Bus Depot

Opened in 1898, suffered bomb damage 1943, rebuilt with an Art-Deco facade

The Depot was built for trams by Boulton and Paul of Norwich and was opened in 1898.

On 11th and 12th May 1941, a raid on the town resulted in high-explosive bombs dropping to the north of the depot and its roof collapsed and its windows broken. Several buses were damaged. Over two years later, at 08.45 hours on the 12th May 1943 there was a large raid on Great Yarmouth, when 20 Focke- Wulf 190 German fighters flew in over the coast. At the depot windows were broken and two buses were damaged. There was great damage elsewhere in the town. In particular, the Auxiliary Territorial Service Hostel was bombed, and 26 women were killed there. Boulton and Paul quoted £271 for removing the remains of the roof and the depot remained open to the elements for the rest of the war. Four Great Yarmouth buses on loan to Coventry were recalled.

The main work of reconstruction of the depot was completed by 1947. It had been delayed by the Ministry of Transport, who admitted that the work needed to be done, but that materials and labour could not be diverted from the National Building Programme. A compromise was reached with the Ministry by reducing the restoration with exterior work being omitted. F. R. Hipperson and Son Ltd. were contracted to carry out the work at a cost of £19,622 with the War Damage Commission contributing £6,433. It was not until June 1948, that the Ministry of Transport authorised the construction of the final phase, which was the building of the façade. A contract was signed with F. R. Hipperson and Son Ltd. for the sum of £3,376. 4s. 4d. and they constructed a rectangular brick and concrete façade across the complete depot frontage, which disguised the metal framed shed. The façade incorporated sculptured representations of transport vehicles and four cream coloured Deco buttresses. Even though the trams were discontinued in 1933, the tram lines were not removed. Recently the forecourt to the depot was re-surfaced and the tram rails were still in situ.