Mercedes badge or shooting star? Confusion over town's new light display

Windfarm themed lighting in Regent Road Great Yarmouth

A new windfarm themed lighting scheme is due to be switched on ahead of the May bank holiday. - Credit: Liz Coates

Great Yarmouth's main tourism thoroughfare will soon be lit up with a new display - but not everyone is sure what it represents.

Engineers are putting the finishing touches to dozens of installations spanning the length of Yarmouth's Regent Road.

The symbols are being billed as a brilliant way to welcome back tourists when the switch is flicked at the end of this month ahead of the bank holiday.

Windfarm themed lighting in Regent Road Great Yarmouth

Regent Road is set to be illuminated by dozens of windfarm symbols chiming with local industry. - Credit: Liz Coates

They replace a canopy of  lights which saw 60,000 tiny bulbs create a year-round festive atmosphere, but after 17 years had lost their sparkle.

Instead the new scheme, which runs from the Temple Road end of Regent Road all the way to Marine Parade at a cost of £102,301, celebrates the town's burgeoning wind energy sector with a series of turbine blades, especially designed for the town.

People wandering in the street said they were unsure what the design was supposed to be, some suggesting they looked like the Mercedes badge or Ninja stars.

Some said they looked like children's twirling windmills and others hit on the correct interpretation of windfarm blades - although they doubted visitors would understand the significance, and said they would have preferred a more traditional seaside theme.

Windfarm lighting scheme in Regent Road Great Yarmouth

Margaret Docwra and Vanessa Cashman at Docwra's rock shop in Regent Road are happy to see new lights going up, but would have liked to have seen more variety in the theme. - Credit: Liz Coates

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At Docwra's rock shop Margaret Docwra said she wasn't sure if they were frisbees or shooting stars, finally agreeing with Vanessa Cashman that they were windfarm blades.

Despite the confusion both agreed they would look nice when lit up, although Mrs Cashman suggested more variety instead of the same repeated symbol  might have been more fun.

Windfarm lighting scheme in Regent Road Great Yarmouth

Shopkeeper and stall holder Bill Porter has welcomed the lighting scheme in Regent Road. - Credit: Liz Coates

Further along stall holder Bill Porter was enthusiastic about the scheme which would likely bring more people along the street after dark, he said.

He said there would be more to look at and that the prospect of something new would draw people to the area.

He applauded the windfarm theme, adding: "It is a good idea. It represents the town and its industry. I am looking forward to them going on and people might stop out a bit longer."

The new wind-farm themed display is said to be more robust than the giant twinkling net.

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “The original ceiling of lights was installed back in 2004 and after 17 years, it had reached the end of its serviceable life.

Windfarm themed lighting in Regent Road

A new lighting scheme has been broadly welcomed amid some confusion about what the symbols are supposed to be. - Credit: Liz Coates

"The investment from our Town Deal award from Government presented the opportunity to add to and also replace existing decorative lighting features.

“The new lighting installation on Regent Road features a wind turbine blade design which is a symbol of the renewable energy sector – an industry Great Yarmouth is leading.

"Once commissioned, the more robust lighting scheme, will be better able to withstand the elements of the east coast wind, will link the seafront to the town centre.”

It went on: "“The new lighting installation on Regent Road, as well as the existing lighting on King Street, will be fully operational by Friday May 28, which will be a brilliant way to welcome residents and visitors back to our borough this bank holiday.

“The cost of this installation was £102,301.

"The scheme is part of a package of long term investments in the borough’s outdoor lighting, illuminations, experiential trails and events made possible from a Town Deal grant of £750,000 from central government to support the borough’s recovery and improve the visitor experience during 2021/22.

"These lights were specifically designed for Great Yarmouth."

The turbines and frames alternate in colour between gold and silver and being illuminated with white and warm-white LED lamps.

 The lights are not currently solar powered, as it cannot be guaranteed this would illuminate the units, especially during the winter months.