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Snow keeps tourists thin on ground

PUBLISHED: 17:44 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 03 July 2010

TOUGH GOING: Workman clear up the roof that blew off at Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

TOUGH GOING: Workman clear up the roof that blew off at Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

Liz Coates

THE snow was deep, crisp and even, but it was the visitors who were thin on ground at most of the borough's outdoor attractions.

Businesses were this week counting the cost after the mix of an early Easter and atrocious weather combined to keep people indoors.

Monday's race meeting at Great Yarmouth was cancelled

THE snow was deep, crisp and even, but it was the visitors who were thin on ground at most of the borough's outdoor attractions.

Businesses were this week counting the cost after the mix of an early Easter and atrocious weather combined to keep people indoors.

Travellers talked of nightmare journeys as the emergency services dealt with a flurry of damage-only prangs - including one on Monday that forced the closure of the Acle Straight for an hour.

Trampolines at Gorleston set up in anticipation of an Easter rush, sagged under the weight of snow while a few hardy souls braved the beach.

A family huddled in the shelters nearby eating ice creams - the misery of the cold etched on their faces.

In Great Yarmouth the Merrivale Model Village was forced to close and Monday's race meeting at Great Yarmouth was also cancelled.

Peter Williamson, chairman of Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association, which represents 85 businesses, said: “Indoor attractions fared slightly better but the story has been very bad for outdoor attractions. It has been a disastrous weekend - there's no other word for it.”

Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones said Good Friday's attendance figures were not significantly down on last year's but they had been closed since Saturday because of their office roof being blown off in the gales.

The park was due to reopen on Tuesday.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens reported visitors 90pc down on a good Easter and on Monday at 2.30pm Alex Sims said there was not a single car in the car park.

However, Great Yarmouth's seafront was still busy on Sunday with many visitors heading for the cinema and indoor attractions like the Sea Life Centre.

The Broads fared better than expected with Matthew Thwaites, a director of Wroxham-based Barnes Brinkcraft, reporting 80pc of pre-booked cruisers out over Easter - compared to 100pc bookings for a later Easter. However, he said poor weather on Monday had stopped them hiring out any day boats.

James Steward, area museums officer, reported good figures at both the Tolhouse and Elizabethan House Museums which opened on Good Friday, and at the Time and Tide Museum.

And Peter Jay said: “We had sell-out shows for the Easter Circus on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. “There were plenty of people about despite the weather and Yarmouth has plenty of indoor attractions.”

Meanwhile bad weather forced a sudden change of venue from the racecourse to the Hippodrome for the Great Moscow State Circus.

A spokesman said the land was simply too wet and boggy to support the big top.

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