Norfolk

Norwich | Gorleston-on-Sea | Sheringham | Great Yarmouth | Cromer | Snetterton

Click HERE for photo album

CLICK ON PICTURE FOR PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS LAKE. Pictures kindly provided by Andy Tribble.

Location - Town: Norwich
Location - County: Norfolk
Description/directions to location: Eaton Park, Norwich
Type: Excellent purpose built model boat lake
Size: Medium
Depth: "Snorkel"
Shoreline access: Full access
Open Public Access: yes
Local model boat club: yes - Sunday 9:00 - 12:00
Website: www.nmbc.fsnet.co.uk

Listed by Andy Tribble, [13.10.2004]

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CLICK ON PICTURE FOR PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS LAKE. Pictures kindly provided by Andy Tribble.

County: Norfolk

Location: Gorleston-on-Sea

Directions: Gorleston is off the A12 just south of Great Yarmouth: in fact it faces Great Yarmouth across the estuary. Follow signs to the sea front. A silly one-way system takes you almost to the beach, but then doubles back into town and along the high street before turning round again and bringing you back to the pier and beach.

Public transport: No station, but you could go by train to Great Yarmouth and then get a cab.

Parking: Free right by the beach (see notice in pictures) but mind you don’t stay longer than 24 hours! How do they check up? On sunny days the spaces fill up, so you may need to park further away.

Multimap

Also Multimap - gives you the aerial photo, which I always find a bit of a thrill if you’re hunting for a little-known pond; you can see it clearly.

Type: purpose built model boat lake.

Size: medium/small.

Access: 100%.

Depth: Waders.

Restrictions: none, but too small for fast power.

Local club: Website

Public Access: Yes.

Toilets/Shop:
Row of typical seaside shops, ice cream, chippy, bingo etc. Loos in park a short walk away. See pix. Within sight there is a fine small Edwardian theatre offering variety shows and singalongs...

The Yacht Shop (see pic) was a great disappointment, being stocked with almost everything except yachts, though if you rummage you’ll find a few battery or bath boats.

Anything else: Gorleston-on-Sea is a classic run-down English seaside resort, in a time warp, which is why the pond has survived. However it has suffered ‘modernisation’ at some stage.

The lovely balustrades shown in the early postcards have been replaced by horrible iron tubes, and the rounded concrete edge to the pond has at some stage been ‘repaired’ by the cheapest firm they could find (or possibly the council) which means that it is now blobby and uneven.

Perhaps in compensation at that point they put the little fountain in the middle of the pond. Fortunately it is not big enough for your boat to get stuck against it.

However all boaties reading this will agree that a fountain in the middle of a boating pond is a damn fool idea: for anything other than solid hulled yachts, if you sail too close to it your cockpit or cabin will fill with water, and even if your boat doesn’t sink you will have to pull it out and drain it, which is annoying.

The beach itself is a great discovery, being fine yellow sand with a gentle slope, quiet, not too crowded and great for a family holiday. The view is slightly spoilt by a large sign saying DANGER attached to the pier, which is visible from almost everywhere, no matter how safe you are.

The wide sweep of the promenade has been blocked by bollards at the end of the shops, leaving a long empty area of tarmac which is useless for anything but skateboards, and even the view of the sea is cut off from here by a row of pointless and empty poster hoardings; if you could park on it at least it would have a purpose, but you can’t do that either.

I hope anyone reading this will not be put off from visiting Gorleston-on-Sea, because it is a delightful place and a lovely pond. Perhaps you too can enjoy (as I have) making your own list of all the stupid things that council planners can do to make a place worse rather than better.

Note to pictures:
I sailed a French Bretagne 500, and a small battery boat from the Yacht Shop (which sank after about 15 minutes). I was pleased to see other people sailing: you may spot a 12” Skipper, and best of all a fine Star Yacht 5.

Listed by Andy Tribble, [26.11.2004]

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CLICK ON PICTURE FOR PHOTO ALBUM OF THIS LAKE. Pictures kindly provided by Clifford Fyson.

Location - Town: Sheringham
Location - County: Norfolk
Description/directions to location: Model boat pond with adjacent, ornate shelter at one side. Road (The Esplanade) with parking spaces on other side.

Enter Church Street, Sheringham from the Cromer Road. Turn left into The Boulevard and proceed to the roundabout. Take the 2nd exit then turn left up The Esplanade.
Type: Purpose built model boat lake
Size: Medium / Small
Depth: "Snorkel"
Shoreline access: Full access
Toilets / Shop / other facilities - please list: Toilets 100 metres to the south, at the top of the steps from the sea front. Cafe at the foot of these steps.
Open Public Access: yes
Local model boat club:
Website:
Any restrictions? (Noise, speed, etc): None indicated.
Multimap:
Anything else to add?:

Listed by Clifford Fyson, [09.04.2005]

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Great Yarmouth:

FURTHER TO YOUR REQUEST FOR DETAILS OF THE BOATING LAKES THAT YOU SHOW ON YOUR WEBSITE, I CAN HELP YOU WITH THIS. I WAS FROM GREAT YARMOUTH 1946-1967 AND I AM NOW PREPARING TO RETIRE BACK TO THE G.Y./GORLESTON AREA AND TO DO A BIT OF MODEL BOATING AMONGST OTHER THINGS MODEL BOAT RELATED.

THE TWO PHOTOGRAPHS THAT YOU SHOW REPRESENT TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PONDS/LAKES.

‘MODEL YACHT POND AND BOATING LAKE GT. YARMOUTH’ – THIS IS SITUATED IN THE SOUTH OF THE TOWN IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOU REACH THE PLEASURE BEACH ON ‘MARINE PARADE SOUTH’. IT IS TO THE SOUTH OF THE WINTER GARDENS AND THE WELLINGTON PIER WHICH CAN BOTH BE SEEN IN THE HAZY BACKGROUND OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPH. ALTHOUGH IT IS ONE POND IT WAS DIVIDED IN TWO BY A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE (BARELY DISCERNABLE IN THE BACKGROUND) LEADING OVER TO THE PAY STATION (A SMALL TIMBER HUT). ROWING BOATS COULD BE HIRED FOR USE ON THE SMALLER NORTHERLY SECTION AND HAND OPERATED PADDLE BOATS ON THE LARGER SOUTHERLY SECTION (SHOWN IN THE PHOTO). BOATS WERE NOT PERMITTED TO GO UNDER THE BRIDGE FROM ONE SECTION TO TUTHER. THE LARGE HUT TO THE RIGHT OF THE PICTURE WAS, IN MY DAY, THE CLUB HOUSE LOCATED BETWEEN THE TWO SECTIONS OF THE POND WHERE MODELERS STORED THEIR LARGE MODEL YACHTS. ALTHOUGH THESE COULD BE GLIMSED THROUGH V.DIRTY WINDOWS, ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS WHEN THE CLUB MET AND RACED, IT WAS A JOY TO STICK A HEAD AROUND THE OPEN DOOR AND TO VIEW THESE MONSTER MODELS REACHING FROM FLOOR TO CEILING (OR SO THEY SEEMED TO A NIPPER LIKE ME). POWER MODELS (MARINE DIESEL AND GLOW PLUG) WERE ALSO OPERATED HERE, MUCH TO THE ANNOYANCE OF THE MODEL SAILING FRATERNITY. I, LIKE MANY YOUGSTERS IN THE TOWN, USED THE POND ON WEEKENDS AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND OPERATED A METHS FUELLED ‘POP POP’ IN ADDITION TO A ‘JET X’ HYDROPLANE, A LARGE ELECTRIC TWIN SCREWED MODEL OF A ‘VOSPER AIR SEA RESCUE’ BOAT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY A 3’-6” LONG, OLD HAND BUILT, EDWARDIAN STEAM POWERED NAVY PICKET. THE LAKES RENTAL ROWING BOATS AND PADDLE BOATS WERE IN OPERATION FOR THE SUMMER SEASON FROM EASTER THROUGH ‘TIL THE SCHOOLS WENT BACK SOMETIME IN SEPTEMBER AND WHEN MODEL BOATING WAS TOO RISKY. HOWEVER THE AUTUMN/WINTER MONTHS HELD HOURS OF BITTERLY COLD JOY.

ALTHOUGH IT STILL EXISTS THIS POND/LAKE FREQUENTLY SPRUNG EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR LEAKES WHICH WERE TOO EXPENSIVE SET AGAINST THE BOATING REVENUES AND IS NOW LET OUT TO A COMMERCIAL CONCERN THAT HAS INSTALLED GOD KNOWS HOW MANY TONS OF STEEL IN IT TO FORM A LOG FUME. – THAT’S PROGRESS?

‘ORNAMENTAL GARDENS AND BOATING LAKE, GT. YARMOUTH’ - (THE SMALLER OF YOUR TWO PHOTOS) THIS IS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT AFFAIR. THIS IS SET TO THE NORTH OF THE SEA FRONT AND IS THE LAST DEVELOPMENT (OTHER THAN FOR A BUS SHELTER) ON THE EAST SIDE (BEACH SIDE) OF MARINE DRIVE NORTH. THIS END OF MARINE DRIVE WAS A MORE SOPHISTICATED AREA OF THE TOWN AND THE EAST SIDE OF IT IS LAID OUT WITH BOWLING GREENS (FLAT GREEN), TENNIS COURTS (SHALE) AND GARDENS. THESE GARDENS FEATURE A CANAL WITH PLEASURE CRAFT TOURING AROUND ISLANDS (WITH THATCHED SUMMER HOUSES) AND WEAVING UNDER PEDESTRIAN BRIDGES. FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE WATERWAYS IT HAS NOW GAINED THE GRAND TITLE OF ‘THE VENETIAN GARDENS’. AS A CHILD IT WAS A TREAT TO BE TAKEN ON A TRIP AROUND THE WATERWAYS AT DUSK (OR LATER) EITHER BY FOOT, OR PREFERABLY BY BOAT, AS AMONGST THE FLOWER BEDS WERE NEON FIGURES/TABLEAUS OF FAMOUS FAIRY STOREY CHARACTERS. (I DIGRESS) IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WATERWAYS, SEPERATED ONLY BY A PATH THROUGH TO THE BEACH, YET FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THIS COMPLEX LAYS THE REFERED ORNAMENTAL GARDENS AND BOATING LAKE. AS WITH THE MODEL YACHT POND AND BOATING LAKE AT THE SOUTH END OF THE TOWN (SEE ABOVE) A BRIDGE LED OVER TO THE BOAT STATION HOWEVER THE BOATS WERE ALLOWED TO PROGRESS UNDER THE BRIDGE AND TO TRAVEL IN A COMPLETE CIRCUIT OF THE LAKE. SURROUNDED BY RAISED FLOWER BEDS IT WAS AN ALTOGETHER MORE ‘EXCLUSIVE’ TYPE OF ARRANGEMENT AND CHILDREN ON HOLIDAY DID PLAY HERE WITH THEIR SMALL TOY BOATS, BE THEY SAILING CRAFT OR CLOCKWORK BOATS ETC. UNFORTUNATELY THE HIRE BOAT TRAFFIC ON THIS LAKE (LONG SHIPLAPPED ROWING BOATS WITH ROPE OPPERATED TILLERS, AND SIMILAR CRAFT WITH PEDALS DRIVING A PROPELLER) WAS A BIT TOO VISCIOUS FOR KIDS TOYS AND I SAW MANY A BOAT WRECKED OR SUNK BY OVER ENTHUSIASTIC ROWERS CLOBBERING THE TINY CRAFT. IN ALL HONESTY IT WAS MORE OF A BOATING LAKE THAN A PLAY AREA – ADDITIONALY, AND UNLIKE THE POND/LAKE AT THE SOUTH END OF THE TOWN, ‘THE WATERWAYS’ AND ‘THE ORNAMENTAL GARDENS AND BOATING LAKE’ WERE BOTH DRAINED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST OF THE SUMMER VISITORS HAD DEPARTED THE TOWN EACH YEAR FOR MAINTANENCE AND WAS THEREFORE UNUSEABLE THROUGHOUT THE AUTUMN/SUMMER MONTHS. THE DEVELOPMENT STILL EXISTS HOWEVER I BELIEVE IT IS NOW FILLED WITH GARISH FIBRE GLASS MONSTROCITIES WHICH UNDOUBTEDLY PAY THEIR WAY.

IN RESPECT OF BOTH OF THE ABOVE PONDS/LAKES I HAVN’T SEEN ANYBODY USING EITHER FOR MODEL BOATING ON MY TRIPS OVER THERE BUT AS THESE ARE INFREQUENT I COULD BE WRONG.

TONY STENHOLM, [21.06.2005]

 

MARK, SINCE MY ORIGINAL RESPONSE TO YOUR APPEAL FOR INFO ON GREAT YARMOUTH I HAVE COME ACROSS SOME PICTURES/POSTCARDS OF THE PONDS IN QUESTION – THESE ARE INCLUDED AS ATTACHMENTS.

INDEX –

(A) NELSON GARDENS, THIS IS THE CORRECT NAME FOR THE SEAFRONT DISTRICT TO THE SOUTH OF THE TOWN AND IS A FURTHER SHOT OF THE POND THAT YOU REFERED TO AS ‘MODEL YACHT POND AND BOATING LAKE GT. YARMOUTH’.

(B) THIS IS A FURTHER VIEW OF THE ‘ORNAMENTAL GARDENS AND BOATING LAKE, GT. YARMOUTH’ WHEREAS YOUR OTHER VIEW IS LOOKING N/W, THIS IS LOOKING N/E. THE OTHER NAME FOR THIS POND/LAKE IS ‘THE ROCK GARDENS’.

(C) ‘WATERWAYS’ – THIS IS A SHOT OF THE GARDENS, VARIOUSLY DESCRIBED AS ‘THE WATERWAYS’ OR ‘THE VENITIAN GARDENS’, IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF THE ‘ORNAMENTAL / ROCK GARDENS’ ON MARINE DRIVE NORTH. ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT INTENDED AS A MODEL BOAT POND/LAKE THERE IS, AT THE NORTH END, A SLIPWAY WHERE SOME YOUNGSTERS USED TO PLAY WITH THEIR BOATS (ME INCLUDED).

I HOPE THIS INFO WILL HELP YOU FURTHER – REGARDS, TONY [05.07.2005]

 

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Location - Town: Cromer
Location - County: Norfolk
Description/directions to location: North Lodge Park in Cromer Where Cliff Avenue meets Overstrand Rd (the B1159)
Type: Purpose built model boat lake
Size: Medium / Small
Depth: "Wellies"
Shoreline access: Full access
Toilets / Shop / other facilties - please list: Toilet facilities. 2 mins from beach & town. Cafe
Open Public Access: Open access
Local model boat club:
Website:
Any restrictions? (Noise, speed, etc): No restrictions but suggest common sense is used as there are small children there a lot of the time
Multimap
Anything else to add?: Photos at http://www.kidsstuffandstories.com/?p=143

Listed by Andy [22.06.2008]

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Location - Town: SNETTERTON

Location - County: NORFOLK
Description/directions to location: EXCELLENT SIZE, ADJACENT TO EUROPES LAGEST MODEL AND TOY SHOP.
FOLLOW SIGNS OFF A11 TO 'SNETTERTON MARKET AND MODEL SHOP. 10 MILES FROM THETFORD. PARKING TO EDGE OF WATER. COST £1.00. PER DAY, CLOSES AT 1700 HRS.
Type: Purpose built model boat lake
Size: Medium / Large
Depth: "Snorkel"
Shoreline access: Full access
Toilets / Shop / other facilties - please list: AS ABOVE
Open Public Access: Open access when park open
Local model boat club:
Website:
Any restrictions? (Noise, speed, etc): NONE KNOWN
Multimap:
Anything else to add?: USED BY ME AND THREE MATES ONLY! WE ARE ALL RETIRED. COME AND JOIN US! WE SAIL YACHTS,SCALE,TUGS,MTB'S ETC.

Listed by Jim Morris [20.04.2010]

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Anything to add or amend?