Hemsby Residents Say “Tanks” to Great Yarmouth Borough Council as WWII Anti-Tank Barriers Are Approved as a Sea Defence

In the latest stage of their fight against the sea’s encroaching tide, residents of Hemsby have found approval in their bid to move the village’s World War II anti-tank barriers to the sea front, in order to try and stop the burgeoning amounts of coastal erosion that are affecting the beach.


Having been situated on the beach for over sixty years, the defences were installed during the Second World War when the coast was vulnerable to Nazi invasion. Now, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has approved the Save Hemsby’s Coastline group’s request to move the blocks -each weighing over 10 tonnes- into the remains of the seafront, to the left and right of the Hemsby lifeboat shed. With a contractor provided by the charity which owns Hemsby beach, the Geoffrey Watling Trust, work is scheduled to take place this weekend. The Save Hemsby’s Coastline Group, who have been attempting to organise the strengthening of the village’s sea defences, are looking to recruit a set of Hemsby volunteers to help out and oversee the weekend’s events and any future fundraising events for the charity.

The volunteer run Group has fundraised about £18,000 so far, with the Geoffrey Watling Trust having contributed about £11,000 towards DIY defences. It’s estimated that full sea defences for the village would cost about £8 million pounds, and so the Group is always keen to recruit Hemsby volunteers in order to help out. Local businesses and residents hope that raising enough money to build and install a set of several hundred concrete blocks along the bottom of the Marrams should ensure that the beach is suitably protected.

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