On the 125th anniversary of the formation of the Norwich branch of Independent Labour Party, Frank Meeres’ latest book examines the life of one of Norwich’s early socialist pioneers. Born in Chedgrave in 1868, the son of a shoemaker, George Roberts became the first Labour party MP in East Anglia. He rose to become the party’s Chief Whip and was one of the very small number of Labour MPs to serve in wartime Governments under David Lloyd George. He become a cabinet minister and a privy councillor, serving in vital roles as Minister of Labour and then as Minister of Food. After the war, disillusioned with the Labour Party, he stood for Norwich as an Independent candidate – and won. He then finished his journey to the right, becoming a Conservative MP.
George Roberts was always fiercely independent, making his own mind up on the great issues of the day and speaking out: he was never afraid of offending anyone. A little man, he was a big figure in local and national life in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He deserves to be far better known. This book brings to life the dramatic story of ‘Georgie’ Roberts.
George Roberts MP: A Life that ‘Did Different’ by Frank Meeres
Paperback 108 pages, ISBN 9781909796430 RRP 10.95
Anyone holiday-making in Great Yarmouth in the years immediately following World War Two will have fond memories of the Marina Theatre, an open-air music auditorium in a central position on the promenade that was once described as being the most wonderful site on the east coast. The fortunes of the Marina during its forty-three year existence mirror closely those of Great Yarmouth as a premier UK seaside holiday resort. In this book, the author traces in detail the rise and fall of the theatre, the rationale and politics behind its creation and ultimate demise, and the development of its unique and innovative style of entertainment as well as details of the musicians, variety acts and entertainers who performed there during its lifetime. Other subjects covered are the Marina’s involvement in seaside bathing beauty competitions, post-war Battle of Britain celebrations, fundraising carnivals and the attempted formation of a seaside municipal orchestra. The book is an important addition to the history of Great Yarmouth and district and includes information and topics new to readers interested in Great Yarmouth, and popular culture in the 20th century.
Bathing Beauties, Knobbly Knees and Music by the Sea: The Marina, Great Yarmouth 1937 – 1979 by Colin Miller
Paperback 134 Pages, ISBN 9781909796584 RRP £10.95
Gorleston sits at the mouth of the Yare and existed long before Yarmouth. This short history, written by the well known local historian, Colin Tooke replaces his earlier booklet in the Poppyland Towns & Villages series, written some decades ago.
Gorleston: Short Blue to Pop’s Meadow explores the history of the community with its traditions of fishing, beachmen and their companies and the establishment of a more genteel tourism that set it apart from its larger neighbour in the 19th century.
Gorleston: Short Blue to Pop’s Meadow by Colin Tooke
Paperback 32 pages, ISBN 9781909796607 RRP £3.95