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Postcards of the Norfolk Broads


Norwich

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Norwich Yacht Station 1960s.

Norwich Yacht Station 1960s.

Pulls Ferry on the River Wensum in Norwich 1960s

Pulls Ferry on the River Wensum in Norwich 1960s.

Norwich Yacht Station 1960s

Another postcard of Norwich Yacht Station from the 1960s.

Norwich Yacht Station 1970s

A very busy Yacht Station pictured in the 1970s.

The River Wensum and Riverside Road in Norwich c1905.

The River Wensum and Riverside Road in Norwich c1905.

Norwich Riverside c1910-1920

Two unidentified trading wherries, photographed at Norwich Riverside c1910-20. Bishops Bridge can be seen in the background.

Bishops Bridge Norwich c1911

Another view of the River Wensum in Norwich, looking upstream towards Bishops Bridge, postmarked to 1911. The building beyond the bridge, on the left, is the Red Lion public house. Bishops Bridge is the only surviving medieval bridge in Norwich, dating to c1340, it originally formed part of the city walls and had a large gatehouse at the western end. The bridge and gatehouse were besieged by Robert Kett and his men in 1549 who stormed the city in protest against the enclosure of common land and the poverty amongst the peasantry. The gatehouse and city walls were taken down in the late 18th century and the bridge itself was nearly demolished in the 1920s as part of a scheme of redevelopment until the Norwich Society successfully campaigned to have it saved.

Rowing on the River Wensum c1912

Rowing on the Wensum, postmarked to 1912, with Riverside Road seen in the background. I know very little about this card, but what intrigued me was the rather sorry looking wherry behind the rowers.

Royal visit to Norwich 1911

Foundry Bridge, decorated for the visit of the newly crowned King George V who was attending the Royal Agricultural Show in June 1911. The show was held in a different county each year and Norfolk had been selected to host the event which was held at Crown Point in Norwich. The King, who had been crowned just a week before, arrived by train at Thorpe Station. In the background on the right is the Norfolk Railway House pub which had originally been the toll house for Foundry Bridge. The name survived up until it closed for refurbishment in 1973, reopening the following year as The Complete Angler.

Carrow Bridge Norwich c1923

Carrow Road Bridge pictured in the 1920s, possibly during the latter stages of it’s construction in 1923. The original Carrow Bridge had crossed the river a little further downstream, but as the Colman factory expanded either side of it, the new bridge was constructed here instead. It was designed by the Norwich City Engineer A.E.Collins, the construction costs were partially funded by Colmans and Boulton & Paul and it was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in June 1923.

Norwich Market Place c1910

Moving away from the riverside, I thought it might be of interest to include a few early 20th century postcards of the city centre itself. The scene above shows the market place with the church of St. Peter Mancroft in the background and dates from around 1910. The market was established here after the Norman invasion of 1066, eventually taking over from what had been the original market place in Tombland. Norwich was one largest and most important cities in England during the medieval era and the market at that time covered a much larger area than that which we know today. The church was built over a 25 year period between 1430 and 1455. Many of the buildings which now surround the market, including the shops which form Gentleman’s Walk, were built during the 19th century.  

Norwich Market Place c1910

Another view of the market place which also dates from c1910. In the 1930s the area was redeveloped, the range of buildings on the left were demolished to make way for the new City Hall and the war memorial and remembrance gardens were constructed. The market itself also underwent a forced revamp when the council decided that the stalls should have a more uniform appearance and it was in 1938, when the new City hall opened, that the colourful, striped awnings first appeared. The market had another facelift in 2005 when new stalls were built and, although initial plans proved to be rather controversial, the final result kept the character of the originals by retaining the familiar stripes!

Norwich Market & Guildhall c1910

The northern end of Norwich market place with the Guildhall in the background. Work on building the Guildhall, which replaced an earlier Norman toll house, began in 1407 and over the years it has had a variety of uses including being a court house, a prison and was apparently the home the city’s horse-drawn fire engine for a while. The stables for the horses were situated in the nearby Labour in Vain yard.

London Street Norwich c1910

London Street in Norwich city centre, looking up towards the Guildhall in a postcard which dates from c1910.  In 1967, Lomdon Street became the first fully pedestrianised street in Britain.

Norwich Cathedral & Tombland c1910

A view of the cathedral and Tombland, also c1910. As previously mentioned, the city centre was relocated to the area of the current market place by the Normans, but in Saxon times Tombland was the administrative and trade centre of Norwich. The name itself is Saxon in origin, tum-land meaning open space. Work began on building the cathedral at the end of the 11th century, the Caen limestone used in its construction being ferried along the Yare and the Wensum, through the “watergate” which we we now know as Pull’s Ferry, and up to the cathedral site via a man made cut leading off  the river.

Agricultural Hall Plain, Norwich c1910

Another c1910 postcard, this is Agricultural Hall Plain, looking down to Prince of Wales Road. The turreted building on the left is the Royal Hotel which opened in November 1897 and was designed by the Norwich architect Edward Boardman who later built How Hill House at Ludham as a holiday home for his family. Permission was needed from Queen Victoria to be able to name the hotel “Royal”. The first building on the right was the Agricultural Hall which most people will probably remember as being the studios of Anglia TV from 1959 onwards. Beyond that was the old Post Office building, originally built as the Crown Bank in 1866.

Norwich Castle and the Cattle Market c1920s

Norwich Castle and the Cattle Market c1920s. The castle, which dates from the early 11th century, was built on a man made hill. During the 19th century it was used as the county gaol before its conversion to a museum in 1887. The cattle market was established here in 1738 and continued until c1960 when it moved to a new home in Hall Road, a site which itself has since been redeveloped into a retail park. I remember an annual fun fair used to be held here when I was a child during the 1970s. Between 1987 and 1991, the site was redeveloped and the Castle Mall shopping centre was built. During excavations for the Mall, archaeologists uncovered significant finds from the late Saxon to post Mediaeval period which shed new light on the city’s history.

Prince of Wales Road Norwich 1912 floods

The first of a series of postcards which capture scenes in and around Norwich following the devastating floods which hit the region in 1912. Many areas of Broadland sustained heavy flooding and damage from the accompanying gales, over 40 bridges were destroyed, railways became blocked and the harvest was lost. There had been rain over several days prior to the storm but it began raining heavily in the early hours of Monday 26th August and in less than 24 hours over 8” had fallen over the region. The accompanying gales ensured that the tide remained high and, as the water poured off of the land, the rivers were breached in many places causing mass flooding. The above image shows Prince Of Wales Road.

Prince of Wales Road Norwich 1912 floods

Another postcard featuring an almost identical scene in Prince Of Wales Road.

Carrow Road Norwich 1912 floods

It is said that the flood water in Norwich rose to over 15 feet above the normal high tide level and that Carrow Road (pictured above) resembled a canal. Power and communications in the city were cut and Norwich effectively became cut off from the outside world for a few days until the water began to recede.

Magdalen Street Norwich 1912 floods

The flooding in Magdalen Street pictured on August 27th 1912. As the water levels rose the sewers became blocked and the floodwater had nowhere to go, a problem made worse by the fact that the gullies in the streets became blocked by debris.

Exeter Street Norwich 1912 floods

The heavily populated areas of Heigham, Coslany and Westwick were the worst affected areas of the city - they were also the poorest districts and over 3,500 homes were flooded with 15,000 people being affected, 2000 of whom were left homeless. The YMCA in Norwich took in 280 people who had been evacuated from their homes, many more were housed temporarily in local schools. The postcard above shows Exeter Street, the terraced houses seen here no longer exist.

Mancroft Street Norwich 1912 floods

The flooding in Mancroft Street, pictured on 27th August 1912. Four people lost their lives in Norwich, including fish porter George Brodie who was one of the many heroic people who attempted to rescue those who were trapped in their homes.

Westwick Street Norwich 1912 floods

Children play in the floodwater in Westwick Street.  

Westwick Street Norwich 1912 floods

Westwick Street in Norwich. My thanks to Anthony Williamson for contacting me about this postcard, he says; “The picture shows the Norwich Corporation Depot on the left of Westwick St as you go into the city.  Wincarnis Works were on the right of Westwick Street on the site now occupied by the Cathedral Retail Park and were owned by Coleman & Co Ltd (taken over by Colman & Co Ltd of Carrow in 1968). Coleman ’s Brewery were also owned by Coleman & Co Ltd and occupied the site at the bottom of Rosary Road ( later occupied by Thompsons Tin works) were the caves are. Both Wincarnis Works and the Corporation Yard were destroyed during WW2 air raid, Colemans bought the whole site between Barn Road and St Swithens Terrace and much land to the south of the site.



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