.
It will be obvious that but little can be said of all the mills in so brief an article, therefore the situation and
name of each mill must suffice.
Commencing at the junction of Kitchener Road and Nelson Road North, stood Ransome’s post mill, long
known as the Burnt Mill.
Next south and east of Tottenham Street was Mayer’s (later W. B. Skinner’s) Mill.
Further south stood Tooley's (late Beverley’s Mill), upon the site of the Beach Station yard, north of Euston
Skinner’s Mill comes next. This stood upon Southampton Place (and was removed, some state, to the
North Denes and known as Greengrass Mill).
The present Queen's Hotel is upon a mill site. That was prior to 1842 Tooley’s and later A. Pilch's.
James Last's Mill stood upon the north of Albion Road, next to the Catholic schools. Robert Freestone in
1867 was the agent here for H. H. Gambling, the miller.
The next mill was Edmund Freeman’s Mill, Crown Place (late Hovell's). The mill house is at present the
residence of Mrs. D. Anderson, the Denery. The mill stood east of Nelson Road at the rear of Haytor, No
23. It was said by some, when the Greengrass (North Denes) Mill was sold in 1907 that it formerly stood
at Chapel Denes, Crown Place, and removed about 1850.
Papworth's Mill (formerly William Sexton’s and Foreman’s) stood opposite St. John's Church until 1881
upon a site now occupied by the Central Boarding House and shops upon St. George's Road. Mr.
Charles J. Papworth, a son, now of Clarke’s Mill, and Mr. H. R. Atkins. J P., have some nice photographs
of this well-known tower mill.
The ninth mill upon the Front was Anthony Cole's Mill, off Victoria Road.
At Southtown, the noted High Mill of Press Bros., stood north of Love Lane, after James Love, the
blacksmith. Numbers 36 and 37 Gatacre Road are probably the centre of the High Mill. It was claimed by
Press Bros., to be the highest windmill in the world.
Hammond's Mill occupied a position close to the Mill Road Cooperative Store; and Robert Waters’ Mill
stood further north, almost opposite the St. Luke's church site.

A drainage mill stood due west almost to Breydon Water, whilst the fifth mill in Southtown was Beevor’s,
Cooper’s and lastly Shulver’s Tower Mill, which occupied the site at the rear of the Post Office, Beccles
Road. Mr. H. E. Ram’s stores was the corn shop. The last mill owner, Mr. J. Shulver, is now 82 and
resides at No 63 Albemarle Road, Gorleston. He has kindly loaned me a photo on glass of the old
windmill opposite the Greyhound.
Next east to Church Road and opposite the Blind schools, stood Nathaniel Hammond's Mill. Upon old
plans this is shown to be N. W. of the Duke's Head Tavern.
What must have been an exceptionally fine landmark for mariners was William Beavor’s Mill on Cliff Hill.
This tower mill stood upon the site of four houses, known later as Mill Terrace, next to Mill House. George
Aldous and James Law later were millers. The mill was demolished in 1887. To Mrs. Halfnight of Mill
House, I am indebted for a nice photograph of this well-known landmark. It is my intention to collect all
available information regarding these famous mills that future generations of Yarmouthians might learn of
the methods employed in corn milling during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
I have to thank Mr. Fletcher, of 15 Tottenham Street, for the gift of a large wooden weather vane removed
from the Press High Mill. The vane will be handed over to the Tolhouse Museum.

11th February 1928

Who amongst old townsfolk cannot recall the scene outside Bumpstead's and the Market Pump? The
latter stood due east 52 feet of Bumpstead's Row having a tall panelled wooden casing surmounted by a
Robert Bumpstead was a familiar figure and conducted an old-established business at the N. E. corner of
the Row. His, were the times of rich black Mauritius treacle in casks. Up to a few years since the plate
was to be seen in the pavement wherein the pin was placed upon which the block and tackle were fixed to
assist the casks down to the cellar below the shop. Bumpstead’s name is to be found in directories for
1845. There are still in existence several tokens issued by Bumpstead. They were of copper and inscribed
Arthur, Duke of Wellington, the head of the Duke of Wellington, and upon the reverse aide, Robert
Bumpstead, grocer, etc., No. 9 Market Place, Great Yarmouth. Mr. Barnes succeeded Bumpstead as a
grocer in 1888.
In the north cemetery, near the east wall, is a gravestone bearing the following: Robert George
Bumpstead, July 29th, 1853 : February 22nd 1891, undoubtedly a son of the grocer.
Of the tokens, Mr. A. Bishop has given me one issued in Queen Victoria's reign, by F. Mayston, the
grocer, of No. 9 Market Place.
Mr. C. J. Palmer tells us that No. 9 was formerly the residence of William Worship, Esq., and in 1807,
Louis XVIII of France landed at Yarmouth, and was the guest of Admiral Billy Douglas at No. 9 Market
Place. The exiled French monarch was described as being portly, attired in a plum coloured coat, with a
full shirt, frill and ruffles. Such a visitor would excite attention today.
About 70 years ago, the popular stove and range maker was John Henry Bly of No. 9 Market Place. Later,
the shop was well-known as Bly and Sills.
This Row is curved and narrow at the east end, measuring 3 feet 6 inches. Recently there has been some
clearance made on the south side extending through to Row 24, making possible a large playground for
children. In March of last year, the Council approved the offer to purchase five cottages in Row 22 and 24
for the sum of £170. By this method our rows are gradually being demolished.
Speaking of old property recalls a sad event of 1871, upon a Thursday, March 9th during the gales, two
gables were totally blown out in Row 22 and the Conge.
In these times the term broker is rarely heard of, but in the 1838 Poll Book, we find Trory, the broker of
Row 22 mentioned. A few years later we learn that a well-known twine spinner of the Woodhouse family
resided in this Row.
Attention is drawn to the rough flint walls of the building at the south-west corner of the Row. Such walls
are typical of many old Yarmouth buildings. Fine cut flint pointed dwellings were the rule in the main
streets and not a few bore the owner's initials or merchant marks. C. J. Palmer tells us that this residence
formerly bore the iron letters E. C. I. and suggests them to be Egilous Call and his wife. This local
gentleman was a strenuous opponent of ship money in 1634.
In the 60’s, William Patterson was a shopkeeper here. He was the father of A. H. Patterson, who can tell
interesting stories of old Charlotte Street. About 1912, the front part of the building was burned and a new
front was added.
The Row presents today a peculiar spectacle to the visitor, who are unused to such scenes as buildings
out of true, clearances and quaint house frontages of brick and stone.

18th February 1928

A visit to a booksellers affords me much pleasure, and daily interest in old Yarmouth grows apace. Last
week in Norwich, at my friend Hunt’s upon Orford Hill, I happened upon an old time official paper bearing
a red seal and the Mayor's signature. The warrant is written in ink and the following is a copy:
Great Yarmouth ; Admiralty
Thomas Bateman, M. D., Mayor
To Thomas King, Marshall of the Admiralty Court of the Burgh of Great Yarmouth and to John Fisher
Costerton, Water Bailiff, Samuel Smith, William Walford, Jeremiah Cooper, John Mills, Joseph Thompson,
and to all Constables of the said Burgh and of Southtown:
Whereas a certain schooner or vessel said to be called the Summer of Yarmouth with her tackle, apparel
and furniture and her cargo of wheat and red herrings and other goods was found and salved at anchor,
deserted on the High Seas without any person on board, within the Admiralty jurisdiction of this Burgh on
the 18th day of December instant by John Fuller, Master of the boat, William and Mary, and his company
and Jerimiah Cooper, Master of the boat, Friend’s Adventure, and his company, and by them brought into
the Haven of Great Yarmouth aforesaid, where she now lies and entered into the Admiralty Court there, as
abandoned by her crew and pertaining to the Corporation as a Droit of Admiralty.
These are therefore to authorise and empower you jointly and severally immediately to go on board and
take possession of the said schooner and cargo and to retain and keep possession of the same and every
part thereof, until due claim be made in the said Admiralty Court. And, if any person or persons shall
presume to interrupt or molest you in the due execution of this warrant, you are to apprehend such person
or persons and bring them before me to be dealt with according to the law.
Given under my hand and seal of the Office of Admiralty at Great Yarmouth aforesaid the twenty-eighth
day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nineteen.
Robert Cory, Registrar.

The Mayor, Thomas Bateman, resided at the large residence at the S. E. corner of the Market Place, now
the Savings’ Bank. At this period the Admiralty Office was in George Street and the Water Bailiff’s Office
was at The Town House, the N. W. corner of Row 106. The Municipal Corporation Act of 1835 abolished
the Water Bailiff. Robert Cory, the Registrar, was probably the attorney of Regent Street.

This interesting document is bound with a Poll Book for 1820 and belonged to Daniel Morling, a prominent
politician and Quay Merchant.
Headmasters of St. Peter’s School
In answer to Cross Keys: the following will interest you and other old boys:
Robert Charles Harding, Charles Smith, George H. Osborn, A. J. Graystone (3rd September 1894),
Richard Hart (11th June 1895), Henry G. D. Day (29th September 1897) and F. J. Westgate (January
Reply to M. P.: the present Fish Stall House takes its name from the old fish market. Formerly this was
known as the Market Tavern and a century ago as the Jolly Butchers. Re the interview with the old Hopton
veteran at Hopton and Hopton Cliffs, a writer points out that there are no cliffs at Hopton, but a strip of
Corton parish runs all along the front and joins Gorleston. This, probably, is a relic of the time when our
harbour ran out to the sea at Corton.

3rd March 1928
Our churchyards are much akin to history books and the observant reader can glean much useful
knowledge pertaining to local history and the pursuits and peculiarities of its people. Guide books have
mentioned the notorious tombstone, the subject of this article, but up till a few weeks since the
whereabouts had not been located. Readers may, thanks to J. W. Peacock, easily find the stone due north
of the North Transept door of St. Nicholas' Church; 22 feet south of the Town Wall. It measures 6 feet x 3
feet. It reads:
In memory of Mary daughter of that cruel father Mr. Thomas Osborn,
Grandchild of that worthy gentleman, Major Thaxter,
widow of George Ward the loving and tender wife of Robert Burnard.
Obit. July 14 1728, aged 50 years.
Also, Mary, daughter of the above said Mary and Robert Burnard,
Obit. November 24 1721, aged 4 years and 5 months.
Also the remains of Robert Burnard,
the loving husband of the above Mary Burnard,
who departed this life 14 June 1747, aged 66 years.

The cruelty attributed to the father, Thomas Osborn, was the taking of the bridegroom, George Ward,
away from Mary, the bride after marriage, when the couple were leaving the church (as Cooper, the
astrologer states) by the south porch. It appears that the cruel father had arranged for the press gang to
wait for the bridegroom and send him off to sea and, comments Cooper, Mary never saw him more.


At the south-west corner of Row 8, stands the house, formerly the residence of the old ferryman, who
plied his ferry boat across the Bure prior to the first suspension bridge, 1829. It was a one storey building,
and is now being cemented.

10th March 1928

Know your own town is a slogan that might
well be acted upon to the advantage of the
visitor and self.
Commencing at the Parish Church, who
cannot fail to be charmed by the beautiful
Early English doorway (No. 1) in the west
side of the South Transept, discovered in
1869 and restored in1883.
No. 2 illustrates a doorway, formerly
belonging to the cell of the Augustine Friars, the
buildings now used by the Adult School, west of
Rows 60 and 63, in Howard Street.
The familiar doorway (No. 3) of the Greyfriars'
Cloisters is to be seen from Row 91½ . Since
first writing of the noble arched doorway in Row
105 that is being preserved by the generosity of Messrs. Johnson and Sons,
much interest has been evinced, and illustration No. 4 depicts its former
condition. The stone mouldings three feet from the ground are considerably
damaged. However, for its preservation the town should be grateful.
Demolition has brought to light in the adjoining building to the north some
really interesting decorated bricks that formerly comprised the fire place.
What presumably was a centrepiece includes two pilasters bearing a scroll
inscribed Plus Oltre, supporting an escutcheon bearing a double-headed
eagle. The breast has been damaged, thus eliminating a chance of identity. If
it bore a ducal coronet, probably it belonged to Anthony Loveday, a

Yarmouth Bailiff of 1562. The eagle is somewhat similar to illustration
No. 5. The deeds and writings to the property would solve the
mystery. Messrs. Johnson and Sons have other interesting items
connected with their extensive factory.
Illustration No. 6 is of the beautiful Early English doorway in the east
wall of the Tolhouse Hall on the outside staircase landing.
No 7 depicts a somewhat similar doorway in the west wall of the same
To visitors and townsfolk alike the fine doorway (No. 8) at the south end of Middlegate Street is always an
In Row 143, Palmer tells us, that in 1861, a fire at a fish house led to the discovery of doorway No. 9, and
some carving.
No. 10 illustrates a gateway formerly at the old Unicorn Tavern, Nos. 66 and 67 South Quay. The cut flint
gable of these premises is well worth inspection. At the Eastern County Scale Co. premises there are
several arches.

17th March 1928
No. 23 ROW
As bakers 100 years ago the family of Tooke were well-known, they occupying bake houses in Gaol
Street, George Street and Charlotte Street. No record of them as Freemen can be found. When Tooke
the Baker was a familiar term locally, it was the general rule for housewives to make their bread with the
brewer's yeast at home, borrow tins from the nearest baker, who would bake the batch in his side flue
own. The baking of dinners by the baker was also the custom. At Beccles today in the Market Place is a
baker named Took.
Townsfolk, today, have lived to witness great changes in our Rows. The presence of fish curing houses in
the narrow thoroughfares is but the survival of Yarmouth's earliest buildings, for undoubtedly the first-
comers to the sand-bank, upon which our town has developed, built their drying houses next to their
habitations. In this Row, upon the north side, were fish houses belonging to Henry Josiah Traynier. These
were demolished just over 50 years ago. A son and grandson of this fish merchant now reside at
Title deeds and parchments relating to the property in the Rows and abutting upon the oldest streets of
the town are most interesting. I am indebted to Mr. William Barnes the grocer, for the loan of quite a
bundle of parchment dating back to 1705, when Anthony Cooper, the maltster owned most of the property
in Row 23. This in turn was owned by William Moore, carter, and John Manby, tallow-chandler, and John
Spendlove, gentleman. Mention is made of the one pepper-corn rent. In these early writings North
Howard Street is named Middlegate Street and 100 years ago, named Charlotte Street. Mr. J. B. A.
Traynier, J. P. tells me that many years ago he was perusing some documents relating to this Row and
was interested in a reference to a furze house. To what could it refer?
Down a passage on the south side is to be found a mullioned oak frame of six lights, and at the rear of No.
5 is a somewhat similar frame of oak, reminding one of the splendid 14 lights associated with the Star
Hotel, as illustrated.
A heavy moulded fireplace from floor to ceiling having a nicely painted panel, would gladden the heart of
the collector and art dealer. The panel is in a fair state of preservation and portrays Washing the Master’s
Feet. This, with beautiful beams and cornice and moulded jambs and studded door, is to found at No. 4.
In this row many years ago was a common lodging house.
Who among the older folk cannot recall the craze for hair oil and the popularity of Fromow the barber?
This individual was quite a Charlotte Street character and occupied the shop No. 65, at the north-east
corner of the Row for many years. Mr. J. W. Hewett, continues at the same address. This long
established business dates back to Thomas Capin in 1760. The shop was the property of David Swirles,
house carpenter, in 1823. Swirles Place
is named after this local tradesman
Next north is the newsagent’s shop of
Mrs. Headley. For many years Mr.
James Patterson carried on a
bootmaking business and displayed the
Red Wellington Boot trade sign. He was
uncle to Mr. Arthur Patterson, the
The east entrance to the Row is typical
of most Yarmouth Rows. Rough hewn
timbers are attached to the brickwork,
being relics of troll cart times. An inset
tablet, probably a bricked up window on
the south side, served formerly as an
advertisement for a dealer. Scraping
away many layers of colour wash
satisfied my curiosity at No. 22.

24th March 1928
Reply to C. H.: The tea gardens you enquire for were situated upon a site between the present Southtown
Station and Station Road. You will, no doubt, recall the famous nine houses. Well, prior to 1775 the site
was occupied by a tea and pleasure garden and the public were catered for by one, John Haggarty. Mr.
James Fisher J. P. recently dug up, from under the foundations of the nine houses, a silver coin of
Frederick the Great, King of the Prussians, 1770. The inscription upon the coin is: Fredericus Borussorum
Rex : Moneta Argente. Possibly the coin was lost by a foreign seaman, who frequented this pleasure
In answer to Reader Abroad: it was known as Drum Opening before storm signals had come into use.
Previous to the erection of the Sailors’ Home, and some years after, the storm signals were on Hall Quay
in line with the gates in the palisading surrounding the old Town Hall, so that the signals were visible the
whole length of the Quay and there was no occasion for any seafaring man to go up the Rows and look at
the signals on the beach. If he had done so he would not have seen them from that point as the buildings
on the front would have barred his vision. The signals were: cone pointing upwards, southerly gale: cone
pointing downwards, northerly gale: cylinder or drum (Norfolk ward), dangerous winds: upright cone above
cylinder, dangerous winds from the north: cone below cylinder, dangerous winds from the south.

12th May 1928

NO. 24 ROW
O sweet ale, how sweet art thou.
Thy cheering streams new life impart.
Esteemed by all extremely good
To quench our thirst and do us good.
Formerly, at West Bromwich, there was a noted tavern, the Anchor having a sign bearing the above
Many a Blue Anchor Tavern is to be met with. The sign is not wholly connected with a seaport, for rather
has it been suggested that it is emblematic. It was a favourite sign with the early painters and it is
recorded that a blue anchor was the trade emblem of Henry Herringman of the New Exchange, the
principal London publisher and bookseller, in the reign of Charles II.


Undoubtedly, many years ago there existed several taverns in the Rows of the town, but unfortunately in
these times they are hard to trace. It is said by Palmer, that at the rear of the Bank at the south-west
corner of Row 61, formerly there stood a tavern named the Rope Dancers, which, in 1784, was re-named
the Blue Anchor, and demolished 120 years ago. Probably the Market Blue Anchor was named in 1808.
In Yarmouth's first Directory of 1822, we find reference to the Blue Anchor and the landlord, one, Thomas
Beamont. In the Directory for 1830 the name is spelled Bammant. Evidently, Thomas died before the
issue of White's Norfolk Directory of 1836, because we find Sarah Bammant listed.
A few years later, i. e. 1845, William Parmenter is the licence holder, probably the same landlord of the
Bowling Green, North Quay, in the same year?
The Blue Anchor changes hands again and John R. Lake is quoted here for 1854 and 1856.
Thomas Joyce becomes the landlord in the 1860's, to be followed in 1868 by Isaac Spencer, a popular
landlord, who is still remembered by many at Yarmouth. At this time to the south was Batson's eating
house, a favourite rendezvous of the market folk, but Cadywould, the cabinet maker, followed, and in the
early 1870's Henry Foulsham, the caterer, revived the eating house business, and to this day it has
retained public favour.

Later we find the initials change to J. Beavor Foulsham and following Spencer at the Blue Anchor. For a
few years, about 1906, we note A. H. Beevor in control, and for the past 20 years Melville William Morgan
has been the popular host of the tavern that displays its sign carved in wood.


In 1877, the restaurant that still preserves the partitions typical of the old chop houses in the Metropolis,
was advertised as the London, and in the Town Council minutes for 24th February 1882, we find
permission granted for additions to the premises.
Since the building of the Vauxhall Bridge, Blue Anchor Row has been the recognised thoroughfare to the
station from the market. In 1881, it was decided to place a number of metallic plates (blue) at the ends of
Rows, to cost 3/0d. each plate. A few are still to be seen. No. 24 Row was selected amongst others.
At the N. E. corner of the Row in the 60's was Elizabeth Cain's straw bonnet shop, later removing next
north to Norman’s. Many will recall the china and glass warehouse of Henry Mitchell at this corner in the
1870's when opposite, in the Market Place, always was to be seen an old-fashioned crate and the brown
stone jars, standing next to Bumpstead's treacle barrels.


The Blue Anchor Row had its personalities, including High, the shoemaker, Chipperfield, the umbrella
mender, and Old Smart, the clothes dealer. An old shrimping family, named Larn, was represented in the
Row forty years ago.

Turn to a modern Kelly Directory and you will find Lamp Passage. This is to be found upon the south side
of Row 24. Probably the name is a relic of the dark times prior to the illumination of the Rows, when
private people had their own lamps for their passages.
Undoubtedly many such passage names have been lost. I shall esteem it a favour to learn the names that
now have fallen into disuse.
For many years there have been families of wood-turners residing and working at houses in this Lamp
Passage. A recent improvement has been carried out by connecting this Row with No. 22, by pulling
down five cottages.
The over-hanging house upon the south side is always of interest to visitors, as is also the covered west
entrance to the Row with its peculiar construction and protecting posts. At the north-west corner, formerly
Henry Barnes, an ex-policeman and gun dealer, had his shop of assortments. Next north was W. C.
Barber, an old time printer and shipping agent.

For the coolest beer in Yarmouth it was claimed none could equal that served by Dick Burgess, the genial
licensee of the Ropemaker’s Arms, the reason assigned was that all beers were stored in the cellars that
are beneath the pavement of old Charlotte Street.
It has been said that this house was once named the Spread Eagle (there was a tavern of that name next
the Labour Club, King Street), but I have not traced it. I have established the origin of the Ropemaker's
Arms. One, Thomas Wells, a rope maker and twine spinner, who had his walk north of Kerrison's Walk
(Garrison Road) retired and took over the tavern in 1856 and changed the name, as was the custom for a
tradesman. His widow, Mrs. Meditation Wells, carried it on in the 1860's, and I remember one Tom Page,
a waiter, late with Spencer and the late J. W. Nightingale, being the landlord in the 1890's, having
removed from the Y. H. Brewery Tavern, almost opposite. This tavern was the favourite resort of the well-
behaved French and Dutchmen, who would sing and be quieted upon Sundays. Most taverns had their
own class of customer. In the large room above, boxing exhibitions were popular, and the famous Jem
Mace, the last of the old-time English pugilists, is said to have been a participant in many a bout of the
noble art at this tavern three years ago.
The old front, containing 32 small windows is still retained adding a picturesqueness to a quaint
9th June 1928
In response to many enquiries from readers, this week my topic will be the quaint vehicles peculiar to the
town and the Rows, namely, the Harry Carries and the pleasure coach, as illustrated.
Much speculation was rife as to the period when first used in the town, but upon this we may rest content
with extracts from the records of the Corporation: That wher, before this time, during the time of fishing,
there was wont to resort to this town great numbers of porters, to carry herring, which porters brought the
same herring into the barse houses of the inhabitants, not only to the great ease of the same inhabitants,
but also to the safeguard of the houses, rows and swills of the town.
Till now of late, divers of the same inhabitants have devised carts, called Harry Carries and the owners of
the same being called Harry Carmen, set such boys and girls to go with the same carts, which can neither
guide the same carts, neither can yet remove such
things wherewith the same carts are loaden, no, not a
swill. Not only to the great decay of the said houses,
rows and swills, but also to the great charges of the
said inhabitants, in repairing of the said houses, rows
and swills; wherefore be it ordained, that from
henceforth every harry carryman keeping a harry
carry, to get money by the same, shall keep to go with
the same, one liable man, which can both order his
horse and the harry carry, and also is able to lift the
end of a swill being full of herring, and the same safely
to bring, whither he shall be appointed, upon payne
that every man having a harry carry as before it is
said, and appoint any man to go with the same
contrary to the meaning of this ordinance, and proved
as before, shall forfeit for every time so offending
vjs,viijd to the town's use.
So it may be truly said that the Yarmouth troll cart dates back to the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509). The
above extract is from local records in the year 1492.
In local records and ordinances there are many references to the troll carts and the Rows.
When one realises the modes of transit of the present time a sense of appreciation must necessarily
follow, for here most certainly progress has been made.


Of almost similar construction are the obsolete Yarmouth coaches that, by their peculiar design and
colour, added a sense of gaiety to the streets and Rows. Such means of transport was fashionable until
the early 19th century.
William Mavor, LL. D., who edited the British Tourists' Pocket Companion, after visiting Yarmouth in 1806,
of the troll cart and coach, he records the following: the vehicles for the transport of goods and
passengers in this town and vicinity are whimsical to a high degree. They are long narrow carts drawn by
a single horse, and some of them, which are somewhat elegantly made, go by the name of Yarmouth
coaches. On the sandy roads of the environs they sink so deep that, they look like sledges, and on the
rough pavement of the town they are sufficient to shake the strongest nerves, but nevertheless they are
useful, and their novelty amuses.
An earlier reference to the coach was made by de Foe (1661-1731) speaking of Yarmouth he says:
people are carried here all over the town, and from the seaside for sixpence, in what they call a coach, but
it is only a wheel-barrow drawn by one horse, without any covering.
The word coach is of Spanish origin from coche. Apart from the discomfort occasioned by the lack of
springs and pneumatic tyres, undoubtedly the tax on carriages of 1747 accounted for the diminishing
number of these red, blue and green vehicles at Yarmouth toward the latter part of the 18th Century.
Palmer mentions a case being stated as a protest to the tax, but the judge upheld the decision that a duty
of £3/10/0d. was payable.

Much of interest is to be found in the Calendar of Yarmouth Freemen. The mention of many obsolete
trades following the names of old worthies is alone of great value, for in 1571, of 15 grants one is to
Roger Short, a harry carryman.
On Friday last, many members of the Suffolk
Archaeological Society, when on a visit to the town,
were interested in the protecting posts that still exist in
the Rows. These are relics of the troll cart times.
A writer to the London Magazine in 1771, gives the
following important measurements of a troll cart, i.e.: the
length front, the tip of the shafts or strings is 12 feet, the
breadth 3½ feet, the wheels being only 2 feet 9 inches
high, and sometimes made of one solid piece of poplar
or ash, 5 inches thick, without tire (tyre). A good
specimen troll cart is to be seen at the Tolhouse,
presented, I believe, in 1892 by Mr. J. A. Foreman of
this town. An old friend of mine, Mr. Clem Symonds, of Russell Road often drove a troll cart for Mr.
No. 25 ROW
Fly up, fly up, fly up, my bonny grey cock,
And crow when it is day;
Your breast shall be of the beaming gold.
And your wings of the silver grey.
(An old ditty).
Since the opening of the Vauxhall Station, on May 4th 1844, this has been a much used thoroughfare
linking up the Conge to the west and the Market Place through Foulsham’s Row. Probably the many
thousands in recent years, who have passed through the Row have been unaware of its former names.
The tavern at the north-west corner, the Golden Lion (formerly the Coach and Horses) was, prior to the
numbering of the Rows in 1804, well-known as the Fighting Cock Tavern, and for many years after the
name changed, the Row was still called by that name.
Cock fighting was not unknown in Yarmouth because on record are battles fought at the Duke's Head, on
the Quay, the Feathers (Market Gates), the Bush (South Quay) and the Dolphin, north-west of the
Conge, now the Railway Tavern, famous by reason of its jovial landlord being a lucky winner in this
year's Derby sweepstake with the horse, Felstead. It was at this tavern that the last cock fight took place
upon licensed premises in Yarmouth, and this was in 1866, being 17 years after cock fighting was
forbidden by law.


A promoter of this and many other matches is still alive, and if he lives until October 17th next, he will
have attained the age of 96. J. T. has always been connected locally with sport. He has always a yarn
to tell of his many escapades, deals and trotting matches, etc., of his exploits at the stables, and of his
appearance with John Hunt before the local magistrates for inciting two cocks to fight, and Ephraim Hunt,
James Hilder and James Harbord, with aiding and abetting. This was upon on Tuesday May 19th 1863,
at the stables just off Caister Road.
Sergeant Merry gave evidence as to surprising these dealers after two bouts with the birds, but Jack
Thompson, in his usual persuasive manner, impressed the magistrates, Mr. Owles, Mr. F. Worship and
the Mayor (Mr. Robert Steward), with a tale that his bird flew over the wall, attacked his neighbour's bird,
and he suggested that they should fight it out. Result, the case was dismissed.
At the south-west corner of the Row, were, until a few years since, extensive maltings. In this Row are
some very old houses with chamfered and carved door jambs. No. 5 and 6, a large house now divided,
has a tablet above the doorway: BUILT 1664 : RESTORED 1904.

In this Row 50 years ago, Jessop the chair-mender lived. (A son still may be seen in the town collecting
or delivering the cane and rush chairs). Jessop senior was a notorious bird-catcher, and some say,
poacher also.
William Condon the china-mender, also lived here 50 years ago. Like the chair-mender, this craftsman is
rarely seen in the streets to-day.
Whilst upon old-times trades, it is as well to remind readers of the


Visitors to the Row will notice a large building at the south-east corner extending quite a distance down
the Row. The weather-boarded upper portion in these days appear curious. There are but a few of such
remaining in the Rows to-day.
These premises from 1830, were used by Messrs. Cobb & Doughty as leather dressing and tanning
There was formerly a currier’s drying house on Brewery Plain. Recently the moveable wood shutters
were discovered next to Burroughs' Corner.
The last leather dressing establishment in the town was at Gibbons Bros., 163 Middlegate Street. The
premises later (1886) were used by Mr. W. Pitt as a wholesale fruit warehouse, followed by Mr. Henry
Shepherd as a furniture and old china dealer, then, Mr. Benjafield, the auctioneer, held sales here. Today
Mr. F. Brett uses the extensive premises as a furniture store.
Rumours this week are that this property has been purchased in view of a main street to the Market
Place. There is a covered entrance at the east end.

A century since there died at Yarmouth a naturalist and scholar, who was much sought after by the
learned of the day. He was Lilly Wigg, of Smallburgh, a son of a village shoemaker.
Born upon Christmas Day 1749, he early in life came to Yarmouth and settled in Fighting Cock Row.
To gain a livelihood he opened, a small school here and soon made the acquaintance of Dawson Turner
the banker, who offered him a clerkship at the Bank of Gurney & Turner, in 1801.
Paget, the naturalist, speaks highly of him, and it is a great pity his notes have not been preserved.
Ardent observers of natural history would do well to place on record interesting items of to-day in order
that those who follow on may profit by such. Careful records are invaluable to the student.
Dr. Mayo, the President of the Great Yarmouth Naturalist Society, makes a strong point, of impressing
the necessity of careful observance and careful recording.


Reply to P. C.: This stood due south of the Parish Church, next the gates (note the absence of graves
upon the site). It was built by the Corporation in 1723 and demolished in June 1849. The lead from the
roof, about 9 tons, fetched £12/10/0d. per ton upon the Church Plain.

7th July 1928

"The Trolley Cart" has passed this way,
But left the "Barking Smack” to stay.
When boisterous winds will drive you back
Come rest inside "The Barking Smack."
What a tale could be told of the well-known tavern. For nearly a century it has been a popular rendezvous
of the visitor, and like its neighbours, the Bath and the Marine, has intimate associations with the old
Jetty, opposite.
Time was when at the rear (west) stood a lofty wooden look-out; one of the familiar landmarks belonging
to the Salvage Companies; and also the lifeboat shed, to-day Lifeboat Yard, may be locate upon
Wellington Road.
Billy Mann, Fish Salesman
Formerly the Jetty entrance was upon the site of the tramway track and the beach scenes of those far-a-
way days were of jostling crowds engaged in the selling, buying, cleaning and packing of fish; herrings,
mackerel, and trawl fish; the Dutch fishing craft and the local yawls
adding a picturesqueness missed today. Local fish salesmen
auctioned the catches, as illustrated.
To convey the fish to the curing houses in the quaint narrow Rows
across the open denes (i. e. from the sea to King Street),
somewhat antiquated carts, peculiar to Yarmouth were employed.
Records of such can be traced back to 1492 (8th of Henry VII).
The tavern takes its name from the well-known fleet of sailing
smacks, Hewett's or the Short Blue Fleet, which hailed from the
London River about 80 years ago, and were the making of much
trade at Yarmouth and Gorleston.
The craft were of the cutter design, wooden clinker-built,
sometimes carrying a crew of 14, including apprentice boys, who
experienced none too pleasant a sea life.
In the old days it was a familiar sight at Barking Creek to see a
shoal of these fishing craft prior to the introduction of steam and
motor. The crews were drawn mainly from the Barking district,
and with the
transfer of this
fleet of Barking
smacks to
Yarmouth, many of the crews moved their families to this
town and Gorleston.
After a voyage these smacks discharge their bulky cargo
of plaice, cod, ling, haddock and other fish at the
quayside Billingsgate, from thence proceeding down river
to Barking for re-fitting and victualing. The repair shops
and yards were at the top of Four Mile Creek, Town
Quay, Barking Town.
The cutter (a large iron craft) later brought the cargoes of
fish to port. These steamers were piloted from
Gravesend to Billingsgate. The cutters supplied stores
and ice to the fleet.

This was a waterway used by the smacks parallel with the Barking Creek, quarter of a mile down. At the
creek, when the fleet were leaving en voyage, there would be an assembly of families bidding, probably,
their last goodbye, for heavy was the toll amongst fisher folk in the old sailing days off this coast.
Till quite recently relics of the old Short Blue fleet existed as coal hulks at Rainham.
Old Tom Constable, of Purfleet, of a well-known Thames waterman family, was a popular pilot of the Short
Blue cutters.


At Gorleston, above Darby's Hard, is the public-house, named the Barking Fishery. Further south, along
High Street, are Hewett's Buildings, and almost next is


a public-house much resorted by the many fishermen of the famous fleet, having its headquarters at the
quay side, Gorleston. Statistics relative to the trawl fishery are quoted by A. H. Patterson, in vol. ix.,
Norfolk and Norwich Naturalist Societies' Transactions.

Many Yarmouthians will recall the fleets belonging to William Harrison, Shuckford, Coffee Smith, Durrant,
Morgan's, Leleus, and Flam Hewett. Trawling days must be the subject of a future article, because many
are the tales about the Admirals of the Fleet.
I have heard it stated that this tavern was given its name by a retired Barking smack skipper. The site was
formerly a store for provisioning the English and Dutch fleets (men of war and fishing). Many of the boats
putting off with victuals were manned by local women, who could barter and do good business with the
Dutch, who invariably had great quantities of tobacco and cigars and spirits.

It would not be untrue to say that many a deal in smuggled goods has been made at this tavern. For over
80 years the tenancy has been held by one family, namely,


In 20 directories from 1845 until now, the following names appear: John Benjamin Day, Mary Ann Day,
John Day, Robert Day, Mrs. Day and Mrs. C. M. Finch.
About 60 years ago, what might have been a serious affair was prevented by the landlord, John Day. Two
foreign seamen had quarrelled in the front bar that had a Georgian bay window. Knives were drawn, and
in the nick of time, prompt action saved the shedding of blood. As the knife descended it was knocked to
the ground with a mallet. It is a pleasure to record that the licensed houses upon our Marine Parade have
kept pace with the times. The change from canvas to steam and the development of the river has altered
the scene.
In the smoke room are many old engravings, paintings, and photographs of this popular tavern
reminiscent of the good old days. A model boat in sail served as a sign here last year.

11th August 1928

Reply to Enquirer: the record of this popular fleet of passenger steamers during the war is unique. The
London Belle was officially listed as H. M. Paddle Steamer No 932 and, as such, destroyed many
thousands of German mines, besides rescuing the crew and passengers of the ill-fated S. S. Peregrine
sunk in 1918. The Clacton Bell alone destroyed no less than 342 mines, whilst the crew of the Walton
Belle were awarded a prize for accurate anti-aircraft firing. To the Walton Belle is also due the credit of
discovering a new type of German mine, which was promptly designated the Walton Belle Mine.
The Yarmouth Belle was working in company with the Clyde steamer Duchess of Hamilton. When this
craft was blown up by a mine the Yarmouth Belle also received serious damage.
The foregoing I have culled from the Port of London Authority Monthly Magazine, and since going to
press I have been much interested in a handy pamphlet (1d.) issued by the Belle Steamer Co., giving an
even more interesting account of this well-known passenger fleet of steamers.
I shall esteem it a favour and, I know it will provoke interest, to receive accounts of any local boats, tugs,
etc., that were upon war service.


To Riversider: the scheme you refer to was one of the number suggested in 1884 and considered by the
Haven Improvement Committee, appointed on the 11th December 1883, to enquire into the state of and
accommodation afforded by the harbour with power to invite the cooperation of gentlemen outside the
Council and to report thereon. This Committee included well-known local representatives, all of whom
have passed beyond. I give the names to revive old memories: Mr. E. Buxton (chairman), Messrs.
William Barnard (Mayor), F. Arnold, T. B. Steward, E. P. Youell, F. D. Palmer, E. H. H. Combe, Thomas
Saul, B. H. Press, J. H. Bly, R. Martins, F. Palmer, C. Woolverton, J. Hammond, C. H. Wiltshire, W.
Mabson, T. A. Rising, Harvey George, William Brown, J. W. B. Johnson, D. Tomkins, R. E. Dowson, E.
W. Worlledge, E. J. Bonfellow, H. Fennel and Norford Suffling.

The Committee met frequently from January to August of 1884, and considered many schemes, including
a proposed fishing boat basin or harbour upon the site of the present Electricity Works, South Denes,
extending midway to the Parade.
The entrance was suggested south of the Ferry, west of the old grandstand at the race course at an angle
of 45 degrees with the direction of the river.
This scheme provided for the accommodation of 200 fishing boats in a basin of two divisions of 240 feet in
width, with a landing jetty of 150 feet in width between them. Had this scheme been adopted there is no
telling how the South Denes would have developed.

8th September 1928

In my rough book I have the following entry: December 8th 1881, the Borough
Lands Committee named the following roads: First road; running east and west
to Nelson Road North, Beaconsfield Road; second ditto, Salisbury Road; first
road running north and south, north of Workhouse, and being nearest Caister
Road, Harley Road; second ditto, Garfield Road; third ditto, Arundel Road.
At the same meeting; 31 plans were passed for houses north of the Workhouse
for Messrs. Argyle, Swindell, Spanton and Vince. Such brief entries I have
stored for future articles on old Yarmouth.
Those times seem far enough away, yet there are many of my readers who will
recall the open denes with Greengrass's Mill in the distance, the nice level
pitch, a resort of footballers and cricketers, prior to the Recreation Grounds of
1889 and who amongst us does not remember the happy scenes upon Sunday
school treat days. All was open and un-rebuilt upon, north of the infirmary.

A horse pond was near the site of the pumping station, and 70 years ago the fond parent took the family
for an especial treat upon Good Fridays to this pond and the North Denes to watch the host of geese and
goslings. Two dykes extended parallel with Caister Road north to Hamilton Road.
The first houses built upon Beaconsfield Road were the white brick terrace commencing at Allaway's
(newsagent). Johnson, the builder erected the terraces next west to the


and the rents then were 4/6d. per week. To-day almost 1,000 houses are in Newtown; a new town indeed.
Prior to 1877, an unrestricted roadway extended to the beach. Upon August 7th of that year the

was opened, and from that time there has been a level crossing. This reminds one of the old level
crossing at the west end of the road that continued until about the time of the Boer War. I am told that
when the Town Council discussed this antiquated crossing the voting was even, and the Mayor (Mr.
Press) gave his vote to retain it. Mr. Labouchere of Truth, criticised the Council's action ridiculing the two
obsolete entries to the town, i. e. the Haven Bridge and the Caister Road crossing.
At the east end of the road is the Schoolmaster's House (1910), and playing fieIds of the Grammar School
on the north side, whilst upon the south side opposite is the Beaconsfield Recreation Ground. The
Beaconsfield Road shelter, upon the Marine Parade, was erected in 1904.
A beautiful crescent terminates the road at the east end, and within the past few years many nice
residences have been erected here. The successful protest recently against the erection of a petrol dump
at this point has brought the road into prominence.

Newtown keeps alive the names of three premiers: Robert Walpole, Marquis of Salisbury and

Benjamin Disraeli, son of Isaac Disraeli, was born on December 21st 1804, at 6 John Street, Bedford
Row, London. The family originally were Jews from Spain at the end of the 10th century.
At 17 years of age, Benjamin was articled to Swain and Stevenson, solicitors, of Old Jewry. He entered
Lincoln's Inn in 1824, but removed his name in 1831. Early in life he gave promise of literary ability and
many are the books from his pen.


No less than five unsuccessful attempts he made to enter Parliament prior to winning a seat at Maidstone
in 1837, the year of Queen Victoria's accession.
It is memorable to record of so great a statesman, that his first speech in the House was received with
derision, open laughter greeted his oratory; but so earnest was he that he concluded with words to the
effect, gentlemen, you laugh at me now, but there will come a time when you will hear me. This truly
prophetic utterance was realised. Schisms upset all parties at times and such was the case when Sir
Robert Peel was Premier.
The Conservatives were sadly in need of a great man; he was found in Disraeli, who in the late 1840's
rallied the party and was instrumental in building up a great political force. His Parliamentary career
included such burning questions as the Chartist Movement, War with China, Penny Postage, Corn Laws,
Punjaub and Crimean War, Indian Mutiny and Reform Bill.
Then in 1868, he was appointed Prime Minister. This was in March; he reigned but a few months;
Gladstone succeeding him in December the same year.
1870 saw the passing of Forster's Education Act and four years later Disraeli again became Prime
In 1876, he was created Earl of Beaconsfield, his wife having chosen the title of Vicountess Beaconsfield
in 1868. The name is from the town Beaconsfield in the Wycombe Parliamentary Division of
Buckinghamshire. There are Beaconsfield towns in Tasmania and South Africa.
Disraeli was succeeded by Gladstone as Premier in 1880 and upon April 19th 1881 the nation mourned
the death of Lord Beaconsfield, when upon this day the first flag to be flown from the new Town Hall was
hoisted half-mast.
The Queen sent a magnificent wreath of primroses for the coffin. A card bore the following inscription in
the Queen's own handwriting: His favourite flowers from Osborne. A tribute of affectionate regard from
Queen Victoria.

Whilst April 19th is observed as Primrose Day, the memory of so great a statesman as Disraeli will be held
in high esteem by those who care to look back in history. To me, the purchase of the Suez Canal Shares
for Britain by Disraeli is worthy of remembrance; but how many care, I wonder, for the past? True a well-
known local politician some years since arranged a primrose wedding upon the day, but the majority are


was inaugurated by political enthusiasts to re-awaken the zeal of youth and to remind them each year of
the indebtedness to a great leader who died upon April 19th 1881.

16th February 1929
Repeated enquiries I often get as to the situation of the old Dolphin Inn, so this week a few particulars will
not be out of place. Today the sign is the Railway Tavern, the well-known house at the north-west corner
of the Conge.
The Dolphin, as a tavern sign, is probably one of the oldest. At Ludgate Hill, London, it dates back to the
early days of the 16th century. Pepys, in his diary, refers to the Dolphin, and adjourning for dinner upon
March 27th 1661 and stayed until 11 o'clock at night.
The Dolphin and Anchor is often met with, and the following is associated with the

Would you still be safely landed,

On the Aldine Anchor ride.
Never yet was vessel stranded
With the Dolphin by its side.
To the Dolphin as we're drinking
Life and health, and joy we send
A poet once he saved from sinking,
And still he lives; the poet's friend.

Undoubtedly, the Yarmouth tavern of that name is an old licensed premises. C. J. Palmer very briefly
refers to it as belonging to the Church.
In Yarmouth's first Directory (Pigotts, 1822), we find the landlord was Miles Turner, whilst for several years
following, Bernard Fulcher, by trade a cooper, was tenant. He was a Freeman and voted at all elections.
Soon after gaining his freedom, he voted for the Anson and Rumbold interest, but changed his politics.
Probably this accounts for the Dolphin tavern not being included in the long list of open houses at the
General Election of 1831, when some landlords received no less than £34 for drinks supplied to the


In this quarter, the surname Larn, has always been a familiar name. A. H. Patterson deals at length with
members of this family and their long association with Breydon. It was one, James Larn, who had fish
curing premises in Row 9 in the 1830’s and later took over the Dolphin, he being the last landlord under
the old sign. This was in the 1840s, and great changes were taking place throughout the country. The
locomotive was revolutionising travel and transport and here locally the railway had linked up our town
with Norwich.

On the North Quay a well-known brewery had been demolished, and rival
factions sought to find a place for the new railway station either side of the
River Bure. Today we know the result and pass over Vauxhall Bridge to a
terminus of the same name, taken from the well-known pleasure gardens of
a century since. Now it will he clearly seen from this change in travel and
local conditions how sign-boards change, as I have so often pointed out in
Tavern Tales. What do we find, the Dolphin gives place to the Railway
Terminus Hotel. The Falcon of to-day became the Excursion Train Tavern.
The well-known Quay Mill Tavern was the Railway Hotel and, just a little
later, on Fuller’s Hill, a Railway Tavern came into existence. All these in
close proximity to the new Vauxhall Railway Station. (May we anticipate the
sign of the Red Charabanc?).
The present tavern, by exhibiting the sign-board of the Great Yarmouth
Whippet Club, suggests sporting associations. One hundred years ago this
tavern, with the Bush, the Feathers, the Duke's Head, the Market Gates
Tavern, was the rendezvous of the sporting fraternity who patronised

In was at this tavern that the last cock fight was held upon licensed premises and this in 1866, some
seventeen years after the barbarous sport was prohibited by law. Included in the tenants are, from 1850;
William Lubbock, John Fisher, J. B. Bales, ex-mayor’s officer, John Boulter, John Edmonds, Edward
Brown, Henry Skoyles, William Crowther and Walter Ramsay and, in the tenancy of George Harrod round
about 1900, it was known as the North Quay Distillery. Then followed A. Harpley, A. E. Flaxman. E.
Nicholls and, after the war, William Holland, who has since retired to private life. This tavern was much
spoken about last year, when it became known that William Holland held the winning ticket for the horse,
Felstead; the Derby sweepstake winner.
The present landlord is Albert E. Mummery of the Town F. C., late Watford F. C.
There is still a quaintness about the premises, which suggests old-time associations. Undoubtedly, this
quarter was a busy shipping area when the harbour entrance was to the north of the town, and the
smuggler drank and talked under the eyes of the Customs officers, who had their headquarters in the

Other days, other customers. Those were the good old days when the watermen could make a shilling or
two, when the eel-pickers and smelters of Breydon retired to the Dolphin to yarn of the day’s escapades,
when the wherrymen were more numerous than today, and old Burgess could palate beer from his
Wellington boots, these being the largest receptacles when a cargo of local beers was for up river.
Probably the habitués of this tavern today talk over the exploits of these old-time watermen.

Whilst the book stalls and book barrows remain in the Market Place, there will be friends to meet on
Saturday mornings. Last Saturday a whole barrowful of books, bulky volumes and the smaller religious
text books, were on sale by Mr. Ferrow; these apparently had been stored for many years, because there
were signs of mildew and damp.
My friend A. H. P., secured one small volume for 2d., and an old-time silhouette from a bulky photo album,
and two book plates belonging to the late Rev’d. George Venables (Vicar of Yarmouth, 1874-1886). The
whole collection of books evidently had been prized by this reverend gentleman, who had affixed his book
plate upon each cover. These bore his name: Rev’d. George Venables and a scroll hearing the motto;
Nous Persevons; his coat of arms, i.e. azure, two bars argent, surmounted by the family crest, a dragon
with out-stretched wings, with an arrow piercing its neck and standing upon a child in a cradle. This crest
dates back to one Thomas Venables (1560), who claimed relationship with Sir Thomas Venables, Knight,
said to have been cousin, germane, to William the Conqueror.
I believe the Earls of Derby have an eagle and child in a cradle for a crest. Might I appeal to readers who
have book plates of their own or of past local families to forward them to the librarian, Mr. R. G. Watlow,
who will preserve same for posterity.

23rd February 1929

I am greatly indebted to a Twickenham reader for the gift of some manuscript relating to a former
Yarmouthian. He describes it as a human document, and the 24 pages of closely written matter throw
some light upon the hardships of the boys at sea a century since. It commences:
I, John Webber Fill, was born of Sarah the wife of William Fill (Master Mariner) on the fifteenth day of
June, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, Free of the borough of Great Yarmouth.
I had six brothers and two sisters. In one thousand seven hundred and seventy my father coming from
Sunderland was captured by a French privateer, it being war time with France and England. He was taken
to a French prison.

My mother being then left with seven children, six sons and a daughter, I being the eldest but two. My
oldest brother was sent to sea, my sister was put to service, and I was taken to live with my grandfather,
John Penny, a Trinity pilot, near the beach and kept to my school, but frequently going to sea in the yawls
and the cobles off the beach and to London occasionally with fish with my Uncle Joseph Penny: and
sometimes in bad weather off in the yawls to render assistance to vessels in distress.
At length, I was sent to sea in a sloop to Sunderland, but going into Sunderland our sloop struck heavily
on the bar and after getting in she had to undergo a great repair, after which she loaded a cargo of coals
and shuttles for St. Michael, but after getting to sea she was very leaky. We put into Blakeney to stop the
leak, and after coming to sea the vessel continued to leak, therefore, I left her in Yarmouth Roads and
again went to my school for a short time.
I was then put to work with the ropemakers, and after working for them a year, I made up my mind to go to
sea. l went for the first two voyages for my meat only, and then I commenced to ship myself as boy for
twenty-five shillings per voyage to Shields, Sunderland, London and elsewhere, in many different ships,
and was a great help to my mother in bringing up little brothers, as provisions were very dear. At that time
flour was seven shillings per stone. I sailed many voyages in the coasting vessels and my wages became
more, as I got more useful.
When I was fourteen years of age my wages were two pound ten shillings per voyage. In the year one
thousand eight hundred and fourteen there was peace with France, and the English prisoners came
home, and my father came too. Seamen's wages were one half what had, for a long time, been paid. Mine
was dropped to thirty shillings per voyage.
I then engaged in general coasting and short foreign travel at two pounds per month, going to Liverpool,
Amsterdam, Harlingen, London and elsewhere.
In one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, I was coming from Shields in the brig Providence, and a severe
gale from N. E. by E., spoilt our sails, carried away the main yard, and vessel very leaky got on shore on a
bank near Winterton beach.
No boat could come near the vessel; the sea running so high and breaking heavily over the vessel. Our
lives were saved by Captain Manby’s apparatus by firing shots with lines fast to them over the vessel. We
made ourselves fast to the line and jumped into the sea and people on shore hauled us to the beach.
Seven of us were saved, and one was drowned. The brig broke up in a short time and all was lost, with
her cargo of coals and oil cake.
My father was captain of the brig Providence and my sister was aboard for pleasure. The mate, Joseph
Hare, had been in bed sick two days when the vessel went ashore. He was the first man we sent ashore,
owing to him being sick. We could not send all the crew in like manner as we being almost worn out by so
long pumping; therefore we five next were made fast to the line a little distance from each other. One man
was washed off the deck, and one stopped in the foretop, while five were hauled through the sea to the
beach. My sister was put to bed in hot blankets, being forty-eight hours before she recovered. After we
landed safe, the man from the foretop made himself fast to the small line that was first shot to us and he
was hauled to shore.
The names of the crew were captain, William Fill; mate, Joseph Hare; seaman, William Wigg; lads, Robert
Dawson and John Fill; female, Sarah Fill. Washed into sea and drowned seaman, Joseph Hare. Seaman
from the foretop, John Soanes.
I find mention of William Fill (father) in the Calendar of Freeman for 1795. He was an apprentice of John


Reply to Riverside: after much searching I believe that this will answer your query. The cutter was the
Pioneer and launched from Fellow’s Yard, Southtown on New Year’s Day 1874. The vessel was built for
the Steam Carrying Co. and was employed in carrying the trawl fish from the fleet to London. She was the
first of her class to be built here.

Previously, K. W., the timber rafts were allowed to remain in the river much to the inconvenience of river
traffic and annoyance of the skippers of craft. Following many complaints, the Port and Haven
Commissioners decided in May of 1873 to appoint a place for the rafts in Breydon.

23rd MARCH 1929
As you remark F. B., the quayside of 40 years since was a busy place, more so when the sea-borne coal
was being discharged from the old brigs and brigantines of those days. The colliers were fine craft. Many
readers will recall the wooden planking arranged upon the deck, making a series of steps upon which the
three coal heavers would mount in unison, and altogether pull their respective ropes, and jump
backwards, thus by their weight was lifted from the ship's hold baskets of coal.
A century ago the coal meters were appointed by the Corporation. They acted as gangers and employed
the coal heavers. A Yarmouth tavern then was the sign of the Coal Meters.
Upon the Quay then, from the Town Hall to the granary, might have been seen many sail makers with
their own particular barrows. The ship riggers and the tinsmiths, then too would be met with an occasional
small job for the shipwright and the caulker working from a graving boat, but alas the introduction of steel
plates and the passing of the old-time sailing craft has meant a diminution of the number of the
Amongst the following list of names, I feel sure in many, will revive memories, and readers will live again
in a period, which many moderns are content to term old Yarmouth. Many of Bessey and Palmer's ships I
can recall, the brigantine Parthenia in particular, because of its peculiar name to my child mind.
Then, too, the William Crow, this I always connected with the Brothers Crow, two coal heavers working for
the well-known coal merchants. A 100 years ago, a mariner named William Crow was a local Freeman.
Also the Bertha and the Ceres, the Williamina and the Hannah. The two brigs, Olinda and Harebell were
often to be seen opposite the Custom House, as also the Eagle, Helen Marshall and Charles. The
Enterprise was the last boat built by Bessey and Palmer at their yard, Southtown, and used in their coal
trade. Those were the days when the local tugs had scope, for quite ten of those craft were employed in
assisting sailing ships in and out of harbour. I append a list, which have come to memory: United Service,
Reaper, Tom Perry, Star, Meteor, Gleaner, Yare and Express.


Young Liberal: the above named was at Yarmouth upon July 9th 1914, visiting the Naval Air Station
(South Denes) just about three weeks before war was declared between England and Germany.

Riverside: I have an entry in my rough index re the commencement of the Yarmouth and Southtown Ferry
as being June 16th 1834. I must shortly write up the history of the ferries. As you say, the publication of a
photograph revives local interest in old institutions and events.


My recent reference to the late James Hargrave Harrison, of 40 Middlegate Street, revived interest in that
worthy sobriquet of Cold Tea. I had often heard tales of its origin, but the following is news to many old
Yarmouthians, who knew this celebrity so well. I am indebted to Mr. A. A. Rudd and publish this note in full
in reference to the French pronunciation difli-cul-tea.
Taconville, Rollesby, 5th March 1929
Dear Mr. Johnson,
With reference to our recent conversation, please find enclosed a few notes relating to the Harrison
sobriquet, which you may find useful in your proposed article upon James Hargrave Harrison:
The note-book of the Rev’d. Richard Buckerbridge, Rector of Beighton in Norfolk, contains the following:
1792, May 12th: . . . “This odd name was also applied to the late Sir Thomas Harrison, Chamberlain of
London, and afterwards to his son of the same name, who lately died at Jamaica (of which island he was
a long time both Advocate and Attorney-General), and latterly to his grandson Henry, also just deceased,
eldest son of Ben Harrison, Treasurer of Christ's Hospital, a young barrister who was of much promise on
the Oxford Circuit.
Although not meant in reproach, this cognominative drollery has been, and remains, a source of much
annoyance to the various members of the family, especially to the aged father of the incumbent.”
From Notes and Queries: 5th Series, iv., page 205, 11th September 1875: From a vulgar corruption of 'Le
culto en difficulte,' arose the well-remembered sobriquet of the family, first given to one of its members, an
officer, on his return from Flanders after the Peace of Ryswick in 1698. And, notwithstanding the speedy
alteration of the motto into 'Virtus in Arduis', the ridiculous appellation was applied from father to son in
succession, down to a recent period". Namely, for six generations, from Thomas Harrison, the officer in
question, born 1663, to James Hargrave Harrison, died 1896.
Signed: A. A. Rudd.


Beachcomber: it was a dog belonging to the Young 'uns and not to Denny's Co. and the incident you
have in mind is the attempted rescue from the beach by their retriever dog named, Stranger, of an infant
who fell from the Jetty in April 1877. The dress of the child tore away, and Beacon eventually rescued the

15th June 1929

A previous list of 100 first events were well received, and for reference purposes I have compiled the
following from my records. I can imagine the surprise of many readers upon being reminded of an event
and their exclamation, well fancy it being all them years ago.
Angel Row murder, Mr. Steel murdered Maud Bensley, 22nd February 1898.
Air Station (naval) on South Denes commissioned, 13th April 1913.
Armoury (Southtown Barracks), now Colman's Mustard depot. Built 1806.
Ambulance Centre formed, March 1919.
Air Raid, first of many at Yarmouth, European war (1914-1918), two killed, 19th January 1915.
Bath House (the Bath Hotel), erected near the Jetty, 1759.
Beach Station. First train to Ormesby (Yarmouth and Stalham railway), 8th August 1877.
Beaconsfield Road shelter on North Drive, erected 1904.
Barrack Estate. Two shops and 314 houses completed to date, 25th August 1927.
Baptist Chapel (Rows 14 and 15), sold to E. Lacon & Co., for brewery extensions, May 1870.
British School (Lancastrian) opened on the Denes, 13th February 1812.
Corton Lightship sunk by mine, five crew lost their lives, June 21st 1916.
Cash on Delivery postal packets commenced, 29th March 1926.
Caister lifeboat (Beauchamp) disaster, 14th November 1901.
Cliff Hotel at Gorleston destroyed by fire, 27th December 1915.
Cortot, the celebrated pianist at the Town Hall, 29th November 1927.
Donegal Militia arrived in the harbour, 14th August 1859.
Drill Hall (Nelson Road Central) opened for Artillery Volunteers, June 1880.
Duke's Head Hotel, Hall Quay sold to J. Davy for £1,525, 28th April 1869.
Durrant, Edmund Alfred, the well-known smack owner, of 63 South Quay, died 4th February 1910.

Edward Worlledge School, Southtown, opened by Alderman E. W. Worlledge, 21st September 1906.
Electric tramways (Southtown to Gorleston) from Yarmouth Bridge, opened 4th July 1905.
Explosion of bomb near Suspension Bridge at Vauxhall, 13th September 1927.
Employment Exchange opened at South Market Road, 27th July 1927, transferred from Wesleyan Chapel
Hall, Dene Side.
Eastern Daily Press first issued October 10th 1870.
Forgery. Last man hanged at Newgate, Joseph Hunton, a Yarmouthian, 8th December 1828.
Fellows' fog signal (blind pilot), invented, 24th May 1927.
Fish Wharf (original) completed February 16th 1869. Length 2,251 feet, shed 750 feet
Famous Freeman speech by Sir James Johnson, 24th February 1681.
Gas Co’s. new offices at 39 & 40 King Street, opened by Sir lnglis Palgrave, October 25th 1912.
Great gale (Sunday afternoon), 24th March 1895.
Giant Hales died at Wellington Road, November 21st 1863.
Golf, First prize meeting on North Denes, 14th June 1883.
Gorleston horse trams, first trial trip, 9th March 1875.
Grammar School (Salisbury Road), opened by Bishop of Norwich, 16th July 1910.
Health Act, 1925.
First look-'em-up prosecuted for exchanging windmills, 2nd April 1927.
Hawking on drive. First prosecutions; five men fined 1/0d. each, 1st August 1901.
Hospital School, Market Place, opened 3rd August 1843.
Horticultural Society. New name for Sweet Pea Society, 29th January 1929.
Independent Chapel (King Street Congregational), opened June 1855.
Insurance Act. First meeting of the Provisional Committee, 28th June 1912.
Inquest presided over by Coroner Gournay Ferrier in robes, 10th December 1928.
Institute at Great Yarmouth founded, 1844.
James' (St.) Church. First portion opened, 27th April 1870.
Jetty Shelters (with the Lawn clock) opened, 29th July 1927.
John’s (St.) Church, York Road, opened February 7th 1858.
King George V visits Yarmouth, April 12th 1916.
Kubelik, the celebrated violinist, on Britannia Pier, April 25th 1904.
The King's Roll, inaugurated and adopted by local employers, 1919.
Legitimacy Act, first application at Yarmouth, 21st July 1927.
Lord Lieutenant of County, first appointed, 24th July 1459.
London boat (S. S. Rainbow), first trip to Yarmouth, 6th July 1867.

Marriage, first application under Section 9 of Guardianship of Infants Act, 24th December 1926.
Mail coach (first patent) arrives, July 29th 1819.
Marine Parade, first widened to 60 feet, July 1876.
Methodist Chapel (Hog Hill), opened 5th September 1850.
Music Club, inaugurated, November 12th 1926.
Northgate Schools, opened, 23rd May 1881.
Nicholas' (St.) Church clock, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marsh, 19th April 1919.
North Quay railway (to Beach Station) completed, May 1882.
Norfolk Hotel, purchased by Hills & Underwood for £2,160, 26th August 1858.
Olympic (British) water polo team visited Yarmouth Swimming Pool, 28th July 1928.
Overseers' duties transferred to Corporation, April 1st 1927.
Christabel Pankhurst, the Suffragette, at the Town Hall, 18th January 1909.
Peter's (St.) Church consecrated, 26th August, 1833.
Post Office, Regent Street opened, 22nd September 1871.
Picture post card censorship inaugurated locally, 25th June 1912.


W. Jaye of Gorleston: your souvenir, dug up in a field adjoining Burgh Road, is a 17th century local
trader's token, smaller than a 3d. piece and of brass. It is in a fine state of preservation.
The inscription is Gabriell Woodrife with the arms of the Grocers’ Company, in a dotted circle, M. M., and a
cine-foil upon the reverse side, of North Yarmouth and G. W. (in dotted circle). If you are interested in the
tokens, you will be delighted with an unique local collection to be seen in the Tolhouse Museum. These
form a valuable link in the town's history and the curator would be pleased to add specimens for the use
and instruction for posterity.

A previous reference to a Yarmouth farthing brings me to a coin dug up at Gorleston by Mr. Doran at the
laundry. This proves to be a coin issued by the Incorporation of Diss, at the time when most towns
including Yarmouth, incurred the displeasure of King Charles II for minting those brass farthings without
royal permission. The heraldic wavy device symbolised the Mere at Diss and I believe a similar design is
included in the local shield to this day.

13th July 1929

This is an old established tavern and formerly known as the Admiral Onslow. This admiral had a long
association with this old sea port in the latter part of the 18th century. However, popularity wanes and
despite the fact that he received the Freedom of the Borough in 1798 together with Admiral Viscount
Duncan, the sign was altered to the Marine Tavern in the late 1820’s, when one, John Denny, was the
landlord. He is remembered to this day (a century after) from the well-known salvage company of
beachmen of that name. What a history can be written around these quaint old buildings, which remind us
of a past generation, who never in their wildest dreams, foresaw Yarmouth as a popular health resort that
it is today.
To realise the vast improvements that have taken place
east of the old town one must visualise the great open
denes, north, east and south, with the rope makers’ sheds
and walks, the flour mills, the old wooden wells and the
beachmen’s tall look outs, sheds or côtes, with their gear,
nets and spars, as illustrated.
The Marine Hotel seems to be a survival of this quaint
class of building, and I believe it is the wish of Mr. E.
Taplin of Lacon's Brewery, to preserve the old time
appearance of both the Marine Hotel and the Barking
Smack, for certainly, here at the bottom of the old Jetty,
are links with the past, of which we never tire. One not
acquainted with the scenes animating the Jetty a century since, cannot do better than view the picture by
Butcher (to be seen at the Town Hall and the Art Gallery, etc.), where he depicts this well-known tavern
displaying a hanging sign of the Admiral. Far too little is known of the daring exploits of the sailor men of
the 18th and early 19th centuries, when the Yarmouth
Roadstead, being a safe anchorage, was always the
rendezvous of the wooden battleships, and the Rows
the happy hunting ground of the press gang. Admirals
Nelson, Parker, Duncan and Onslow have intimate
associations with the town, and the two latter lodged
often at a residence demolished when the Row was
made into Regent Street, close to the Town Hall.
I always like to recall the battle of Camperdown of
October 11th 1797, when Samuel Paget (father of Sir
James Paget), at short notice, provisioned the
successful English fleet, and afterwards received the
grateful thanks of Admiral Duncan who, pointing to
Paget, said: that's the man who won the battle. It was
not my intention in this article to deal in detail with this
tavern's long history, or place on record the list of landlords, etc., but rather to remind my readers of a
page in history very rarely referred to and I cannot do better than serve up a portion of the Paget
chronicles and live again with the Yarmouth pilots, Dutch captains, Admiral de Winter, and Admirals
Duncan and Onslow:
The fleet was in Yarmouth Roads when a merchant vessel, the
Gladden, sailed in signalling on all sides that the Dutch fleet had come
out of port. Admiral de Winter was in command of it and Admiral
Duncan, of the English Fleet, with Onslow, vice admiral. The part my
father filled was supplying the English fleet with fresh water within four
and twenty hours after the intention of sailing was announced. By this
expedition, the fleets met off the coast of Holland in little more than
twenty four hours, and the great victory of Camperdown was obtained.
Singularly enough, amid so much bravery displayed on both sides, five
Dutch captains and two English showed the white feather. Not so
Onslow, who directed the Yarmouth pilots, since he could not steer
between two of the biggest of the enemy's ships, to steer into them, and
he poured a broadside on both sides. Lord Duncan brought de Winter
prisoner into Yarmouth Roads with the prizes and his own vessels
alike, severely enough handled. Two ships, uninjured, were observed
to be moored apart from the rest, and when their officers appeared on
shore they were cut by the rest of the fleet.
Members the Onslow family resided at Yarmouth, and I believe the late
King Edward (when Prince of Wales) visited a Mrs. Onslow, mother of a
naval chaplain of his acquaintance.

31st August 1929
Yarmouth most certainly had some strange tavern names in the past and this well-known beer house,
situated until 1926 on the west side of Sawmill Lane, can be classed amongst the quaint names. In most
instances the origin of the sign can be traced, and there are a few readers who will smile when reminded
of the original Bravo, for was not its faithful friend a black retriever dog belonging to Mr. Richard Harrod,
the boat builder, of Southtown. Then, too, I fancy I can hear my old Yarmouthian saying: Ah! yes, and
Dick Harrod built a fishing smack named the Bravo, YH 610, 43-tons, also. Yes, this craft was built at the
old boat house adjoining the tavern site, close by Franks Buildings' site, for in the late 1850’s and early
1860's there stood a granary here with a cottage close by the quay head. Who amongst my friends can
recall the gale in May 1860, when Dick Harrod’s Bravo fishing smack salved a vessel. Just dote on old
times, recalled John Christmas, the landlord of 1863, and Sharman, senior, of the well-known caulker
family or live again in fancy those flood days when rowing boats took customers to the Bravo. Then too,
one can almost picture young Hatch, the nimble son of Frederick Hatch, the tinman of Row 48
(Wheatsheaf Row), hurrying along past Gambling's Steam Mill after school hours with half a gross of pint
beer cans, all stamped Bravo; these were for the use of Saul's timber yard workers, the wherrymen and
quaysiders and not a few yachtsmen, because Cobholm and district was noted for its boathouses. It is
three years since the Bravo Tavern lost its licence along with its near neighbour, the New Bridge Tavern,
also the Brewery Tap, and the New Queen's Head. It appears, when Mr. Harrod had the Bravo Tavern
built, it was easy to obtain a beer licence; in later years it became the property of Steward & Patterson.


S.F.: the two beer houses on Hog Hill were the Neptune, and on the South side, the Cattle Market Inn.

A.S.: you are just a few years out, it is 30 years ago (August 7th 1899) that Pat Cashan, the Irish singer,
died after his song at the Chappell Singers’ Ring (now Jacks and Jills), Central Beach. Time certainly flies,
and yet the old names linger. Fred Riley, Marie Braham, Lizzie Leamore, Leslie Reed, Harry Barker, Daly
and Collins, Patsy Lloyd, Bernard and Weston and Ernest D'Almaine; those were a few of the favourites of
the old beach concert.


Mr. Lake: your allotment off Caister Road is most profitable. The maxim is dig deeply for good results, and
certainly you have been well rewarded. The silver coin, the size of a half-penny, is English and of the reign
of Edward IV. It was struck at London, in the period 1464-1483, and the British Museum authorities think
probably in the first year or two of these dates. Its weight originally was 60 grains and its value 4d.
Possibly it is worth anything from £1 to £2. Extra good examples realise more. It is somewhat similar to
the Scottish groat of James II, 1438-1460.

P.P.: I believe you will find that the local dealers inaugurated their own censor of picture postcards on
June 25th 1912.


Beachcomber: it was the S. S. Hibernian ashore opposite the Aquarium in 1891. She came ashore on the
morning of January 15th 1891, towed off the following Thursday 22nd, and docked at Fellow's Southtown
dock the following Monday evening. Queries are welcomed and arguments settled.

S. Seago: your copper coin is from Morocco, and not old, in fact it is but 61 years old, the 1285 being of
the Mohammedan Era. The brass disc is an ornamented counter, used for reckoning on an abacus, it is
15th or 16th century, German, the nonsensical inscription is illegible. Many thanks for your interest in the
Corner, and queries are always welcome.
E.H.; possibly the coincidence of over 30 years ago you have in mind was the two vessels in one day
striking the old Haven Bridge, namely the brig, Symbol of South Shields, on the morning of January 23rd
and the old smack Betsy, belonging to E. A. Durrant, in the evening. By the mention of this well-known
name I am reminded that I have promised several readers a Two Minute Talk on Durrant's fleet of fishing

15th March 1930

Probably, many readers are unaware that the North Quay tavern of this sign was named after the ill-fated
man of war, the Royal George, and also that in the churchyard nearby the tombs of Harriet Candler and
Matthew Champion, aged 111, lies Thomas Bowles, the last survivor of the crew of that vessel, which was
wrecked off Spithead on August 28th 1782. Yet going back to schooldays one recalls the verses of the
poet Cowper, commencing :

Toil for the brave,

The brave that are no more;
All sunk beneath the wave,
Fast by their native shore.
Eight hundred of the brave,
Whose courage well was tried,
Had made the vessel heel,
And laid her on her side.
A land breeze shook the shrouds,
And she was overset;
Down went the Royal George.
With all her crew complete.

The Royal George had long been the pride of the Navy and was the oldest first-rater in the Service. She
carried the tallest masts and the squarest canvas; in fact she was considered the embodiment of naval
glory, then at its height. Admirals, including Anson, Rodney, Boscawen and Howe, had successfully
commandeered this fine craft, which was the envy of the French, who were defeated by Lord Hawke when
the Superbe of 70 guns was sunk and the Soleil Royal of 64 guns was driven ashore and burnt. It seemed
strange that, after many an engagement and encountering rough seas and gales, this fine wooden vessel
should meet her end in a calm and quiet sea. It was on August 28th 1782, that the Royal George returned
from a cruise off Spithead, where Lord Howe's fleet of nearly 40 sail of the line, many frigates and two or
three hundred merchant ships were riding at anchor. As companions to the Royal George were the
famous Victory, the Barfleur, the Ocean and the Union; all three-deckers. As the Royal George lay quietly,
the ship's carpenter discovered a fault with a pipe, which admitted water for ship cleaning, and as the
orifice was some three feet below the surface of the water it was decided to heel the ship slightly over, in
order that the pipe might be examined. Such an operation had been often accomplished before, but never
with such dire results. The guns on the larbord side were run-out of the post holes as far as they could go,
whilst the guns of the starboard side were moved inwards to the middle of the decks. This brought the
porthole sills of the vessel on the lower side almost level with the water. A lighter laden with rum arrived
and this cargo was used and, with the additional weight of the crew, caused the water to gradually enter
the ship by the portholes. Warnings were given to the lieutenant of the watch to right the vessel, but it is
said that this officer made light of any danger and refused. The ship’s smiths and braziers had almost
completed their tasks, when a sudden breeze gave the vessel a further list. Then the water rushed into the
portholes, and guns, shot and everything portable rolled, causing the vessel to fall over broadside with her
tall masts in the water. Terrible scenes followed. Terror stricken men, women and children were trapped.
Many escaped to the part of the vessel above water, and others clung to wreckage and spars.
Of the 1,200 persons aboard, including 250 women and children (relations and friends of the seamen)
nearly 900 perished, including Admiral Kempenfelt, who at the time of the disaster was writing in his cabin.
One little child escaped drowning by clutching hold of the fleece of a sheep, which swam. The rescuer
undertook to adopt the child, who lost both parents in the tragic wreck. The poet was optimistic when he

Weigh the vessel up,
Once dreaded by our foes,
And mingle with our cup,
The tear that England owes.
Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float, again,
Full charged with England's thunder
And plough the distant main.

(Many years ago, at Somerleyton Hall, was a table framed from portions of the Royal George).
But she was never again floated. Many unsuccessful attempts were made by Mr. Tracey, of Portsea, and
Mr. Ancell, of Plymouth Dockyard. In 1834, Mr. Dean, an engineer, descended in a diving suit and
recovered valuable brass guns. Five years later, Colonel Pasley undertook to clear the Roadstead of this
dangerous obstruction and eventually by explosions the wreckage was cleared.
When passing Bowles' tomb, I always think of him at the age of 84 being again immersed in the water; this
time when the old Suspension Bridge disaster occurred in 1845, the year before his death.


This was published by Pigott, of Manchester, on June 24th 1822, at 30/0d. The Reference Library has a
fine collection and the librarian will welcome any local directory. Such are often referred to.

W. Staff: your small silver piece is a penny of Edward I issued about 1300-1307 and in a fair state of
preservation. I am indebted to Kenneth Luck for an assortment of coins including a few Roman pieces.

It appears that many artists turned their ability to account and gave the public pictures upon the sign
Mr. Mallet sends along the following extract from Signs, October 1929 : Old Crome was another artist, who
was obliged to paint signboards in his younger days. One of his signs painted for the Sawyers, at Norwich,
was so admired that it was taken down and framed.
Another, which was sold by auction in 1806 at Norwich, was the sign of the Jolly Sailor, of Yarmouth. This
fetched 12 guineas. Any signboard or tavern news will be welcomed from readers.

19th May 1930

Yarmouth school boys should be taught the wonderful feats of bravery and endurance as displayed by the
local beachmen, members of the old time salvage companies, and lifeboat men. Theirs is a history all their
own, having played a most important part in the dangerous pursuit of lifesaving and battling against the
fierce gales peculiar to our coast.
The yawls, lookouts and gear have disappeared from the beach, yet
(almost opposite the Jetty), next to Wellington Road, should be a constant reminder of those hardy sons of
the sea, who risked all to save their fellow mariners of all nationalities, who suffered shipwreck.
Samuel Brock was a member of the Layton Salvage Company, and upon October 6th 1835, at dinner
time, from near the Jetty, put off in the yawl, Increase, which had a crew of eleven, to assist the Spanish
brig, Paquette de Bilboa, laden with a general cargo, bound from Hamburg to Cadiz. At about 4 o'clock
the vessel was reached, and after continued bargaining T. Layton, J. Woolsey and George Darling
remained aboard to work the pumps and pilot her to the harbour.
The yawl left the brig five miles eastward of the Newarp Lightship and, when passing, in answer to a
signal, the yawl took aboard a sick lightshipman, and all settled down for a nice run to Yarmouth, which
they hoped to reach by 10 o'clock. However, their well-laid plans miscarried, a sudden squall from the
northward, with terrific force, took all by surprise. The ballast shifted over to leeward and the yawl
The sole survivor was Samuel Brock, who after battling with the waves for over seven hours, was picked
up by the brig Betsy, of Sunderland (Captain Christian). The clasp knife with which Brock cut away some
of his clothing was afterwards treasured, and a silver plate was affixed, bearing the following:
Brock, aided by this knife, was saved after being 7½ hours in the sea, 6th October 1835.
This horn handled pocket knife was purchased by Brock only two days prior to his wonderful feat in the
sea, and after nearly 100 years, the question arises; where is the knife today; May 1930?

Amongst my varied collection of fair items I have a petition, foolscap size, issued some time ago, when the
Easter Fair seemed likely to have keen opposition. The text is as follows:
To the Right Honourable Herbert Samuel, His Majesty's First Secretary of State for the Home Department.
We, the undersigned inhabitants of Great Yarmouth, strongly protest against the abolition of our Easter
Pleasure Fair. We deny the allegations brought against it by its enemies and we claim that it is a source of
wholesome and quite harmless amusement for ourselves and children. As an institution it is more than
dear to us, for we regard it as a symbol and safeguard of our civic rights and the chartered guarantee of
our well-earned Easter Holidays.
We further protest against the insinuation that the preamble of the Abolition of the Fairs Act applies to our
fair, and most respectfully we insist that a full inquiry should be made on the spot by your appointed
inspector, and that our objections to the abolition of our Fair Rights should be fully ascertained at a public
inquiry. And your Petitioners, as in duty, bound, will ever pray.

The first steam roundabouts came to Yarmouth in February 1862 or 1863 and stood upon Church Plain,
the site of the telephone box. They created quite a sensation. The day was Saturday and the juveniles
patronised this latest innovation, when 1d. was charged, the takings for the day being £25. Mr. Tillett, of
Norwich, the proprietor, visited the ensuing Cock or Orange Fair with his steam roundabouts.

26th July 1930

A guardian angel o'er his life presiding. Doubling his pleasures and his cares dividing.
Samuel Rogers, 1763-1855.
In this transitional period I am pleased to meet many folk, who still
retain respect for the old, and in my rambles am often asked: well,
why did they change the name? But few of my more modern readers
would recognise the Half Way House as the old Guardian Angel, and
the change of title came about some years after the horse trams
made it a stopping place upon their journeys from Yarmouth to
To rue it, always has been a matter of much regret that the history of
our taverns has never been written. C. J. Palmer speaks, but briefly
in his Perlustration, Vol. iii, page 288, as follows: An old wayside inn
near the junction of the Lowestoft and Beccles Roads is called the
Guardian Angel, an ancient sign, which is found in France as L’Ange
Gardien, in the Rue St. Jacques, Paris.

Possibly, the latter information Palmer secured from the valuable Book of Signboards by Larwood and
Hotten of 1866, who mentions a bookseller, Pierre Witte, displaying the sign in the Rue St. Jacques in
the 17th century. Evidently the Guardian Angel sign is most rare because the authors upon signboards
quote our local sign of that name, quite a distinction for a Yarmouth tavern. The passing of old signs to
me is regrettable, for do they not remind us of a past that we ought not to entirely forget? The familiar
sign here was an overhanging swinging board as illustrated and, as far as I can search, it was minus the
angel as portrayed at the well-known inn at the Market Place, Yarmouth. Many of my older readers will
be reminded of the tavern prior to rebuilding in 1882, when it justly earned the description of a wayside
inn. There was a picturesqueness all its own and somewhat resembling the Bradwell Sun. The extensive
stabling extended to the pavement and, although of a ramshackle (whatever this word implies) nature, a
wooden erection with gable fronting the High Road immediately next to Common Lane, it added that
sense of quietude and rustic touch fitting for an inn, which at one time stood isolated, but now is at a very
busy junction. Formerly over 20 horses could be stabled here and the Gorleston, Hopton, Corton and
Lowestoft carrier made it a place of call. Limmers' buses, too, recognised it as a handy pull-up, and this
old established inn is associated with an obsolete harvest custom of

Well into the middle of last century it was fit and proper for those engaged in the harvest field to come to
town in the wagons, put up the horses and wagons at the inns with stabling, and visit the local tradesmen
with whom their farmer employers dealt. A gratuity or largess was solicited and, if obtained, the farm
hands and harvesters would, with the generous donor's permission, form a ring outside the shop by
holding hands, and Holla Largess. This was as follows: the spokesman, a yard or two from the ring,
would in a loud voice call, Holla Lar! Holla Lar! Holla Largesse. Then follows the o-o-o-o in a low
sonorous note by those in the ring, who all incline their heads. A climax follows by all swiftly raising their
heads and voices and shouting, A-a-ah! These scenes are missing from our thoroughfares to-day.
Socially, the practice was discouraged by the tradesfolk some 70 years since, who deplored the fact that
much of the largess or money gift was unwisely expended in drink, and Yarmouth streets, in
consequence, became disorderly. My readers can well imagine the animated scenes at the Guardian
Angel, when the harvest folk returned for their wagons and horses at nightfall.
The earliest reference that I can find is in connection with the politics of the early 19th century, when the
Greyhound Inn to the north-east had the patronage of the rival party. The handbill in the folio at the
Reference Library makes interesting reading these days, when candidates still frequent the taverns and
fraternise with supporters.
Some 50 years since between 70 and 80 members belonged to the club and eagerly anticipated the
following invitation:


This old established BOWLING GREEN
will be opened for the Season on TUESDAY AFTERNOON NEXT
Subscribers will meet at 2.30, and the usual
will be provided, after the games.
H. D. Forsdick May 6th 1879

A well-known private bowling green at this time was situated east of the northeast tower, Caister Road,
the site of the new Maygrove estate.


When the game of bowls was not so popular, greens were few, and the Guardian Angel, the Two Bears,
and Parmenter’s Sovereign Bowling Green next to the river on North Quay, were well patronised by
tradesmen in tall hats. Then, might have been seen the churchwarden long pipes of clay and the popular
pewter tankard. The well-kept green west of the Halfway House is claimed by many to be the oldest
locally. Certainly it is pleasantly situated; the poplars, elms and sycamores (containing hundreds of
initials) around, lend a charm, whilst the rockery and flowering plants speak of kindly affection tended by

the present landlord, Mr. C. A. Andrews, who together with his wife hold in high esteem the traditions of
this popular rendezvous from which could be seen Beevor's and Shulvers' Mill to the south. At the rear of
the house, at the north-east corner, was the

This fell into disuse in the late 1870's and many a barrel of beer was stored there. This house was noted
for its


a sign, which always puzzled me as a child. The lead pump, a familiar figure in the yard, still stands to
remind old habitués of past pranks when sooty faces were not uncommon in the bar and a douche at the
pump followed. Thinking of habitués, who has forgotten Dan Catling, the old horse doctor to the Horse
Tramway Company, who frequented the Guardian Angel in
his well-known red waistcoat. That, reminds me that
celebrities are scarce today, in and out of taverns.
Our Town Council minutes are not void of references to the
Guardian Angel. In the report of the Sanitary Committee for
August 20th 1881, we find the following: The sub-committee
for inspecting the concrete paths met at the Southtown Toll-
gate and gave the assistant surveyor directions as to the
width of the concrete pavement from the site of the old toll-
gate to the Guardian Angel. An entry possibly from the
town's minutes I have in my tavern rough book reads as
follows: October 28th 1881; cost of kerbing opposite the
Guardian Angel £13 15s; also another entry: Alterations;
1882 April 14th. This no doubt refers to re-building. I am
indebted to Councillor Grand, of Steward & Patterson, for the
particulars of re-building the stabling. This took place in
1896, and I was most interested in an old photograph in his
office of the wooden stables. To me it savours of waste, that so much valuable space has been allotted to
stabling at this house, more useful would the site be as tea gardens or an up-to-date garage.


We are all familiar with these enamel signs in blue and white displayed upon the bay front of the house,
and a few dates relative to the tramway, which made the house a halfway stage for the fares will not be
out of place.
1872, October 14th: First rail laid by Sir E. H. K. Lacon, Bart, M. P., for the horse tramway.
1875, March 9th: Trial trip of the one-horse tram. etc., etc.

23rd August 1930

Self-sacrifice will be a dominant feature of Gorleston's history and the historian need not leave the Pier
Head, for there remains, whilst Gorleston is Gorleston, a memorial in those wave-beaten, gale-swept piles
to countless brave seamen, who have heard the call of their fellow sailors in distress and unhesitatingly
launched their frail craft and rushed to the rescue.
The fury of an East Coast gale cannot he readily imagined, it must be experienced to be believed, and
sojourners to the coast in summer's calm cannot fully appreciate the bad weather conditions. The hardy
boatmen from childhood, by long experience, only too well know of the hardship and dangers, yet these
brave sons of the sea never speak of dangers or express fear. They naturally speak of gatways and sands
as lands-men do of streets and roadways. They will recall wrecks and rescues but never mention the
risks involved. Their fathers and grandfathers manned the lifeboats before them. Their fathers and
grandfathers, many of them lost their lives in the glorious attempt to save others, is it small wonder that
this same grand spirit actuates the lives of men who frequent the pier head, the beach, and the quays of
Gorleston, Caister and Yarmouth today?

The Beach Inspector at Gorleston asks me to re-tell the story of the


of Gorleston, and the loss of twelve of her crew in 1866. This boat was of the Teasdel type and built by
Beeching, the famous local boat builder. A gale was blowing from the S. S. W., when just before 12
o'clock on Saturday January 13th the lookout men observed a vessel showing distress signals on her
main topmast. The seas were rough and the tide was last-quarter ebb with a heavy swell on the bar. The
boatmen were only too well acquainted with the dangerous conditions arising from the fact that at low
water the depth was insufficient for shipping, yet dangers were put in the second place to duty, and two
Gorleston lifeboats, the Rescuer and the Friend of All Nations put to sea. The first named belonged to the
Ranger Company of salvage men and was manned by a full crew of 16 men, all capable and experienced
boatmen, who knew their boat and the harbour and treacherous sandbanks and shoals outside.
Both lifeboats were under reefed sails and the Rescuer was leading on the port side. As she was crossing
the bar, so shallow was the water that ground was touched, a common occurrence, but upon this
occasion it was to prove disastrous. When first she touched her rudder was knocked up six or seven
inches, but at the third grounding the rudder was knocked half way up the mizzen. There followed
instantly a very heavy sea, which struck and completely overturned her, throwing the whole crew into the
water. There was a terrible scene for the onlookers on the Pier, who helplessly witnessed one lifeboat
crew having to rescue fellow rescuers.
After getting clear of the shallow water the Friend of All Nations veered down broadside to the ill-fated
boat. James Clarke, the coxswain, held on to two of the crew, Warner and Whiley, but the lurching of the
boat made him release his hold upon the latter, who was drowned. Two of the crew had managed to
clamber on the Rescuer’s keel and were taken off by the other lifeboat. Those saved were William Austrin,
Edward Westwood, George Palmer and Warner, the latter eventually succumbing. The upturned boat
came ashore near the Wellington Pier, and the Coroner (Mr. C. H. Chamberlin) held an inquest at the
Duke’s Head Inn at Gorleston, on Tuesday the 16th inst. It was a terrible weekend for Gorleston.
Manifestations of mourning were everywhere, drawn blinds, closed shutters, flags half-mast, spoke
feelingly of death and disaster. All the boatmen were well-known and the loss was keenly felt by all the
inhabitants. The following list will convey some idea of the brave fellows' dependents left to mourn:

Robert Spillings, coxswain, aged 40, left a widow and eight children
William Dawkins, aged 27, left a widow and five children
James Fleming, aged 24, single
Benjamin Harris, aged 30, left a widow
Abel Newson, aged 25, left a widow and three children
William Marthorpe, aged 19, single
Christopher Parker, aged 61, left a widow
Edward Welton, aged 25, left a widow and one child
Edward Woods, senior, aged 55, left a widow and several young children
The brothers James and Charles Woods, aged 29 and 27 respectively.

This calamity stirred the whole country and a relief fund was established; no less than £1,450 being
In December, the following year, the same lifeboat, the Rescuer came into collision with a local fishing
lugger, the James and Ellen, with serious loss of life.
History books in the past have contained by far too much of the military and naval events in our island
history and far too little of the heroism and self-sacrifice of those brave men who man the lifeboats.

Smith, of the Bell and Crown, enquires re the Neptune and the Pig and Whistle. Well, to settle the
argument and to be brief, both were on Hog Hill. They were the one and the same tavern resorted to by
the cattle dealers, who attended the sales before the cattle mart was opened at Southtown. As to the site,
the modern readers are unaware that two beer houses were on Priory Plain, and that up to the early
1870's the Cattle Market Inn stood next east to the Fishermen's Hospital, will surprise them.

The tavern enquired for stood upon the present site occupied by Tom Shreeve's hay store and stables on
the north side. It was known as the Neptune as far back as 1821, and old Yarmouthians still speak if it. I
have some police court records of this notorious house, and it is said that later it was known as the Pig
and Whistle.
I am gradually collecting information as to local tavern history and hope to deal with most of the public
houses in due course. I shall always welcome interesting items of news re customs and customers,
landlords and landladies, raffles and draws, wagers and signboards, etc.

14th February 1931

Your modern impression E. H., as a newcomer to the town, is well put. Happily there are but few
shipwrecks in these times and the present generation can hardly visualise the hardships endured by the
gallant old beachmen of Palling, Winterton, Caister, Yarmouth and Gorleston. In all history they nobly
played their part. Faithfully, they continued the
high traditions of their forbears. They loved the
sea, and the sound of wind and wave was their
natural music, whilst the storm aroused them to
action. When it was blowing hard on the south-
south-west or a strong nor’easter was making
things unpleasant upon the drive, the beachmen
were restless. Their warm snug little parlours were
forsaken for the boatshed warehouse and the tall
look-out. Hours would pass and the howling wind
increase in strength.
The men on watch know each ship's light in the
Roadstead. The stormy scene is a familiar one to
them and their minds go back to similar nights,
when many a barque or brig lost their anchors
and, before the salvage men could put off from the
beach, had become wrecked. The groups of beachmen assembled in their sheds had faith in their trim
craft. They were proud of their yawls, which had successfully taken them upon errands of mercy, and all
was always in readiness, in case a flare was observed through the darkness.
Prior to the coming of the National lifeboats to our coasts the rescue and salvage work was faithfully
achieved by our beachmen, who formed themselves into companies, each having boats, i.e. yawls, ferry
boats, gigs and skiffs, a hut or côte for stores and repair work, and a lofty look-out, with a cabin
arrangement at the top. To describe it as a shed upon poles would be fitting. Most of the companies were
associated with the taverns nearest the beach. In some instances this can be accounted for by the
promoter of the company being the owner of the tavern. But they did not always adopt the tavern name.
The Denny Company, a hundred years ago, made their headquarters at the Marine Hotel, formerly the
Admiral Onslow, and the landlord, John Denny, was the pilot and promoter of the company bearing his
name. Seventy years ago two well-known companies were the Holkham and the Standard, whose sheds
and look-outs were at the west of the taverns of those names. Other companies were the Young,
Diamond, Roberts and Star.
The life of the beachmen of today is somewhat changed from the varied life of his ancestor. The absence
of the steam and motor boat meant trips out to put a skipper aboard or to bring in a sick man and at
election times to fetch Freemen from their lightship to record their votes. This meant a £5 note but, just a
minute, this was shared by 17 men at 4s 6d. per share and 18s for the upkeep of yawl.
At the sale last week of the late Mr. George Archer's effects at Runham Vauxhall, Lot 3 was an anchor
barrow. This possibly belonged to the late Clem Archer, iron merchant, father of the deceased, and whilst
sketching this rare vehicle my mind conjured up the scenes off Yarmouth, Caister and Gorleston, when
the occupation of anchor swiping brought many a bright sovereign into the long canvas bag purse of the

My childhood furnishes memories of old sea dogs of the weather-beaten, tanned, wrinkled faces of the
kindly disposed hardy men of the set in whose ears were gold rings. (I believe the superstition of wearing
earrings by children and men was that sight was strengthened). These hefty fellows were more like
Vikings or buccaneers, as they unloaded their salved cargo of anchors at the Custom House Quay. But I
am digressing. Deaf Lug Sam and his anchor swiping crew were not of the beachmen's companies.
The following extract from the ledger of the Layton Company will give some idea of the work of beachmen
in the early days of the last century:

Feb.10th: To getting the Friends anchor of Sunderland, 7 cwt. 2 qr., and 30 fathoms of chain, buoy and
rope: Salvage: £10 2s 0d.
Feb. 10th: To getting the Ocean smack of Leith's anchor, 9 cwt. and 10 cwt. of chain, buoys and ropes:
Salvage: £7 9s 0d.
Feb. 12th: To putting the Friends anchor on board in Lowestoft Roads: £3 13s 6d.
Feb. 12th: To putting the Ocean's anchor on board at midnight: £4 0s 0d.
TOTAL: £25 4s 6d.
Stamp 1/6d. Bad money for the barque Wilson 16/0d. = 17s 6d.
24½ men, 16/0d. per dole. Boat £4 12s 0d. ... ... £24 7s 0d.

The barque Wilson of Hull, had been assisted by this company in their yawl, the Royal Sovereign, near the
Cross Sand on January 12th and were awarded £460 as salvage. Another means of income was the
taking of pilots from the beach to ships in the Roadstead, which had signalled for help. Occasionally a trip
out to the lightship added to their earnings, when signals of distress were observed. The first to observe
these signals received 5/0d. information money.

A lucrative business in May, June and early July was the ferrying of mackerel from the boats in the
Roadstead to the beach. The mackerel voyage, a century since, was quite a local industry, the fishing
being engaged in by the Lowestoft, Gorleston, Yarmouth, Caister and Winterton boats.
The trawl fishing found regular work for
some of the beachmen's companies, who
contented themselves with plying between
beach and boats with trunks of large skate,
haddock and cod, whilst other companies
undertook the hazardous rescue and
salvage work.
Following the mackerel faring the yawls
were fitted for pleasuring, but the record of
1835 do not show that a fortune was made
with the Sovereign and Pilot yawls. The
former's takings for August's first week
were £5 0s 6d., which included steam-
packet work and sundry jobs, and the eight
men shared 10s each and £1 went to the
common fund for the boat.
The herring fishery meant a busy time for
all the beachmen's companies, who
received payment for the number of lasts of herring landed upon the beach or in the harbour. The local
boat owners had no fear of inattention because keen rivalry existed between the beachmen for the
ferrying trade. I believe the last old ferry boat lay for years opposite the life boat shed on the central
beach. In looking over some lists a hundred years old, I was struck by the variety of ships names. Many
such may be remembered today, viz. Rover, Alpha, Industry, Prince of Wales, Pilot, Water Witch, Hope,
Intrepid, Providence and Welcome Home.
The life of the beachmen was beset by peril. Their gallant salvage work forms a little part of the town’s
history and future articles in the Corner will deal with their exciting adventures on the Cross Sand and
Scroby, whilst rendering assistance to those in peril on the sea.
7th March 1931
Yarmouth Haven, God send thee spede,
The Lord he knowyth thy great nede.
If Yarmouth, Great, in fortunes favour be
The greatest lotte, may chance to fall to me.
The fiyrst ye seoonde lott I crave,
The thyrde yt ys that I wolde have.
A smalle stocke with good successe
May shortly grow to good increase

The above couplets or posies were sent with the application for shares in the first State Lottery held in
England. Town money and sums from members of the Corporation were invested in the hope of winning
one of 400,000 prizes, which were exhibited at the Queen’s Arms, Cheapside, London. This lottery of
1568 was promoted for the benefit of Corporations, who had difficulty in maintaining the heavy
expenditure involved by the repair of their harbours. Naturally it was to be expected that Yarmouth, which
had been so impoverished, would participate and upwards of one hundred 10s. shares were purchased,
but although the drawing at the west door of St. Paul's Cathedral continued day and night for four months,
Yarmouth was unsuccessful in obtaining any prizes. Undoubtedly the Queen's Arms was remembered
long after the event. The first mention of the Queen's Arms at Southtown, I can trace, is in reference to an
inquest held there on Monday January 6th 1840, on the body of James Stephenson, aged 70, who had
fallen into the Lady Haven or ditch separating Cobholm from Southtown. It appears that the deceased
had spent several hours in the tap room of the Bear Inn (bridge foot; present site of the thatched ice
house) on the Saturday night previous and upon returning home had mistaken his way owing to the
darkness, or stumbled and struck his head upon the small bridge across the ditch. Prior to the late
Richard Harrod building the Lady Haven public house in 1867, a bridge existed at this crossing. The
Coroner, William Smith Ferrier, recorded the verdict of found drowned, and also presented the ditch as
being most dangerous.

In common with most taverns, the Queen's Arms had its usual habitués when the military were in
possession of the Armoury at Southtown (now Colman's Granaries). The house was the place of call for
soldiers and many a free fight and encounter took place between them and the residents. On one
occasion the coal heavers, who were being paid by the coal meters at the Queen's Arms, came into
conflict with men of the regiment. The latter were encouraged by their officer. The trouble extended
across the old bridge and a police court scene resulted. It was after this event that for a time the bridge
was picketed and the town placed out of bounds for a short time.


The Queen's Arms and the Bridge Hotel has occupied the same site during the existence of four bridges
and its many patrons have looked out upon varied scenes of the period. In the early days, probably many
waited eagerly and patiently within its well-warmed parlour for the arrival or departure of the stage coach
or the Loddon and District Carrier, whose headquarters were at the Bear Inn, a large hostelry almost
opposite with swinging signboard and suspended chains from posts in the forecourt. But the Queen's
Arms was not less picturesque than her neighbour. It was one of the few taverns possessing the stilyards
fitted to the front of the building. These were means adopted for weighing the loaded tumbril or farm
waggon; the suspended chains and hooks being fitted to the wheel hubs and the vehicle slightly lifted
whilst the weight was registered. When the old building was demolished the stilyards gave place to an up-
to-date weigh-bridge and this in turn was forfeited in order to bring out the front bar in line with the
pavement beyond the tall main building. It is as well to mention that formerly a separate bar existed at
the rear of the premises, but was closed down in the early days of Mr. William Marjoram's first tenancy.

The first records of licence holders I can trace, commence with John Myhill, who from the 1840's
remained until the early 50's, when George Burton & Son took over the property. Those were the days of
many free houses and this owner and host made it a popular resort. In some directories they were
described also as gardeners and florists. Many readers will recall the old gentleman of 60 years ago, he
who built Queen's Place, off Mill Road, and the son, George Myhill Burton, the cabinet maker, who had his
place of business, the shop now Warner's, butchers, close by. They will become reminiscent and talk of
Storey, a painter, James Ward, the Bear landlord, and Layton, the baker, beer retailer at the East Suffolk
Tavern. Then too, the old shoeing forge of Gooda and the engineering shops of Barnes, and later Bradley,
where Shipley's veterinary stables now are. This corner has certainly witnessed some changes. George
Burton re-built the house. It would be interesting to know the history of an oak beam recently taken from
there bearing the date, 1815.
My last record of George Burton is 1868, and I am uncertain of those, who followed during the next ten
years. I believe Job Smith and William Francis could fill in the blanks, the former was not unconnected
with the Nelson Hall sale rooms, and the latter will be remembered for his association with the Long Bar
and the first visit of H. R. H. Prince Edward in 1872. The Railway Hotel corner has an interesting history.
Alfred Cubitt was landlord in 1878 and this is the first mention of the Bridge Hotel in the local directories.
There were three brothers, Cubitt, who were landlords at Southtown, Alfred at the Bridge Hotel, Robert at
the Anson Arms and Sam at the Sefton Arms. The latter traded with his brother-in-law, Mudditt, as Cubitt
& Mudditt, boat builders, etc. Can a reader inform me if Alfred Cubitt was the landlord of the Bridge Hotel,
when the horse tramway commenced opposite in March 26th 1875? I believe Mr. William Marjoram
followed as host in 1893, and during the nine years following, made many friends. Members of the
Marjoram family have long association with the licensed trade in Southtown and Gorleston. It was during
their tenancy the front was added. A London tenant succeeded William Marjoram, but only for about one
year. The name of Henry Dove will be remembered during the time when the old horse trams were
replaced by the electric trams on July 4th 1905. Just prior to the war the names of William H. Bayfield and
Diver & Sons appear in the list, and in 1915, for the second time, Mr. William Marjoram enters into
occupation. The late Mr. Marjoram, who died on May 25th 1928, will be remembered by many for his
paintings in oils. He often exhibited at the annual exhibitions at the Tolhouse thirty years ago. His son,
Fred, is not without artistic ability and quite early showed signs of emulating his parent in artistic qualities.
Mrs. Amy Marjoram now holds the licence of this popular hotel, which having survived floods and many
changes, commences this week an era that will outrival the past and supply Cobholm and Southtown with
a need that has long been felt. The new bridge has brought about a modernised Bridge Hotel.


J.S.: the yawl, Beeswing, was an old timer near the Jetty and belonged to the Star Company of
Beachmen. I have records of an inquest upon a young beachman named Henry George, aged 24, fatally
hurt in bringing ashore the above yawl. The inquest was held at the Waterloo Tavern (now the Wellington
Hotel, St. Peter's Road). The Coroner in 1849 was C. H. Chamberlin.


E. French: you possibly have in mind the gale of October 14th in the same year. William Hoyle, the
fishermen's poet, published some verses at the time.

Mr. Carpenter: this religious sect had their place of meeting at the hall in George Street at the south-east
corner of Pipemakers’ Row (No. 47). After they vacated the premises the local Freethinkers used the hall.
I believe the hall was built in 1856 for the Wesley Reformists. Their minister in the 1860's was the Rev’d.

19th September 1931

1st 1912: First meeting of Men's Brotherhood, now renamed the Fellowship.
2nd 1871: Local lifeboats render great assistance in the heavy gales. Busy scenes at Sailors' Home.
3rd 1863: Seventeen fishing smacks, two schooners, one brig and 145 local men lost in furious gale.
4th 1909: Two deaths by fire at Angel's Passage in the Conge, South Row (28).
5th 1791: Death of George Walpole, High Steward of the Borough, 1751-91.

6th 1900: St. Michael's Mission bazaar in Row 51 (Black Swan Row). Rev’d. J. G. McCormick.
7th 1895: Many parts of the town flooded by the high tides with the N. W. gale.
8th 1881: Newtown roads: Beaconsfield, Harley, Arundel, Garfield and Salisbury named.
9th 1913: First private aerial for wireless telegraphy at Yarmouth.
10th 1928: Mr. Gournay Ferrier, the Coroner, presides in robes and wig for first time at local inquest.
11th 1781: Mr. Youell in his diary states he saw the body of Paine, the Pirate, on the North Denes gibbet.
12th 1873: Samuel Brock, the swimmer of Salvage Co. fame, died aged 70 years.
13th 1900: The Mayoress, Mrs. C. S. Orde, drives the first pile of the New Britannia Pier.
14th 1899: Wherrymen’s tea at Friendly Societies Hall, Middlegate Street.
15th 1927: Ketch Sussex Belle wrecked at Harbour's Mouth.
16th 1866: Regent Road, site, of Electric House, widened. One of the town gates was here.
17th 1914: Government mine sweeping vessel ashore on the North Beach.
18th 1878: Death of Robert D. Barber, aged 72. When Mayor (1874-75) he opened the Horse Tramway
at Southtown
19th 1870: Mr. Henry Fellows, the Southtown shipbuilder, died aged 69.
20th 1733: The great organ at the west end of the south aisle St. Nicholas' Church opened.
21st 1926: Presentation to Mr. J. Leech at Northgate School after 35 years service.
22nd 1909: Disastrous fire destroys the first pavilion of New Britannia Pier.
23rd 1911: Dr. John Bately, of Gorleston, Medical Officer of Health and antiquarian, died aged 68 years.
24th 1859: Drinking fountain erected by Robert Steward.
26th 1835: Municipal Election to form the new Town Council after the passing of the Corporation Act.
27th 1915: Gorleston Cliff Hotel burned down.
28th 1912: Local doctors decline to serve on Insurance Act panel.
29th 1914: Great gale and snowstorm.
30th 1899: Death of Sir James Paget at 5 Park Square, Regents Park, London W.
31st 1923: Watch Night service at St. Nicholas' Church revived by the Vicar, Canon R. A. Aitken.



W. W. Hewitt: this well-known show was on Southtown marshes in 1899, July 28th.


E. N.: this was being erected during the summer of 1879.

26th September 1931

Usually one is greeted with such a remark, when a date or event is mentioned, and the following list of
local items will receive sad and happy memories amongst Corner readers. There is no need to mention
that the Corner Man is always willing to supply dates or particulars of events.
1st 1903: New Skylark pleasure boat disaster.
2nd 1916: German Zeppelin dropped bombs on the marshes.

3rd 1880: W. E. Gladstone passed through the Roadstead.
4th 1903: General Steam Navigation Co. cargo boat, S. S. Capulet run down.
5th 1901: Goode’s (late Winton's), fire, Marine Parade.
6th 1888: Sir E. H. K. Lacon, Yarmouth High Steward died.
7th 1929: The Greenacre Schools (Barrack site) opened.
8th 1908: Cran as a herring measure adopted by the town council.
9th 1929: The Swindell School (North Denes) opened.
10th 1874: Thorpe collision, Yarmouth train in tragic accident.
11th 1909: Steam tug Gleaner (Nicholson's) sold to Shields.
12th 1901: North Suffolk Agricultural Show, Gorleston.
13th 1927: Bomb explosion near Suspension Bridge Tavern.
14th 1901: Large waterspout seen in Roadstead.
15th 1854: Sailmakers organise association, at Army and Navy P. H.
16th 1888: Tom Perry paddle tug arrives in harbour.
17th 1883: S. S. Isis stranded on Hasbro' Sand.
18th 1901: Fatal accident to brake, South Quay, race day.
19th 1895: Channel Fleet (Royal Sovereign, etc.) arrives.
20th 1926: Barrack Square Infant School opened.
21st 1906: Edward Worlledge School, Southtown opened.
22nd 1900: Bootlace Bennett murder (Yacht Pond site).
23rd 1912: Child killed on railway track, North Denes.
24th 1882: Charles John Palmer, antiquary and author died.
25th 1914: First Pictorial Yarmouth Mercury (Great War) Souvenir published.
26th 1867: Primitive Methodist Chapel (Queen's Road) opened.
27th 1907: Yarmouth to Zeebruge trial trip, S. S. Norseman.
28th 1857: First pile driven of Britannia Pier.
29th 1882: £11,000 expended to date upon breakwater at Gorleston.
30th 1916: Pioneer of river pleasure trips, 1910, Thomas Bradley, died.


Many of my readers will recall 1881, not only for the wrecks and storms, but for the end of the world; which
never took place.
I am indebted to Mrs. B. Doughty for many local items, and a written copy of the prophecy, which caused
the consternation, the following will be readily remembered. As a boy I recall reading similar lines at the
antique shop of Mr. A. Forder in the Butchery, Market Place.
Carriages without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe.
Around the earth thoughts shall fly
In the twinkling of an eye.
The world upside down shall be,
And gold he found at root of tree.
Through the hills men shall ride,
And no horse be at his side;
Under water men shall walk.
Also ride, shall sleep and talk.
In the air men shall he seen,

In white, in black, and green.
Iron in the water shall float
As easily as a wooden boat.
Gold shall be found and shown
In a land that not now known.
Fire and water all wonders do,
England shall at last admit a foe.
The world to an end shall come
In Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-one.


G. W. Reeves, of Henley-on-Thames, sends along a bundle of local programmes for which he has my
good wishes and thanks. Bicycles some 37 years ago were not so numerous as now and a real good
cycling event on the new recreation ground was an attraction. It is interesting to read over the list of local
sportsmen who took part on September 1st 1894: Dr. Collier, G. H. Lovewell Blake, J. W. DeCaux, T.
Green, J. P. C. Wiltshire, S. C. Waythe, W. J. Sayers, F. J. Burwood, T. Goate, H. B. Lee, W. J. Nutman,
R. Richardson, H. G. Pennell, W. W. Brewer, T. Green, B. Cooper, G. H. Alcock, J. Russell, H. A. Hayes.
The band of the Volunteer Battalion, of the Norfolk Regiment were in attendance under Bandmaster K.


E. N.: the landlord of these gardens in 1807 was Charles Ablitt.

Mr. S. Frosdick: your small coin dug up at Bradwell is a tradesman’s token issued by Nicholas Shepherd,
of Saxmundham. He was a draper. The initials S. are his: and the M. possibly that of his wife, Mary,
Margaret, etc. The coin is probably 300 years old and is in a fine state of preservation.

10th October 1931

There are far more people interested in our waterways than one would suppose and, at times, I have been
amazed at the knowledge possessed by my acquaintance of the local rivers and broads. Just the mere
mention of a windmill turns the topic of conversation upon a peculiar named reach and, in submitting this
list of names, I shall esteem it a favour to receive corrections or additions, and the origins or definition of
such a curious collection.
Commencing at the North River entrance at Yarmouth we have the old Bowling Green Reach, taking its
title from the bowling green associated with the well-known tavern, now derelict on the corner. Then
Terminous Reach, or Old Rail, since 1844, previous mouth of North End; North Quay (Crowe’s Quay
1867); when the landlord of the White Swan Tavern was Mr. Crowe; Sluice Reach; Muckhole Reach or
Spicey Island; East and West (geographical) or Cinder-ovens Reach; Black House Reach (a tarred
building on west tide); One Mile House Reach; Two Mile Steam Mill; the Black Mill; Frogs’ Hall Reach
(farmhouse); Three Mile House; Scare-gap Reach (formerly marl and stone was landed here); No Man's
Friend Reach; Four Mile Short Reach; Four Mile Long Reach; Dry Reach; Five Mile Long Reach; Runham
Swim (where cattle formerly swam across); Will Howes Short Reach; Six Mile Reach (or Bowling Alley
Reach); Building New Staithe; Duffus (Dove House) Reach; Sluts Haven (i.e. to Seven Mile Mill); Seven
Mile House (Stracey Arms Tavern); Black Mill; Tunstall Mill; Tunstall Dyke; Stokesby Short Reaches;
Stokesby Ferry Reach; Trett’s Mill; Two Mills’ Reach; Muck Fleet Reach;
In these days of the motor boat and the house boat, bungalow and the motor car, many residents find
opportunity for week-ends upon the rivers and some of the following reach names will be familiar:
Horseshoe Reach; Acle Dyke and Hermitage; Acle Bridge. This would be some 12 miles distant from
Yarmouth. Acle Bridge Reach; Fishley Mill; Lower Davy's Mill; Upper Davy's Mill; Oby Short Reach;
Thurne Reach; Mile Bars; South Walsham Southerly Reach; St. Benet's; South Walsham Dyke Reach;
Ward Reach; Horning Old Hall (or Old Mr. Jay’s Short Reach), wherries loaded ice here at Mr. Jay's
Dyke or Deek; Badger’s or Beggar’s Oak Reach; Rannor (Ranworth) Dam; Old Staithe; Horning Church
Short Reach; Church Long Reach; Cocksure Dyke Reach (dyke up to Cocksure Broad); Ferry Reach;
Ferry Mill, Horning Town Reach; Cinder Ovens; Hoveton Long Reach; Dydles; Coy Staithe; Black
Currant Carr (or Plantation); Fox Burrows; Salhouse Broad (up to Little Salhouse); Gravel Dyke; Old
Woman's Pulk; Easterly Reach; Dirty River Reach; Willow Trees; Hill Piece; Snipe’s Water Reach;
Skeleton or Dairy House Reach; and Clark’s Reach. To Wroxham Bridge by water is 27 miles.
The river at this area is well-known and not a few items will be easily recognised: Bridge Reach to
Railway; Mill Carr; Turn Pudding Hole; Hagen Folly; Cockel Fen Dyke; Twelve Acre Reach; Belaugh Mill
Reach; Cone Yard Reach; Wroxham Town Reach; Priest’s Reach; Belaugh Broad; Avenue Reach;
Sheep Wash Reach; Becksmouth Reach; Marl Staithe; Doctor's Cut, Belaugh River; Belaugh Shoals;
Cook's Carr or Belaugh Carr; Little Duffus Dove House; Long Strip or Horstead Heath; Coltishall Reach;
Boatwright’s Reaches; Anchor Reach; Common Reach; Manor House Reach; Osier Carr.
34 Miles from Yarmouth.
Pleasant memories will be revived by the following reach names on the river from Coltishall to Aylsham,
commencing with White’s Roach; Lock Cut; Bridge Reach; Bream Comer; Horstead Shoals; Ive’s Cut;
Largate Reach; Alder Carr; Bachelor's River; Bachelor's Boat House; Sallow Bush; New Cut; Mayton
Bridge Reach; Goose Turd Hill; Buxton Long Reach; Buxton Mill; Bream Corner; Tanner’s Reach; Ram’s
Row Reach; Hall Reach; Smith’s Holes; Harris Planting Reach; Blake’s Alder Carr; Ladies’ Bower; New
Cut; Alder Carr; Long Planting; Park Bridge; Oxnead Lock Cut; Oxnead Bridge Reach; Common Reach;
Lime Kiln Reach; Burgh Lock Cut; Burgh Mill Reach; Sayer’s Ham; Cradle Bridge Reach; County Bridge
Reach; Thirty Kep Carr; Case’s Ham; Woolsey’s Bridge; Aylsham Lock Cut; Aylsham Lock Reach; Oak
Corner and Aylsham Basin. The foregoing list of reaches on the Bure extend over a distance of 45 miles
from Yarmouth Haven Bridge to Aylsham Bridge.
For many corrections and additions to be above list the Corner Man is indebted to Walter Death, the
Breydon Watcher, and Rodney Holmes, the retired wherryman and owner.

31st October 1931

lst-4th 1907: Church Congress held in Yarmouth. Alderman E. Worlledge, Mayor.
2nd 1928: German Graf Zeppelin passes over the town.
3rd 1872: Serious fire at Leach's oil and colour shop in Market Place.
4th 1899: Crown and Anchor Hotel (Hall Quay) withdrawn at public auction.
5th 1926: Film-making, Rolling Road, at sea and on the beach and in the harbour.
6th 1904: Gorleston lifeboat Elizabeth Simpson rescues crew of Unite.
7th 1914: Four local men lost in the blowing up of drifter Lily.
8th 1929: Town Council elects Mrs. Ethel Leach, Yarmouth's first lady Alderman.
9th 1914: Satisfactory trial of the new motor fire engine.
10th 1899: Town Council decide to erect cattle market and abattoirs on Caister Road, £9,000.
11th 1916: Solicitor's clerk fined for striking match on pier (first prosecution).
12th 1865: Murder at City of London Tavern, Charlotte Street (Allen’s of Howard Street North).
13th 1916: Protest meeting by Showmen’s Guild re abolition of the Easter Fair.
14th 1872: Yarmouth and Gorleston Horse Tramway. Sir K. H. K. Lacon lays first rail.
15th 1873: Red lights first used upon the roof of Sailors’ Home and Britannia Pier.
16th 1901: Corporation electric tramways first rails laid on Caister Road.

17th 1912: Deputation of local and Scotch fish trades received by Port and Haven Commissioners re
need for a dock.
18th 1854: The sixth Haven Bridge opened at close of Commissioners' meeting.
19th 1912: Great protest meeting against trawling for herring.
20th 1916: In aid of Red Cross work, Mr. J. T. C. Salmon auctions Zeppelin relics, realising £100.
21st 1930: H. R. H. Prince Edward of Wales opens eighth Haven Bridge. The town en fete.
22nd 1901: Outbreak of fire at Press Bros., riverside mills, Southtown.
23rd 1882: Hall Quay cabmen’s shelter first opened. (Builder J. J. Isaac).
24th 1910: Labour Exchange (39 South Quay, late Woolverton's) opened by Mayor T. W. Swindell.
25th 1912: Gas Company’s new offices and showrooms opened by Sir Inglis Palgrave.
26th 1922: Oak reredos (A. H. Johnson memorial) consecrated at St. Peter's Church.
27th 1927: E. R. Wilkinson of Gorleston lost his life whilst attempting to rescue a shipmate.
28th 1926: Motor drifter Holly (LH 274) sank in harbour.
29th 1908: Salvation Army hold their first bazaar after being in Yarmouth 23 years.
30th 1916: Local Voluntary War Workers’ Association first annual meeting reported 9,997 articles made.
31st 1881: Aquarium withdrawn at public auction. Later sold for £5000.
The Corner Man would be pleased to receive lists of dates of events at any time.

PenkivaI Street
North Sydney, N.S.W.
August 11th,
To: Mr. H. Johnson
Dear Sir,
I very often have the Mercury sent out to me and how much I enjoy it, I scarce could tell you. I am a
Yarmouth man and lived in Yarmouth until I was 25 years old. Then I moved to Lowestoft and eventually
came out here to Sydney. My people were sailmakers in the old Gaol Paved Row. No doubt plenty of your
old readers will remember the name of Anderson. I often read of the old people and things in your paper of
which I can recall many old men and old ships, when we used as boys to play on the Quay on the old
colliers, the Hannah, the Jim Crow, Parthenia, Traveller, Lady Chandos, the Let Me Alone, the old Breeze
and many more too numerous to mention. Also many of the old skippers. I saw in one of the Mercury's the
news of Captain Porter's death. I remember him well and did sailmaking work for him when he was
captain of the Ceres, belonging to Palgrave Brown, who also had the barquentine, Northumbria. A host of
other captains and ships I could tell you of.
I also worked at one time, in 1888, for E. A. Durrant, when he had the red, white, blue and red fleet. I
recall the old Teazer, the Betsy, the Pirate, the Lion and the cutter Harry. I think he had over 40 smacks at
one time, with two tugs. There were several sail makers there and I believe only my brother, who is now in
London, and myself, are alive out of that lot.
I met a Methodist parson out here one day and, on comparing notes, he turns out to be a great grandson
of old Mun Hodds, of Caister, who used to sail at one time as skipper of the Betsy.
Just one more little episode. In one of your old time chats on old public houses or taverns you mentioned
the Heart and Crown in King Street. I think it was somewhere near St. Peter’s Road. It was built by my
great grandfather, who was formerly a sergeant-major in a regiment that was on the march from Scotland
to England. He met my great grandmother, whilst passing through Yarmouth and was married, left the
army and settled down at Yarmouth. Nor knowing what to do, he built a tavern and called it the Heart and
Crown, which signified a man's heart was in the king’s crown.
Just one more. I attended the Hospital School just after Mr. Huke had left and my master was Mr. B.
Spanton. My teacher was Mr. E. Saunders. How many boys would care to walk across Yarmouth Market
Place on a winter's morning, snow up to the knees, at seven o'clock and sweep the school out. I have

done it plenty of times. There would be six sweepers called out each Friday night and we had to do the
school that week. I expect there are several boys alive, who were drilled by Sergeant Lee, who used to
come Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Oh yes, I have had the school fights with and without snowballs. I could always get some good colts made
from my grandfather's sail loft. I wonder if Fred Allies is alive. I used to play with him in the old gaol. His
father was governor of the gaol, that would be about 1879. I could go on and on, if space permitted
I well remember when the Red Rover and the Gem, the Maud and the Kiami used to sail, also the skipper,
Fred Baldry. Well I must not trespass any more.
Yours sincerely,
Thomas Anderson,
Sail maker.

7th May 1932

During the next few days only, may one have such a fine view of the old town wall that may not occur
again, because already the school builders are engaged in erecting the new school, which will obstruct
this view of the wall, as seen from the Market Place.
The illustration gives one a view of the ten arches and will soon be obscured
by the Hospital School, now demolished. We have been familiar with the
arcading and the wall to the south of the Hospital Tower. Such, to my mind
has, since 1828, been a beautiful boundary on the east, to the graveyard or
general cemetery and much admired by the visitor.
It was a great satisfaction to learn of at the annual meeting of the
Archaeologists, from the chairman of the Education Committee (Mr. H. T.
Greenacre), that the architect. Mr. F. R. B. Haward, had well considered the
importance of those old walls and that the public may have access to them.
There are, to the north of the tower, no fewer than 14 arches, and all in a
good state of preservation. The nearest point from the school will be about 8
feet 6 inches, and the passage will at some points be quite 14 feet wide. It is
to be hoped that the
suggestion of Mr. R. H. Teasdel will be borne in mind;
namely that a tall railing should be erected, enabling the
sightseeing public to view the wall outside the school
Each arch is about 10 feet in height and 7 feet 6 inches in
width, mostly built of the thin red bricks. A portion of the
wall equal to two arches is broken next the tower, and the
nearest arch from St. Nicholas’ Road is 29 paces or about
70 feet away. Some portions of the old wall may be seen at
the rear of the Mitre Tavern site, and only recently did I discover what appear to be remains of the wall in
the G. P. O. Garage on the north side of St. Nicholas’ Road, close to the site of the demolished Pudding


Not unlike you, Mercury Reader, this name of Dickey Works has puzzled me also, and in spite of repeated
enquiries and searches, I am still unable to trace its identity. Some affirm that the name originates from
the fact that the wood piling was driven into the river bed by the old type of pile driver worked by the aid of
a donkey or horse, while others say that probably, Dickie, was the contractor’s name. Some years ago I
had similar enquiries and, it is to be hoped as a result of this publicity, that some light might be thrown on
the subject, also as to the age of these works, which are in a ruinous state.

A. F.: you were near with your date. The vessel stranded on the North Beach 29th November 1896 and
was, after many attempts, re-floated on 22nd January 1897.

T. Rudram: this query is having my attention. It is about 30 years ago that this entertainment visited the

A. King: this large brewery was situated on the North Quay, north-west of the Conge. The illustration may
be seen in a little known volume Memories and Letters of Sir James Paget, 1901. A reference on page
151 is of interest: 1845: in February of this year came the sale of his father's brewery and of the adjacent
property, his brother Frank writes to him: Well then the brewery is sold. Thank God much is now over, the
great thing off, the great encumbrances off, anxiety now relieved, character saved, thanks to God a turn of
hope is come at the very last moment. We have made the most of unfavourable and unfortunate
circumstances, and our thanks are due to you, for one, for the help in the hour of need.
They had hoped that the railway from Norwich to Yarmouth, which was opened in 1844, would greatly
increase the value of the property.
The Brewery was on the North Quay, with its back to the River Bure and its face to the road, where the
bridge crosses the Bure from the Vauxhall Station. It was pulled down soon after the sale and its bricks
were used for the foundations of a Roman Catholic Church in Yarmouth.
The above is all very interesting, which shows how useful tit-bits of local information are tucked away in
odd volumes. In my rough book of events I find: December 1844: Paget's Brewery was demolished,
which explains how erroneous dates often occur in spite of careful searching.

Mr. Hubbard: these paintings upon the panels on the walls of the downstairs room at No. 48 South Quay
were executed by Mr. Rump, the local artist, in April of 1899, for Mr. Fred Wenn whose residence it then


By a strange coincidence, just after writing of the Vicar's appeal for the Priory School Establishment Fund,
I was fortunate in securing from Mr. Ferrow the bookseller, some leaflets dealing with the church
restoration, and the appeal for funds for National schools, making mention of the 1845 bridge disaster.

H. T.: this formerly was owned by a private company. The first pile was driven by the Mayor, S. C. Marsh,
on 28th June 1853. On May 18th 1882, it was sold to Mr. Chappell for £890, but owing to a discrepancy
in the transfer, the bid was withdrawn. The Yarmouth Corporation acquired it in February 1900, for £1,250,
and the Winter Garden or Glass House was purchased from Torquay in 1903.

Mrs. F. Martin, of Scroby, Burnham-on-Crouch, writes that she has a Yarmouth token issued by Absolon.
This coin is somewhat similar to those of Reynolds, Bumpstead, Mayston, Lessey and Boulter. Local
directories for Yarmouth were not published until 1822, and we have to rely upon C. J. Palmer for the
information. Mrs. Absolon kept a china and glass shop at the north-east corner of Row 63, in 1792. On
the edge of the coin are the words: Payable at the glass warehouse of W. Absolon.

18th June 1932
To many residents and visitors it must be difficult to visualise the scenery existing at Yarmouth prior to the
layout of the sea front. Eighty years ago there were but few buildings east of Nelson Road, then known as
Monument Road, and many visitors took pleasure in studying the plants and grasses upon the open
denes. The advertisement inviting tenders for contracting to build the first sea wall was issued on May 3rd
1847 and specifications and drawings were on view at the office of the architect, J. J. Scoles, (who
designed St. Mary's, St. Peter's, and St. Mary's R.C. Churches and the Suspension Bridge, etc.); and at
the Town Surveyor's Office. This sea wall was to be in front of Britannia Terrace. Yarmouthians never
foresaw then the five miles front of today and some never trouble about a similar sea front extending
beyond Caister . . . but it must come!


The Bill was read a third time on June 8th 1857 and was passed in Parliament. Tenders were invited and
opened on August 20th following and the building contract secured by George Allen of Lowestoft, for
£3,158 11s. 6d. Work commenced in September of 1857.
The pier was opened on July 13th 1858. It was on October 25th 1859, in a gale, that the schooner,
James and Jessie, fouled the pier and cut it in halves. The pier was shortened some 50 feet when
reconstructed after this collision. A few years elapsed before the schooner Seagull, of Hull, broke the pier
in two on November 15th 1868. The disastrous fires are of more recent history. The first pile of the new
pier was driven by the Mayoress, Mrs. C. S. Orde, 13th December 1900. The first fire was on Wednesday
morning, December 22nd 1909. The second pavilion was opened by the Mayor, T. W. Swindell, July 11th
1910. This was destroyed by fire on April 17th 1914, and the present (reconstructed) pavilion was opened
by the Mayor, Mr. McCowan, July 27th 1914.


The roadway from Euston Road to Cemetery (Sandown) Road was made up in April and May of 1859.
The contract was for 1,800 yards of roadway and pavement.


Mention of the North Drive reminds one of the Diamond Jubilee Minstrels. On March 2nd 1897, the Town
Clerk, Arnold H. Miller, invited tenders for a platform for minstrels on the North Beach in front of Norfolk
Square to let for the seasons 1897, 1898 and 1899. The tender accepted was Mr. H. de Freece at £75 per
annum, and I believe the nigger men were delayed in London owing to bookings for the Jubilee
celebrations, necessitating a late start at Yarmouth.


Listen to this: the Works and Repairs Committee recommended that the question of a band to play during
the summer season, suggested by Mr. Hurry Palmer, should be deferred. How many years ago do you
imagine such a thing happened? Works and Repairs Committee, indeed! Well, this was at the Town
Council meeting of April 1892.


Many present day ratepayers are unaware that the Winter Garden Glass House came from Torquay, but it
does not seem 29 years ago since I stood upon the top of it (this was when the ironwork lay on the
quayside near the crane). At the April Council meeting of 1903, J. Williment, that alert radical, moved and
Frank Arnold seconded, that the Winter Garden be purchased for £1,300. Some townsfolk have not
appreciated the good work done to the roof last year, just prior to the Teachers' Conference, nor recognise
that this building is an asset to the fine front.

The following battleships visited the Roadstead on September 14th to 22nd 1919: H.M.S. Revenge, Vice
Admiral Sir S. R. Freemantle, H.M.S. Resolution, H.M.S. Ramilies and H.M.S. Royal Oak. The above
ships were classed the 1st Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet.


The improved lay-out south of the Municipal Yacht Pond and Boating Lake contains Taxi Cars, the
Heydey, the Auto-scooters or Dodge 'Em, the Noah's Ark and Cresta Run, Helter Skelter, the Maze and
the Water Chute. The lessee Patrick Collins, who still adds further attractions, his latest being the
mammoth Mountain Railway, a contrast to the old Thompson Switchback.

Stanley Baldwin, the Premier, visited Yarmouth on September 27th 1928 and remarked that: forty years
previous he visited the town and used to swim from pier to pier daily.


If we were showmen, we could put a notice at our boating lake at the South Beach, Patronised by Royalty,
and the smart little craft would have a brass plate notifying that Prince Phillip of Greece paddled this boat
on September 24th 1927. Attendant Jefferies speaks of him as a bright lad of 12 years, who spoke English
fluently and was immensely delighted with the boats and the lake, of which he had heard so much, whilst
staying at Sandringham, that he made the journey especially to sample the trip on the lake.


Application was made by Frank Stebbings for permission to erect a stand and enclosure for a concert
party on Gorleston beach, but his application was turned down at the April meeting of the Town Council in
1897. He offered £50 for the season.


Hardly ever does one hear the term, Eiffel Tower, applied to the revolving or observation tower east of the
Aquarium. The reason for it being so called, was that prior to its erection, it was likened to the great Eiffel
Tower at Paris. Diamond Jubilee year seems to have been a progressive year in Yarmouth’s history. It
was at the March meeting of the Town Council, 1897, that it was resolved to let Thomas Warwick, of
Bayswater, London, erect his tower on a piece of the new beach gardens for a term of seven years, the
height of the tower to be not less than 120 feet and the adjoining buildings not to exceed 15 feet in height.
I believe the tower is about 130 feet high and the cage has not revolved for many years. The opening
ceremony on July 19th 1897, was quite a grand affair, being performed by the Mayor, H. E. Buxton. Any
notable dates associated with this or any other item will be appreciated.


Can it really be that this will be the seventh summer we have had the pleasure of the ornamental gardens
and boating lake at the north end, where once the marrams flourished? Yet dates tell us that on July 23rd
1926 the Mayor and Mayoress, (Councillor and Mrs. A W. Yallop) performed the opening ceremony. Such
improvements, including the waterways, tennis courts and bowling greens are developments of the right
kind and something just as select must be thought of if the attractions to the north are to be supplemented
in the near future.


Opponents of an enclosed bath for swimming maintained that Yarmouth had the sea and that was
adequate for all purposes. Beachmen and boatmen were opposed to boating lakes, but to witness the joy
and pleasure obtained by visitors to the pool and lakes justifies their existence. The swimming pool was
opened on July 22nd 1922; the two twenty-two's making it easy for me to memorise.

In the old days there were few attractions for visitors. Strolling players and hokey-pokey merchants plied
the sands. Concert parties drew crowds and chair
owners lent their chairs. The two piers provided
concerts, and the two chief attractions were the
races and the regatta. At the north-east corner of
Euston Road stood the switchback railway, which, I
believe, later occupied sites at the corner of
Sandown and Beaconsfield Roads. It first was
erected in the 1880's, and at Christmas last, Mr. G.
W. Reeves, of Henley, sent me greetings enclosing
a nice photo of the railway taken in 1901. To the
left was the old black mill of Mr. Greengrass. The
old switchback railway was demolished after the
season of 1909, and re-erected at a pleasure
garden in Yorkshire.

17th September 1932

On two occasions, I have supplied lists of 100 and 70 first events. This must be stated or many readers
will imagine that some important items have been overlooked. It is surprising what arguments arise in the
family or club circle as to an exact date of an event. The following list of dates will be a handy reference
and also be a means of reviving memories. The quick flight of time is deceiving and often dates of more
recent events cause quite a lot of amusement when two or three persons claim different years as time of
happening. The Corner Man is always happy to oblige in supplying dates of events.
Allen murders P. C. Algar, the Gorleston policeman, August 18th 1909.
Alexandra Day inaugurated at Yarmouth by Mayoress, Mrs. J. McCowan, June 24th 1914.
Aldermen's scarlet robes re-introduced at Mayor-making (Councillor H. T. Greenacre) ceremony,
November 9th 1928.
Abel King, inquest, August 8th 1897.
Andrew's (St.) Church, North Quay, first stone laid, November 30th 1859.
Arnold’s fire (King Street and Regent Street), February 3rd 1919.
Ardle (S. S.) stranded on North Beach, November 29th 1896.
Ambulance (St. John) uniforms first worn at Mayoral church parade, November 11th 1928.
Art School (Nelson and Trafalgar Roads) opened by Mayor, July 21st 1913.
Art Society's first exhibition at Northgate Rooms, April 20th 1928.
Aquarium (Marine Parade) re-opened as a theatre, July 2nd 1883.
Alderman, first lady to be elected (Mrs. E. Leach), 8th October 1929.
American Independence Day, first celebrated at Yarmouth, July 4th 1918.
Anglers’ Sea Society formed at Town Hall, August 31st 1904.
Attendance Officer first appointed by Education Committee, May 18th 1877.
Barnum & Bailey's show and circus at Southtown marshes, July 28th 1899.
Bathing Chalet opened on North Beach, May 16th 1900.
Ballast sand from North Pier, P. & H. Commissioners' application, May 9th 1889.
Belle steamer; first from Yarmouth to London (Walton Belle), 5th June 1897.
Bennett murder, body found, September 23rd 1900.
Beeching’s Dock, 80ft. chimney felled, May 2nd 1932.

Bookmaker, first summons under new Act, January 13th 1928.
Bowls (Ladies’ Club) inaugurated, October 14th 1926.
Bowling green north of revolving tower opened by Mayor, Mr. E. J. Middleton, June 5th 1924.
Boating Lake and Rock Gardens (North Drive) opened, July 23rd 1926.
British School (St. George's Road), first old boys' dinner, March 2nd 1906.
Brotherhood, men's meeting inaugurated, October 4th 1912.
Breydon Bridge, first passenger train to pass over, July 13th 1903.
Buses (Mr. Lodges) commences service Southtown Station to Jetty, March 9th 1897.
Bridge (Haven) opened by H. R. H. Prince of Wales, October 21st 1930.
Buffalo Bill's wild west show and circus at Southtown marshes, September 9th 1903.
Britannia Pier (new), first pile driven by Mayoress (Mrs. C. S. Orde), December 13th 1900.
Butchers' Mutual Aid Society formed, 1892.
Broadcast, first local fire in wireless news, Floral Hall, August 3rd 1932.
Canine Society formed, February 25th 1932.
C. A. Campling's mayoral children's ball, February 19th 1909.
Central picture palace (Plaza), Market Place, opened. April 5th 1915.
Cemetery, north of Kitchener Road, consecrated, September 7th 1876.
Clarke's flour mill and Jewson's wood mills fire, June 2nd 1928.
Clarke's new mill opened, November 26th 1929.
Convict ship, Success, opened to the public, April 6th 1903.
Co-operative Store removes from North Howard Street to Middle Market Road, January 12th 1900.
Cobham, Alan, the flying man at Yarmouth and Gorleston, August 8th-9th 1929 and July 24th 1932.
Colomb, Sir John, first elected M. P. for Yarmouth, July 16th 1895.
Coborn, the comedian, at Aquarium, December 5th 1904.
Coroner in blue robes (Mr. R. Gournay Ferrier) Mayor's Sunday, November 11th 1928.
Conservative Club, Theatre Plain, opened, April 3rd 1909.
Circus, George Gilbert's, opened site of Bath stables, July 25th 1898.
Circus, George Gilbert's, new Hippodrome and sinking ring opened, July 20th 1903.
Crabtree’s new shipyards, etc., opened, January 19th 1901.
Cricket match veterans in tall hats, August 15th 1905.
Cran is herring measure adopted by Town Council, September 8th 1908.
Cardinal Wiseman visits Yarmouth, May 12th 1859.
Deer foot, the Indian runner, at Victoria Gardens, December 11th 1861.
Destructor for refuse, on Caister Road, opened 1902. Inspected by Corporation, March 6th 1902.
Dickens, the writer, visits Yarmouth, December 1848.
Dog show, first held at Winter Gardens, August 31st 1909.
Dog show, first annual of Canine Society, July 14th 1932.
Docwra's (William) Tolhouse Toffee Factory fire, June 7th 1919.
Drill Hall foundation stone laid by Mayor, May 24th 1867.
Durrant, William, the Market game dealer, aged 70, died June 28th 1902.

Early Closing Act, first prosecution at Yarmouth, March 26th 1926.
Estcourt Mission Room opened by Mayor, January 11th 1881.
Edward VII proclaimed at Yarmouth, January 26th 1901.
Electric light works, new shaft opened by Mayor, November 18th 1903.
Electric light installed at St. James Church, September 28th 1907.
East Anglian flag at Gorleston church unfurled by Mrs. Brown Potter, June 7th 1903.
Evening Sporting News, ½d., Yarmouth and Gorleston, first issue, Tuesday July 3rd 1878.
Farthings issued by the overseers, 1667 and 1669.
Ferry House tragedy, July 4th 1909.
Fell v. White election petition trial at Town Hall, April 26th-May 4th 1906.
Fish Wharf completed, February 16th 1869.
Fish Wharf trawl market opened, September 18th 1919.
Fisheries (Deep Sea) Commission at Sailors' Home, November 16th 1863.
Fire engine, first Yarmouth steam, by Shand and Mason arrives, October 22nd 1896.
Fire engine, first motor steam engine, Merryweather, arrives, July 25th 1906.
Fly, first Yarmouth man to fly, Mr. Ralph Watling, at Monaco, April 15th 1912.
Friendly Society Hall foundation stone laid by Mayor, June 13th 1889.
Fuller's Hill mound removed, 1902.
Fruit banquet at Star Inn, December 13th 1899.
Gatacre, Sir W. General at Yarmouth, July 26th 1900.
George's (St.) church or chapel, consecrated, December 8th 1715.
Garfield Road, workmen's dwellings tender accepted, July 10th 1900.
Guardians, first board meeting, April 1837.
Girls' Friendly Society Holiday Home, St Andrew's House, North Quay opened, July 19th 1910.
Goods Yard (Railway Co.), Bridge Road opened, summer 1859.
Goats on beach, final summer, 1911.
Grammar School (temporary) Trafalgar Road opened, July 26th 1863.
Golf Course first laid out (North Denes) Monday, August 14th 1882.
Grammar School, Trafalgar Road, opened by H. R. H. Prince Edward of Wales, June 6th 1872.
Greenacre Schools, late site of Barracks opened, September 7th 1929.
Hammond Road (late Moat Road) named by Town Council, May 9th 1899.
Harmer, the naturalist, aged 76, died, January 21st 1901.
Hadiotis, the Greek steamer, on Scroby 24 hours, May 20th 1932.
Headley, J. M., the Guardian, enters the lion's cage at Gilbert's circus, September 14th 1901.
Herring permits, first prosecution for removing herring from wharf, November 2nd 1929.
Health Act, 1925, first prosecution of look-'em-up, April 2nd 1927.
Hippodrome, see circus.
Hospital, Dene Side, foundation stone laid by H. R. H. Prince of Wales, May 18th 1887.

Hospital opened by Sir James Paget, September 20th 1888.
Hospital Schools, 1843 (Market Place) closed Friday, 5th February 1932.
Hospital Schools (girls) opened, Tuesday February 2nd 1932, (boys) opened, February 8th 1932.
Ice Factory and Cold Stores, Southgate Road, opened March, 1902.
Insurance Act, local doctors decline to serve on panel, December 28th 1912.
Imperial Hotel (North Parade) well sinking, August 1899.
Isis, Bessey & Palmer's schooner (Captain Abbott) wrecked, 1886.
I. L. P. commenced at Yarmouth, August 18th 1906.
James' (St.) National Schools corner stone laid, April 19th 1872. Schools opened, 1872.
James' (St.) Church, new organ by Norman and Beard, July 21st 1896.
Jetty shelters altered and new deck, April and May 1932.
Jetty shelters weather vane presented by T. W. Boulton, October 1928.
Jetty picture, 27inches x 37inches by Constable, sold at Christie's auction rooms, London for £1,449, April
24th 1909.
John's (St.) National Schools erected, 1861.
Jew Synagogue, Row 42 re-opened, October 8th 1899.
John Burch, Yarmouth lifeboat arrives, May 1892.
King Edward VII local tug (paddle), first summer season, 1901.
Kitchener Road flats opened, June 3rd 1901.
Kentwell, Gorleston sail lifeboat, first service to motor pleasure boat, July 26th 1922.
King (Lady) has permission to enclose the ground in front of Telegraph House, June 1859.
Lady Flora, S. S., wrecked at Caister, April 29th 1869.
Lacon's brewery chimney lengthened, June 1929.
Lavatories adjoining Revolving Tower opened, July 1929.
Legion rally of ex-Service men, June 5th 1932.
Lettis ropewalk beneath walls, Regent Road to Trafalgar Road, discussed by Town Council, May 1859.
Lion Face, a market character, dies suddenly in market, March 20th 1897.
Library open access system inaugurated by Mayor F. W. Lawn, October 1st 1931.
Library at Gorleston, open access system opened, October 23rd 1931.
Lighthouse at Brush Quay, Gorleston, approved, March 27th 1886.
London boat (new Belle steamer service), June 29th 1929.
Lord Leverhulme buys 28½ acres of Yarmouth Denes for factories, November 1919.
Luke's (St.) church foundation stone laying by Lady Florence Cecil, 1901.
Madrali the wrestler at Aquarium, November 7th 1904.
May festival first held, May 23rd-28th 1896.
May festival, second one held, May 17th-19th 1898.
Marie Lloyd at Wellington Pier, July 14th 1913.
Mary's (St.) church, Southtown, stone laying, September 13th 1830.
Mary's (St.) church consecrated by Bishop of Diocese, June 23rd 1831.
Market Place again shortened at north end, June 1929.
Methodist Mission, Cobholm, stone-laying, September 17th 1923.
Methodist Mission, Cobholm, Sunday school stone laying, June 30th 1932.
Methodist Chapel, Regent Road opened, July 16th 1859.
Methodist Chapel, Caister Road, first sod turned by Henry Blyth, August 21st 1906.
Methodist Chapel, Caister Road, opened by Henry Blyth, June 27th 1907.
Minstrel ring for north beach, Town Clerk invites tenders, March 2nd 1897.
Mendell motor boat, Missions to Seamen dedicated, 16th May 1932.
Motor, first fine for furious driving, eight miles an hour, on Parade, June 21st 1899.
Motor, first charabanc, EX 19, Pioneer; summer 1904 re-named Norfolk Express.
Mortuary, North Quay, west-end Row 45 first used, 21st June 1899.
Musical Society formed 1867. First conductor, H. Stonex; first secretary, J. J. Raven.
Mutual Improvement Society formed, October 1849.
Mariners' Chapel, South Gate opened, May 1826.
Naval Artillery Volunteers (Gorleston Co.) attend Jubilee Review, Buckingham Palace, 2nd July 1887.
Naval Reserve first annual dinner at Aquarium, January 1906.
Navigation Schools (late Paget residence) restored, summer 1932.
Nelson's Monument (Norfolk Memorial) Committee meets to select design, at Thetford, 29th March 1815.
Northgate schools first annual sports on Recreation Ground, 7th June 1929.
Norfolk, His Majesty's Ship, arrives in Roadstead, July 9th 1930.
Nelson Boys' School, St. Peter's Road, opened by Mayor, 21st July 1898.
Nudd, Robert (Mayor) dies, 30th December 1905.

8th October 1932

(Johnson’s last article before his death)
Old Age Pensions first paid out at disused tobacco shop adjoining Post Office, 1st January 1909.
Oranges from South Africa first sold in Yarmouth, 1907.
Palmer Brothers' fire, Market Place, November 30th 1892.
Park Men's Room, Stone laying by R. J. Bryant, 20th July 1816.
Parthenia, Bessey & Palmer's brigantine wrecked, September 22nd 1909.
Pauper Bodies enquiry, May 1901.
Park, protest meeting re enclosure for flower show, August 1871.
Paul's granary fire, Christmas night 1905, March 17th 1912 and March 12th 1915.
Paul's (St.) Church, Newtown, first wooden mission building opened, January 25th 1883.
Paul's (St.) Church foundation stone of present building laid, September 1897.
Paul's (St.) Church consecrated, January 25th 1899.
Paul's (St.) Clergy House, built, autumn 1884.

Peggotty's Hut, Camden Road demolished, 1879.
Pearlmoor S. S. in harbour, September 1900.
Peter's (St.) National Schools opened, April 11th 1850.
Peter's (St.) National Schools closed, July 29th 1929.
Peter's (St.) Church flagstaff crash, 23rd January 1901.
Pile driver (first steam) for Haven Commissioners arrives, February 24th 1885.
Post Office, Regent Street corner opened, January 5th 1914.
Postal workers' first conference at Yarmouth, 9th-13th May 1927.
Poor Box at Police Court inaugurated, February 5th 1901.
Port & Haven Commissioners' offices, South Quay (site of Dr. Collier's house) opened, September 16th
Photographers' Club succeeds Camera Club at Shearman's, the chemists, 156 King Street, November
Priory National School (St. Nicholas) first opened, 1852.
Priory School additions opened, January 10th 1873.
Priory School new classrooms opened, 1st February 1929.
Probation Act, first case at Yarmouth, July 8th 1908.
Phrenology, Beach Committee grants Mr. Durham and Mrs. Cook sites on sands, May 20th 1887.
Queen's Road Chapel re-opened after restoration, May 15th 1932.
Queen Alexandra in Royal Yacht off Gorleston, August 27th 1912.
Quay trees, last removed from opposite Nos. 5 and 6 South Quay, May 1924.
Rabbit show (first opened) at Corn Hall, Howard Street, September 7th 1928.
Races, last meeting on South Denes, 17th and 18th September 1919.
Races, first meeting on North Denes, 15th and 16th September 1920.
Races, first spring meeting on North Denes, 7th and 8th June 1922.
Railway Stations opened: Vauxhall, April 30th 1844; Southtown, June 1st 1859; Beach Station, August 7th
Recreation Ground, first trial of cinder track, July 14th 1888.
Recreation Ground opened by Mayor, August 6th 1888.
Recreation Ground, Gorleston, opened by Mayor, June 10th 1889.
Rifle Club formed at Town Hall, July 11th 1900.
Round Table Club at Yarmouth receives its charter, April 15th 1932.
Ruffolds, George, the ballad street singer and Look 'em Up dies, May 29th 1901.
Rump, the local artist, paints the panels of the drawing-room at 38 South Quay, April 1899.
Roman Catholic Schools, Albion Road (site of tower windmill) opened, January 16th 1882.
Sailors' Home signal station on Parade, east side, discontinued as from 1st January 1928.
Sanger's Circus, at High Mill Road, Southtown, 1st and 2nd October 1897.
Salvation Army open new headquarters, late Friendly Societies Hall, January 3rd 1924.

Scenic railway arrives by S. S. Circe, from France, February 11th 1932.
Scenic railway opened, May 14th 1932.
Scroby Island officially visited by Haven Commissioners, July 21st 1921.
Sprat banquet first held, December 10th 1898.
Shrimpers form a protection society, March 9th 1896.
Signals, automatic electric, first used at Regent Street, Regent Road and King Street junctions, April 22nd
1932; Regent Road and Nelson Road junction, August 2nd 1932.
Speedway motor cycle track opened at Caister Road, July 14th 1932.
Suffragettes commence Yarmouth to London walk, July 10th 1913.
Sword unsheathed at Police Court, August 7th 1914; sheathed, July 4th 1919.
Suspension Bridge disaster, May 2nd 1845.
Switchback Railway, North Denes commenced, summer 1887.
School Board's first school held at Oddfellows’ Hall, Gorleston, November 9th 1875.
Steam Roller (Aveling and Porters) first used, October 3rd 1887
Temple, Hog Hill corner stones laid, June 22nd 1875.
Temple dedicated, July 27th 1876.
Tennis Courts, Marine Parade, Norfolk Square to Sandown Road, opened by Mayor, July 1st 1922.
Trafalgar Road, Yarmouth south side laid out as garden, 1895.
Tug, Tactful replaces the wrecked Yare, September 1st 1927.
Thomas, Right Hon. J. H. at N. U. Railwaymen's demonstration, August 10th 1919.
Tolhouse Gaol, after June 24th 1875 used only as lock-up for remand prisoners.
Town Hall, protest against proposed new building, August 17th 1878.
Vane (St. Nicholas’ Church) weathercock removed, September 30th replaced, October 3rd 1879.
Vane (Town Hall) three-mast lugger removed to be redecorated, July 4th 1927.
Vaccination Act, first prosecution at Yarmouth, November 17th 1899.
Vestries at Parish Church foundation stones laid October 1898, opened by Bishop of Norwich, July 23th
Wards of the borough re-distributed, June 1904.
Wallett, the Queen's Jester, at Yarmouth, September 4th 1876.
Water Company supplies the town, 1853.
Well and pump (Dene) on Albion Road closed, November 21st 1876.
Walrond Smack Boys' Home opened by Earl Nelson, February 15th 1876.
Weight on butter, first prosecution, February 4th 1928.
Wellington Pier gardens, bandstand opened, June 2nd 1900.
Wellington Pier bandstand reconstructed and opened by Mayor, June 16th, 1921.
Winter Garden from Torquay opened by the High Steward, June 4th 1904.
Wenn's sawmill (Southgates Road) fire, July 11th 1895.
Window cleaning as a business first commenced by Amiss Bros., from Ormesby, April 17th 1900.

Wireless, first prosecution at Yarmouth for no licence, February 23rd 1923.
Yarmouth (H. M. S ) visits the Roadstead, April 27th 1912.
Y. M. C. A. Holiday Home opened 24 South Quay, July 2nd 1900.
Zeppelin (Graf) passes the town, October 2nd 1928, August 19th 1931 and July 2nd 1932.


Mr. G. Bacon: the first official ceremony was in August of 1906, when Mr. Henry Blyth turned the first sod.
The church was opened less than a year later in June following, when the Rev’ds. Jackling, Jones,
Needham and Walkden and Pastor Ford were present.


These still continue to arrive and I am indebted to Mrs. Naunton for two pamphlets, Our Father's Care,
and Mother's Last Words. The collection is by no means complete and other copies will be welcomed.


T.S.: it has been said that the Razzle-Dazzle was situated north of the switchback in August 1891. I have
heard it stated that the corner houses west of the Wellesley recreation ground at the Sandown Road
corner are on the site occupied. Information of owner, structure, and site will be most welcome.

6th October 1926


Our wonderful Quay has seen some changes and, at times, one ponders over the names associated in
commerce and municipal life that today are but memories. To me, as a child, the Quay south of the
College (now Education Offices) held a peculiar fascination. The avenue of trees and the stately
residences impressed one.


The shop of this tradesman at No. 39 was old established. How interested was I to witness the moving of
large rolls of lead weighing up to 17 cwt. from the railway carts.

Prior to this time the lead was rolled by competent craftsmen skilled in the art. The workshop is still to be
seen at the rear of the premises, a quaint half-timbered, double storeyed, overhanging building, probably
300 years old. With its old fashioned moulded door and mullioned leaded lights, it is a curiosity to the
visitor, who enquires to whom did this belong. Evidently, this old portion formerly extended to the Quay
front, the glazier's shop being of red brick and modern. Mr. Herbert Mayes, the new owner, has wisely
retained the four imposing columns of the old shop, and for the present has decided to leave intact the old
glazier's and lead worker's shop at the rear.


It is to be regretted that the original title and parchments to the property are missing, because much local
history is contained in these musty old writings that I delight to gloat over. Mr. Mayes tells me the earliest
writings commence about the middle of last century. C. J. Palmer is brief upon this residence. He states it
was the property of one Thomas Pitt Esq., Mayor 1776, and died 1786. He was the father of 16 children,
and lies buried in the chancel of St. Nicholas’ Church. I cannot locate the stone which bears the Coat of
Arms; Argent, a Fesse, between three Crosslets gules. Probably the slab is beneath the seats. A former
resident and tradesman, Mr. Charles Woolverton was twice Mayor (August 1872 and November 1872).
The Woolvertons succeeded Thomas Garwood, the well-known glazier, who formerly was in partnership
(1821) with Mr. Lonsdale at the same address.

An instance which often occurs in business when the competent apprentice and journeyman becomes the
proprietor is seen here. Thomas Garwood was one of Mr. Thomas Pitt's many apprentices and obtained
his Freedom of the Borough in 1758. Thomas Pitt, later Mayor, was apprenticed to Thomas Duck and
gained his freedom in 1733. I am indebted to P. E. Rumbelow for two excellent photographs of the lead


Some probably take a keen interest in the decreasing number of licensed houses. There are many
reasons in Yarmouth, E. J., for the closing of the public house. It must be remembered that in the days of
the sailing craft, boats remained in port much longer. The cargoes were not unloaded as today and with
the many fisher crews coming from outlying parishes unable to return home, excepting by the carrier cart,
the tavern was the club, place of entertainment, and lodging house. Charlotte Street had a fair share of
taverns, and the Rose and Crown you enquire after was at the north-east comer of Row 41. The building
has a modern white brick front and lost its licence a few years since. A dairy has replaced the public
house. The sign here dates back over a century. In 1821, Martha Browne kept it. Throughout the country
the Rose and Crown sign was numerous, there being 80 years ago no less than 46 in London.

The Rose of the House of Lancaster is often combined with the Ball, the Key and the Punch Bowl, whilst
the Crown has many combinations such as the Anchor, Woolpack, Glove, Harp, Leek, Mitre, Sceptre,
Tower, and Woodpecker, to quote just a few.


Heartily I agree with many Corner readers who deplore the lack of local tavern signboards. Certainly there
are many well-known signs that would lend a gaiety to our thoroughfares. I believe in the villages, the
brewers are paying greater attention to the signboards. In directing strangers who enquire their
whereabouts, many folk still refer to a tavern. This is a relic of the old days when most tradesfolk had their
particular sign. The numbering of shops and premises is modern.


The Corner Editor is always delighted to answer privately any queries from Mercury readers away from
the old town, and appreciate letters from interested Cornerites. The following is typical of many received:

Nunhead, S. E. 15.
Dear Sir, Just a line or two in appreciation of the Mercury Corner wherein, week by week, is served up
interesting events and items of the past. I used to arrive in the road via the Liverpool Tavern Row of which
much could be written. Also one recalls the 14 Stars, a notorious rendezvous of the foreign sailors. Some
time ago you referred to the smacks' boys. Another house they used was the New White Lion in south
King Street. Much could be said of this. Also the smacks' boys’ boarding house not far from here, where
many a rough house occurred when a vessel made a broken voyage and the lads coming back to find
another boy wearing his shore going suit and sealskin cap (the latter are not seen now). We knew that
suit had more than one owner who was away upon the Dogger doing his eight weeks with the Short Blue
Fleet or Leleu’s Fleet. But alas, not the trawling activity of old.

13th October 1928

dates back to a time when barbers practised phlebotomy i. e. the art of vein opening or bleeding. Of what
use was the pole, you ask? Well, the patient had to grasp the pole, thus assisting a more ready flow of
blood. The pole was painted red in order to make the presence of blood less apparent upon it.

It was stated by Lord Thurlow in the House of Peers, July 17th 1797, when he opposed the Surgeons
Incorporation Bill that by a statute is still in force, the barbers and surgeons were each to use a pole. The
barbers were to have theirs blue and white striped, with no other appendage, but the surgeons were to
have a similar pole, with a gallipot and a red flag in addition, to denote the particular nature of their
vocation. The pole when not in use was suspended outside the premises as an invitation and
advertisement, the white linen swathing bands being twisted around the pole, hence the white fillet upon
the pole today.


Old members of the fraternity had their trade guild, Richard le Barbour being master in 1308. In the reign
of Edward IV, they were the only ones who practised surgery. The London barbers were incorporated in
1462, but shortly afterwards a rival organisation was set up by the surgeons.
There are many witty inscriptions, including:

Rove not from pole to pole, but step in here,

Where nought excels the shaving; but the beer.

In the old days many tradesmen combined their craft with a beer licence. At the Wrestlers’ Inn, John Fry
Cole, in the 60s, filled the capacity as victualler and hairdresser.

Market quacks, years ago would display a heap of human teeth, as did their barber friends before them,
hence the following rhyme:

His pole with pewter basons hung,

Black rotten teeth in order strung.
Rang’d cups that in the window stood;
Lined with red rags, to look like blood.
Did well his three-fold trade explain,
Who shaved, drew teeth and breathed a vein.

In Yarmouth we have many barber poles. Most are the traditional red and white, whilst Hugh Burgess of
Regent Street, displays a gold and black pole. He tells me that the red, white and blue colouring denotes
blood, bandage and veins.

Many will recall the Spread Eagle at No. 50 King Street, next north to the present Labour Club, long the
residence of the Rev’d E. C. Kempe, minister of St. George’s Chapel. I have heard that a black man was
once the landlord. William Tooley kept it in 1820 and Charles Hockley in 1829. Probably he was father to
Charles Tooley, the bricklayer, who built the Victoria Arches? In 1835, S. Sims was the landlord and in
1844, William Beales. Following for some 10 years was William Carter and then in the 60s, James
Palmer, Thomas Whittleton in 1874, and three years later William Snook. J. W. Dye was here in 1886.
He was also steward aboard one of Bradley’s river boats. The singing and concert room here was very
popular. It must be understood that few places of amusement (except at the taverns) existed in the town
in the past.

The Spread Eagle ceased to be a tavern early in the 90s. It was succeeded by Barrett’s Dairy. Row 122
was till quite recently known as the Spread Eagle Row.

Nemo writes: about the mid 60's, my parents moved from South Market Road to The Conge Row (No. 28).
At that time Mr. W. Todd, a dairyman kept his cows in sheds midway on the north side of the Row. At the
time of which I write, there were six cows, i.e.: Plum and Cherry at the north end of the stable, Peggy and
Betty at the south end of the stable and Beauty and Spot at the east. The names were painted above the
manger and, as a child, it puzzled me how the beasts knew their own stall, because they never made a
mistake when arriving from the marshes under our care. After Mr. Todd’s death, Mr. Long took over, and
added two others, named Buttercup and Daisy

To M.P.: the use of small leaden squirts filled with water, at the fair, was much criticised, and I believe the
Mayor (Charles S. Orde 1900-1901), at a meeting of the Watch Committee, in February of that year called
attention to the practice that had hitherto prevailed, to the annoyance and disgust of persons passing
through the Market Place. From this year the sale of squirts was discouraged.

Re: the Preston family: they supplied Mayors in the years 1793, 1801, 1813, 1816, 1818, 1822, 1827,
1830, 1831, 1834, 1870 and 1871, and the Coroner and Magistrates’ Clerk to-day is a descendant of this
family. Then follow verses to the Deputy-Mayor and Aldermen and certainly the ode to the Commons is
well worthy of repeating.

May justice always in your Council sit,
And wisdom be the substitute of wit!
May each good townsman ill Council find,
None but of great and generous mind.
Friends to good order, commerce, trade and law,
From which alone we every blessing draw.

The verses upon modern improvements include many sayings typical of Mother Shipton:

The simple rustic often hath been told

The streets of London all were paved with gold.
But nowadays he'd surely he surprised
To find the streets are all macadamis'd.

(This form of road making was introduced by Sir John L. Macadam, 1756-1836).

Upon Joseph Ablitt’s tombstone is inscribed:

in memory of
Late Bellman,
Died June 22nd, 1831.
Aged 48 Years.

Henry B. Thompson, Sergeant at Mace and Bellman, died January 1882, aged 65, and was followed by H.
Thompson, who still resides in the town, and was granted a gratuity of £5 and a certificate of service by
the Corporation this month.

Hunt's Directory for 1850, gives Row 19 as the residence of James Burman, the Sexton, and here, 80
years ago William Briggs conducted a day school.

The tall chimney stack at the north-east corner of the Row belonging to Lacon, was removed in 1922 and
a new building with the date 1926 occupies the site.

Tom Colman, an old mail coach driver, the last Yarmouth man to ply the coach, lived in this Row. The
directory of 1868 shows the Norfolk and Norwich Arms, St. George's Road, direct opposite the east
entrance, which was long known as Skouldings Corner.

N.S.: The gravestone you enquired after and the verse is:

This world's a city full of crooked streets.

Death's the market place, where all men meet;
If life were merchandise that men should buy.
The rich would always live, the poor might die.

Originally this was the epitaph of one, John Gadsden in 1739, evidently copied for the Yarmouth
gravestone, which stood upon the south side of the west path of the churchyard until Canon Venables
time as Vicar, who, I am informed rightly or wrongly, had the stone removed.

J. K. H. writes: as a new resident to the town, my attention was centred when in Camden Road to a fig
tree in the garden north of the old-fashioned baker's shop at the N. W. corner of Pier Place. This specimen
of the Ficus was introduced into England in 1548. It certainly is well sheltered and probably derives some
benefit from the baker's oven. How curious is the chain around the tree by the bark, now almost
overgrown. Probably the age of the tree is nearer 200 years old judging from the size of its trunk. May I
enquire, through the Mercury Corner if any of its fruit ripens and if the residence near has any history of
note attached.

J. W. P. writes: Re: Matthew Champion aged 111. As one gets older, one appreciates the beauty of the
churchyard and really upon a fine day the delightful foliage adds pleasure to my usual stroll. Within a
stone’s throw of the N. E. corner of the church are three interesting gravestones. These include: Harriet
Candler, who was murdered at her Howard Street shop on November 18th 1844 by Samuel Yarham,
Thomas Bowles, the last survivor of the Royal George that went down at Spit Head on 29th August 1793,
when 600 perished. This grave needs renovating.

Near here also lies the remains of Matthew Champion, aged 111. May I through the medium of the Corner,
extend thanks to some kind person or association for the trouble and expense entailed in re-lettering and
cleaning up this unique gravestone. The late Charles John Palmer always cared for this stone, and kept
the same in a good condition. When last he superintended the renovation he had a foot stone placed
there. This was in the early '70's. I feel sure the townsfolk and visitors will appreciate this latest kindness.
Matthew Champion served in Marlborough's wars. When he was 50 he married Rebecca, aged 21, who
survived him and died in 1796, aged 85 years.

A tombstone next to the Vicarage has inscribed upon it one of the best epitaphs in the churchyard or
cemetery, but for quite a while has been covered up with faggots, an excellent breeding place for rats, and
needs renovating immediately.

The paths in the churchyard are in a deplorable condition, more so near the chancel. Could not a few
loads of macadam, now being removed from the Quay, be used to advantage here? I note the church
tree railings (long since a disgrace) are being removed. I trust something more in keeping with the grand
old edifice will take their place, and the trees and shrubs be cared for in the future.

The reply touching upon the Golden Anchor brings along a note from Charles Botwright, who is almost 80
years of age: your paragraphs upon taverns are most interesting. The Golden Anchor, I recall when the
licensee was Mrs. Morris. The house was greatly used by wherrymen and coal heavers, who were paid
their wages here daily or weekly before the passing of the Truck Acts. Opposite stood the Black Lion,
some 70 years ago kept by Mr. Fulcher, afterwards by Mrs. Lodge, late of the Edinburgh, Market Place,
later by Mr. Blyth, a smack master.

In Blind Middlegate Street (South Howard Street) at the N. W. corner of Row 89, was the William Tell, and
opposite upon the west side stood the Prince Consort, Mrs. Botwright being the tenant.

The Enterprise Tavern, in the same street the, N. W. corner of Row 80, formerly was a popular
refreshment and cook shop kept by Mr. James Platford, later by Mr. John Sizer (who removed to the
Regent Street site of Harper and Jerrard). The Enterprise is now the only licenced house in the street and
was long known as the Dumpling Bar.



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