Protest held at 'neglected' steps in show of community support


Locals are frustrated and feel like they are not being listened to by Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Supplied

A crowd of around 200 people gathered at a set of landmark steps calling for more action from Norfolk County Council to restore them to their former glory.

The protest was organised to draw attention to the poor state of the White Lion steps, in Gorleston, which were badly damaged in a landslide a decade ago and never fully repaired.

The steps, which run from Cliff Hill to Beach Road in Gorleston date back to the Napoleonic wars.

They are named after the former White Lion Inn which used to sit at the top, until it closed in 2008.

The steps are considered an important part of the town’s heritage.


Hundreds turned out in protest over the 'neglected' steps which have not been fixed in over a decade. - Credit: Supplied

They suffered a landslip in April 2012, when bricks and soil cascaded down, narrowly missed a 12-year-old boy.

Full repairs were never made, and one side has been blocked off ever since.


FLASHBACK: The dramatic damage to the wall by the White Lion Steps - Credit: Archant

A Facebook group, called Restore the White Lion Steps, has been set up to call for a full restoration.

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It organised the protest, at noon on Sunday.

One of the group's members, Ron Upton, said: "It was an incredible turnout.

"I felt moved and touched to see so much of the community here to support us.

"We are fed up with the current state of the steps so it was fitting to see so much of the community out here today.

"The strength and depth of feeling is really strong and we just want to know when Norfolk County Council will restore the steps to its former glory.

"We feel in many ways we have slipped under the carpet and feel talks about restoring the steps should be more inclusive."

yarmouth mercury

FLASHBACK: The front page of the Great Yarmouth Mercury from Friday, April 13 2012. - Credit: Archant

In 2015, it was reported there was no funding for the restoration. But last year, Norfolk County Council deputy leader Graham Plant said new cash for the project had become available.

graham plant

Norfolk County Council deputy leader Graham Plant. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

At the time, he said repairs to the flint wall should begin in spring 2022.

However, locals are still concerned that they have heard no more about the project, and are keen to put pressure on the council to get the work started.