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Updated: Aug 4, 2020

The first Fourth Portal, Portal B @ St John's Head opened in Great Yarmouth today. Six months later than planned due to various issues within the building, hygiene and Coronavirus lockdown this old traditional boozer will very slowly transform over the coming weeks and months into a vision of what life might be like in the Fourth Industrial Revolutions (4IR), which is already upon us. The journey to this point is documented on the blog Haphazard Business, outlining the thinking for Fourth Portal and reasons for being in Great Yarmouth.

Photo of St John's Head from 100 years ago on a covered pool table that will become a plant exchange
Portal B | Day One

Day One

Following a few test days last week Portal B formally opened without fanfare or marketing. The pub was pretty dirty and has needed deep cleaning to get it to a level to open formally, this now being achieved the task today was to slowly begin removing the weeds out the front of the pub, a kind of performance, a representation of the changes ahead. The weed removal was done to coincide with people leaving offices and heading home from work as way of grabbing attention without words. Several local people said hello and some drivers slowed down to have closer look.

Inside Portal B on Day One (2mins)


Only one person walked in today, a man born locally who has worked around the world as a welder on offshore oil rigs. A fascinating conversation, swinging between Great Yarmouth of the 1970s, 80s and 90s and working in Africa, Rio and elsewhere in the world. He represented much what Great Yarmouth could be and has been, a place that is connected to the world yet also insular. Otherwise, as the video below demonstrates, it has been exceptionally quiet outside.

Outside Portal B on Day One (35sec)

Slow Burn

It's going to take time for Portal B to establish itself, conditions are tough in the immediate area, made more acute by the Covid-19 pandemic. This journal is to provide a live picture of events and conversations that take place for as long as is possible.

John M

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