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Permanent monument to town

PUBLISHED: 11:33 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 July 2010

NEW ROCK: A monument has been planned for the town

NEW ROCK: A monument has been planned for the town

Laura Bagshaw

SCENES of Great Yarmouth's glory herring days and the town's current outer harbour development are just some of the key moments in the town's history to be featured on a new permanent monument.

Laura Bagshaw

SCENES of Great Yarmouth's glory herring days and the town's current outer harbour development are just some of the key moments in the town's history to be featured on a new permanent monument.

A giant rock monument will be unveiled in the town centre next year to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the King John Charter.

The monument will be created from two massive granite rocks donated by Eastport UK from the outer harbour site.

The rocks, weighing about six tons each and both six feet high, will be put together to create one giant monument which will be carved by local stonemason Colin Smith.

Ernie Childs, of Great Yarmouth Potteries, has designed the monument which will be mounted on a 12ft brass compass - directing people to different areas of the town.

Mr Childs said the project, which has been sponsored by local companies PKF, Palmers, and J & H Bunn, will involve months of hard work.

He said: “The stone is very hard so the designs will be cut into marble which will be put on the stone.”

The monument will feature cobbles retrieved from the old fish wharf at Bollard Quay in Yarmouth.

Work on the project is in the early stages and the council is now searching for premises to develop the monument.

Mr Childs explained: “The rocks are too big to get in either mine or Colin's yard so we are hoping to get a warehouse where we can work on it.”

Rocks have been selected and will be kept at the outer harbour site until a warehouse can be found. J & H Bunn has already pledged to transport them.

Mr Childs and Mr Smith will spend many evenings and weekends working on the project while continuing with their day jobs. Once complete the monument will then be taken to its final home in the Market Place on a site near the Fisherman's Hospital.

Tests will be carried out on the site to ensure the ground can cope with the weight of the rocks. If the ground is too weak it will be reinforced.

Councillor Bert Collins said the King John Charter Committee, set up to oversee Charter celebrations, said several sites including the seafront, had been considered for the monument.

However, it was decided that the Market Place would be ideal as it fell within the old Yarmouth boundary and because the area already had seating so people could enjoy the monument.

It is hoped a grand unveiling will take place next March.

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