From the editor's chair - Why I love Great Yarmouth

A family has fun on Great Yarmouth's seafront

A family has fun on Great Yarmouth's seafront - Credit: Visit Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Mercury editor Anthony Carroll gives his views on why he loves the borough of Great Yarmouth in his new monthly column.

"Yarmouth, wonderful Yarmouth.”

So sang Ronnie Ronalde in 1956 as the entertainer penned a love letter to the resort.

And while times have changed in the town since the 1950s, Ronnie’s message still rings true today - that Great Yarmouth is the “place that has everything”, if you know where to look.

I have lived in the town since 2008 and I have learned to appreciate all it has to offer to residents and holidaymakers alike.

Great Yarmouth Mercury editor Anthony Carroll

Great Yarmouth Mercury editor Anthony Carroll - Credit: Archant


From the Golden Mile attractions, such as the Pleasure Beach and the Hippodrome, to the chip stalls on the market and the town’s Rows the resort has much to sing about, as has Gorleston and our many scenic villages.

In the summer our borough is still a top draw for holidaymakers and daytrippers and there is nothing better to see than a packed Regent Road as people head towards the seafront in their droves.

It is sometimes easy to forget the many traders, venues, hotels and bed and breakfasts who work hard at making sure everyone enjoys their stay.

St Nicholas Minster, YarmouthPicture: Nick Butcher

St Nicholas Minster, YarmouthPicture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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And there is much for people to take in, such as Gorleston’s sun-kissed beach, the towering Minster, a tour of Yarmouth’s Medieval walls, a wide range of seafront restaurants and villages such as Filby which take great pride in their appearance and character.

And Yarmouth’s offer to visitors is set to improve with its new look market and a revamped town centre and the construction of the Third River Crossing will hopefully make it easier for people to travel between the town and Gorleston to help boost the borough’s economy.

And there is another reason to praise the virtues of the borough - its people.

From charity volunteers to fabulous fundraisers there is a strong community spirit that forges strong bonds in our towns and villages.

That spirit has been perfectly encapsulated by Trevor Saunders and his band of volunteers at Mandalay food bank, which has provided solace to so many people in need in these uncertain times.

Mandalay Wellbeing CIC manager Trevor Saunders and volunteers Michelle Bullock and Andy Hillier givi

Mandalay Wellbeing CIC manager Trevor Saunders and volunteers Michelle Bullock and Andy Hillier giving out food parcels in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Danielle Booden


And that is why I am proud to say we are launching a new feature to celebrate the great things that happen here.

The Mercury is launching a new feature called Celebrations where we will celebrate the successes of people in our area.

But as we celebrate all manner of successes - from birthdays, to weddings, to new arrivals - we will also continue to highlight important issues that impact on people’s lives.

Lance Martin is preparing to move his home in erosion-hit Hemsby again.

Lance Martin is preparing to implement 'Plan Z' which involves dragging his home back from the brink for a second time. If he had given up on his dream he would likely be 'in some Godforsaken flat' he said. - Credit: Liz Coates

A flick through this week’s Mercury shows yet again how our coastal communities, such as Hemsby and Scratby, continue to be battered by Mother Nature, with more calls for sea defences.

And in Yarmouth the burning issue this week was the problem of a giant flock of starlings in Kent Square causing clean-up woes for residents.

Residents gathered to voice their frustrations over the starling droppings

Residents gathered to voice their frustrations over the starling droppings - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Anyone who wants to highlight someone for our new Celebrations feature should simply send us a picture of the person or event you want us to highlight, and some details about what has been achieved, up to 150 words. 

Email celebrations@archant.co.uk with your submissions and ensure attached pictures are sent at the highest possible quality.

And as well as celebrating all that is good in our borough, we are also launching a new sports feature casting a spotlight on the brilliant teams in our area. Simply send us a team line-up shot with the names of those pictured, your team name, the competition you play in and we’ll do the rest. Email gymsport@archant.co.uk

Famous whistler: Fifties star Ronnie Ronalde.

Fifties star Ronnie Ronalde who penned a love letter to Great Yarmouth - Credit: Submitted


To go back to the very beginning of what is the first of a regular From the Editor’s Chair page, in case readers are wondering who Ronnie Ronalde was and his link to Yarmouth, the singing, whistling and yodelling entertainer recorded The Yarmouth Song in 1956. 

He was extolling the virtues of the resort where he starred for three summers in the 1950s.

First, he topped the bill with Max Bygraves at the Britannia in 1951, returning to Yarmouth in 1955 and 1956 along Marine Parade at the Wellington Pier Pavilion.

The Barry Lewis composition was “the official song of Great Yarmouth as authorised by the corporation.”

I was a millionaire - for a minute

At the weekend my imagination got the better of me as I thought I had become an millionaire overnight.

Like Del Bey and Rodney I thought I had hit the big time after I got an email from the National Lottery saying I have won a prize and needed to log on to find out what it was.

Before I checked on the National Lottery app I quickly dreamt of buying a fancy yacht maybe or owning a top of the range sports car - however those dreams were dashed when I found out I had only won a fiver and a lucky dip ticket.

Oh well, I thought, such is life and things could be worse.
It did make me think of those who are struggling financially at the moment and gave me a fresh perspective on what really matters in life - happiness, friendship and being with loved ones.

But I will still keep doing the lottery and if I ever do win then I will make sure I support good local causes as well.

Take a walk on the wild side
This time of year might be reason enough for people to stay indoors and plough through the latest series on TV.

But from early morning walks on the Golden Mile to serene sunsets over Breydon Water, the colder months still have lots to offer. Walking through the town centre and seeing all the developments taking shape fills me with excitement for the upcoming year.

While to many the dark and grey days are a perfect excuse to switch on and switch off, where we live is still thriving and you have to brave the cold to see it.

Not only is walking proven to lower blood pressure and ward off heart disease, but it can also lighten your mood.

And for me, as editor, getting out is a great way of finding more about the town and coming across stories which matter most to readers. 

As the fellwalker Alan Wainwright said: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”