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Fantastic old pictures show Norwich over the years

PUBLISHED: 10:01 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:01 01 November 2017

The scene in St Stephen's, Norwich, during the Lord Mayor's Procession as crowds watch the colourful floats, 1987. Picture: Archant library

The scene in St Stephen's, Norwich, during the Lord Mayor's Procession as crowds watch the colourful floats, 1987. Picture: Archant library

Archant

Take a trip down memory lane with our fabulous photographic celebration of East Anglian life through the decades. Today we take a nostalgic look back at the fine city of Norwich situated on the River Wensum.

Norwich Fair on the old cattle market., April 1972. Picture: Archant Library Norwich Fair on the old cattle market., April 1972. Picture: Archant Library

With its brightly coloured stripy stalls and bustling atmosphere, the market is part of Norwich’s identity, past and present, and the city’s trading history is a fascinating one.

A Saxon market was originally situated in Tombland, but after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a new market was moved to the area known as Mancroft. By 1300, the huge market selling fish, meat, bread, cloth, shoes, livestock and other commodities, stretched from Guildhall Hill almost to St Stephen’s church.

By the late 17th century, it was so busy that a new site for livestock had to be found and it was moved to ‘Castell Dykes’ below the castle mound where the livestock market remained until 1960 when it moved again, this time to Harford Bridge.

Elm Hill

Dated, 26th February 1983. Picture: Archant Library Elm Hill Dated, 26th February 1983. Picture: Archant Library

In the 1930s the whole market was remodelled to accommodate the City Hall, which was opened in 1938.

Norwich’s cultural history is widely celebrated and with so many theatres, cinemas and arts and music venues it isn’t hard to see why.

One of its longest standing arts hubs is Norwich Theatre Royal which opened its doors in 1758. It was built by Thomas Ivory at a cost of £600, which was raised by a collective of 30 Norwich lawyers and businessmen.

The Mecca Delecatessen, in the Haymarket pictured a few months before it closed on Christmas Eve, 24th August 1976. Picture: Archant Library The Mecca Delecatessen, in the Haymarket pictured a few months before it closed on Christmas Eve, 24th August 1976. Picture: Archant Library

The opening main play was ‘The Way of the World’ by William Congreve and the Norwich Company of Comedians moved from The White Swan Playhouse to make the new theatre their headquarters.

The Lord Mayor’s Street Procession is a huge event on the county’s calendar - and it is beleived to have its early roots in the late medieval period. Early mayoral processions were linked to the Guild of St George and the figures of St George and the dragon were paraded along the streets.

During the time of the Reformation the figure of St George was banned from the procession, the dragon, however, was allowed to continue. It became known as the ‘Snap’ and it remains a kep part of Norwich tradition today.

A family playing cricket at Earlham Park, 14th August 1959. Picture: Archant Library A family playing cricket at Earlham Park, 14th August 1959. Picture: Archant Library

And it isn’t just the Lord Mayor’s Procession that brings joy, colour and entertainment to the streets. Norwich has long been home to fairs, military parades and celebrations, all adding to the city’s charm.

Copies of the images featured in this story are available to buy via our photo sales website or alternatively can be ordered by phone on 01603 772449

Norwich fruit and vegetable market bustling with activity. The market used the open city centre site next to the castle, also used as a livestock market, major car park and venue for visiting fairs, 27th September 1957

. Picture: Archant Library Norwich fruit and vegetable market bustling with activity. The market used the open city centre site next to the castle, also used as a livestock market, major car park and venue for visiting fairs, 27th September 1957 . Picture: Archant Library

Battle of Britain march passes the Guildhall in Norwich, September 17th 1978. Picture: Archant Library Battle of Britain march passes the Guildhall in Norwich, September 17th 1978. Picture: Archant Library

A crowded open air swimming pool at Lakenham, Norwich, August 1967

. Picture: Archant Library A crowded open air swimming pool at Lakenham, Norwich, August 1967 . Picture: Archant Library

Norwich Cattle Market re-opens, 4th February 1961. Picture: Archant Library Norwich Cattle Market re-opens, 4th February 1961. Picture: Archant Library

A view of Theatre Street in Norwich in the late 1960s shows the new city library in the background. The library, which was devastated by fire on August 1st 1994, has now been replaced by The Forum. Dated: 4th April 1968

. Picture: Archant Library A view of Theatre Street in Norwich in the late 1960s shows the new city library in the background. The library, which was devastated by fire on August 1st 1994, has now been replaced by The Forum. Dated: 4th April 1968 . Picture: Archant Library

A student from the city of Norwich Art School, watched by several interested onlookers, putting to canvas his impression of the scene before him, 29th May 1950. Picture: Archant Library A student from the city of Norwich Art School, watched by several interested onlookers, putting to canvas his impression of the scene before him, 29th May 1950. Picture: Archant Library

Norwich Theatre Royal exterior view, 28th August 1985. Picture: Archant Library Norwich Theatre Royal exterior view, 28th August 1985. Picture: Archant Library

A solitary angler fishes the placid waters of the Wensum at Fye Bridge in Norwich in July, 1965.
 Picture: Archant Library A solitary angler fishes the placid waters of the Wensum at Fye Bridge in Norwich in July, 1965. Picture: Archant Library

Children playing at Waterloo Park, 18th Agust 1982. Picture: Archant Library Children playing at Waterloo Park, 18th Agust 1982. Picture: Archant Library

The WI sale held at St. Andrews Hall, October, 1989. Picture: Archant Library The WI sale held at St. Andrews Hall, October, 1989. Picture: Archant Library

Theatre Street before the street was widened, 1963. Picture: Archant Library Theatre Street before the street was widened, 1963. Picture: Archant Library

Botolph Street showing the Odeon Cinema before it was due soon to be demolished to make way for the Anglia Square Shopping Development, June 1967. The Odean was rebuilt in the Anglia Square development. Picture: Archant Library Botolph Street showing the Odeon Cinema before it was due soon to be demolished to make way for the Anglia Square Shopping Development, June 1967. The Odean was rebuilt in the Anglia Square development. Picture: Archant Library

Dancing at Chapelfield Gardens, undated. Picture: Archant Library Dancing at Chapelfield Gardens, undated. Picture: Archant Library

Sailing model yachts in Eaton Park, 1950s. Picture: Archant Library Sailing model yachts in Eaton Park, 1950s. Picture: Archant Library

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