Themes chosen for new road names in Sprowston development

Aerial view of Sprowston.

Aerial view of Sprowston.

Developments in Sprowston are changing the face of the town and now new will meet old as the roads of a new development are to be named after the area's history and links with nature.

Wildfowl, First World War aircraft and shoemakers were the themes chosen by Sprowston town councillors on Wednesday, April 1, for street names on the development off Blue Boar Lane opposite the Sprowston Wyevale Garden Centre.

June Hunt, town clerk, said: 'We endeavour to pick names for new roads in Sprowston which are a fitting reflection of the historical character of the area.

'We already had roads named after birds of prey and it was thought that wildfowl names would complement the existing ones.

'Historic names associated with the area have been supplied by Sprowston Heritage a local historical community group and we have pleasure in immortalising these suggestions by road names for future residents.'

Peter Sneddon, chairman at Sprowston Heritage, said: 'Norwich has always had a heavy engineering background and it was a situation that continued for quite some time.

'It does not take long for people to forget what has gone before and we can easily take our heritage for granted.'

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Mr Sneddon added: 'I hope that in the future people will ask what these names mean and it will keep the history of these important industries alive in Sprowston.'

Boulton & Paul to be remembered

The company has a long association with the manufacturing industry in Norwich.

In 1915, Boulton & Paul began to construct aircraft for the military during the First World War.

Their use of jigs – devices used to ensure that all the members of a batch of articles were alike, and their manufacture of the smaller fittings required – meant that they could maintain fast production, vital in times of war.

A new production site was built on Mousehold Heath, rather than transport the aircraft to the Army at Thetford.

During the war the company built more Sopwith Camels than any other manufacturer. Success as a builder of aircraft led to the company forming a design department but none of its resulting aircraft made a significant impact while the war lasted.

After the First World War, Boulton & Paul made their mark with the introduction of powered and enclosed defensive machine gun turrets for bombers. Their Sidestrand biplane bomber could fly at 140mph.

Boulton & Paul provided most of the structure for the doomed R101 airship which crashed in Beauvais, France killing 58.

The Great Depression led to a restructuring of the company and the air division became a separate entity.

The new company moved to Wolverhampton in 1936 as the area had a surplus of skilled labour.

Suggested road names: Atlantic, Bittern, Bobolink, Bodmin, Bolton, Bourges, Camel, Overstrand, Sidestrand.

Shoemaking in Sprowston

The shoe industry was built up from dozens of small businesses and eventually saw large-scale factories built.

'Made in Norwich' was a symbol of quality footwear and the city was home to some of the most highly respected manufacturers in the land.

Slowly but surely the business expanded and factories emerged which would transform the city into a major shoemaking centre.

It was during the Industrial Revolution the shoe put its best foot forward and boomed in Norwich.

At its peak, Norwich's shoe industry employed more than 12,000 people and sold more than seven million pairs of shoes around the world each year.

Shoe production remained strong for many years, but, like many industries, production has now shifted overseas as consumers demand lower cost products.

Shoemaker names suggested for roads are: