Month: December 2014

Lost in a landscape: Gunton

When I was at primary school in the 1970s one of my friends lived in one of a row of cottages in Suffield. It backed onto a farmyard full of interlocking hay bales, knackered cars, and a grain store with an egg-timer mountain of grain surrounded by rats nests. We clambered over most of it, got shouted at occasionally by farm hands but that was the limit, nobody died in an avalanche of barley, sucked into the pile. My friend’s dad Jack always said the cottage and the one next door had originally been one house. It was curiously...

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Hidden Histroy: The Great Halls – Oak Street

A medieval traders hall, which always seems all but forgotten. One of the few survivors of the blitz and the clearings on the whole of Oak Street it nestles between Moonraker cycles which used to be Slaughters backing on to Mitchell’s Reclamation Yard which shows some vestiges of its past as a Maltings, it struggles for attention among shabby advertising hoardings and a collapsing semi-industrial series of almost prefabricated buildings now gradually being swallowed by modern housing returning the are back to its once densely populated roots. It must have looked widely different before the bombs fell, the Great...

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The walled city 2: Berstrete gates

Ber Street Gate or Berstrete Gate, sitting just on the edge of Foulgers opening off Ber a Street and Bracondale. Another Norwich city wall fragment, not the gate itself. The gate no longer exists, nor do any of the others, largely a result mainly of progress (or vandalism depending on your viewpoint), progress sometimes has to embrace such things, such as knocking them down, allowing larger carts full of produce through. The gates were almost redundant on completion, in fact whether they served much purpose beyond levying charges on people entering the city is open to question. Some of...

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Through Glass: Norwich 1900

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have a box of glass slides come into my possession, here are a few of them, one day I’ll get the whole lot scanned in and shared. But for now here are a selection of Norwich through the glass from about 1890 to 1920. I suspect some if not all of these are by George Swain Senior. Ber Street – Norwich Looking South towards St John Sepulchre if I’m not very much mistaken, very poor area pretty much forever. Note truck, milk cart and motorbike. Sir Garnet Wolseley and Peter...

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Westlegate: The tall boy at the back

I first met Westlegate tower in the 1970s, I would have been about seven or eight. It was just part of the background noise in a city where I had yet to link up all the parts. In 1975 it was just a place where my brother-in-law worked. And on a couple of occasions I went up into the offices of Provident Mutual and waited for him with my sister and my mum, meeting him from work, the only thing that stands out in my mind was the view, which was a bit fantastic and presumably still is although...

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Football, Xmas, WW1 & misinformation

  This is a photo of Officers and men of 26th Divisional Ammunition Train playing football in Salonika, Greece on Christmas day 1915. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Christmas Truce of 1914 at all, in any way whatsoever, so I’m sticking it on here and saying so because I’m fed up with nobody actually fact checking anything and I keep seeing it everywhere. So here you go, football in WW1, not against the Germans, there are no Beckers or Müllers, only Bakers and Millers, no snow, no cigars, chocolate or handshakes, just some blokes having a...

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Collapsing new buildings: Sheffield

I used to go to Sheffield a fair bit, less so now as one of the reasons we went as often as we did (one of my children) now lives in Slovakia, one of the estimated 2 million Britons living in Europe that handily get ignored by the hysterics burbling on about immigration into Britain *snore*. Which all beside the point because this meagre post is about our finest Steel town, Sheffield, for some reason my second city. I went once as a child with my older brother, in the era of the concrete egg box which no longer...

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