Great Yarmouth nostalgia: Memories of Market Gates in the early days

The Van Allan and Dixons at Great Yarmouth Market Gates shopping centre in 1977.

The Van Allan and Dixons at Great Yarmouth Market Gates shopping centre. Date: October 7, 1977. - Credit: Archant Library

Many readers will fondly remember the days before online shopping when bricks and mortar outlets beckoned us with the merit of their goods and customer service.

But the precincts and malls that now compete with the World Wide Web were once also modern and disruptive, heralding an era of change for the retail sector.

And today we are revisiting Market Gates when it was constructed and in its earliest days with a collection of old photos from the Great Yarmouth Mercury archive.

The Great Yarmouth building site where Market Gates was constructed in 1973.

Great Yarmouth Star development site in the town centre, starting work on the construction of the Market Gates shopping precinct. On the left of the picture is St Mary's Church and in the background on the right is the Tower Building. Dated October 1973. - Credit: Archant Library

A tower crane rises over the Great Yarmouth building in 1973 site where Market Gates was constructed.

Dwarfed by the tower crane, new buildings start to rise as the Yarmouth Star development site in the town centre, starting work on the construction of the Market Gates Shopping Precinct. Date: October 1973. - Credit: Archant Library

Construction commenced in 1973 and the first shop in the precinct opened in 1975 - with major expansions and refurbishments in 1993 and 2008.

Built in the heart of the town centre, its modern brickwork sits next to the town's historic walls. 

Great Yarmouth Market Gates shopping centre when several shops were still 'To Let' in September 1975.

The exterior of the Great Yarmouth Market Gates shopping centre when several shops were still 'To Let'. Date: September 1975. - Credit: Archant Library

As one of Norfolk's first covered malls, hundreds of stores have called it home – although some of the names might no longer exist outside history books or our memories.

Please enjoy these old photos of Market Gates and we hope they prompt happy recollections of shopping sprees in days gone by.

Shoppers in the Market Gates Shopping Centre at Great Yarmouth on May 22, 1978.

Shoppers in the Market Gates Shopping Centre at Great Yarmouth on May 22, 1978. - Credit: Archant Library

Customers gazed into the windows at Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth on April 3, 1981. 

Customers gazed into the windows at Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth on April 3, 1981. - Credit: Archant Library

Queues at the Market Gates bus stop in Great Yarmouth on November 14, 1985.

Queues at the Market Gates bus stop in Great Yarmouth on November 14, 1985. - Credit: Archant Library

Shops in Market Gates at Great Yarmouth in 1981

Do you remember these shops at Market Gates Shopping Centre in April 1981? - Credit: Archant Library

Shoppers walk past the Eastern Electricity shop in Market Gates on April 16, 1987.

Shoppers walk past the Eastern Electricity shop in Market Gates. Date: April 16, 1987. - Credit: Archant Library

Santa arrives at Market Gates in Great Yarmouth on November 21 1987.

Santa arrives at Market Gates in Great Yarmouth on November 21 1987. - Credit: Archant Library


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