"The Great Wall of Emerson" - photos of town's past now on display

The Great Wall of Emerson outside Pleasure Beach

"The Great Wall of Emerson" outside Pleasure Beach. - Credit: James Weeds

Photographs depicting the everyday folk and natural beauty of nineteenth century Great Yarmouth are now on display at the South Denes.

A monochrome photo of late 19th century fishermen.

There are 21 panels in the installation, showing the way Great Yarmouth residents lived their lives in the late 1800s. - Credit: James Weeds

Taken by pioneer photographer, Peter Henry Emerson, the images show the lives of Yarmouth residents as well as shipwrecks and the Broads.

The 21 panels have been placed alongside the sea-facing wall of the Pleasure Beach on the South Denes.

The exhibition is part of the Finding Emerson Photo Festival, which will be taking place on Saturday, June 5, but can be viewed at any time.

Mark Cator, 60, photographer and festival organiser, said: "Emerson was a rule breaker.

Mark Cator standing along "The Great Wall of Emerson."

Mark Cator standing along "The Great Wall of Emerson." - Credit: James Weeds

"He was a man who was not going to sit by while the establishment were doing what he felt was totally wrong in photography as an art form.


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"He was instrumental in developing early photography, as well as a champion of Great Yarmouth, its people and its surrounding beauty.

"However, he seems to be a bit forgotten for the second part."

The Great Wall of Emerson outside Pleasure Beach.

"The Great Wall of Emerson" spans from behind the Pleasure Beach roller coaster to the log flume. - Credit: James Weeds

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One resident, Colin Lord, 77, was taking a look at the photographs and commented: "It's a great idea. They're very good

Mr Lord said: "It's interesting to walk past and see how the town used to be."

Colin Lord standing beside a photo at the installation.

Colin Lord said the installation was "ideal" as it highlights some of the town's history. - Credit: James Weeds

The Finding Emerson Festival is to remember the photographer's life, work, and involvement with the town.

The festival will include guest talks from acclaimed photographer, exhibitions of Emerson's work spread across multiple galleries in town, including Primeyarc and the recently opened Yare Gallery.

There will also be a blue plaque - in honour of PH Emerson - unveiled at St George's Theatre.

Mr Cator continued: "We have had an amazing amount of support for the Finding Emerson Festival - especially from Albert Jones at the Pleasure Beach for providing the space for this installation.

"I am overwhelmed by it all. I'm really looking forward to it."

For more information on the Finding Emerson Festival, please visit Mark Cator's website.

Monochrome photograph of a man with a telescope installed outside the Pleasure Beach.

Mark Cator, photographer and Finding Emerson Festival organiser, wanted to say thanks to Albert Jones from the Pleasure Beach for allowing Mr Cator to use the space on the sea-facing wall. - Credit: James Weeds

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