Are giant letters too 'tacky' for Gorleston?

Giant selfie letters planned for Gorleston remain in storage while Great Yarmouth and Hemsby have theirs up

A giant, illuminated selfie sign planned for the public area around the bandstand and Ocean Room at Gorleston remains in storage amid debate about where it should go and whether it fits with the resort's more sedate image. - Credit: Gorleston Pavilion Theatre/GYBC

Great Yarmouth and Hemsby have their names up in lights, but what about Gorleston?

Its nine giant letters are still tucked away in storage with some saying they hate the idea.

Hollywood-style letters come to Hemsby

Tourism honeypot Hemsby has its name up in lights as it looks forward to what it hopes is a bumper summer season. - Credit: GYBC

Great Yarmouth Borough Council had intended all three resorts would announce their names in twinkling mesh selfie signs costing more than £25,000.

But a bid for "Gorleston" to be suspended on 6m poles at the bandstand met with resistance. A planning application was quietly withdrawn and the letters never saw the light of day.

Gorleston bandstand

Gorleston bandstand along the back wall of the Ocean Room was tipped as the location of a new giant selfie sign spelling out the resort's name. While similar signs are up in Great Yarmouth and Hemsby, Gorleston's has yet to appear. - Credit: Gorleston Pavilion Theatre

One person responding via the borough council's planning portal tagged the Gorleston letters "a waste of money" and "extremely tacky".

They said: "Gorleston is a lovely little traditional seaside town.

"One thing that holidaymakers say is how nice it is to see a traditional beach that isn't cluttered with commercialism like Yarmouth.

"But the council seems intent in ruining our beach and turning it into a little Yarmouth.

thumbnail_Great Yarmouth Lights at Pleasure Beach Gardens credit GYBC

The new town sign is on Marine Parade at Pleasure Beach Gardens - Credit: Great Yarmouth Council

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"These letters will look ridiculous and ruin the overall look of the bandstand area.

"During the daytime, when unlit, they will likely just resemble a messy heap of metal.

"Here's a better idea: throw them off the pier."

Ward councillor Emma Flaxman-Taylor said the sign issue had "drifted into the background" as the council focussed on  other Gorleston issues like the new kiosks.

Giant Hollywood-style lights coming to Great Yarmouth, Hemsby, Gorleston

Giant Hollywood-style lights were tipped as coming to Hemsby, Gorleston, and Great Yarmouth bringing a touch of "selfie" glamour and helping to light up "dark spots." - Credit: GYBC

"I don't know if they would be installed now," she said. "It doesn't get dark until late."

She said residents consulted over the Gorleston masterplan wanted to keep the seafront as low-key as possible, providing a sedate contrast to Yarmouth.

And within the masterplan committee there were also concerns about how the lights would fit with the quieter ethos of the resort, she added.

Giant Hollywood selfie lights planned for Gorleston near Great Yarmouth but not put up yet amid debate

The illuminated Gorleston selfie sign planned for Gorleston has not been put up yet amid debate about where it should go. - Credit: GYBC

Council leader Carl Smith said officers were still looking for a location and had somewhere in mind.

Other options talked about included along the riverside, on the green close to Pop's Meadow, and on top of the Ocean Room building - which the borough council owns.

Hollywood-style letters spell out Hemsby in lights

A crowd gathers to celebrate the launch of Hemsby's giant new sign pointing the way for a hoped-for busy summer at the resort. - Credit: GYBC

"You can't please everyone," he said, adding there was little prospect of the lights going up this year.

Under the terms of the planning permission the letters at Great Yarmouth and Hemsby can be displayed from April 29 to October 1, and be illuminated from dusk to midnight. 

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "The large place name signs have been very well received in Great Yarmouth and in Hemsby, and help promote them as destinations through people sharing on social media.

"We still hope to bring one to Gorleston and we are looking at potential locations that would be suitable, and will apply for planning permission in due course.”

Do you think Gorleston should have its lights? And if so where should they go? Email: liz.coates@archant.co.uk