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For my Ariadne I chose Tom from GY0, he's been a good friend of mine for a while now and we've shared many an adventure in Great Yarmouth, we've both got our favourite places and some of them we share. No-one knows the ins and outs of this town better than GY0 and it seemed like an appropriate person to ask. Duly he delivered the goods and I had my list.
[11:51:23] Adam Smith says:
I expect to see a list when I ge tback
[11:55:27] Thomas Gibbard says:
# Grain Mill
# Underneath Breydon Bridge
# The Lighthouse
# The top of MG Carpark/Roof of MG
# The little platform underneath Britania Pier, right at the end of it
# Atlantis Tower
# The end of the Jetty
# The inlet with the rickety bridge across it at the end of South Denes
# The secret beach at the end of South Denes
# Haven Bridge
So next to plot the points on the map, I started off by doing a custom Google map with the points on from which I made a route to follow and then I transferred this down onto paper using those archaic instruments of pen and paper.
As you can see there is a big drop off towards the bottom which leads to the South Denes. I will tell you now that this is a significant drop off and I could happily have filled another sheet and a half of A4 drawing this to scale.
Now to follow the thread. I set out with my iPod playing cheery songs and a smile on my face totally oblivious to the journey I had undertaken, I should have known better. In my bag were a copy of George Orwell's 1984, £1 and a bottle of sparkling water. And of course my camera. The first stop on the list:
The main bridge linking the town centre with the suburbs of Southtown, Cobholm and Gorleston as well as the rest of the world. There has been a bridge crossing this point since the early 17th century but the current incarnation of Haven Bridge was opened by the King in the 1910s.
The Grain Mill
Having been explored by GY0 for Urban Exploration
and a number of times by myself and Tom for photography purposes the abandoned Grain Mill on Lime Kiln Walk seemed like a natural choice. It closed in the 1990s but remains mostly intact. When I arrived I was shocked to find that the small hole in the fencing we climbed through was fixed and the entire front gate was coated in anti-climb grease. Someone had obviously notice our presence.
Under Breydon Bridge
Breydon Bridge was opened in 1994 to carry the outer relief road across Breydon Water (a large area of mud flats which is often flooded and carries the River Yare to the confluence of the Yare and the Waveny). It has the largest lifting span in Europe and is actually, in my opinion, quite pretty. In order to access Breydon Water and the surrounding marshes by foot you must walk under it. The road traffic above can be quite deafening but it is very interesting place.
Market Gates Carpark
Market Gates is a large shopping centre (mall) in the town centre which was built on land levelled by World War Two, the car park is the only multi-story in town and offers smashing views over the town. It has been subject to a few of our tasks
. Getting up there is easy enough but I actually work in a department store in the shopping centre attatched and so I know some of the security staff so I really didn't want to be told off for being there. As such it was a bit of a shoot and run.
The Lighthouse Café
GY0's official meeting place. It is a very rare occasion that when planning (or failing to plan) a task the Lighthouse isn't our meeting place. It was only yesterday that Minch was sampling the delights of the panoramic view over the town and the overly fatty chips. Im sure the staff must be fed up of us ordering a pot of tea and spending upwards of an hour working out what it is we should do next.
The Secret Beach
This is where the long, long walk comes into play. I had to walk all the way down the river from the town centre to South Denes in order to find the Secret Beach. This is a small inlet in the river wall which has a beach and is totally hidden from view unless you walk down from the road and over a car park. The only way I actually knew it was there was from being on the other side of the river and looking across. I had absolutely no idea how to actually get down onto the beach so I didn't dare try but in the summer I plan to picnic here.
I have a feeling Tom may have chosen this location simply because a) it is about as far away as you can get in Yarmouth from the other points on his list and b) for it's awesome name. It is a set of wooden piers sunk into the harbour mouth to prevent sand from clogging it up and maintaining the fast flow of water into the sea. You can't walk down them now but there used to be a ferry service which ran from near here across the river to Gorleston Pier. I remember catching it with my grandma when I was about 5.
Another superfilous relic of a bygone age. The Jetty was used in the heyday of tourism to ferry steamboat passengers from the sea to the shore. Now it is slowly falling apart and the hut which used to protect fishermen from the elements was demolished a few years ago. Upon arrival it was clear I couldn't get to the end of it (due to the big fences that had been put up) and as such I had to deal with simply taking photos of it.
The Atlantis Tower was built in the 1970s and was originally known as The Oasis Tower. It had an indoor market on the bottom floor, Tiffany's nightclub above that and a hotel above that. The tower is a viewing tower which offers lovely views across Yarmouth. Unfortunatly for me it was "rennovated" and turned into a hideously ugly blue-glass shitpile called Atlantis with a soul-less arcade and a crappy nightclub. The hotel is still closed and when I asked whether I could go up the tower I was told "No, it's that asbesto-whats-a-ma-jig thing". Handy. However, we still use it on our logo and it kind of represents Yarmouth, on the outside it looks awful and gaudy but once you get inside and hunt around a bit you'll get to the top of the tower and find the lovely views.
The original instruction was to find a platform whcih was on the beach under the pier but after careful investigation this was absolutely nowhere to be found. All I saw was wooden supports and sand. Still I managed to get this shot of the gaudy entrance to the pier. It's just awful in so many ways and to go into how awful it is would make me depressed so I won't. I'll leave you with this image:
That was a fudging long walk. 9.9 miles according to Google Maps and my feet hurt and my socks have holes in them. I don't know if 9.9 miles would constitute a long walk for all you fit and healthy SFZeroers who seem to think nothing of all the hills in San Francisco but to me it certainly was. You'll notice a few pictures in the praxis below that aren't really anything to do with the task, instead they are just photos I took to try and illustrate some of curios that make the journey worthwhile. Things you don't really notice in a car. Anyway. I'll leave you with my own thoughts from my return.
[22/03/2009 16:55:26] Adam Smith says
[22/03/2009 16:55:33] Adam Smith says
omfg that's a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng walk
[22/03/2009 16:55:49] Thomas Gibbard says