Talk will look at the history of Norwich’s ‘unique’ Royal Arcade
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
A talk looking at the history of Norwich's Victorian Royal Arcade will focus on the decorative work enjoyed by hundreds every day.
Retired teacher David Bussey will give the talk for the Norwich Society next week, and he said he would be particularly looking at the work of ceramic sculptor and artist William Neatby.
'Some of his work includes the ceramic designs in the meat hall of Harrods, in London. He worked with George Skipper - who also designed the Jarrolds store and Aviva's historic base Surrey House - on the Royal Arcade,' said Mr Bussey, 69.
'The talk is going to be quite wide-ranging but with a focus on Neatby's work in the arcade, such as the stain glass window near the Back of the Inns.'
Mr Bussey said the Royal Arcade itself was 'absolutely unique'.
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Built in 1899 a souvenir guidebook at the time said: 'Dainty lady and robust manhood may dally over the delights of shopping, undisturbed by the vagaries of the weather.'
And today still, the arcade welcomes shoppers and is often bustling with activity whatever the weather.
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Mr Bussey said: 'In this country there's no doubt about its uniqueness, and I'm going to suggest Neatby also worked on three other buildings in Norwich - Haymarket Chambers, one in St Giles which was The Norfolk Daily Standard offices, and Surrey House.'
Haymarket Chambers, built in 1901/02 boast a medieval-style turret appearing just above the shop fronts. One of two belonging to the chambers was built for grocer J H Rolfe.
The offices were first occupied by the Norwich Stock Exchange.
At 7 St Giles Street, visitors will see two roundels set in the front ground-floor window which depict William Caxton, first English printer, and Daniel Defoe, first English journalist.
Surrey House is distinctive for - apart from the architecture - the revolutionary central heating and air conditioning (the marble font in the general office) lighting, stained glass and murals.
Mr Bussey, who lives in Norwich, added: 'I'm a teacher at heart, so I'm hoping to educate the people who come along.'
• The talk will be held on February 15, at 10.30am, at The Music Room, The Assembly House, Norwich. Guests £5, Norwich Society Members free, no booking required.