Norwich information ‘bible’ to boost tourism

The Norwich Knowledge is billed as a 'bible' for visitors to help them make the most of their trip to the city.

However, at tonight's launch of his work at The Forum, author Michael Loveday said that as well as boosting tourism it would be an important guide for locals as well.

Mr Loveday, 59, chief executive of the city's Heritage, Economic and Regeneration Trust, has spent three years compiling the book which has been inspired by The Knowledge, the oracle for London taxi drivers.

'The Norwich Knowledge aims to be the oracle for everything Norwich - and I hope our taxi drivers will find it useful too,' he said.

The 200,000 word volume has 1,500 images and covers a broad range of subjects including heritage, art and architecture, days out, sport, eating and drinking, nature, literature, nights out, shopping, people and even innovation.

Containing extensive sections on historic Norwich, the guide also has up to date entries on the music scene, the arts and events.

Mr Loveday, of Dyers Yard, Norwich, said: 'To those of us who know the city, it is a box of delights. The problem is, until now, no one has put all the delights into one box so the amazing totality of the offer is often missed.

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'I've tried to remedy that by creating a rather quirky but easy to use 'box'.'

The author was born in Norwich and professes to harbouring a passion for the place from his earliest memories, including standing on the River End terraces at Carrow Road when he was too small to see anything and being at the Central Library opening in the 1960s.

However, he said local people often took their city for granted and he hoped his book would help to fill in gaps in their knowledge.

The book pays homage to a host of Norwich people and also celebrates the achievements of the city as home to the first provincial theatre, the first English public library, and home to more medieval churches than any other city in northern Europe.

The Norwich Knowledge has been compiled as an alphabetical gazeteer so it is easy to search for entries without trawling through indexes. Many of the photographs used have been taken by Mr Loveday or come from his own archives.

Virtual reality images have been produced by the University of East Anglia's school of computing.

Many appear for the first time in print and some have been commissioned especially for the publication.

They include recreations of Anglo-Scandinavian Norwich, prior to the Norman Conquest and the lost monastic complexes of the city. The book costs �18.99 and is available from most local bookshops.

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