I’m in Norfolk at the moment, and today I was in Great Yarmouth. We came to this area in ’83, ’84, ’85 and ’86 and very little has changed. If it wasn’t for the odd Tweenies and Bob the Builder ride you could almost think the 90s and 00s passed this area by altogether. Nonetheless, there is something quite charming about that, and it was really nice to see old favourites, like the snails (my absolute favourite as a kid) still in operation.
British seaside resorts are always a weird experience – nostalgic, rundown, beautiful, ugly, fun, crap, exciting, boring, all at the same time. It’s easy to love them in an ‘ironic’ way but there’s still a strange sort of charm there that wins you over – they’re just so British, and if they tried too hard to modernise it just wouldn’t be right, would it?
One of the weirdest attractions there is Louis Tussaud’s House of Wax. It’s somewhat infamous for its terrible waxworks (although a small number are quite good) and it’s one of those seen to be believed places, where very random celebs are juxtaposed together. For the most part it hasn’t been updated since the early 90s (there seems to have been a lot of action circa 1993 with Noel Edmonds, Mr Blobby, Mr Bean etc being added) though they have added the “Beckhams” (or two random waxworks they chucked leather on) and Prince William (but no Harry). However, I think they are also playing up to their repuation somewhat. I laughed at their dubious grasp of time, which placed Den’n’Ange as ‘1994’ and Charlene and Scott/Kylie and Jason as ‘1981’ but then I saw this slightly older photo placing Kylie and Jason in 1987 and 1988 respectively (why they can’t be from the same year I don’t know) and I think they might have been deliberately moving years around to make themselves seem even more crap.
Still, a ‘statesmen and politicians’ room which places current political heavyweights Neil Kinnock and John Major alongside Mussolini, Hitler and Churchill has to be worth a look.
Incidentally, while I was there, a little girl asked who Margaret Thatcher was and her dad gave a little rant. Then she asked who Harold Wilson was and her mother said ‘I have no idea’.
They don’t let you take photos there any longer, but some snapshots can be seen here.