There will be no fanfare of trumpets, no civic reception, no pomp and ceremony, no bouquets and garlands, no reminiscing about memorable moments and star appearances. The 150th anniversary of Great Yarmouth’s Regent Hall will pass unnoticed.
Nothing’s more quintessentially British than a trip to the rainy seaside. You can keep your Cote d’Azur; we’re very happy with Broadstairs, Blackpool and Bognor, thank you very much. Here’s a look at our beautiful beaches through the decades.
The schools have now broken up for the summer holidays but, forever the spoilsport, my theme today is... education! It results from a reader’s letter informing me that one local school is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.
Architects and builders, gold and silversmiths, artists and authors, furniture designers and sculptors ...they are among the many professionals whose achievements can leave a legacy for future generations.
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! Forgive the bad grammar, please, but Duke Ellington’s classic title sums up the attitude of big band fans, most of us pensioners who rue the day when teenagers’ scrubbing board skiffle and guitars ousted our favourite kind of music.
Air, land and sea - well, river, to be exact - come together today, with feedback from recent columns. First, a virtual flight to Buckinghamshire, home of a daughter of Great Yarmouth airfield pioneer “Wilbur” Wright.
Those Norwich bigwigs were a threatening bossy bunch, forever harping on about their superiority over Yarmouth and demanding this, that and the other. Frankly, it used to stick in our craw, but needed resolution by negotiation, not threats or force.
Outings have long been a popular part of a seaside resort’s programme, whether they have brought visitors into town to enjoy its facilities and amenities, or taking staying guests by charabanc to see nearby places of interest.
The idiom “a bridge too far”, meaning to over-reach, entered common usage three decades ago with the release of the star-studded film of that name. The movie, based on a Cornelius Ryan book with similar title, chronicled Operation Market Garden - the Allies’ gallant but failed Arnhem airborne operation in 1944.
It was the proverbial last straw when Caister Road’s airfield and heliport flew off to Norwich in 2015, adding to the long-ago loss of the refuse destructor, then the Bure Hotel and Smiths Crisps factory in 1985.
Nowadays we call them tracksuits or onesies. In my wartime childhood, we knew them as siren suits, a hooded warm and cosy zip-up garment to provide us with that extra comfort we needed when anxiously hiding in our Anderson air-raid shelters out in the garden or back yard, listening to the drone of German raiders overhead and waiting for the sounds of bombs exploding.
As I so often rely on friends and fellow nostalgia buffs for help with fact, figures, dates and photographs when compiling this weekly column, it comes as a pleasant surprise when one of them seeks my assistance.
Picturegoers of the Seventies generation might well have been smitten by John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever, but decades earlier Saturday Morning Fever was rife among youngsters: it was when we flocked to cinemas for children’s matinees.
As trains steamed into our railway stations, hundreds of summer visitors piled out, humping luggage along platforms before heading for their holiday accommodation. Excited children clutched buckets and spades they had brought with them.
Those of us with first-hand recollections of the disastrous 1953 floods, which caused havoc and deaths in the Great Yarmouth area and elsewhere, will never forget them. Any reference to that appalling night of Saturday, January 31 is guaranteed to evoke memories for older generations, not least because nine local people were killed.
Going to the pictures has long ceased to be the public’s favourite entertainment. Blockbusters continue to attract audiences to surviving cinemas, but the home comforts of television viewing on ever-wider screens are too appealing for many.
The enormity of the Titanic legend guarantees that it will never die. People all over the world remain fascinated by the epic saga of the huge liner striking an Atlantic iceberg and sinking on her maiden voyage in 1912, resulting in the deaths of 1,513 of her 2,224 crew and passengers.