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Ah, those good old days of worm powders and a tonic to stimulate the brain!

PUBLISHED: 16:01 27 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 27 January 2018

Great Yarmouth's Britannia Pier as it looked when the band concert was held in the Pavilion in 1905. Picture: MERCURY ARCHIVE

Great Yarmouth's Britannia Pier as it looked when the band concert was held in the Pavilion in 1905. Picture: MERCURY ARCHIVE

MERCURY ARCHIVE

Warning! Do not read this column if you are feeling queasy or otherwise under the weather!

Palmer's department store early last century, one of the advertisers in the pier concert programme. Picture: CLIFFORD TEMPLEPalmer's department store early last century, one of the advertisers in the pier concert programme. Picture: CLIFFORD TEMPLE

Another enjoyable stroll down Memory Lane was inevitable when I chanced upon a photocopied programme for two Sunday concerts in 1905, the year my parents were born. The concerts by the band of the 2nd Norfolk Regiment were in the Britannia Pier Pavilion in Great Yarmouth in August 1905.

But it was not the listed music that attracted my attention: it was the fascinating advertising content from local businesses, reflecting an era almost a decade before the outbreak of the First World War.

One in particular caught my eye. Ceiley’s Worm Powders and his herbal pills were available for a few old pence from his Church Plain shop - and it frankly detailed the symptoms of worms in children: “Grinding of teeth when asleep, picking the nose, restlessness, irritability, paleness and at times flushed, loss of flesh, flabbiness, sallowness of complexion, fits and stoppages.”

Adult symptoms? “Furred tongue, foetid and shortness of breath, at times feeling very hearty, at other times loathing the food, rising in the stomach or throat, heartburn or sourness, loss of temper, distaste for anything.”

Wixley's jewellery shop in the sea-front long-gone Marine Arcade. Picture: COLIN TOOKE COLLECTIONWixley's jewellery shop in the sea-front long-gone Marine Arcade. Picture: COLIN TOOKE COLLECTION

Also, he pledged that Ceiley’s (“purely herbal”) Pills “have no equal” in treating “indigestion, biliousness, sluggish liver, flatulence, headache, wind, loss of appetite, heartburn and foetid breath.”

Well, I did warn you.

Reading that during the concert interval was enough to put audience members off their next meal, I reckon.

More conventional was the announcement by chemist A R Davies, on Regent Road opposite the pier, who sold “skin balm for sunburn” and offered medicines, photographic goods and dark room. Chemist Williams in Jetty Road sold “sun scorch cooling lotion” plus pile ointment and a tonic claiming to stimulate the brain.

Herbalist Ceiley's shop on Church Plain, advertised in the programme. Picture: PERCY TRETT COLLECTIONHerbalist Ceiley's shop on Church Plain, advertised in the programme. Picture: PERCY TRETT COLLECTION

In Regent Street premises later absorbed into Arnolds department store, there was an Umbrella Hospital, with owner Mr Churchyard promising to re-cover and repair them in one hour. He also stocked brollies, sunshades, walking sticks...

In what appears to be one advertisement covering two locations, on Marine Parade (“between Sailors’ Home and Lifeboat House”) hot sea-water baths and a gents’ toilet saloon were publicised by R J Ward, who also provided men’s and women’s hairdressing, wig making, chiropody and manicures in King Street.

Old-timers might well recall that in the 1940s and 1950s, Ward’s King Street premises sold sports goods.

Eugene Durian and Arthur Draper, in St Peter’s Road, hired out private motors on moderate terms, pledging: “Our cars accommodate parties of four people each comfortably. They average about 12-20 miles per hour at an average expense of threepence (under 2p today) per mile per person.”

On the Britannia Pier itself, Madame Sato (“The Scientific Palmist”) was in her tenth season delineating health and character, according to her advertisement.

Up in Broad Row Percy Chamberlin’s art depot specialised in Broadland paintings and local views, plus framing and gilding.

Palmers, still trading, promoted its town centre and Marine Arcade stores.

The Yarmouth and Gorleston Steamboat Company urged the programme’s readers to take a return trip from North Quay to Wroxham or Norwich for 2s or 2s 6d (10p/12p).

Prefer a sea trip? The Lord Robert and Lord Nelson plied between Town Hall Quay and Lowestoft daily for 1s 9d (9p). Cobholm boat-builder J W Eastick rented out pleasure wherries and yachts.

Grocer Clowes, on Hall Quay facing the Haven Bridge, announced its presence, as did H Collins’ photographic and art studios (“amateurs specially catered for”) on Regent Road and Mr Hayden, eyesight specialist, in King Street - still in business but obviously run by successors. John Buck had three Yarmouth outlets for his glass, China and fancy goods.

“The House for Novelties” was jeweller and silversmith Wixley in Marine Arcade and King Street. Tailor and outfitter McCowan in Regent Street sought custom, as did Gray & Palmer, ironmongers, gas fitters and electrical engineers in King Street.

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