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Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth

Founded: 2012        Governance: Local Authority       Scope: Local History, fishing industry    Visited: Autumn 2014

One of the newer museums in this collection and one of the bigger, Time & Tide is part of the mighty Norfolk Museums Service, a long-standing co-operative venture between the local authorities in the county - for the time being, anyway. It's new(ish), on the pricey side, and has a glossy café and sprawling shop from which I bought my usual set of postcards and, somewhat metareferentially, a book of poems about museums. The site is somewhat out of the way, in a side street some distance from the brash seafront part of the town, which is melancholy or chaotic depending on the season. This does no more than reflect the history of the town, the venerable seafaring settlement riddled with alleyways or Rows, and the more self-assertive resort that grew up later, facing the sea rather than the harbour. The Museum occupies a former herring warehouse (what else could it be?) and contains a great mass of fascinating stuff that reflects quite nicely every aspect of Yarmouth's history.

Archaeology and the herring trade come first; there is a room full of model ships; there is a variety of fishing kit. I am not overly interested in this subject, but it gave a very vivid insight into the growth of the town whose sheer prosperity in the Middle Ages and subsequently I wasn't at all aware of, all resting on the superabundant shoals of little silvery fish.Other galleries cover the holiday trade and more recent town life. There's an odd smattering of ethnographic clutter - spooky South Sea masks and a mummy's hand. The most charismatic part of the displays is a reconstructed slum Row, complete with washing lines and grimy lamps: but I couldn't work out how to get to it, unfortunately. 

Time & Tide MuseumTime & Tide MuseumTime & Tide Museum
Time and Tide MuseumTime and Tide MuseumTime and Tide Museum
Time and Tide MuseumTime and Tide Museum
Time and Tide MuseumTime and Tide Museum
Time and Tide Museum

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