Memories of Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth

Picture of Palmers department store in Great Yarmouth for EDP Norfolk Magazine feature on their 170t

Picture of Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth for EDP Norfolk Magazine feature on their 170th anniversary in 2007. - Credit: Archant

Lunch at the café with your nan, the “friendly” elevator operator and booking summer holidays - some of the fondest memories recalled at Yarmouth’s former department store. 

A trip to Great Yarmouth was never complete without a walk around Palmers. 

TRADE AND INDUSTRY -- RETAILINTERIOR PICTURE OF DRESS SHOP FOR MARTINEX AND LITTLE WOMEN INSIDE

Picture of dress shop for Martinex and Little Women inside Palmers, in Great Yarmouth in 1962. - Credit: Archant Library

When its official closure was announced last year, it came as sad news to those who had grown up with the department store. 

The landmark site had stood proudly overlooking the town's market place since 1837, growing from a small draper's shop to a chain employing 400 staff with a turnover of £40m at its height. 

TRADE AND INDUSTRY -- RETAILINTERIOR PICTURE OF PALMERS DEPARTMENTAL STORE OF TIE RACKGREAT

The tie rack in Palmers department store in Great Yarmouth. Pictured in 1962. - Credit: Archant Library

In 2018, Palmers in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft were taken over by department store chain Beales. 

But in January 2020, the retailer slid into administration before announcing plans to shut 12 of its 23 outlets.  

Palmers in Great Yarmouth official closed in March 2020. 

HIDDEN ARCADE: Palmers department store in Great Yarmouth Market Place in the 1960s when Row 54 – wh

Palmers department store in Great Yarmouth Market Place in the 1960s when Row 54 – where Malcolm Metcalf and his family once lived – still divided the premises. Palmers Arcade, as the row was known, became part of the store in the 1970s. - Credit: Archant

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We asked readers to recall their favourite memories. 

Honey Harrison said: “Loved Palmers. Fond memories of when the lift was manually operated and the gates would be pulled across and the lovely gentleman would take you to your floor.” 

Great Yarmouth - StreetsLooking from King Street, Great Yarmouth to the town centre, with shop

Great Yarmouth pictured in the 1970's. - Credit: Archant Library

“Loved the cafe and going in to book a holiday with Thomas cook,” said Lisa Taylor. “Such a shame the shop has closed.” 

Paul Hogbin operating the lift at Palmers, Great Yarmouth. Pullinger story. 2/5.

Paul Hogbin operating the lift at Palmers department store, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Samantha Bass added: “I used to work in Thomas Cook. I loved Paul the lift man, he was genuinely that lovely to everyone.” 

“Seeing my kids' faces going up and down the lift,” said Sue Harvey “Then cutting through to get our market chips.” 

Job Search .. Palmers .. Gt Yarmouth.. Judith Allen. Ad feat.(1of6)

Judith Allen in the cafe of Palmers department store in Great Yarmouth.  - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Sheila Sutton commented: “Loved going to the café. The staff were so friendly and the atmosphere was lovely. I've been going to Great Yarmouth from 1955 to 2021. My favourite place for a lovely holiday.” 

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth who are ready for a store war with the new deben

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth. Pictured is coffee room assistant Bev Quantrill in 2008. - Credit: Archant

Brenda Attridge said: “Meeting my nanny in the cafe once a week.” 

Vivienne Tincombe said: “My mum and I often went to Palmers and she and my nan often used to buy from there, and also we used to have lunch in the cafe.” 

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth who are ready for a store war with the new deben

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth. Pictured right is Clarins counter manager Dorothy Siddle helping a customer. - Credit: Archant

Tracy Mannall also remembered happy memories with her nan: “When I was small and my nan came from London for a visit it always included a trip to Palmers and lunch in the cafe.” 

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth who are ready for a store war with the new deben

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth. Pictured right is fashion accessories sales advisor Lorraine Page helping a customer. - Credit: Archant

“My great aunt worked in the lingerie department and was so smartly dressed,” said Lyndsey James. “Also, as a child I loved the brass caged lift.” 

“Visiting my Nanny working on the Clinique counter,” added Kayleigh Griffin. 

Tina Woodrow said: "Saturday morning in the cafe then browsing the clothes and bags. Palmers was a lovely store."

Picture of the Palmers store in Great Yarmouth which is getting ready for a store war with the new d

Picture of the Palmers store in Great Yarmouth in 2008. - Credit: Archant © 2008

Picture of the Palmers store in Great Yarmouth which is getting ready for a store war with the new d

Picture of the Palmers store in Great Yarmouth in 2008. - Credit: Archant © 2008

Picture of staff at Palmers store in Great Yarmouth who are ready for a store war with the new deben

Picture of staff at Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth in 2008. L-R Daphne Pattison (manager of Elvi counter), Lorraine Page (sales advisor), Jean Elam, Dorothy Siddle (clarins counter manager) and Bev Quantrill (coffee room assistant). - Credit: Archant

Picture of model Caprice helping Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth to celebrate their 170th

Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth to celebrate their 170th anniversary. Pictured is Palmers fashion director Wendy Cole in 2007. - Credit: Archant

Picture of Bruce Sturrock General Manager of Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth, which celeb

Picture of Bruce Sturrock General Manager of Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth, which celebrated their 170th anniversary in 2007. - Credit: Archant

Picture of model Caprice helping Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth to celebrate their 170th

Picture of model Caprice helping Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth to celebrate their 170th anniversary. Pictured with general manager Bruce Sturrock and Wendy Cole in 2007. - Credit: Archant © 2007

Picture of model Caprice helping Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth to celebrate their 170th

Picture of model Caprice helping Palmers Department Store in Great Yarmouth to celebrate their 170th anniversary in 2007. - Credit: Archant

The Prince of Wales visiting Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.Cutting the Palmers 175th anniversary cake2

The Prince of Wales visiting Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Cutting the Palmers 175th anniversary cake 27th February 2012. - Credit: Archant

The Prince of Wales visiting Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.Meeting the Palmers staff27th February 2012

The Prince of Wales visiting Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Meeting the Palmers staff February 27, 2012. - Credit: Archant

The Prince of Wales visiting Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.Looking at the Palmers archive27th February

The Prince of Wales visiting Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Looking at the Palmers archive February 27,  2012. - Credit: Archant


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