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A Blitz Ghost of the Portico of City Station, just at the bottom of Barn Road in Norwich being dismantled by one man and a hammer.

The Station was bombed on the first night of the raids. Not built on entirely solid ground it was already cracked, the weight of brick on what was basically marshland, one of the river tributaries had previously flowed under the platforms too, but had been infilled. Part of the first Baedeker Raid on Norwich on the 27th/28th of April 1942 The damage was caused by four 250kg HE bombs, which cracked the brickwork and rendered it all a unsafe. This was followed by incendiaries which then burnt down all the passenger shelters and the trains that were in the station too. The station is believed to have been the primary target for the first raid and where the X-Gerat german radar signal s were set to cross.

The station continued to be used until the 1960s, when it shut for passengers and freight not long after that. The Part where the portico stood is now obviously a dual carriageway and roundabout. A couple of the platforms are still there, various people have been busily digging it up until halted due to some soil tests revealing very small quantities of asbestos and cyanide residue. Enough to halt the dig for a time. More recently the group has uncovered more and with the help of the Train Wood project has preserved it including an engine shed floor and steps to pits and water pump seatings. It’s worth a walk through the woods just to see what you can spot.

You can read more about teh area in some of my more recent work on John Crome who painted along the riverbank.

Norwich city station 1942

Since I originally didn’t finish writing this post it has also been discovered that Norfolk County Council own the site which they have decided is worth selling… I have no idea why as you’d be hard pushed to build on it and I’d rather nobody did really as would a lot of local people who use Marriott’s Way to take the dog for a walk. I should remain a public space with it’s history still evident.

Addenda: February 2015. The site is currently safe and being managed by Norwich City Council, FONCS and Friends of Train Wood. Safe in Public hands.

city station - large - 2668777417