This is Harmer’s Factory on St Andrews Broad Street in Norwich on the 18th March 1943 and the 2nd March 2012, almost seventy years., it’s also a weird bit of land with not much on it, sort of an entrance to a car park of sorts. Harmer’s was hit several times, firstly I believe on the second night of the Baedeker Raids, the 29th April 1942, which ripped it open and set it on fire, then once it had been more or less damped down it was hit again on the 1st May 1942, and caught fire again. The remains of the factory were hit again on 18th March 1943. The factory had a long history in the city producing clothing, and had continued to do so, by this point being used to make uniforms for the services thus making it a military target, whether the hit on it was deliberate or not is questionable. Then it wasn’t being used for anything fairly rapidly just after that. Then it became some wasteland. The photo on the Right is one by George Plunkett showing the building in 1937 draped in Jubilee finery.
The building on the right of it, is now The line agency it used to be Turton, and Fisher Electrical, today it’s all of them for a second. This original photo is a swain, it is also available from Picture Norfolk where you can but a copy (of the original). They do a very good job of maintaining a huge collection of photos.
This one looks to me like a follow up shot to the previous one, without the modern benefit of metadata, I’d say it was taken after they’d damped the fire in Harmer’s down a wee bit. Again taken by the foolhardy and fabulous George Swain, a photographer by birth, his father was a commercial photographer too.
The original pictures reside in Picture Norfolk where for a small fee you may purchase it from the ever helpful and lovely Clare.
Blitz Ghosts © Nick Stone