Month: April 2015

Blitz Ghosts: Oak Street & Sussex Street 1942

More scenes from the Norwich Blitz. Probably the morning of 28th April 1942. Tough ones. I spent far longer trying to work out where it was than normal, and there’s story behind this scene that you will find below that brings the cost of it home. I found the spot eventually when I realised the thing propped up with wood on the left is the Maltings which is now Mitchell’s reclamation yard, behind that the two houses and the Dun Cow’s roof sticks out, on the original you can just make out the shop and houses at the bottom...

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Blitz Ghosts: Danger UXB

I’m not sure where this is, I can’t find any info out, but think it’s possibly at Harford dump, which is where most of the defused stuff ended up, or it might be the depot in Ipswich. I’m on my way to getting some names for these chaps. Interesting to note that so far 3 names have turned up and all have a George Medal. all belong to 8 Bomb Disposal Section, 4 Bomb Disposal Company. I will update this, promise*. The Royal Engineers don’t just dig trenches and put up bridges as you can tell… Quite often High...

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Blitz Ghosts – St Augustines

St Augustines School 1940, a posed shot for George Swain as the children enact an air raid drill, there are a few others in this series, showing twisted lines of children waiting to enter, one of the other ones lines up with the wall and some door and windows behind this, but it’s such poor quality (a published and halftones photo) that I opted to base positioning the photo where the other one was without going by the window frames etc. So as far as I can work out this is correct. The air raid shelters were of some...

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Hidden history: The concrete toilet

Norwich, city of culture twenty err something eventually, home of the world’s first pre-cast concrete sectional toilet. It’s like our very own version of Shropshire’s Iron bridge, only it’s a concrete toilet. You can’t go and utilise the facilities as it’s got a big bit of plywood screwed over the door, maybe take a hammer with you or a crowbar. This is listed. When I took this photo in 2010, The smashed out “you are here” tourist sign set it off a treat, should you be in Norwich as a tourist and want to go and have a look...

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Cinema Ghosts: The Empire Great Yarmouth

The Empire, a rather grand building standing above anything else at the more southern End of Marine Parade. It is a rather splendid Pigeon home, and although bits of fascia have been removed is still a rather attractive old building, the inside is supposed to be rather special and when the chance arises again, I will be getting in and recording that too. Most of these photos were taken by Valerie Jordan’s father who worked here, you will find a quote from him in the link. Find out more about The Empire at the Norfolk at the pictures website...

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Cinema Ghosts: The Central or Plaza

Right up in the middle of Great Yarmouth town centre is this. It stood where Poundland is, opposite the fish and chips and seats and seagulls and the kids and people eating lunch, it’s quite a vibrant little bit of Great Yarmouth, I like it. I like chips too, preferably near the sea they just taste better. Originally The Bijou Hall it was operating as a cinema in 1909 and demolished in 1914. The Central Cinema was built on the site and opened in 1915, in 1928 it was re-named The Plaza. It had a 25 feet wide proscenium....

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Jagger Swagger

All cities are full of nexus points, the crossings of networks of roads that run the city. Because most of our major ant colonies grow irregularly, they form and coalesce around point sin the landscape and those points shift and change over time, one centre can collapse and another form, rivers become temporarily fixed by the reinforced landscapes of the colony as it seeks stability. Paths formed by footfall, originally exploiting the weaknesses in the run of the landscape eventually become wheel rutted tracks, then form surfaces and become established roads, over time these become overlaid with newer routes...

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It’s beginning to and back again

We went to London. We do this journey quite often, from the East it is a fairly routine trip, a day out; one of those the ever shortening distances that only just hold us all apart. We have offspring who have set up shop there in the expense and dull glitter, the piss coloured glow emanating from the golden pavements a visible draw even now in these days of oppressive rents and low-waged jobs. Before we had children and the bruising wheel of life got in the way of living it we used to go a lot, skulking in...

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Cinema Ghosts: The Royal Aquarium Great Yarmouth.

This is the Hollywood, and it isn’t it’s also the Aquarium, a familiar site to nearly everyone who has ever been to Great Yarmouth, sitting as it does to the Northen End of the Town just before you head out through North Denes to Caister. They can see it blip in and out. It started life as The Royal Aquarium in 1883; an aquarium (there’s a clue in the name). By 1896 it had become a Theatre and in 1931 became a Cinema too. It continued to offer both cinema and variety until relatively recently. Peter Jay bought it...

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