1860s engraving of Yarmouth Suspension Bridge and river

Peggotty 1710

Peggotty 1710 - Credit: Archant

EX-YARMOUTHIAN John Clarke, long domiciled in Dorset but a reader of the Mercury’s on-line version, faced a minor dilemma when he inherited two colour prints of scenes from his former home county.

Peggotty 1710

Peggotty 1710 - Credit: Archant

So he posted them to me, explaining: “They have little interest to me, but I feel they deserve a good home. Perhaps you may well be able to identify suitable recipients. I feel that a charity shop in this area (Poole) would not find them of much interest!”

One is described as an “original hand-coloured engraving” by G Smyth of the Yarmouth Suspension Bridge and river about 1860, the other an “original colour print” by Ernest Haslehurst about 1930 of Norwich market place and Guildhall.

Wanting to establish an approximate value, and unaware of any art shop in Yarmouth, I contacted a Norwich gallery but it dealt only in originals, not prints, so I do not know if they are worth a fiver or a fortune.

I could find no information about the “original hand-coloured engraving” of our Suspension Bridge or its artist, G Smyth, but Ernest Hasleton – who painted the “original colour print” of the Norwich scene - was a prolific illustrator specialising in travel guides, and I found this picture on-line in William Jerrold’s 1930 book, Norwich and The Broads.

The bridge picture measures 22cm by 16cm (in a 32x26cm mount), while the city market work is 11cm by 17cm (in a 25x16cm mount).

Any reader interested in acquiring them for £10 or more each can view them first-hand at the Mercury office at 169 King Street, Yarmouth. Please leave any bid/offer there, or e-mail me at the address at the head of this column.

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Any proceeds will go to a charity of my choice.

Former Yarmouth Grammar School pupil John Clarke, now in his 70s, was featured in this column earlier this year, first with a plea for pictures of the Water Dodgems he enjoyed about 1949 at our Pleasure Beach and then by providing more information on my topics about residents of Queens Road where he was born.