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The Norfolk Broads - Then & Now

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Pictured above is Yarmouth Road in Ludham, looking up towards the Kings Arms public house.  The photograph on the left was taken in the 1940s and is part of the Ludham Community Archive collection, on the right of the picture you can see the Bakers Arms public house which was demolished in 1959. The photograph on the right shows the same scene in January 2008, the thatched cottages remain largely unchanged but the Kings Arms now has a large restaurant extension on the right hand side.
Ludham Village 2008
Ludham Village 1960s
Saddlers Shop Ludham 1960s
Al Fresco Tearooms Ludham 2008

Another picture courtesy of the Ludham Community Archive Group.  This thatched cottage was home to “Knacky” Knights saddlers shop, as shown on the picture on the left which dates from the 1960s. “Knacky” was well known to visitors in the 1950s and 1960s for his Tall tales of Norfolk!  The building now houses the Alfresco Tearooms (pictured on the right in January 2008). The building itself, although renovated, has remained unchanged.

Carrow Bridge Norwich 1925
Carrow Bridge Norwich 2009
Carrow Bridge on the River Wensum in Norwich. The postcard on the left dates from 1925 and shows the new bridge which was built in 1923. The riverside in this part of the city was still very much an industrial area with many warehouses, factories and the Bullards brewery which stood a little further upstream. Much more of the remains of the two medieval boom towers can be seen in the 1920s photograph than survive today. The photograph on the right was taken in May 2009 and shows a very different backdrop to the bridge as modern, luxury flats have now replaced the industrial buildings. You can find out more about the history of Carrow Bridge in the Bridges Of The Wensum article within the Broadland Memories archive.


Ludham Village 1960s
Ludham Village 2010

Ludham village pictured on the left in the late 1960s and on the right in February 2010. The paint colours of the buildings may have changed but the scene looks very much the same today, although the Post Office seen in the background on the right, and the shop in the foreground on the corner of Yarmouth Road are now private houses.


Loddon High Street c1910
Loddon High Street 2010
Loddon High Street 1950s
Loddon High Street 2010

The postcard on the left dates from the 1950s and shows the view looking up the High Street with the Swan Hotel on the right and Church Plain to the left. The quirky building on the left which houses Barclays Bank still stands, although partially obscured by trees in the recent photograph. The building before it has gone and the area is now a large car park and market place. The small shop with the Wall’s ice cream sign just beyond the Swan is also now missing.

The junction of High Street, Bridge Street and George Lane at Loddon, pictured on the left c1910 and on the right in May 2010. The shop in the old photograph was J.B. Prykes grocers and drapery which is now the home of the Happy Buddah Chinese takeaway, with Lim’s fish and chip shop just round the corner. The building in the foreground on the right still stands and was, until recently, Roberts & Son printworks. The terraced building which stood between that and the King’s Head has gone  - the empty building which now occupies the land was the former Midland Bank.

Norwich Riverside 1970s
Norwich Riverside 2011

Another view of the River Wensum in Norwich. The photograph on the left was taken by John Chesney in the 1970s and shows a very different scene to that which we see in the photograph on the right, taken in May 2011. Looking upstream, just beyond where the Novi Sad footbridge now crosses the river, the 1970s photograph shows the Boulton & Paul engineering works on the right whilst the Ferry Boat Inn and ABC Wharf can just about be seen ahead on the left. Boulton & Paul’s yard closed in 1986 and redevelopment of the land began in the 1990s. The modern photograph shows the modern Wherry Road housing development which now occupies the site and, in the background, the Lady Julian footbridge which opened in 2009.  

Norwich Riverside 1970s
Norwich Riverside 2011

Another view from the 1970s, photographed by John Chesney, which illustrates Riverside’s industrial past so well. On the left, the coaster “Bokanier” is moored beside what I think was Moys coal depot - on the left another, unknown coaster is moored in front of Boulton & Paul’s engineering works. It’s a view which is barely recognisable today, as can be seen in the photograph on the right which was taken in May 2011. The Novi Sad bridge now straddles the Wesum between the Wherry Road housing development and riverside retail park on the right, and King Street on the left. The swing bridge, named after the former Yugoslavian town with which Norwich is twinned, was opened to cyclists and pedestrians in November 2001. The apartments seen on the left are part of the Reads Mill housing development.

Reads Mill Norwich 1970s
Reads Mill Norwich 2011

Yet another view of the city which has changed dramatically over the years. The image on the left also comes from the collection of photographs taken by John Chesney in the 1970s and shows the view looking downstream towards Reads Flour Mill on the right, with Boulton & Paul’s on the left. R.J. Reads moved their business to the former Albion Yarn Mill site in the early 1930s and grain was regularly transported there by river. Closing in 1993, the buildings spent the next ten years or so becoming ever more derelict until the site was eventually sold. Redevelopment work began in 2005 and the complex of apartments seen in the photograph on the right, taken in May 2011, were built by the PJ Livesy Group. It was quite a difficult “Then & Now” to do as the Novi Sad footbridge, seen in the foreground, pretty much obscures the view beyond.

Whitlingham power station 1970s
Whitlingham Norwich 2011

The last of John Chesney’s photographs of Norwich from the 1970s shows the old power station which stood on the riverbank, roughly opposite Whitlingham Country Park. The photograph on the right shows the same view in May 2011, looking downstream, and taken immediately after passing beneath Trowse rail bridge. The power station was opened in 1926 after the original station in Duke Street in Norwich had reached full capacity. The coal which was needed to power the station was transported to the site by river on some of the large coasters which were once a regular site on the Yare and the Wesum. I haven’t been able to pinpoint an exact date when the station was demolished, but I believe it was during the 1980s. John’s photograph also shows the wherry yacht “Olive” heading downstream.

Foundry Bridge Norwich c1890
Foundry Bridge Norwich 2011

The River Wensum in Norwich, looking upstream towards Foundry Bridge. The photograph on the left dates from c1890s and was reproduced from the original glass plate negative. The building on the left was the Great Eastern Hotel which was built c1845 - at the time this photograph was taken, the hotel was owned by the Youngs, Crawshay and Youngs brewery. The brewery and its 250 pubs were bought by Bullards in 1958 and the hotel closed in 1961. It was demolished in 1963 and the Nelson Hotel which now stands on this site was opened in 1967. The large boat moored on the right was the famous “Jenny Lind” passenger steamer which ran regular day trips along the River Yare. The “now” photo on the right was taken in May 2011 and shows the Nelson Hotel (now owned by Premier Inns) on the left and the floating Thai restaurant on the right and, just beyond it, the Norwich Sea Scouts vessel.