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Viewpoint from Tony Mallion 29/09/2017 

tony mallion2Tony Mallion
Chairman, Identity Youth Project


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury

 

It was one of those satisfying Friday teatimes. The end of a busy week’s work as BBC Radio Norfolk’s Great Yarmouth producer with the desk tidied and the diary sorted for Monday. I locked the studio door on Stonecutters Way and headed off home. But I didn’t get any further than Hall Quay. There was a plume of ominous black smoke visible along the quay and it was quite obvious my work wasn’t over after all

dove leftOn that summer day it was the former Tower Curing Works in Blackfriars which was on fire. This was one of the last of Yarmouth’s fish smokehouses sadly no longer in use for that purpose but going up in smoke which billowed from the roof. Fortunately it was also close to the Fire Station just a few hundred yards away in Friar’s Lane whose crews quickly brought it under control. The building looked a sorry sight

The story didn’t end there. It spurred on the Yarmouth Preservation Trust and then Conservation Officer, Stephen Earl, to make a bold move. Totally ignoring advice that Norfolk County Council would not support any new museums they arranged the purchase of the building and set about the lengthy process of getting the funding to create what became that award winning jewel in both Yarmouth and Norfolk’s crown – the Time and Tide Museum

Dove rightIt’s somewhere I love. Not just an excellent museum with regular exhibitions, but a place of learning for young and old with, as they used to say about the V&A in London, an ace cafe too

It was as I sat on a more recent summer’s day in the yard of this oasis enjoying a coffee and the view of the magnificent stretch of town wall beyond that my mind wandered off in a more spiritual direction. It really wasn’t so many years ago this building was derelict and damaged. Look at it now. What a transformation!

This isn’t what used to be termed in my broadcasting days ‘a cheesy link’ of a ‘God’s like that’ variety. I really was genuinely struck by the thought that, if we let Him, God, in Jesus can also transform our lives, sometimes from wreckage, into something new. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 puts it: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”


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