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Yarmouth Road, Ludham 1940s Yarmouth Road, Ludham 2008

Pictured above is Yarmouth Road in Ludham, looking up towards the Kings Arms public house.  The first photograph 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 bottom photograph 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.

Saddlers shop at Ludham 1960s Alfresco Tearooms at 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 first picture 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 in January 2008). The building itself, although renovated, has remained unchanged.

Ludham village centre 1960s Ludham village centre 2010

Ludham village centre with the Kings Arms pub on the right, pictured in the late 1960s and 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.


The River Wensum & Foundry Bridge, Norwich c1890 The River Wensum & Foundry Bridge, Norwich 2011

The River Wensum in Norwich, looking upstream towards Foundry Bridge. The top  photograph 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 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.

Carrow Bridge Norwich 1920s Carrow Bridge Norwich 2009

Carrow Bridge and the River Wensum at Norwich 1923 and 2009. Taken from the river, so the angle isn't quite right and one that I must revisit! The original postcard is quite interesting as it appears to show what was the "new" Carrow Bridge in the latter stages of construction. It was opened by the Prince of Wales in June 1923, was designed by A.E. Collins (the city engineer )and was built by J.Butler & Co. of Leeds. Both Colman's and Bolton and Paul contributed towards the £42,000 build costs.The 2009 photograph shows how this once industrial area has been transformed beyond all recognition into residential property. It's interesting to see how much more of the medieval boom towers which stood either side remained in the 1920s.

Norwich Riverside 1970s Norwich Riverside 2011

Another view of the River Wensum in Norwich. The top photograph was taken by John Chesney in the 1970s and shows a very different scene to that which we see in the modern day scene, 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 right 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 at the bottom which was taken in May 2011. The Novi Sad bridge now straddles the Wensum 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.

Norwich Riverside 1970s Norwich Riverside 2011

Yet another view of the city which has changed dramatically over the years. The first image 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 bottom photograph, 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.

Norwich Power Station 1970s The site of the former Norwich Power Station 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 bottom photograph 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 Wensum. 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.

The view from Foundry Bridge 1920s The view from Foundry Bridge 2013

Back I the city centre, this is the view looking upstream from Foundry Bridge in Norwich c1920, and in May 2013 with the Yacht Station on the right.

Norwich Riverside & Bishops Bridge c1910 Norwich Riverside & Bishops Bridge 2013

The view looking upstream on the River Wensum towards Bishops Bridge in Norwich c1910 and in May 2013.  It's incredible to think that the area of Riverside leading from the yacht station up to Bishops Bridge was still such a hive of industry back in 1910. Today there are no signs of the ramshackle buildings which stood on the spot and wherries are rare visitors indeed! 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.

Riverside Road Norwich c1910 Riverside Road Norwich 2013

Riverside Road in Norwich - top c1910, bottom May 2013. It was impossible to get a "Now" shot from the same position as the original for this as I had no desire to step out into the middle of what is now a very busy road - this is a common problem in trying to recreate these old photographs! It's interesting that the wall on the left, which now houses the entrance to the yacht station, is seen in the original photograph too. The building in the foreground on the right had obviously not been built.

Prince of Wales Road Norwich c1919 Prince of Wales Road Norwich 2013

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich - top c1919, bottom May 2013. I've not got the focal length or angle quite right on this one ... but it will do for now! The 1919 view shows the Electric Theatre cinema which opened in 1912. After refurbishment in 1949, it was renamed the Norvic. It closed in 1959 - apparently the last film shown was Wild In The Country with Elvis Presley.

Agricultural Hall Plain Norwich c1910 Agricultural Hall Plain Norwich 2013

Agricultural Hall Plain in Norwich, looking down Prince of Wales Road c1910 and May 2013. 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.

London Street, Norwich c1910 London Street, Norwich 2013

London Street, Norwich c1910 and May 2013. In the middle, on the right of the old postcard, is Garland and Sons which was a familiar name in the city for many years. The building was gutted by fire in 1970. London Street became the first fully pedestrianised road in Britain  in 1967. I couldn't stand far enough back to be able to take this without a slight wide angle. Along with the more modern shop buildings on the right and the HSBC bank on the left, the most noticeable addition to the scene is the clock tower - the view of the Guildhall is now masked by a tree! Still busy with shoppers but the fashions have changed.

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The Norfolk Broads Then & Now

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