Ballroom, skating-rink, beer-hall: Remembering the Winter Gardens

GREAT YARMOUTHTEA - TIME AT WINTERGARDENS AT GREAT YARMOUTH ?DATED JUNE 1961PLATE P3600

GREAT YARMOUTHTEA - TIME AT WINTERGARDENS AT GREAT YARMOUTH ?DATED JUNE 1961PLATE P3600

A palace of glass and steel, the Winter Gardens is one of Great Yarmouth’s most instantly recognisable buildings.

GREAT YARMOUTHWINTER GARDENS UNDER REPAIR SHROUDED WITH SCAFFOLDINGNO DATEPLATE P6460

GREAT YARMOUTHWINTER GARDENS UNDER REPAIR SHROUDED WITH SCAFFOLDINGNO DATEPLATE P6460

Built in Torquay in 1878, the failed business venture was dismantled, shipped around the coast and reassembled on the Golden Mile in 1904.

The Victorian icon has gone through many transformations.

Over the years it has been a ballroom, a roller-skating rink and an amusement arcade - electric light would fill its interior and beam out across the seafront and gleam on the water.

For a time it morphed into an Austrian-style beer garden, where ale-drinkers were served by waitresses in Tyrolean costume while an orchestra played.

GY/EVENTSROLLER-SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS - WINTER GARDENSDATED 1967N1002

GY/EVENTSROLLER-SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS - WINTER GARDENSDATED 1967N1002


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Now however, derelict and disused, it was listed last year as one of the UK's most endangered buildings - an unfortunate fate for a structure once considered the height of modernity.

The borough council is looking for an investor to bring the building, closed since 2008, back into use.

GY/ENTERTAINMENTWINTER GARDENS BIERGARTEN DANCINGDATED 1969PRINT C4429

GY/ENTERTAINMENTWINTER GARDENS BIERGARTEN DANCINGDATED 1969PRINT C4429

ENTERTAINMENTMR B. COOPER AGED 77 OF HINGHAM , ENTERTAINING MEMBERS WITH HIS DULCIMER IN THE WINTER

ENTERTAINMENTMR B. COOPER AGED 77 OF HINGHAM , ENTERTAINING MEMBERS WITH HIS DULCIMER IN THE WINTER GARDENSDATED 13TH JUNE 1961PHOTOGRAPHER COLTON

Tyrol-by-the-Sea: the Winter Gardens transformed into a popular Austrian biergarten in 1966.

Tyrol-by-the-Sea: the Winter Gardens transformed into a popular Austrian biergarten in 1966. - Credit: Archant

GREAT YARMOUTHWINTER GARDENSAUDIENCE LISTENING TO A BAND (salvation army?)NO DATEPLATE P5350

GREAT YARMOUTHWINTER GARDENSAUDIENCE LISTENING TO A BAND (salvation army?)NO DATEPLATE P5350

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