Poll: Is this summer the best Norwich has ever had?
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Could this be Norwich's best summer ever? Last year set the bar high, with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the arrival of the Olympic torch in the city, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games that followed.
But this year the city has hosted a world film premiere, thanks to Alan Partridge, and an art trail which has attracted visitors by their thousands, thanks to 54 gorillas.
The summer started with a mix of relief and pride when Norwich City not only escaped relegation, but confounded the cynics to finish 11th in the Premier League.
Events came thick and fast, including the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Race for Life, the City of Ale, the Lord Mayor's Celebration, the Royal Norfolk Show and Norwich Pride, with peregrine falcons nesting at Norwich Cathedral and a visit by the Antiques Roadshow all adding to the atmosphere. And all of this as the city basked in some of the warmest weather on record.
Maureen Bunnage, 68, of Loddon, said the Olympics meant last summer was hard to beat, but this year the weather was 'gorgeous'.
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Her granddaughter Amie Bunnage, 12, said: 'I think it's a pretty special summer because there are so many events. It's quite inspiring.'
Keith Sillett, 60, from Thorpe St Andrew, said the city is having 'a really good summer'.
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He added: 'People are more friendly when the sun comes out. I think Alan Partridge coming to Anglia Square has opened Norwich up to show people what the city has to offer. I think it will bring tourists in.'
Barbara Quinton, 77, who was born in Norwich and has lived in the city all her life, said the good weather had helped make this summer so special.
She said: 'Last year it was all rain. The sun makes people come out more and this year has been good because there are a lot of people about and they are buying things and they are interested in things. It's good for Norwich.'
Those views were echoed by Norwich North MP Chloe Smith who said: 'I think all these things go to show that Norwich is a really great place to live and long may the sun continue to shine through the school holidays and maybe even into the autumn.'
One man who has been able to enjoy a lot of the events around the city is Lord Mayor of Norwich, Keith Driver.
'I think it's been a great summer so far,' said Mr Driver. 'We had a cold April to start with and everyone was moaning about how cold it was, but since May it's been fantastic.
'Every event you go to, and I've been to a lot, like Norwich Pride this weekend, there must have been at least 7,000 people in the city, everyone seems to be having a fantastic time.
'I was at a fete in Bowthorpe, in Clover Hill, where it rained for all of half a minute and everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves. Long may it continue!'
The lord mayor also had a special mention for the GoGoGorillas, adding: 'They're brilliant.
'Ever since I was down near the cinema at Riverside when they were first unveiled, everyone has been talking about them.
'My family have been talking about them and even now you are still seeing people having their pictures taken with them all the time.'
SOME OF THE GREAT THINGS WE'VE ENJOYED IN NORWICH SO FAR THIS SUMMER ...
• The weather
• Norfolk and Norwich Festival
• Lord Mayor's Celebrations
• Peregrine falcons
• Norwich Pride
• Royal Norfolk Show
• Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre
• Gas Hill Gasp
• Shakespeare Festival at Norwich Cathedral
• Premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
• Antiques Roadshow
• Race for Life
• Free children's outdoor theatre
• City of Ale Festival
• And not forgetting what started the great summer off ... Norwich City staying in the Premier League