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Messages against racist tower block poster to be archived

PUBLISHED: 15:29 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:29 14 February 2020

Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Archant

Messages of love in the wake of a racist poster put up in a tower block the day the United Kingdom left the EU will become part of the city's archive.

A host of heart-shaped messages have been stuck up outside Winchester Tower Picture: David HannantA host of heart-shaped messages have been stuck up outside Winchester Tower Picture: David Hannant

The anonymous poster put up in Winchester Tower, ordering residents to speak English or leave, prompted widespread anger and disgust.

In response, letters, cards and notes of support were posted throughout the block and will now become part of the Norfolk Heritage Centre in the Millenium Library.

A copy of the letter will also be archived.

Maria Willis, who lives in Winchester Tower, and her partner Poppy Rose put a note in the block to share their intentions to donate the items to the heritage centre.

Winchester Tower's entrance covered in heart-shaped messages of support. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYWinchester Tower's entrance covered in heart-shaped messages of support. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The letter said: "Well done everyone for pulling together to show their disgust at the racist, bigoted letter that was put up on the fire doors of our tower last week.

"The good that has come from the responses far outweighed any bad feelings that the letter may have caused. We have collected all the hearts, cards, letters and signed statements.

"Norwich Library have an archive where such collections are kept so that they can be remembered in the future and the library are very happy to give our collection a home."

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Maria said: "It seemed a real shame these beautiful things were getting blown away."

Read more: Heart-shaped messages of love replace race hate poster as police probe continues

Poppy Rose called it a 'hateful, racist' poster as she spoke to crowds at the Norwich Rising event outside the Forum on Friday.

She said: "Hate and bigotry is never far away from us.

"This year Norwich Rising carries a special meaning and even more urgent message - please help us break this chain of violence."

Winchester Tower's entrance covered in heart-shaped messages of support. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYWinchester Tower's entrance covered in heart-shaped messages of support. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The couple said they welcome any further items to add to the collection before they deliver it to the centre.

Rachel Ridealgh, local studies librarian at the heritage centre, said the collection would form part of the communities archive which documents big social changes in Norfolk.

Mrs Ridealgh said: "In future it is going to be interesting to look back at how it [Brexit] affected people and how we responded to the change. The messages of love and support left at Winchester Tower showed the people of Norwich who were against hatred and racism."

Police say investigations are ongoing.

Dozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria PertusaDozens of people turned up to Winchester Tower in Norwich on Sunday to stand up against racism. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Read more: 'This in no way represents our city' - Shock and anger at 'Happy Brexit Day' poster

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