Month: February 2015

The Walled City 3: Pockthorpe gate and city wall

Barrack Street is pretty dull these days, a humdrum piece of grey carriageway winding through crossings and traffic islands as it links the Magdalen Street flyover to the nexus; Mousehold, Plumstead, Kett’s Heights or along Riverside. It’s the epitomy of ‘Innerlink’ roads a distillation of how transport can kill a locale. Once this was an area of dense housing; two churches side by side, numerous pubs, an overhang of Tudor leaning into each other and the road, it featured the splendid Pockthorpe brewery building, pubs and shops, and bristled with people. The road has forced the houses back into...

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Ghosting: Norwich 1943

In Norwich in 1943 White stuff was an International, GAP was a Barclays bank, Buntings is Habitat, or was and Bullen’s remains unchanged. The originals of these photos were taken  by Lew Funk: his Son John is digitising his fabulous and fascinating collection which catalogues his activities in USAAF 34th Bomb Group, stationed at Mendlesham in Suffolk from 1943 to 1945. Lew obviously travelled a bit, as this was taken one sunny day at the top of Norwich Market in 1943, It was taken again, by me, the son of an RAF boy, in 2012, I pointed my Camera...

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Hidden history: Norwich – In War disloyal; in Peace discontented

I had to go to the dentist yesterday, The one on Barrack Street that I remember being a pub with strange wallpaper in the 1980s, we drank lager and dripped ash on the pool table in there, The Sportsman. I didn’t realise then how long it had been a pub, since the 1820s it turned out, rebuilt in the clearances in the late 1930s that saw extensive chunks of Norwich cleared ‘of slums’ in this vital little bit of overpopulated Norwich, St Paul, Pockthorpe and St James, the barracks on the hill and Spitalfields. In the 1990s just after...

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Maps: Norwich City Wall

Basically Norwich City Wall with all the main elements marked on, This is not 100% accurate for detail, It’s stepping off point and that is all at that stage. Building started on 1294, finished in 1350-ish, then we started to pull it down. Privately financed partly by Richard Spynk and partly by taxes and other private financiers. When finished it enclosed an area larger than the city of London. Most of the gates were removed in the 1700s by the Corporation to help with access into the city. Picture: Drill Hall 1931, (Courtesy: George Plunkett) The Drill Hall was...

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Ghosting: Angel ghost

Originally produced for Len Holman as a leaving present. The photo is from the 1910s I believe. Angel Road school has quite an interesting history, it’s changed a lot over the years, not physically, but in terms of what it is; certainly was a girls secondary for a period of time, has air raid shelters under the grass, and has been mooted as possibly the site of Kett’s famous battle of Dussindale/Dussendale (it isn’t). Wonder what happened to all this lot, maybe some of them became...

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Found photos: The lost boys of Cromer

I go through people’s leftovers, their old clothes, the maps of lines on their faces, sit in their seats and eat from their plates; strangers’ stuff. They are people I can’t know nor ever will in the vast majority of cases, nearly all of them are unreachable; dead, others set adrift, forgotten. There is something terribly sad about a box of photographs in a junk shop or antique centre, and it’s like an itch. I hate detective stories and crime dramas, but there’s something oddly magnetic about a forgotten life, something that can be at least partly explored. Most...

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Forgotten Outposts: Stella Plage Atlantikwall

A beach in Northern France, Pas De Calais actually, just south of Le Touquet and Etaples. It’s a beautiful beach, so I ignored it and took photos of this bunker. I can’t find anything much out about it. Except it’s a Vf style reinforced personnel bunker, obviously German, no gun slits, just an entry point with a protective wall, loads of sand in it and graffiti which seems to be a feature of just about every emplacement I’ve seen on the Atlantikwall or Atlantic Wall. There are I think five of these between Stella Plage and le Touquet apparently....

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Ghosts: Norwich Cathedral 1919

Two ghosts from the Norfolk Regimental Museum which reopened last year in its new home in Norwich Castle. The original is from 1919, Part of Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service’s fine collection. Photographic print (b/w); the memorial service and parade for the laying up of the colours of the 7th and 9th battalions, 1919; part of an album compiled by Lt Col A.L. Hadow. Taken in the Norwich Cathedral Grounds. Original Photo Courtesy Norwich Museums and Archeological Servive (NMAS) and Norfolk County Council. (Museums Norfolk Ref: NWHRM : 5069.3.17 : P) The colours of the 2nd and 3rd Btns...

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Lost Rivers of Norwich

I’m nothing if not unoriginal, this has come about for two reasons; me watching the excellent Thames Discovery project at work on Twitter, And more recently an idea of Jon Welch’s based on seeing this rather remarkable work of Art by Stephen Water; his is hours of painstakingly plotting loads tributaries and streams flowing into the majestic stinky artery that was and is the Thames. The Wensum is another matter entirely it’s familiar curves on a map are home, and as people like Steve Silk (Wherryman’s web @wherrymansweb on Twitter) will tell you it’s a highly individual thing full of interesting...

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