History

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The Hippodrome is located on the harbour in an historic building, once the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Originally built in the 1830’s as a granary, the building was used for fishing trade activities from running boats, gutting, packing and smoking fish, to stabling horses, mending nets and holding parties and celebrations in the sail loft. Along the way it acquired the nickname of “the Hippodrome”, probably after the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth where the herring boat fleet gathered each year at the end of the season.

In 1987 it was itself gutted and converted into the Fishermen’s Mission, providing support to fishermen and families from the town and along the coast. The relative decline in fishing in recent years has meant that the building use as a mission was no longer viable or necessary, though the RNMDF continues to serve the fishing community and have a presence in the town.