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'It's always bucked the trend' - Praise for Gorleston's thriving High Street

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 June 2019

Your Town - Gorleston. The busy Gorleston High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Your Town - Gorleston. The busy Gorleston High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Put a candlestick maker in one of its two empty premises and Gorleston's High Street would complete the famous phrase which means if you need anything, whatever it is, you'll find it there.

Your Town - Gorleston. The busy Gorleston High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYYour Town - Gorleston. The busy Gorleston High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And on a sunny Thursday morning, with buses trundling the tarmac and the paths bustling with people and prams, it is easy to forget the headlines about the 'death of the high street'.

David Middleton, 64, from Martham, is a regular visitor.

He praises the range of shops.

"It's quite unusual for a High Street like this, where all the shops are open," Mr Middleton says.

Your Town - Gorleston. David Middleton, 64, from Martham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYYour Town - Gorleston. David Middleton, 64, from Martham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"You don't see too many empty shops around Gorleston."

Mervyn Hill, 83, from Bells Road, does not share the positive outlook.

"It's the same as Yarmouth, it's going downhill," he says.

What about pedestrianising the High Street? Would that help?

Your Town - Gorleston. Mervyn Hill, 83, from Bells Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYYour Town - Gorleston. Mervyn Hill, 83, from Bells Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"It would kill it altogether," Mr Hill says.

"90pc of people won't even walk 50 yards, if people couldn't park next to a shop they wouldn't want to know."

Jane Thomas, 48, lives in Gorleston and works as a nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

She says the High Street is "lovely".

Your Town - Gorleston. Jane Thomas, 45, from Gorleston, with Carwyn Thomas, three. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYYour Town - Gorleston. Jane Thomas, 45, from Gorleston, with Carwyn Thomas, three. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"There are a load of local shops as well, you can get almost anything you need on this High Street," she says.

"It's quite thriving.

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"I'd rather come here than go to Yarmouth."

Richard Routledge, 63, owns What is Hip, a retro clothing store on Gorleston's High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Richard Routledge, 63, owns What is Hip, a retro clothing store on Gorleston's High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

The street is a mix of independent and franchise shops; there are a cinema, a pub, and an undertakers.

The library is at one end, its automatic doors sliding open and closed constantly.

Richard Routledge, 63, owner of What is Hip, a retro clothes shop, says: "It's a good old-fashioned British High Street.

"This street is how I remember when I was young how the high street used to be."

Roger Webster, 67, owns and runs Music Lovers, a record store on Gorleston's High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Roger Webster, 67, owns and runs Music Lovers, a record store on Gorleston's High Street. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Roger Webster, 67, owner of Music Lovers, says: "It's vibrant.

"When I came here in 1999 it was coming out of a slump, but it's always bucked the trend.

"It's the mix.

"The pub and cinema have generated a buzz," Mr Webster says.

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