Connection Reset by Pier

We decided to have a few days away, and to continue our pier-bothering, we went east again, to within easy distance of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, so it was a high six to Norfolk, via that old favourite, the A14.

The Cambridgeshire speed nazis have at least now replaced the Gatsos with average speed cameras, with the result that the speeds are now even, rather that 85-brake-to-60-back-to-85. I’ve often said that if you find dual carriageways or motorways boring, then either you’re going too slow, not paying enough attention, or both, but miles of straight, flat, surprisingly quiet DC at 70 mph on cruise control tests that maxim. Mind, if the truck at the end of the M6, just before the infamous Catthorpe Interchange, had been paying better attention, we’d have had an even quicker journey. Fortunately, no one seemed to be seriously injured, but it won’t buff out.

Incidentally, Catthorpe is finally being rebuilt, let us hope it ends up here soon, as it’s a disaster- the M6 ends, merging to one lane under the M1…

We continued east- ending up at Brundall- on the broads, next toy the river Yare, and on the Wherry Lines.

Those lines took us first to Great Yarmouth- which i haven’t visited since childhood. I’ve read uncomplimentary comments on it, and, to be fair, first impressions weren’t so good; you could almost taste the despair- but it was a dull, cold Tuesday, and we walked past the job centre and some very run down areas from the station. There were some lovely buildings, but some are not in the best condition, and the first pub we visited was a bit full of proffesional drinkers at 11:30am, but more on that if you follow the link.

Happily, the piers, though short enough to be on dry land mostly, are in OK condition- the Britannia was being worked on, so we didn’t get to set foot on it, settling for a view of the frontage:

Britannia Pier: no entry this day.

Britannia Pier: no entry this day.

Regrettably leaving the opportunity for a shot from down the beach too late: the fog had rolled in to the degree that i was exepcting John Carpenter’s undead to arrive.

On to the Wellington Pier. Here we actually got onto the structure- and even beer on the pier in the bowling alley in the modern building on the deck (and a nice rebuild too, my photo doesn’t do it justice, thanks to more fog…)

Wellington Pier: a bowling alley

Wellington Pier: a bowling alley

We had lunch, a few drinks, a bit of a wander, another few drinks, a great Chinese meal, and returned back to our holiday let. Great Yarmouth is a bit run down in places, but there’s good pubs and restaurants of you seek them out, and a great beach.

The next day took us to Lowestoft. The weather was kinder: brilliant sunshine. Two more piers- the South Pier, which is more of a harbour wall, but also closed at it’s seaward end:

Lowestoft South Pier: not a pier?

Lowestoft South Pier: not a pier?

but still with a good harbour view, and the Claremont:

Lowestoft Claremont: "redundant"

Lowestoft Claremont: “redundant”

at which the decking is totally closed. I asked a chap (perhaps the owner?) if it was possible to get to the deck, and he said

No, it’s redundant, maybe one day if we get the money.

The amusements at the land end seemed well maintained, but the pier deck itself is visibly falling apart. A bit of a shame, when Lowestoft itself seemed much more affluent, and regeneration and rebuilding was taking place all around. Shame, but it’ll take a load of cash.

The next day took us to Norwich, a lovely city. I’d like to say it was a day of culture, taking in Norwich’s cathederal and fine architecture (there’s a lot of it), but we went to the pub. A very fine pub, for one, then, the next day, as it was only a short break, we came home again, once more cursing Catthorpe as we sat in the only traffic queue in 3 hours.

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