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Nostalgia flying off the shelves

PUBLISHED: 17:07 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:40 03 July 2010

AUTHOR: Martin Blackwell

AUTHOR: Martin Blackwell

Miles Jermy

IT is a fascinating story featuring a cast of characters from humble herring girls to big name entertainers.

A new DVD, featuring more than 60 years of Great Yarmouth life in film proved a surprise big seller in the town this Christmas.

IT is a fascinating story featuring a cast of characters from humble herring girls to big name entertainers.

A new DVD, featuring more than 60 years of Great Yarmouth life in film proved a surprise big seller in the town this Christmas.

Yarmouth in Days Gone By has been giving the Hollywood blockbusters and top TV dramas a run for their money in sales stakes.

Demand for the title has outstripped supply at the Books Inside store at the Market Gates Shopping Centre.

Owner Martin Blackwell said the store had sold around 140 copies in the last two weeks, with the DVD flying off the shelves after it was featured in the Mercury.

He said: “It's been extraordinary, after ordering just 10 copies to start with, we sold out the minute the Mercury edition came out featuring the DVD.

“I ordered another 20 that sold out in just one day and a further 40 went by the following weekend.

“Customers were buying it for Christmas presents and for themselves - it just goes to show that nostalgia is alive and well.

“I am absolutely delighted with the sales success; it has really taken us by surprise. I thought the initial order would be more than enough, but we have sold more than 10 times that.

“Some of the large retailers are not so interested in local history so this is a niche that independent book sellers like us can exploit.”

Sales of Yarmouth in Days Gone By helped boost Christmas trading at the store, which opened two and a half years ago.

Around 1,000 copies of the DVD have been sold, which captures a bygone age when townsfolk made their living from the sea and tourists flocked to the seaside resort on steam trains.

Produced by the East Anglian Film Archive it includes rarely seen footage of the herring fleets at work, the Prince of Wales's visit to the town in 1930 to open Haven Bridge and summer season stars from years gone by including Tommy Cooper and Benny Hill.

Local history expert Colin Tooke said his latest book Great Yarmouth in the Twentieth Century had sold well, exceeding the initial print run, despite fears the credit crunch could affect sales.

The East Anglian Film Archive DVD costs £9.99 and is available from the Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre on Marine Parade, local independent bookshops or online at www.archivefilmshop.co.uk

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