The Changing Face Of Norwich
51 pages

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Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing many of these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.



Publié par
Date de parution 28 juin 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781528763288
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 7 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0200€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.



The Market Place
Fye Bridge
Rampant Horse Street
The Walk
St. Benedict s Gates
The Sky Above
Castle Meadow
The Boar s Head
Orford Hill
St. Andrew s Street
Bethel Street
The Haymarket
St. Stephen s Churuch Lane

WHEN, in 1940, my friend Mr. A. P. Cooper was appointed Editor of the Norwich Union Magazine (the staff quarterly of the Norwich Union Insurance Societies), he brought to his task not only the literary qualifications usually associated with editorship but, through his own artistry in photography, a keen appreciation of the value of pictures.
The magazine, circulating as it does amongst the Societies staffs all over the world, has not only proved a means of mutual communication but has kept alive a warm and abiding interest in the city from which the Societies take their name. Perhaps no feature has conduced to this more effectively than the series of articles introduced by Mr. Cooper under the title of The Changing Face of Norwich, each illustrated by a pair of contrasting pictures showing the same locale but with a varying interval of time between each. In some instances the interval was brief, seeing that enemy action had wiped out whole areas in a single night; in other cases the interval was perhaps as much as half a century, the changed face being due to purely pacific causes, such as the coming of the trams or the growing needs of modern traffic.
The widespread interest these articles evoked can readily be understood. That elusive faculty, visual memory, plays such tricks that one forgets all too soon the appearance of the localities so altered. As just one case in point I would mention the view of the Haymarket Corner turning into Orford Place. I knew the spot so well in my younger days-the old Savings Bank and the offices of Copeman Ladell, solicitors, site of the home of Sir Thomas Browne-but I confess it required that excellent photograph on page 28 to re-awaken my visual memory of the place.
Mr. Cooper has done a real service to the city not only by so industriously exhuming these peeps at the past, but by providing such striking comparison photographs depicting the present.
As was to be expected, there have been many requests for a reprint of these illustrated articles brought together under one cover and it will be good news to hosts of Norvicensians near and distant that this has now been found possible. It is safe to predict a warm welcome to this booklet by lovers of the old city, who will find it not only a valuable record of Norwich past and present but a useful one for reference in future years when further changes will have caused the disappearance of much of the Norwich of to-day.
I count it a privilege to write this little introduction and heartily wish for this unique booklet the big success it merits.
NORWICH, 1948.

Photo by A. P. Cooper
Surely no better way could be found of illustrating the ancient and the modern aspects of Norwich in a single picture than in this view of the 15th century Guildhall forming the background to the heraldic lion which, with its companion, guards the entrance to the 20th century City Hall.
B Y A. P. COOPER, D.A.A ., M.I.A.M.A .
The Market Place
SO obvious are the changes which have taken place that it scarcely seems possible that only twelve years separate the dates of the two photographs which form the subject of the first chapter of our Changing Face of Norwich series. Yet such is the case, for the picture on page 5 was taken in 1935, whilst the larger one was photographed quite recently. Moreover, in these alterations the hand of war has played but a small part, most of the changes being due to planned improvements first contemplated when hostile activity was but a vague possibility and most of them actually completed before bombing was more than an impending threat.
That an adequate and modern building was necessary to house the multifarious activities of local government is obvious from the mere appearance of the patchwork premises which formed the offices for many departments of the City Corporation at the time of our 1935 picture. The City of Norwich Estates Department, for instance, occupied the two blocks on the left of the picture which appear previously to have been public houses-we think they were the Waterloo Tavern and the Royal Exchange, -whilst the remaining premises between there and the ancient Guildhall housed the Town Clerk s Departments, the City Engineer and the offices of the Education Committee.
Having so hopelessly outgrown these Municipal Offices, many departments had their staffs dotted about in premises at varying distances from the Guildhall. The police, for instance, though they occupied part of the Guildhall itself, used a temporary erection generally referred to as The Tin Hut, which stood midway between the offices shown on our photograph and St. Peter Mancroft Church.
The Fishmarket which had stood hereabouts for years, with steps leading up to that part of the Upper Market known as The Butchery, had been moved to its present site in Mountergate many years before even our earlier picture was taken.
Turning now to the modern picture, we express no opinion upon the architectural merits of the new City Hall, for whilst some of those best qualified to judge regard the design as a very good one, others are less flattering, one extremist referring to it in the Eastern Daily Press as resembling a marmalade factory. Be that as it may, its internal accommodation is certainly a vast improvement over the higgledy-piggledy premises from which the City staff had previously to operate.
The next most striking change which the photographs disclose is the way in which the ancient Guildhall, erected early in the 15th century, has been thrown open to the view and now stands out in splendid isolation despite the comparative magnitude of its more newly-erected neighbour.
One of the features of Norwich Market Place which, though largely taken for granted by local people, catches the eye of visitors, is the attractive and colourful appearance imparted to the view by the striped tilts of the market stalls. Our photographs are a reminder that whereas the stalls used to be arranged in lines parallel with the Walk, they now run up and down the hill. A stranger is always impressed by the flower and fruit stalls, especially those nearest to the Walk. In pre-war days the array of produce and the modest price at which fruit was sold were a source of surprise to visitors from other districts. Prices have certainly changed since then and some of the imported fruits are no longer to be seen yet visitors still aver that we are fortunate in the variety and quantity of produce on offer.
In the earlier picture the statue of the Duke of Wellington is visible above the stalls near the lamp standard. When the market was re-designed this statue was removed to the Upper Close, where it forms a companion to the one of Nelson which faces the King Edward VI School he once attended. It may not be generally realized that the Duke of Wellington s statue was unveiled in the Market Place in 1854 by Sir Samuel Bignold, the son of the founder of the Norwich Union Societies, during the year in which he was Mayor of Norwich for the third time. The ceremony took place in the presence of 20,000 people, a vast crowd in those days, and Sir Samuel, who had received his knighthood that year, wore the uniform of a Deputy Lieutenant.
It was largely due to the efforts of his great-grandson, Sir Robert Bignold, that during his year of office as Lord Mayor of Norwich in 1926-1927 the War Memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, R.A., was placed in the position the designer had selected from the many possible sites advocated by the citizens. The light stone of which the memorial is composed is clearly visible in the 1935 photograph, standing immediately in front of the East wall of the Guildhall. The unveiling ceremony, which took place on Sunday, October 8th, 1927, was performed by Pte. B. A. Withers, a Norwich ex-service man, who was introduced by General Sir Ian Hamilton in the presence of more than 50,000 people. The names of the fallen were placed in a copper casket built into the stonework of the Cenotaph.
Tentative schemes for a more adequate City Hall were already under discussion in 1926 and the possibility of moving the War Memorial was even then borne in mind. The final plans included a Garden of Rest opposite the main frontage of the City Hall, and on 17th October, 1938, the Cenotaph was moved to this more appropriate setting, where it can clearly be distinguished in our later photograph. On Sunday, September 28th, 1947, the Cenotaph was re-dedicated by the Bishop of Norwich to include those who gave their lives in the second World War.
It has already been mentioned that war damage scarcely figures at all in these photographs, the only exception being in the little gap between the Guildhall and the City Hall in the more recent picture, where, during one of the Norwich blitzes, a heavy bomb near the Clover-leaf milk bar completely demolished it and considerably damaged surrounding property, including the offices of the printing firm, The London and Norwich Press, offices originally built to house the long-since-defunct newspaper The Norfolk Daily Standard, and now occupied as a fishmongers. Through the gap caused by the bomb can be seen the roof of the Hippodrome, which itself suffered damage at about

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