Few people passing or coming in although supportive comments from those who did visit. Electrical issues will mean sporadic closures over this month while old wiring is replaced and positive discussions about reusing existing equipment and creating a Paget garden app.
I saw a small number of people coming from the train station heading along North Quay, destination unknown, so decided to open for the afternoon and see if more people would pass and whether any would pop in. Answer, none until a group of lovely local lads all appeared, very polite, friendly and clearly aware of the Fourth Portal's intent and the issues with such an old building. They stayed for one before heading on to the next spot. One offered a score of 8 out of 10 before leaving, I told him I was surprised by such a high rating at such an early stage, however they seemed genuinely to like it, which is an encouraging sign.
Friends visited on Sunday, who are technical and we were able to discuss how to get the projectors and TV woking to have Zoom conferences and potential live and virtual performance. Abi, a sea swimmer was surprised by lack of basic swimming facilities, like cold showers and foot washers. We discussed the lost opportunity in attracting sea swimmers and triathletes.
On Monday the electricians arrived to have a closer inspection of the works required to upgrade the pub area and back of house - they had already warned that I may need to close, so Monday I was unable to trade. The pub was last fitted out in 1960, since then it has been a hotchpotch approach of running cables and plugs as needed, leaving a pretty involved job to get the place up to a reasonable standard. Unfortunately there will further day closures this month.
I actually forgot about the latest Zoom professor meeting with all the disruption with the electrics. It was in full flow when I entered. Much of the discussion centred around use of data and the creation of data pods, led by www creator Tim Berners-Lee and his Solid initiative. I updated on the Paget garden (blog post to follow) and lack of passing trade, the quietness still of the town in general (although much busier) and the lack of basic facilities that might attract a broader spectrum of visitors to Great Yarmouth. Ben from UCL provided an update on a project he has visited recently and was impressed by https://clevedonmarinelake.co.uk/category/history/
Clevedon Marine Lake is a piece of aquatics history, born out of a sea swimming heritage pre-dating the first, annual Clevedon Long Swim in 1927. Today, both Clevedon Marine Lake and Clevedon’s seawaters are a regular training ground for long distance swimmers who have swum the world over, and the lake provides a calmer environment for all water lovers – recreational, competitive and endurance.
We talked about the issues around smart cities and the opportunity for somewhere like Great Yarmouth to get in on the act and maybe try an alternative way of engaging such technology, as many of the big projects to date have not been going so well, Death of a Smart City | Alphabet bet big in Toronto. Toronto didn’t play along
Tuesday was empty inside and out. Only a few locals and odd person between the train station and the town passed the door. There were times of complete silence, as if in the countryside. Around 6.30pm I made a short film of my thoughts for promotion in September.
Me recording the silence and my thoughts on future promotion
Having closed a bit early I cycled to the seafront to find a lovely relaxed atmosphere on a balmy August evening. No crowds but a ticking over of people, hopefully enough to at least allow the businesses to have cashflow and build a small cushion to see them over the winter into next spring.
A bike ride documenting the seafront on 17 August 2020, 19:30 | 7min 15sec