Great Yarmouth's Jubilee celebrations kick off at the market

Stallholders Lucy and Sean Dearn in the first phase of Great Yaarmouth's new market place. Picture:

Stallholders Lucy and Sean Dearn in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee kicked off at Great Yarmouth's £4.7m market revamp on Wednesday.

People made their way to the inside of the recently completed first phase of the redevelopment in the town centre to watch live entertainment and visit traders in the new build.

An official opening event began with borough mayor Graham Plant welcoming residents, traders and visitors.

Jubilee celebrations taking place in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. Picture:

People gathered at the Jubilee celebrations taking place in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Plant said: "It is my great pleasure to welcome you here at the first of our official events for the Platinum Jubilee.

"Where would be more fitting to make the celebration than here at our new market place?

"It is fantastic to be inside."

The mayor then cut the ribbon to officially open the new build.

Great Yarmouth borough mayor Graham Plant cutting the ribbon at the Jubilee celebrations at the new

Great Yarmouth borough mayor Graham Plant cutting the ribbon at the Jubilee celebrations at the new market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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Since the beginning of April traders from the old market have been making the move to the new site.

The most recent traders to open are former fruit and veg stallholders, Sean and Lucy Dearn.

Stallholders Lucy and Sean Dearn in the first phase of Great Yaarmouth's new market place. Picture:

Stallholders Lucy and Sean Dearn in their new unit, Johnny's Pies, Peas and Chips. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr and Mrs Dearn have now opened Johnny's Pie, Peas and Chips - taking over and expanding on the family's pie and pea stall which had been on the market since 1946.

Mr Dearn said: "We've been off the market for a couple of months, but it has been great to see some of the old faces.

"People are happy to see pies and peas on the market again.

Peas in a ceramic bowl.

IT'S BACK: Traditional peas in ceramic bowls are back on Great Yarmouth market - Credit: James Weeds

"Our first three days have been steady - lunchtime has been fine but we do need to get more footfall through the middle of the building.

"We knew it would be hard to begin with - especially while the construction of the other side is taking place."

Mr Dearn said the live entertainment - provided by the Mirror Men and members from the Snap Chaps quartet - "brought a lovely atmosphere" to the market place.

Jubilee celebrations taking place in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. Picture:

Saxophonist Myke Clifford and guitarist Kyle Chater - from the Snap Chaps quartet - were on hand to provide live music at Great Yarmouth market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Myke Clifford, originally from Gorleston and saxophonist from the Snap Chaps, said: "I haven't seen the market in a while and it's nice and cosy in here. I think it looks marvellous. 

"The acoustics are great, so it makes a good space for entertainment."

Mr Clifford also said the cake and cheese straws from Big Mama's were delicious.

Thoko Dawes

Thoko Dawes, owner of Big Mama's on Great Yarmouth market place. - Credit: James Weeds

Thoko Dawes, owner of Big Mama's, said: "It's good to get acknowledged.

"People are impressed with the new units and we're plodding along and hoping more people will come back to the market place."

Joanne Ruddock

Joanne Ruddock at Copland's Bakery. - Credit: James Weeds

Over at Copland's Bakery, employee Joanne Ruddock said the stall had almost sold out of bread.

"It has been a good day," she said. 

"It's nice to see people out and enjoying themselves on the market and the atmosphere has been good.

"It's a bit of a shame the weather hasn't been a bit better - but you can't have everything."

On the day, only three units were empty. However, there were signs saying that a juice shop, a butcher shop, and a mac and cheese stall were all coming soon.

Coming Soon signs.

COMING SOON: Three new businesses are making their way to Great Yarmouth market. - Credit: James Weeds

Also at the event were dignitaries such as the High Steward Henry Cator and members from Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Leader Carl Smith said: "This has been a great way to start the jubilee celebrations taking place across the borough over the next few days.

"It's been great to see people in here enjoying the stalls and we should have this part of the market completely full soon.

"This is only the first phase of the regeneration of the market place and we have major plans in the pipeline.

"The demolition of the old market is due to begin next week to make way for the second phase of the regeneration."

Sheila Oxtoby, Carl Smith, borough mayor Graham Plant and high steward Henry Cator at the Jubilee ce

GYBC chief executive Sheila Oxtoby, leader Carl Smith, borough mayor Graham Plant and High Steward Henry Cator at the Jubilee celebration in Great Yarmouth's new market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Labour opposition leader Trevor Wainwright said: "It's been lovely to be at the opening of the first phase of the market this morning.

"Talking to the traders, it's been very positive.

"It's early days, but hopefully things will turn out well."

The move to the new market area has caused some controversy, as some stallholders - including Barrie's Tea Stall and Brewer's Chips - had chosen not to relocate to the new structure.

Jubilee celebrations taking place in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. Picture:

Jubilee celebrations taking place in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Jubilee celebrations taking place in the first phase of Great Yarmouth's new market place. Picture:

The Mirror Men and live music at Great Yarmouth market place. - Credit: Danielle Booden