A look back at a century of history of Great Yarmouth's Winter Gardens
- Credit: Archant
It was once one of the east coast's most sparkling attractions and remained a cherished monument to the Victorian heyday of British seaside towns.
Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile was a haven for entertainment since it opened in 1903.
The building was first constructed in Torquay in 1878 but after failing as a business venture it was bought by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and was dismantled and transported across the country.
It became a jewel in the crown for the eastern seaside town and hosted many cultural events.
Over the years it has been a ballroom, a roller-skating rink, and an amusement arcade - electric light would fill its interior and beam out across the seafront and gleam on the water.
For a time it morphed into an Austrian-style beer garden, where ale-drinkers were served by waitresses in Tyrolean costume while an orchestra played.
As time went on it fell into disrepair and was subsequently closed in 2008 while it was used as a soft play area over safety fears.
In 2017 it was named as one of the UK's most endangered buildings that was costly to keep up, and even more expensive to tear down.
Two years later a council report revealed it was in danger of collapse. Now an eyesore, some £60,000 was spent on preparing a lottery bid.
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Under its reinvention the UK's last surviving glass and iron winter garden, dubbed 'the People's Palace", will be brought back to life as a year-round, free attraction billed "as a place of celebration, enjoyment, well-being and relaxation for all."
Here is a look back at over a century of history at the Winter Gardens.
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