Lions Holiday Home
A blue plaque has been unveiled on a Gorleston residence that had in the past been a holiday home specifically for blind people. Members of Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group (GoSH) gathered outside number 1 Avondale Road, Gorleston on Saturday 25th August 2018 and were joined by members of Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society and the Great Yarmouth Lions Club to witness the ceremony. GoSH chairman Les Cockrill welcomed Lions Club President Rodney Holland-Merten who unveiled the plaque.
The Home was originally purchased by a board of trustees on behalf of the Great Yarmouth Lions Club; these same trustees were responsible for the funding of the home and the appointment of a full-time warden. A warden was appointed and the home, the first in the country, opened its doors for holidays on 2nd June 1959.
Lions Clubs from all over the country would apply for holidays and a draw would take place to see which clubs were lucky to have been picked and how many places they required, a further draw would then be taken to allocate the dates. It was the responsibility of each individual club to provide transport to and from the home.
The home was reliant on the Great Yarmouth Lions Club for its running costs. This home was the sole beneficiary of a Win a Car Competition, run by the G.Y.L.C. This competition took place every year on the Sea Front in Great Yarmouth with a new car being the sole prize. To take part you had to guess how many people would attend the National Motor Show held in London each autumn. The winner was then brought back to Great Yarmouth and a presentation of the car took place at the Club’s annual Charter Celebration, followed the next day by a visit to the Home, where they received their new car.
Unfortunately, this type of competition went out of favour with the public and in June 1992 the home was sold, although the holidays still took place for a few years after this. Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group is grateful to Peter and Katy Morgan the current owners of number 1 Avondale Road for allowing them to place the blue plaque on their property.
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