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Watch: Photos recreated decades apart show how city has changed in 90 years

PUBLISHED: 19:51 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:38 09 January 2020

All Saints Green, pictured in 1955 and 2019. Photos: George Plunkett, left, and Neil Didsbury, right.

All Saints Green, pictured in 1955 and 2019. Photos: George Plunkett, left, and Neil Didsbury, right.

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Historic images taken by a beloved Norwich photographer have been recreated today to offer an insight into city centre change over the last few decades.

All Saints Green and the Bonds department store, pictured in 1955. Photo: George PlunkettAll Saints Green and the Bonds department store, pictured in 1955. Photo: George Plunkett

Buying his first 'box camera' as a teenager, George Plunkett went on to create a comprehensive photographic survey of the city, providing an almost encyclopedic record of its changes.

And now, with the permission of Mr Plunkett's family, a handful of those images have been recreated in the same spots and combined in a video, to show changes in some of the busiest parts of Norwich.

The video includes a look at Theatre Street in 1934 and All Saints Green in 1955, when Bonds dominated the area.

Mr Plunkett, who died aged 93 in 2006, was born in Dereham Road in 1913, before his family moved to Pembroke Road three years later.

Rampant Horse Street, pictured in 1955. Photo: George PlunkettRampant Horse Street, pictured in 1955. Photo: George Plunkett

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First a schoolboy at Avenue Road School, he later studied at the City of Norwich School and started an office job in 1929 for the city's public health department.

George Plunkett, pictured when he was 90, with his Ensign Carbine No 7 camera. 

Picture: James BassGeorge Plunkett, pictured when he was 90, with his Ensign Carbine No 7 camera. Picture: James Bass

In 1935, he moved with his parents to Somerleyton Street, before serving with the RAF in the war.

But alongside his career ran an equally consuming passion - photography.

Brigg Street, pictured in 1955. Photo: George PlunkettBrigg Street, pictured in 1955. Photo: George Plunkett

Jonathan Plunkett, his son, spent many months scanning his father's work and in 2000 published them online.

He said: "He got his first camera in 1931, but as it was a very basic 'box camera' he bought a more versatile model the following year.

"Amazingly he used the same

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camera the rest of his life. At first, his interest was in recording specific aspects of the city, such as parks and gardens, theatres and cinemas, the city walls."

In 1947 Mr Plunkett married and lived at Margetson Avenue in Thorpe.

He retired in 1973 from the school health department, before working at Norwich Union between 1973 and 1978.

His son said it was "thought-provoking" to see the changes captured in the video, adding that he was humbled people were still interested in the photos.

"Dad always enjoyed showing his albums to visitors, and when the internet came along he was delighted for me to digitise the images and put them online. It was a few thousand hours' work, but well worthwhile."

The video was created by visual journalist Neil Didsbury.



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