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Blue plaque unveiled on former Lions club holiday home in Gorleston

PUBLISHED: 13:04 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:32 28 August 2018

Lions Club President Rodney Holland-Merten and GoSH Chairman Les Cockrill. Photo: The Lions Club

Lions Club President Rodney Holland-Merten and GoSH Chairman Les Cockrill. Photo: The Lions Club

The Lions Club

A former Lions club holiday home for blind people in Gorleston that was the first of its kind in the country has been recognised with a blue plaque.

Lions Club President Rodney Holland-Merten unveils the plaque. Photo: The Lions ClubLions Club President Rodney Holland-Merten unveils the plaque. Photo: The Lions Club

Members of Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group (GoSH) gathered outside number 1 Avondale Road on Saturday to carry out the plaque unveiling ceremony. They were joined by members of the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society and the Great Yarmouth Lions Club.

Lions club president, Rodney Holland-Merten, was welcomed by GoSH chairman, Les Cockrill, to unveil the plaque.

The holiday home was the first of its kind in the country, opening its doors on June 2, 1959.

It was originally purchased by a board of trustees on behalf of the Lions who were responsible for the funding of the home and the appointment of a warden.

The Lions Club holiday home plaque.Photo: The Lions ClubThe Lions Club holiday home plaque.Photo: The Lions Club

Lions clubs from all over the country would apply for holidays at the home with a draw taking place to see which clubs had been picked. A further draw would be taken to allocate the dates of their visit.

It was the responsibilty of each club to provide transport to and from the home.

The home was also the beneficiary of a Win a Car competition run by the Lions which took place on the sea front in Yarmouth every year.

Participants had to guess how many people would attend the National Motor Show which was held in London each autumn. The winner was then brought back to Great Yarmouth and presented with the car they had won at the club’s annual charter celebration.

The winner received their car the following day when they visited the home.

Unfortunately the competition lost popularity with the public and the home was sold in 1992. Holidays did however continue for a few years after this.

Member of GoSH, Paul Godfrey, said: “The group is grateful to Peter and Katy Morgan the current owners of number 1 Avondale Road for allowing us to place the blue plaque on their property.”

The Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage group meets in the Macey Room in Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre on Magdalen Way from 10am to noon on the second Tuesday of each month, except January and August.

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