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Reader letter: Who can remember when jazz reigned supreme in Great Yarmouth?

PUBLISHED: 14:13 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:13 15 September 2018

Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

I read in the press and saw on television that the Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth may be having a “make–over” if a grant can be obtained.

GREAT YARMOUTH
WINTER GARDENS UNDER REPAIR SHROUDED WITH SCAFFOLDING
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PLATE P6460GREAT YARMOUTH WINTER GARDENS UNDER REPAIR SHROUDED WITH SCAFFOLDING NO DATE PLATE P6460

That place conjures up so many memories for me.
At the time of the “Trad Boom” in the early 1960s weekly jazz sessions were held there. I was, at the time, singing with the Collegians Jazz band who were fortunate enough to be relief band on many occasions, supporting the name bands from London.

The likes of Kenny Ball, Terry Lightfoot, Acker Bilk and Dick Charlesworth played there to packed houses, the fans standing shoulder to shoulder. Some of the stars appearing at other Yarmouth shows would come along to listen after their shows had finished.

On one occasion, I recall standing in the company of Lonnie Donegan and Des O’Connor listening to Kenny Ball’s Jazz Band.
They were happy days and I’m sure there are many jazz friends from that era who have similar happy memories, both of the Winter Gardens and the other venues in Great Yarmouth where jazz reigned supreme

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