Jackson’s Faces, Gorleston

Jackson's Faces 1930

This locale proved a bit of a puzzle, with an intriguing sign for “Madame Mercuro – Palmist” on the end terrace house in the background, which I’ve seen on other walkies taken here. It wasn’t a shop, just someone opening their front room for any passing tourist who fancied seeing what their palm lines promised for the future. It turned out to be Gorleston On Sea, at the junction of Beach Road and the Lower Esplanade. Gorleston is below Great Yarmouth, a little less brash and with a nice beach too. The spot was clearly a favourite for one of the local walking picture firms, who had their cameraman stationed here for several years, capturing images of trippers coming down Beach Road and heading for the more modest seafront attractions at Marina Bay.

Some of the cards I have are unmarked, but others are by the firm of “Jackson’s Faces“, who were based in Great Yarmouth but also took pictures here certainly during the 1930s. It’s interesting that the photographer and the holiday makers felt at ease strolling down the middle of the road back then too, something you wouldn’t want to do here today. This card (which is not from our archive) appears to have been put inside an envelope and sent, something I keep seeing. Perhaps this was to stop the postman looking at the image! It is frustrating as a postmark is often a useful dating aid. However their message to Ursula on the back does say that Jack was “missing when we had this taken,” and is signed Jack and Era. I would suggest a date of mid-1930s.

Jacksons Faces walking picture

I couldn’t resist taking an up to date look at the Gorleston walkie site but quickly wished I hadn’t; the two tidy terrace properties have been changed out of all recognition; chimney’s lopped off, knocked into one, covered in render to hide the alterations and turned into a Chinese take-away. Happily the walkies at least show us what the spot looked like in it’s heyday.

Gorleston On Sea, at the junction of Beach Road and the Lower Esplanade

Jackson’s Faces also did walkies in Felixstowe, and had separate operations in Porthcawl and Weston Super Mare.