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Book celebrates 200 years of Great Yarmouth races

PUBLISHED: 10:19 14 July 2011

An early picture of the South Denes course at Great Yarmouth

An early picture of the South Denes course at Great Yarmouth

Archant

Derek James takes a look at a fascinating new book which tells the story of the Great Yarmouth races.

When accountant David Tubby retired, he wanted a project. Something to keep him busy. So he went to the races. Great Yarmouth races.

And although he didn’t bet on many horses he did come up with a winner.

After much research he has come up with a glorious book, right, telling the story of the racecourse and how it has changed, moved, and developed over the past 200 fascinating years.

“I have always been interested in history,” said David, a member of the Great Yarmouth Archaeological Local History Society.

Although not a regular racegoer, he has enjoyed days out at Yarmouth over the years and he discovered there had only been two short histories of the course in 1951 and 1973.

“I thought the time was right to fill in some of the gaps missing from these two accounts and bring the story of the racecourse into the 21st century,” said David of Gorleston.

And once he got into the project he got hooked on the story of life on the course over the past couple of centuries and how it has survived and is now looking better than ever. Racing first took place on the South Denes and then, since 1920, on the North Denes.

This book tells the story from the early days of the racecourse committee to council control in 1904 and more recently to its current operators, Northern Racing. It is peppered with illustrations and cuttings bringing the story to life and it ends on a real high, with a look at the way the course has been given a new lease of life in the 21st century with major improvements and a big investment programme.

The number of days for racing has also increased to a total of 24 in 2011 – and Tuesday was the popular Ladies’ Night.

Now David has the writing bug he is thinking about coming up with a history of Yarmouth’s sporting heritage.

A History of Great Yarmouth Racecourse by David Tubby costs £7.99 and is on sale at Jarrold of Norwich. It is also at Veritas Books in Gorleston and A Novel Idea in Regent Street, Yarmouth.

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