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Great Yarmouth Yacht Club (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2021-09-07 by rob raeside
Keywords: great yarmouth yacht club |
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[Yarmouth Yacht Club] image by Clay Moss, 25 February 2015

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Ensign of Yarmouth Yacht Club

I know that Little Yarmouth hasn't been called that for a long time, but would there really have been founded both a "Yarmouth Yacht Club"  and a "Great Yarmouth Yacht Club" in the same year? What entry is in error, or what bit is missing, I wonder.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 26 February 2015

It is more likely that there was only one yacht club in Great Yarmouth, that was sometimes referred to as Yarmouth and sometimes as Great Yarmouth, than that there were two clubs in the same town, one called Yarmouth and one called Great Yarmouth.
David Prothero, 15 May 2015

Yarmouth Yacht Club, Norfolk.
Established 1883.
1884. Listed in Lloyds Yacht Register. Red Ensign defaced with the Arms of Great Yarmouth: shield with three gold lions on red, dimidiated with three silver herrings on blue.
1890. Last entry in Lloyds Yacht Register.
David Prothero, 23 December 2014

The ensign's defacement as shown above is speculative based on David Prothero's research. Based on experience, I am confident that this a very close and acceptable interpretation of what the badge on the red ensign probably looked like.
Clay Moss, 25 February 2015

It matches the burgee of the present Great Yarmouth Yacht Club as depicted at their site. However, the Norfolk Broads lists in their constitution a "Great Yarmouth Yacht Club" founded in 1883, as one of the clubs to merge to for the new club in 1937. (
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 26 February 2015

Using Lloyd's Registers of Yachts, here is a sequence of events:

  • In times long past a distinction was made between Little Yarmouth and Great Yarmouth. In times also not recent these were combined into one new entity, Yarmouth, but since Little Yarmouth was, well, little, not much changed.
  • In 1883 the Great Yarmouth Yacht Club was formed in Yarmouth.
  • In 1884 Lloyd's Register of Yachts includes an Ensign and a burgee for the club: the club probably for historical reasons alphabetised under "Yarmouth (Great)".
  • By 1889 nothing had changed, but it was the last mention in Lloyd's.
  • Album des Pavillions Nationaux, 1923, shows the same burgee.
  • In 1937, Great Yarmouth Yacht Club disappears into the newly-formed Norfolk Broads Yacht Club. From this moment on, there is no longer a Great Yarmouth Yacht Club in Norfolk.
  • At some point shortly before 2015, some people decide they can start a new club with the old name, the Great Yarmouth Yacht Club. They start using more or less the same burgee, and a red ensign with a shield with three lion-herrings swimming towards the shore. I don't think I have anything that proves they have a right to that ensign.
In itself all clear, except: The ensign, that the new Great Yarmouth Yacht Club claimed to be that of the original, was not the same one Lloyd's pictured all those years ago. That older ensign, which that club probably did have a warrant while they existed, did not have a shield, and the three lion-herrings swam out to sea.

This may seem like a small thing, but I find that the direction of the ships or fish in the arms of harbour towns are considered to be important. They tend to get associated with bounty coming into the harbour or getting lost, depending on the direction.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 June 2020

Negotiations were held with the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club to obtain the approval to demerge GYYC, which was agreed. The club burgee is so far as we know the original design. The club still exists and indeed is holding a regatta in September 2021. Whilst the club would like to use the spoiled ensign it cannot do so without proper permission from the Admiralty.
Malcolm Duffield, 4 September 2021


[Yarmouth Yacht Club] image by Clay Moss, 25 February 2015
based on image located by David Prothero, 17 February 2015

The image from Album des Pavillions Nationaux, 1923, is probably the Great Yarmouth Yacht Club, whose burgee had just one of the three lion/herrings from the Great Yarmouth shield.
David Prothero, 17 February 2015