Month: October 2014

Approaching Nirvana

Heroes are strange beasts, as is memory. Nirvana never were particularly the former for me, but are very much part of the latter. Retrospectively 25 years on almost to the day it’s still quite nice to know you were present at the stuttering birth of a new squalling brat, and that’s where my relationship with them small though it really is begins. In the physical sense of the past for me and a few hundred others they were born in Norwich the 30th of October 1989, their first appearance in the city double headlining with Tad, supported by a...

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Lost in a landscape: Burying kings – Sutton Hoo

There is probably no finer Anglo-Saxon timescape in East Anglia,  you are so directly in touch with a hauntingly beautiful landscape and can feel the significance of what you can see in front of you with only the most basic of knowledge. It is probably one of the most important sites of its type in Europe with parallels drawn to the boat burials in Vendel in Sweden. It is representative of an era in Britain that was known about but parts of which remained in darkness. The discovery of the first boat burial in 1939 took those present back...

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Lost in a Landscape: The Vinegar Pond, Mousehold Heath, Norwich

Funny little pond, locally quite well known, lots of stories about what it is, “it’s a bomb crater” (it isn’t), it’s a pit dug for gravel/minerals (probably not), it was made by Bren Carriers exercising on the heath in WW2, yes quite… bit far fetched I thought. Mousehold has a long history, like most things that exist now that we are so used to we ignore do, some are just more messed about than others and Mousehold is one of those, it has a lot of history in it on it and under it. I’ve always thought the pond...

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Lost in a landscape: Thompson – Below the glacier.

When I was at school we had a teacher called Peter ‘Percy’ Williams, he primarily taught geography. At first he hammered it into our small and stupid heads; over those first three years he gradually worked out which ones of us were holding the water and who was sinking fast; erosion and settlement patterns, the weather and volcanoes. By the Third Year, which is now Year 9 in that ever confusing way that things change, we selected subjects for the first time, I chose geography over history, or it chose me like some Grammar School Sorting Hat. I’d have...

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Ghosts: R101 & Norwich Castle

There’s a thing on the telly tonight about Zeppelins*, this isn’t one, but it’s the best of got it’s the R101 over Norwich in 1929. the sound you can here is me jumping on a bandwagon and promptly falling off and hurting myself. The photo is from Norfolk Record Office, they teased me with it as it’s only over the road from us I went out and had a quick snap. The thing on the corner of the castle is apparently “The Time Ball” dropped the same time every day to set your watch by. You can join them...

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Lost in a Landscape: Wolterton

A bit of a beauty, this was nearer the start of our circuit quite obviously positioned in Wolterton Park next to the main drive; It’s another life remnant a piece of the past which has gained purchase in the now by becoming a folly for the gentry. It is very pretty sitting as it does just inside the end of the driveway, visible from the house and from the Wall Road and presumably to whoever comes up the driveway which is private to us loitering types who have to come up a side driveway, the oiks entrance perhaps. This...

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Lost in a landscape: Mannington

Sunday seemed like it was the last blast of summer weather, that final sigh of heat and sun and as it goes some drifting was the perfect way to absorb those last few rays before the decent into the washes of winter Atlantic lows bear down across us. So we did a largish circular walk taking in two estates, Mannington and Wolterton, home to the Walpoles. I don’t have much of an affinity with the history of the parks themselves, in the same way that I don’t like Downton Abbey, because life isn’t how it’s portrayed and you don’t...

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Cinema Ghosts – The Odeon

Assembled for “Norfolk at the pictures” The Odeon stood on Botolph Street, long before it became the Odeon that glowered down in a 70s style over Magdalen Street, which is of course now a Hollywood cinema, with it’s ‘no clues there’ logotype. This particular incarnation dates to 1938, a rather lovely old style cinema, there a photo of the interior on the English Heritage website which show a plush but minimalist interior. I’m just about old enough to remember this place, but sadly I don’t at all. I do remember the cleaners on the left though on Calvert Street,...

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