A Norfolk man has filmed documentary footage inside a well-known Norwich eyesore, which is scheduled for demolition.

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It wouldn’t be most people’s first choice if asked which Norwich building they’d most like to take a sneak tour around.

However, thanks to a video by a Norfolk man, people can enjoy a glimpse inside one of the city’s most notorious eyesores – Sovereign House.

The video is the work of Chris Richmond, who lives near Fakenham and spent about a month filming and compiling footage inside the building, which looms over Anglia Square in north Norwich.

Built in the late 1960s, and once the home of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office until it was privatised in 1996, the former office block is set for demolition as part of the long-awaited revamp of Anglia Square.

Mr Richmond’s 24-minute video History of HMSO Sovereign House Before its Imminent Demolition, is part of a project he started three years ago called Norfolk Uncovered, which is a series of short documentaries about the less-known and less-obvious relics and ruins of the county. Mr Richmond, who is a bus driver, said: “The video outlines the building’s history with some original photos donated by former HMSO employee, Reg Walker, who worked at Sovereign House from 1968 to 1996. Mr Walker joined me on a special visit to Sovereign House, courtesy of Stewart Porter of Anglia Square. He showed us around his former workplace and told some stories about what it was like to work there.”

The office block was once described as one of the best Modernist buildings in the city, and is said to reflect an interesting period of English architecture, the so-called Brutalist movement which spawned many buildings now regarded as masterpieces.

Mr Richmond said it was typical of 1960s architecture.

“I like it for what it is,” he said, “which is typical of the period when it was built. Inside, all the furniture has been taken out, and it’s been stripped down.”

Centenary Ashcroft secured permission for the multi-million pound regeneration of Anglia Square in 2008.

But when the credit crunch hit in 2009, developers had to scale back the plans before putting them on ice until market conditions had recovered – where they remain to this day.

That has left Anglia Square in the shade while areas around nearby St Augustine’s Street have been transformed.

13 comments

  • I'll have a pint of what Mr Cooper seems to have drunk before getting his message on here......

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    Sidney

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Calm down Bertie!

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    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • http:www.youtube.comwatch?v=P2fl7mLGZjw A video clip here made by my husband recently which may be of interest to some.

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    delgirl

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • An interesting film but would have liked more focus on the building and less on watching Reg tell the story of his time and parts of the office block. Did not enjoy the 'Whoosh' at every scene change. Well worth a watch if you would like to know a bit of what it was like before it is lost for ever

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    Rorping

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • An interesting film but would have liked more focus on the building and less on watching Reg tell the story of his time and parts of the office block. Did not enjoy the 'Whoosh' at every scene change. Well worth a watch if you would like to know a bit of what it was like before it is lost for ever

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • @Albert Cooper It's grammar - not grammer... no need for another hissy fit, just saying!

    Report this comment

    Clan

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • sorry about repeats it took a long time loading

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • An interesting film but would have liked more focus on the building and less on watching Reg tell the story of his time and parts of the office block. Did not enjoy the 'Whoosh' at every scene change. Well worth a watch if you would like to know a bit of what it was like before it is lost for ever

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I suppose people never knew that they were living in such good times - employment wise. The HMSO must have employed hundreds. I remember there was a Sainsbury's in Anglia Square where there is a car showroom now.

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    oldowl

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • @sidney Get your grammer correct before you post a snide remark.This I typed in a hurry and knew of the spelling mistakes after posting,however my remarks are accurate

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Unfortunately can't see the video from my iPad - just says 'Invalid Content'. Just about sums up the 40 long years of the Anglia Square area disaster!

    Report this comment

    Rich Hartt

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • All this a s a consequence of The Inner Link Road,the biggest peice of Civic Vandalism ever meeted on the City of Norwich.Historic buildings and thousands of houses demolished for a road that brinngs vehicles right into the City Centre,not to mention the Floover and the dreadful Anglia Square

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • An interesting film but would have liked more focus on the building and less on watching Reg tell the story of his time and parts of the office block. Did not enjoy the 'Whoosh' at every scene change. Well worth a watch if you would like to know a bit of what it was like before it is lost for ever

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 4, 2013

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