Cat no. 342

Having A Wonderful Time

Running time23:37 Colour Sound 1958 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

A look at comedy and music stars who have performed at Great Yarmouth.



This film begins with a montage of Yarmouth entertainment venues and the advertising hoardings of the stars appearing in Yarmouth that season. Venues included the Windmill theatre, the Britannia Pier, the Hippodrome Circus, the Royal aquarium theatre and the Wellington Pier. Artists included Charlie Chester, Tommy Cooper, Ruby Murray, Benny Hill, Vic Oliver and Derek Roy. There is a shot of a train arriving at Vauxhall Station and a light aircraft landing on an airstrip. There are aerial shots of the beach and then a lengthy sequence showing Somerleyton Hall, Caister Castle and Fritton Decoy. There are shots of these buildings and the commentary offers a sketchy history.

Returning to Yarmouth, the statue of St. Peter at the Fisherman's Almshouse begins a sequence devoted to historic buildings in Yarmouth. Other buildings featured include the Tollhouse, Nelson's Monument, Sewell House, the birthplace of the author of Black Beauty, shots of the walls and the North West Tower and the Merchant's House in Row 117. This last feature shows the ancient house standing amidst a new housing complex. A woman settles down outside to read in a cane chair with a basket. This is the link into the next sequence; a film showing a basket maker at work on a swill.
The leaves of Haven Bridge open and there are various shots of the river and of tugs and coasters going through the bridge. Regent Street and the Market feature, showing the variety of shops and stalls in Yarmouth. Attention is drawn by the fly pitchers. Local people go about their everyday business and there are some good shots of faces, particularly women.

The next sequence returns to the River. A trip down the river shows the viewer the port area of Yarmouth. There are tugs, coasters and the Corton light Vessel at Trinity House Quay. There are also Broads Pleasure Steamers. Gorleston is shown from the Yarmouth side of the Quay and the next sequence concentrates on the different seaside pleasures of Gorleston-on-Sea.

Back at Yarmouth, there are views of the Promenade and Sea Front. These scenes show contemporary style cars. there is a sequence looking at entertainments in Yarmouth, such as bingo, amusement arcades and the pleasure beach, Pixieland and the Water Gardens. Also included are the bicycle tandems, pony and trap rides and speed boats. The seals on Scroby Sands are filmed from the air and a caravan site at North Beach shows another side to holidaying in Yarmouth. There is a brief scene showing holiday makers on the Broads, probably at Potter Heigham, before returning to Yarmouth to look at more attractions and to feature some of the stars appearing there. Charlie Chester is filmed at the racecourse and Tommy Cooper at the roller skating rink. This sequence shows the Great Yarmouth Roller Skating Club in a display. They perform part on a routine before Tommy Cooper tries it out. Also shown enjoying the facilities at Yarmouth are; Vic Oliver, who was appearing at the Royal Aquarium Theatre, Joan Turner, appealing at the Britannia Theatre, Benny Hill, supporting Tommy Cooper and Ruby Murray at the Wellington Theatre and Derek Roy, appearing at the Windmill Theatre.

Background Information:

The figure on the top of the Nelson Monument is Britannia. She has her back to the sea. The person who made this mistake is alleged to have committed suicide out of remorse.

Please note: The archive holds the only surviving print of this film. Please be aware it is severely faded and suffers from some damage.

Featured People:

Anthony Fell, M.P; Charlie Chester; Tommy Cooper; Benny Hill; Vic Oliver; Derek Roy; Joan Turner; Ken Hookham; Margaret Derbyshire

Featured Organisations:

The Great Yarmouth Roller Skating Club

Featured Buildings:

Caistor Castle Fisherman's Almshouse; Somerleyton Hall Haven Bridge; Vauxhall Station Nelson's Monument; Britannia Pier; The Merchant's House; Row 117 Historic buildings; Yarmouth Hippodrome; Circus; The North West Tower; Royal Aquarium; Theatre Sewell House; Wellington Pier; Tollhouse; Windmill Theatre

Harold Baim

Harold Baim

Harold Baim

Eric Owen

G Levy

De Wolfe

Research - John Kinnersley; Continuity - Glenda Baim

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