An ongoing project comparing old pictures from within the archive set with contemporary photographs of the same scenes. It’s surprising just how much, or how little in some cases, has changed in Broadland over the years. Use the directory below to take you to specific towns and villages or just browse through the pages.
The view from Acle Bridge looking downstream. The top picture, submitted by Adrian Bell, dates from 1951 and shows The Bridge Inn public house with it’s formally laid out gardens. The second photograph, taken in April 2008, shows that the two storey building which once stood near to the river has now been demolished, the formal gardens are long gone, and the pub now has it’s thatched circular restaurant.
The view looking upstream from Acle Bridge. In contrast to the last picture, little has changed between the picture of the Bridgecraft boatyard, submitted by Ray Walker and taken in 1970, and the bottom photograph from April 2008.
A view of Beccles from the River Waveney - the first picture was submitted by Andrew Day and dates from c1930 when there were many more buildings adjoining the water’s edge than there are today. The bottom picture was taken in May 2007 and the scene is equally picturesque, although the boats have certainly changed!
The top picture of Beccles Yacht Station, also submitted to the archive by Andrew Day, was taken in 1961. In the background, on the far left, you can see Darby’s Timber Yard which was later taken over by Aston Boats who are still on that site today. The brick house on the right is still there, but you can see from the bottom picture taken in May 2007 that it has been extended and is now painted white.
Beccles Caravan Harbour 1960s and 2013. Taken from the old road bridge, the Ship Inn was to the right and the caravans stood on land to the back of the old maltings buildings which became the Loaves & Fishes public house. Neither are pubs anymore! On the left, the 1960s photo shows what was Darby's timber yard, which became the Aston's boatyard.
The Waveney Hotel, Beccles 1960s and 2013. Taken from the River Waveney - it's lost some chimney's and gained a few extensions.
A view of Ballygate, looking up towards the bell tower which adjoins St. Michael’s Church in Beccles. The old postcard dates from 1909 whilst the modern comparison beneath it was taken in May 2010. This end of Ballygate has remained largely unchanged in the intervening years, although some of the old shops have now become residential properties. Construction on the bell tower is believed to have begun c1500.
Another view of the bell tower, this time taken from Saltgate. Up until the late 1930s a terraced row of buildings occupied the left hand side of Saltgate - the site is now occupied by a car showroom. The postcard dates from the 1950s, whilst the photo beneath it was taken in May 2010 - you can just see the edge of the old cinema on the right hand side which was built in 1914 and now houses Prezzo’s Italian restaurant. In 1749 Catherine Suckling married the Rev. Edmund Nelson in St. Michael’s Church - they were to become the parents of Horatio Nelson nine years later.
Exchange Square in Beccles seen on the left in a postcard which dates from 1909, and on the right in May 2010. Whilst the type, and volume of traffic has changed significantly, you can see that most of the original buildings still remain albeit with modern shop fronts! The most noticeable change is the absence of the old post office which dominated the corner of Sheepgate and Smallgate and can be seen in the centre of the early postcard. The brick building to the left of it is the King’s Head and in 1948 the Youngs, Crawshay and Youngs brewery gifted a parcel of 90 square yards of land adjacent to the pub to the town to be used as an open space for the public - an area which now houses the bus shelter. Presumably the post office had been demolished prior to this and the land purchased by the brewery.On the left is the Corn Exchange building which is now the Lloyds TSB bank.
The Square, Beccles town centre 1950s and 2013. A view taken from the doorway of what is now a QD store with the Kings Head on the right. A view which hasn't really changed too much apart from the trees and seating area which are seen in the foreground of the modern photograph.
Puddingmoor in Beccles, pictured in c1907 and May 2010. This is a very old part of the town which backs on to the River Waveney. Many of the buildings seen in the old postcard are evident in the modern photograph although the house up on the hill is now obscured by trees. The nearest row of terraces on the right have gone and, in May 2010, it appeared that new houses were being erected on this site. One that is on my list to go back and photograph now that building work will have finished.
The top photograph of Bramerton Woods End Inn was taken by John Payne Jennings c1890 when the seven acre pleasure gardens adjoining the inn were a popular destination for day trippers from Norwich and Great Yarmouth. In 1880, the licensee was Edward Youngs who was also listed as operating a foot ferry across the River Yare. The bottom photograph was taken in May 2010 and shows that, whilst the main pub building remains, most of the other buildings which once stood alongside have now gone. The exception is the small building to the left of the pub which is currently occupied by a marine covers maker. The Woods End was recently renamed the Waters Edge after a major refurbishment.
Coldham Hall Inn, pictured in the late 1920s and in May 2010. The buildings which once stood between the pub and the river housed a tea room and workshops which were demolished in the early 1970s. A foot ferry also operated from the pub throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th century, ceasing when Harry Last, the then licensee, retired in 1973.
The River Yare and Broom's boatyard at Brundall c1950s and May 2013. A distant view, but one I wanted to recreate because the boatyard has changed beyond recognition in the 60 years since the original photograph was taken - as have the boats! It's only really identifiable by the large boat shed seen in the centre of both photographs.