Taking a look back at the former nightclub Samson and Hercules on Tombland, Norwich and how it changed over the years
PUBLISHED: 07:53 04 January 2017 | UPDATED: 08:29 05 January 2017
Former Samson and Hercules nightclub is once again in need of a new direction after Just Lobsters closed down. Our images look back on its time as a nightclub.
It’s famous for the two white statues which used to proudly stand outside. Over the years the building on Tombland has housed a swimming pool, various nightclubs and most recently a lobster restaurant.
It is thought the current building was built by the Mayor of Norwich, Christopher Jay, in 1657, with the famous statues originally made from timber, but white replicas installed when Samson lost an arm.
The building once housed a large swimming pool. Later on, a dance floor was installed over the top of it and it was transformed into a ballroom in 1939. At that time it became a popular venue with the troops stationed in Norwich. But it was severely damaged by fire in 1944 and was renovated and partly reconstructed in the early 1950s.
Many Norwich couples first met each other there and it was a popular wedding reception venue in the 1940s and 1950s. Over the years, as the venue went from being a ballroom to the nightclub Ritzy’s and Fifth Avenue, and more recently Ikon.
There were once plans for the statues to be removed, which sparked a public outcry. As a result, they were retained and restored, though the fact they were painted red raised one or two eyebrows.
Keep an eye out every Tuesday in the Evening News for the Norwich Through the Decades 12-page supplement which takes a look back at a variety of old photos.
Make sure you join our new Facebook group, Norwich Remembers, for a nostalgic look at Norwich over the decades. You can share your own photos and memories or simply browse through those shared by others.
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