Mystery poet whisks us back in time to Colman's and 1950s Norwich
- Credit: Archant Library
It is a poignant piece of poetry that illustrates another time… when the place where they made mustard was a second home to generations of men and women.
Working at Colman’s of Norwich wasn’t so much a job - more a way of life. They were one big family and many spent their entire careers at Carrow Works.
Colman’s men and women were proud people with a genuine bond of love and affection for their company. When they were not working so many belonged to the social clubs run by the employees.
What memories the world-famous Lakenham ground bring back for so many and there were those who lived their entire working lives in Colman houses.
Carrow Works was a self-contained industrial city, employing 2,000 people where flour, starch and washing blue were produced along with the mustard that is famous across the world.
They had their own school which educated 300 children in 1870 and Phillipa Flowerday was the first female industrial nurse in the land.
The Colman family played a leading role in the life of the city and county and how the people respected them. They knew running a successful business was a team effort.
- 1 Woman in her 20s dies in A47 crash
- 2 The school where boys can wear skirts - but not shorts
- 3 Cyclist in her 50s dies in A11 crash
- 4 Redundancy leads to Norfolk mum earning up to £3,000 a month
- 5 Man jealous of ex-wife's new relationship burnt down house
- 6 Breckland builder dumped toilet cisterns and bathroom items in front garden
- 7 Train travellers set for another weekend of rail disruption
- 8 Car seen driving on the wrong side of the A47
- 9 How much will Great Yarmouth's new Marina Centre cost?
- 10 Woman in serious condition in hospital after crash between two cars and van
Today the industrial city is a memory, the buildings are coming down and new ones will take their place with thousands of new homes and more.
One thing we can all look forward to is the arrival of spring so we thought we would pay tribute to a gentleman known to us only as JOHN of HEIGHAM who wrote this beautiful poem 'Spring at Carrow' in the Carrow Magazine from the spring of 1958.
'Spring at Carrow'
How will the exile of twelve months or so
Find Carrow precincts that he once did know?
Inviolate as yet the House remains
Though desolation on her threshold reigns.
Up King Street’s reaches toiling, first he’ll spy
A lofty crane against the Eastern sky;
Full soon more signs of change his eye will view
With unfamiliar landscapes not a few;
“There where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,”
The vista opens to Thorpe and Trowse.
That gate through, which at morn and eve he passed,
Like Eden ‘gainst his entry now’s made fast;
Another way perforce all now must tread
To gain admittance to the cycle shed.
Those steps down which his feet have often clattered
Have in the ruin all long since been shattered;
Gone, too, Research’s ancient domicile
Where sundry others sojourned for a while,
And down the yard – it’s there for all to see,
Enframed, the Mustard Mill that is to be.
Yet, ‘midst transitions and this “much ado,”
The lusty hooter still sounds forth “ten to;”
Amongst the changing scene these labours bring
Snowdrops and aconites announce the spring,
The golden crocus greets the early bees,
And rooks return to Carrow trees.
If you know who John of Heigham was please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more old photos and articles about Norfolk history and heritage, subscribe to our new fortnightly Through the Decades email newsletter. Sign up by clicking here.