Palmers Great Yarmouth director, caught in New Zealand earthquake

THE director of a Great Yarmouth town centre store was just 15 minutes away from being at the epicentre of the devastating earthquake that struck New Zealand.

Stuart McGee, 59, director of Palmers store in Market Place, was on a coach with his wife Linda, 64, a short distance from Christchurch when the 6.3 magnitude quake struck on Tuesday, killing at least 75 people and causing widespread damage.

The couple were travelling to the South Island city’s Millennium Hotel when the quake struck six miles away from the city and two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface.

Staff and guests at the Millennium Hotel were safely evacuated without any injuries, although the hotel was damaged during the quake.

Mr McGee and his wife escaped unharmed, but felt the quake while on the coach.

Do you know of anyone who has been caught up in the New Zealand earthquake? If so, call Dominic Bareham on 01493 847956 or e-mail

Read the full story of the earthquake drama in Friday’s Mercury.