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All Aboard For Yarmouth Central.

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

Yarmouth Central Station never existed. Or did it? Yarmouth Vauxhall? Yes. Yarmouth Southtown? Yes. Yarmouth Beach? Yes. But Yarmouth Central? I might be being a bit self-indulgent but I just have to post the link to the YouTube clip that I only discovered yesterday. What's on it? Well, we'll get to that in a bit.

Although I'm returning to the place of my birth, I never had a drink in this bygone boozer as it closed in 1961. I do recall the building being demolished, along with the one to the left of it, around 1970 as I passed it on the way to and from school.


Market distillery great yarmouth elephant castle
The Market Distillery in the 1940s. Thanks to Russell Walker for the picture.

Originally the Elephant & Castle, it stood next to Palmer's department store in the Market Place in Great Yarmouth. Number 40, if you hadn't guessed. It passed into the possession of the Paget Brewery in 1804, so it'd been around for a while and had been rebuilt and seemingly renamed in 1831 as The Distillery.

Things become a bit confusing on the name front from this point as it's the lease of the Elephant & Castle which was offered for sale in May 1837 when the landlord, a Mr. Ringer, was made bankrupt. All references to it in Pigot's, Hunt's, Craven's, Kelly's, White's and Harrod's directories from the 1830s until the 1890s have it as the E&C but in 1901 it's The Distillery in both the census and the Eastern Counties Directory.

By the outbreak of WW2 it's become the Red House and from then until its closure it seems to alternate between this and the Market Distillery. It was certainly the latter when this picture was taken in the 1940s.

The pub featured in a Pathe News clip in1950 as landlord Edward Moore had installed a model railway which ran between the bars and themed it as a station - Yarmouth Central. The pub, however, never was the Red Horse. Yarmouth never had a Red Horse nor a Central Station.


The site is currently occupied by a branch of Barclays Bank.

The site in June 2018, courtesy of Mr. Google.


Edit August 2023: a couple of Edwardian shots of the place, both outside and in.


John William Rich took the pub on in 1907...



Market distillery great yarmouth elephant castle


...and this might even be him and wife Emily behind the bar in the saloon the following year.


Market distillery great yarmouth elephant castle



If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.


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