Time to strike gold for meeting old friends at Klondike reunion
- Credit: ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2002.
They called them the Klondike Kids because in those days the area around George Pope Road in Norwich resembled parts of Alaska... especially to those who had arrived from the cramped courts and yards of Norwich.
For the boys and girls coming out of these poor but close-knit communities, where many shared lavatories and bathed in front of the fire, this was the big country. Wide open spaces with freedom to run and play.
People were moving out of the city in all directions but it was those who arrived in the George Pope Road area became known as the Klondike kids – and, despite all the development which came along, the name stuck and has been passed from one generation to the next.
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They were proud to be from the city's very own Klondike. It was an invisible badge the children wore with honour – and continue to do so.
More than a dozen years ago two of those kids, brothers Paul (Jumma) and Arthur Hunt, asked if I would spread the word as they were thinking of having a reunion.
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'We often talk about what it was like growing up all around George Pope Road about the time of the Second World War and into the 1950s and we have been wondering what happened to everybody,' said Jumma back in 2002.
He was born in 1935, one of a family of nine children, and remembered the great community atmosphere on the New Catton estate, better known as the Klondike.
'Most people had big families in those days. We looked after each other and you really could leave your back door open,' he added.
So the call went out for members of the Barratt family and then there were the Southgates, the Perfects, the Thornes, the Sherwoods, the Gradys, the Matthews, the Moores, the Taylors, the Sindalls and so many more to get in touch.
Children who lived around Boston and Grimsby Street, Jewson Road, Philadelphia Lane and Woodcock Road and went to Philadelphia Lane school and then on to Catton Grove and the Norman or Alderman Jex.
The response was overwhelming and the reunion at the Royal British Legion Hall was a huge success attracting more than 150 people.
Now it's all happening again. A second reunion will be held back at the Legion Hall on Friday February 28 at 7.30pm.
'This time we also hope to get a few more of the Klondike kids from the 1960s and 70s,' said the man organising it, Stan Hare.
Remember. Once a Klondike, always a Klondike, and this reunion is a great opportunity for people of all ages and from all walks of life to get together and strengthen the bond of friendship which exists between them all.
It's also a great way of finding out whatever happened to so and so.
So make it a date. Friday February 28 at the legion hall on Aylsham Road and for more details call Stan on 07899877339 or Jumma on Norwich 01603 322662.
If you have any memories or photographs of life in and around George Pope Road over the years please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.