The march of time: Photos show changes in Great Yarmouth over the years

Before and after pictures of Breydon Water in Great Yarmouth.

Before and after: Breydon Water pictured in 1984 and 2021. The bridge was built in 1985. Can you spot any other difference? - Credit: Mike Page

Eye-opening before and after photos show how much Great Yarmouth has changed in three decades.

In 1984, 1996 and 2001, local photographer Mike Page took skyhigh shots of the some of the town's landmarks and the borough's coastline.

Recently he went out again - and the birdseye view afforded by his photos shows an urban and rural landscape transformed, and transforming, under the steady, unstoppable advance of time.

Preparatory work for the Breydon Bridge in 1984.

Preparatory work for the Breydon Bridge in 1984. - Credit: Mike Page

Breydon Bridge 2021

The same scene in 2021. - Credit: Mike Page

Thirty-seven years ago, the Breydon Bridge still existed only on blueprints, while the riverbank itself was being prepared for the construction project that would finish the following year, allowing cars cross the River Yare and linking the borough with Lowestoft.

Also noticeable in the most recent photo of the area is the Asda which opened in 1989.

Another picture taken in 1984 shows the original coal-fired power station on South Denes Road which would be demolished in 1997.

Great Yarmouth power station 1984

The coal-fired power station in Great Yarmouth's South Denes peninsula which was demolished in 1997, seen here in 1984. - Credit: Mike Page

Great Yarmouth new power station 2001

The new gas-fired power station in Great Yarmouth, built in 2001. - Credit: Mike Page

The 360-foot (110m) chimney, a town landmark, had been the tallest structure in Norfolk.

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In 2001, it was replaced by the current gas-fired power station.

That same year, to the immediate south of the site, the town's outer harbour is notable by its absence, with a photo showing the waves crashing unobstructed on the beach.

South Denes in Great Yarmouth, pictured in 2001, before the Outer Harbour was built.

South Denes in Great Yarmouth, pictured in 2001, before the Outer Harbour was built. - Credit: Mike Page

Great Yarmouth outer harbour 2020

The same scene in 2020. - Credit: Mike Page

Construction work on the outer harbour began six years later and was completed by 2009, with the seascape there now dominated by a pair of breakwaters, 1,400 metres in length and containing 850,000 tonnes of rock.

Another pair of photos, taken 25 years apart, reveal the devastating effects of high winds and tides on the dunes at Winterton which have receded in recent years in the wake of a series of winter surges.

Winterton, pictured in 1996, before a series of winter storm surges devastated the dunes.

Winterton, pictured in 1996, before a series of winter storm surges devastated the dunes. - Credit: Mike Page

Winterton erosion 2021

The same scene, but a different picture, in 2021. - Credit: Mike Page

The latest pictures come just 11 months after the Dunes cafe was torn down before it collapsed onto the sands

Two weeks ago people were warned to take extra care and police cordoned off the end of the road after a fresh collapse.

Winterton pictured in 2001.

Winterton pictured in 2001. - Credit: Mike Page

Winterton erosion 2021

The same scene 20 years later. - Credit: Mike Page

Such was the impact of the latest loss - creating 25ft sheer drops in places - James Bensly, whose county council ward includes the village, called the police and council to make the area safe and provide warning signs. 

  



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