Spirit of Yarmouth jetty to live on in Marine Parade floral display?

THE spirit of Great Yarmouth jetty is set to live on at the seafront, with historic timbers earmarked for use in a floral display in Marine Parade.

Demolition of the jetty - which dates back 450 years - began last week, prompting outcry from campaigners.

Most of the timbers are rotten and will have to be chipped, according to the council, and the steels are to be melted down. But some of the timbers are in good condition and plans are to use them as part of a Great Yarmouth in Bloom display outside The Carlton Hotel.

Sue Hacon, co-ordinator of Great Yarmouth In Bloom, said: “I saw The Mercury last week and thought I could have done with some of those timbers. Our displays are supposed to represent Yarmouth’s history, so when I saw about the jetty I thought we could use some of that. I’m quite excited about it as then the jetty won’t be lost forever.”

Uprights would be used for plants to grow along. Past displays have used granite from the outer harbour and carousel horses from the Pleasure Beach to represent the town.

Charles Reynolds, deputy leader of the borough council, chaired the development control committee which voted to demolish the jetty in January last year, stating a �350,000 repair bill was too high.

“Sadly a lot of the wood is just no good at all,” he said. “But any decent bits we’ve got left - if we can use it rather than send it for chipping we certainly will.”

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A “substantial” plaque explaining the history of the jetty is to be erected at the site where it stood, once the �90,000 demolition and refurbishing work is completed.

Mr Reynolds is meeting council officers and historians next week for discussions over the wording of the plaque.

“We’re talking about a fairly substantial display,” he added. “It won’t be something you have to squint your eyes at.”

Planning conditions state the plaque must be in place within six months of refurbishment work being finished, and that work is set to finish in six weeks. But Mr Reynolds hopes the plaque will be up by the start of the summer season.

Michael Boon has campaigned hard to keep the jetty but says he is glad the council is looking to remember it. He told The Mercury “As long as it’s properly done and the jetty isn’t just forgotten I think it’s a good idea. What needs to go on the plaque is from experts and I hope they go to the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society for information.”

The plan to include jetty timbers in a floral display is to be put to council officers next week.