Signs flatter to deceive in the somewhat neglected north Great Yarmouth

New sign for the new school to come in north Yarmouth, and the derelict Iron Duke pub nearby.

New sign for the new school to come in north Yarmouth, and the derelict Iron Duke pub nearby. - Credit: Mike Spragg

We’re all great for signage these days.

Indications of what’s going to happen where and why we should all feel positive and excited about the whole prospect, whatever that may be.

They often flatter to deceive, however, as two instances which caught my eye in the somewhat neglected north of the borough recently seemed to attest.

To begin with there is the spanking new sign for the North Denes Primary School, conjuring up pictures of spotlessly uniformed children eagerly arriving at the enlarged school in September, keen to do well and agog at all the opportunities available.

Just beyond the sign is the reality in the form of the increasingly shambolic Iron Duke structure, which apparently cannot be pulled down as it is a listed building. However it should be incumbent on the owners, Bourne Leisure, to at least do something with the eyesore, one of the first thing visitors see when coming in from the north.

My suggestions would be a Performing Arts Centre, a Sports Centre or even a coastguard facility, given its wonderful position looking out to sea.

A little further south, and albeit not such a big problem, at the end of Salisbury Road is one of several signs outlining the plans for the new Waterways/Boating Lake development. Impressive indeed, but ever since the signs went up there has been precious little sign of any sort of activity, (compared, say, to that for the new Premier Inn on South Quay).

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The impression I get is they seem to be waiting for bands of volunteers to sort of materialise out of thin air, instead of using the funding they have obtained to get professional teams to do the landscaping, the brickwork, the plumbing and any other work that needs to be done. Without this sort of approach the whole place will remain a derelict eyesore for many years to come.

A Canadian friend of mine once told me his favourite sign cropped up when he was out bear-hunting with a bunch of friends. Coming across a sign saying ‘Bear Left’, they all went home.


Collingwood Road, Great Yarmouth