Month: September 2015

Great War ghost: Norwich tank versus taxi 1918

April 1918, Norwich gets a tank for a week, pictured here next to the Guildhall. This was part of the drive to buy more tanks, they did in fact make a huge amount of money to buy lots of tanks, over a million quid was raised nationally. This one was delivered by train from a secret tank training area at Elveden, I suspect they put it on a train because otherwise it would have taken a week to get here as they had a top speed of about 4 miles per hour and broke down quite a lot, which...

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Norwich Castle Museum Ghost 1941 > 2012

Parachute troops, bare-headed and wearing ‘jump jackets’, in Norwich during exercises in Eastern Command, 23 June 1941. (Credit: IWM collection). Original Taken by Lt Puttnam, Official War Office photographer. Image of drizzle and murk, Nick Stone, Official something-or-other. Rather bizarrely the chap in the middle and the chap on the right look like people I know.   Facebook page here...

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Plunkett Ghost: Flood Levels 1961

  Flood level gauges New Mills Yard. 27th August 1961 > 2012 Recording Norwich Flood levels 1570-1912. Boy’s height 4 feet. The photographer’s younger son, Jonathan, aged 6; he who has uploaded an enormous number of his father’s photos to the triple-dub and shared them, we owe him big time, well I do, as he’s let me use various pics of his for ghosts and is always incredibly helpful. I did this out of curiosity, mainly to see how much the ground level has been built up over the last 50 years. Answer, quite a bit. I’m also curious...

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Lost in a Landscape: Walsingham and the wolves

I have a book on Norfolk abbeys and friaries, a junk shop finds years ago, dating from the 1950s and is extraordinarily complete for a slim tome, Just enough background on everything to get you started without too much detail to confuse, small glossary to distinguish your Dominicans from your Franciscans and so on. It’s handy for walking the Palmer’s Way. That basic knowledge; a mental landscape and a timeline of events and you’re away. You can of course augment all that stuff you learned by accident just because it was there by having a smartphone and enough of...

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The workhorse and the charger

I lived in North Walsham as a kid. RAF Coltishall was only about 6 miles away. We all grew up with the Lightning; the cold-war emblems glossily belting past at high altitude, breaking the sound barrier with that window-rattling, deep, sonorous boom they are famed for. Ken Wallace lived near enough by to occasionally give us a glimpse of the eccentricities of his autogyros, and later came the Jaguars. Now it is a Prison; HMP Bure, and a Solar farm. Brightest in my memory, among the receding pictures of childhood in my head amongst the other remains of when...

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9/11 – the years on

Guest post from Louisa Griffith-Jones. Sometimes you just stumble across a remarkable piece of writing. Louisa posted this earlier today. I read it standing at a bus-stop, a lump in my throat. She is a friend, someone I remember from gigs in the early 1980s at UEA (ligging backstage at Echo and the Bunnymen in 1983 being one that remains in memory). Life diverges. She went on to work for Anglia TV and was working in New York when the towers were struck and fell. What we saw on the television, she experienced, breathed and filtered the dust and...

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Blitz Ghosts: St Giles

Upper St Giles Baedeker Raids again, not entirely sure which night to be honest 27th or 29th, I’m thinking 27th when Barn Road copped a load. What is interesting here though as much as anything is you can see how the new Cleveland Road sliced through the building that were there before the war and for a time after it joining various car pipes up to make the city fit for the traffic jams of the future. St Giles Broad Street/St Giles Street I believe that’s the Clover Leaf Cafe on the right, in 1942 it was anyway, now...

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The Discovery of the Lancashire Witches 1612

Guest post from Tim Hardy. Tim is a graphic designer, illustrator and history boy, he is also resident of the Pendle area. Follows a tale of Black dog as familiar, witches and the trial.   Living in the Borough of Pendle, it’s not easy to escape the area’s connection to the famous Witch Trials of 1612. From bus company logos to beer and even council literature, the pointy- hatted broomstick riding witch is everywhere. Taking centre stage in the area’s past drama is Pendle Hill itself, a gigantic slab of peat, moss and gritstone, dominating the landscape of this...

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Wheal Vor – black dogs, gunpowder and goose feathers.

Guest post from Andrew MacDonald of Waveney Archaeology. Andrew lives in in South Norfolk Shuck territory, but is currently occupying his waking hours obsessing over tin mines in Cornwall. He does this in between trying to persuade people to stare at bumps in fields in the Waveney Valley, counting choughs, and making stunning marmalade. In his spare time he runs a software company. Tin and copper mining in Cornwall (and anywhere else) was always a hard and dangerous business, particularly so from the end of the 17th century when gunpowder came in to use for blasting. Wheal Vor, through...

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