Importance of our heritage in Great Yarmouth, or wherever we live

PUBLISHED: 17:30 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 22 March 2018

Civic Society of Great Yarmouth

Civic Society of Great Yarmouth

Paul Patterson

I’m a member of the Civic Society of Great Yarmouth; there, I’ve said it. I admit it.

Why? Well, that’s a long story and I haven’t the space here to ramble on, but it’s because I have always loved history; the history of where I live.

From birth to a 30-something I lived in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and as a reporter learned the history and heritage of the town, most of which had been forgotten and was not taught to the generation following me.

It was fascinating. I walked the streets and roads where royalty, ambassadors, the late Duke of Windsor, and the Earl and Countess Cardigan among others had lived and walked.

The church was the scene of a battle between Royalists and Cromwellians with musket ball marks scattering the walls.

Now I find myself for the last 16 years in Great Yarmouth, and it is steeped in an even greater history and heritage that we must tell our children so they can pass it on to future generations.

History and heritage is not boring. It is what has made us the community we are today.

For instance, Yarmouth has long been a trading port; well, we knew that. But we had many different nationalities living here and muddling along as neighbours – much like today.

But Yarmouth is unique with its medieval Rows, merchant houses that exist today, and its Town Wall which once kept the “nasty” people out thanks to guards on the heavy gated entrances, but defence might have contributed to the keeping of a “nasty” plague in our midst.

We also had the “nasty” Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins (c1620–1647) come and see us and wreake his wrath and judgement. Eeek!

The purpose of the Civic Society of Great Yarmouth is to encourage people who live here today to preserve and protect and take pride in the heritage which remains today.

I am an incomer, but I can appreciate Great Yarmouth gained its name because it was Great, and still is Great, we just need to make sure the past is not forgotten, but appreciated. And people living here today know just what their forefathers sacrificed to create where we live and work.

If you’re interested in learning more, email me at

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