From Rumbelows to Radio One Roadshow: Yarmouth in the '90s

Pensioners enjoy the sun and an ice cream on Yarmouths Golden Mile. Pic Chris Gorman (c) E

Pensioners enjoy the sun and an ice cream on Yarmouths Golden Mile in July 1996. - Credit: Chris Gorman

What do you remember about Great Yarmouth in the 1990s?

A trawl through our picture archive takes us back in time to a land of BHS and Rumbelows, the Radio One Roadshow, snorkelling at the old Marina Centre and not a mobile phone in sight.

The exterior of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, dated 5th September 1994. Photo: Archant Librar

The exterior of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, dated 5th September 1994. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

It was an era that brought us the Spice Girls and Windows 95, Tony Blair and Britpop. A time when Britain seemed to draw closer to Europe with the opening of the Channel Tunnel and millions mourned the death of Princess Diana.

While some of the fashions - mostly baggy - have changed (or maybe even disappeared and come back) many of Yarmouth's attractions back then were the same as they are now.

The Shake-It ride at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in 1996

The Shake-It ride at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in 1996 - Credit: Archant

We see people enjoying crazy golf, the circus at the Hippodrome, rides at the Pleasure Beach and a day at the races.

BHS in Yarmouth in 1990

BHS in Yarmouth in 1990 - Credit: Archant

Meanwhile, pictures of old High Street stalwarts BHS and Rumbelows are a sad reminder of how our town centre has changed since the 1990s.

Rumbelows in Market Gates shopping centre, Great Yarmouth, 7th February 1995. Picture: Archant Libra

Rumbelows in Market Gates shopping centre, Great Yarmouth, 7th February 1995. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

A closer look at the TVs on sale shows a distinct lack of flat screens, and in that pre-streaming age, we'd have had to watch what was on, which was probably Friends or Dawson's Creek. Or the X-Files.

Most Read

Either that or we'd rent a movie (on VHS) from the local video rental shop - remember those?  

Radio 1 Roadshow in Hunstanton, dated 30th July 1996. Photo: Archant Library

The Radio 1 Roadshow drew thousands to the beach during its heyday. - Credit: Archant Library

The end of the decade also brought the curtain down on the popular Radio One Roadshow, which had been entertaining crowds at beach resorts around the UK since the 1970s.

It used to be the biggest thing to hit the seaside in the summer when the 65ft stage truck rolled into Yarmouth and parked up on the seafront, bringing a mix of musical A-listers with competitions, banter and practical jokes.

Radio 1 Roadshow in Great Yarmouth, dated 2nd August 1995. Photo: Archant Library

Radio 1 Roadshow in Great Yarmouth, dated 2nd August 1995. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

In its heyday, the roadshow drew thousands to Great Yarmouth before the BBC replaced it with a series of one-day festivals in 2000.

Great Yarmouth Racecourse, 22nd July 1992. Photo: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Racecourse, 22nd July 1992. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

But the photos also show something else. Or show by not showing at all, because glaring in their absence are mobile phones.

Not one of the people crowded on the Golden Mile or at the racecourse is staring at the now-ubiquitous handheld screen.

A warm sunny day at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. Date: May 1997.

A warm sunny day at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. Date: May 1997. - Credit: Archant Library

Which begs the questions: How did they know where they were going? How did they know the best restaurant to eat at? How did they... survive?

Answers on a postcard, please, to the Great Yarmouth Mercury, Regent Street, sorry, King Street, Great Yarmouth.

Great Yarmouth late night Christmas shopping, 7th December 1995. Photo: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth late night Christmas shopping, 7th December 1995. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

The Terminator ride at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in March 1994

The Terminator ride at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in March 1994 - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth - Pleasure BeachChildrenLeanna and Joseph Bradley on the galloping horses at

Leanna and Joseph Bradley on the galloping horses at the Pleasure Beach Dated 23 May 1997 - Credit: Archant

Sport - Horse RacingGreat Yarmouth Racecourse.Newtown Selling Handicap Stakes at Yarmouth ra

Horse Racing Great Yarmouth Racecourse. Newtown Selling Handicap Stakes at Yarmouth races. Dated 19 September 1990 - Credit: Archant

Christmas Shopping in Victoria Arcade at Great Yarmouth. Date: November 26, 1992.

Christmas Shopping in Victoria Arcade at Great Yarmouth. Date: November 26, 1992. - Credit: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth port, 25 November 1991. Picture: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth port, 25 November 1991. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Beach patrol police at Great Yarmouth, 8th July 1993. Photo: Archant Library

Beach patrol police at Great Yarmouth, 8th July 1993. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Yarmouth Sea Front

Yarmouth Sea Front - Credit: Archant

Yarmouth Sea Front

Yarmouth Sea Front - Credit: Archant

The Golden mile in Yarmouth, dated around October 1990. Atlantis Tower. Photo: Archant Library

The Golden mile in Yarmouth, dated around October 1990. Atlantis Tower. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

The exterior of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, dated 5th September 1994. Photo: Archant Librar

The exterior of the Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, dated 5th September 1994. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Yarmouth Sea Front

Yarmouth Sea Front - Credit: Archant

The circus at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, 14th August 1998. Photo: Archant Library

The circus at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, 14th August 1998. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Marina Centre 'Sharks' Snorkel club, 09/03/1991. Picture: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Marina Centre 'Sharks' Snorkel club, 09/03/1991. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Marina Centre, six a side, 22/03/1992. Picture: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Marina Centre, six a side, 22/03/1992. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Marina Centre Energy Camp, 1997. Picture: Archant Library

Great Yarmouth Marina Centre Energy Camp, 1997. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Reception class at St Mary and St Peter Catholic Primary School in Great Yarmouth, March 1996. Pictu

Reception class at St Mary and St Peter Catholic Primary School in Great Yarmouth, March 1996. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Horse racing at Great Yarmouth, 5 July 1995. Picture: Archant Library

Horse racing at Great Yarmouth, 5 July 1995. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

The first horse race of the year at Great Yarmouth, 1 June 1994. Picture: Archant Library

The first horse race of the year at Great Yarmouth, 1 June 1994. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Education - SchoolsSea Life Centre opening at Great Yarmouth.Wroughton School choir sings sea sh

Sea Life Centre opening at Great Yarmouth. Wroughton School choir sings sea shanties under the direction of Mrs Elizabeth Myhill. Dated 3 July 1990. - Credit: Archant

Punch and Judy at school - Great Yarmouth pic taken 20th march 1992 cf3552-16

Punch and Judy at a school in Great Yarmouth, picture taken March 20, 1992. - Credit: Archant