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Resort pulls in crowds over weekend

PUBLISHED: 14:57 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:41 03 July 2010

Isobel Reed, three, at the Somerleyton egg hunt.

Isobel Reed, three, at the Somerleyton egg hunt.

Great Yarmouth was bursting at its soggy seams at the weekend as trippers heading to the seaside proved they were undeterred by the prospect of a sudden soaking.

Great Yarmouth was bursting at its soggy seams at the weekend as trippers heading to the seaside proved they were undeterred by the prospect of a sudden soaking.

Although sunshine in the early part of the holiday gave way to grey skies and showers attractions told of good attendances as people hit by the credit crunch spent their money closer to home.

The topsy turvy weather meant people were wearing shorts and T shirt one day and wrapped up in hats and coats the next and that those suffering cloudbursts in one town were unaware of sunshine just a few miles away.

Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones said he had never known so many phone calls from people further afield checking the weather before setting out. He said that overall he was pleased with the amount of people visiting the Pleasure Beach and taking a ride on the big wheel - barely visible at times behind a shroud of fog.

“The problem was the forecast,” he said. “On Saturday they said we were going to have rain and we didn't and on Sunday they said it was going to be dry but it rained. I have never known so many phone calls asking what the weather was like and if we were open.

“Overall we were pleased. It was an encouraging start because we did not know what to expect with what is going on. People left it late coming on Sunday but it just proves that they were here in the camps and guest houses. The new pricing system went down well too and we were pleased about that.”

Queues trailed from the Sea Life centre for most of the day on Easter Sunday allowing indoor attractions to benefit where outdoor ones had on Saturday.

Peter Jay, owner of the Hippodrome said every performance of his Easter show had been sold out, adding: “There have been lots of people about - a tremendous amount of people. I think it is a good sign that it is going to be a very good summer.”

Inland at Somerleyton Hall families pulled on their wellies to follow an Easter hunt which sent children to all four corners of the gardens, allowing parents to appreciate the flora. Carolyn Ashton said over 500 people shrugged off the weather on Sunday and were rewarded with a mainly dry day. “Considering the weather was so poor I think we did really well,” she added.

Alan Carr, head of tourism, said visitor numbers could have topped 10,000 over the weekend and that the mix of sunshine and showers was better than last year's total washout.

Susan Dodds of Seashells guest house said she was fully booked over the weekend and that the town was heaving.


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