Man who married at Carrow Works in 1965 joins public to have say on its future

Bob Dryland, 74, held his wedding reception to his wife of 65-years Christine in Carrow Abbey in 1965.

Bob Dryland, 74, held his wedding reception to his late wife Christine in Carrow Abbey in 1965. - Credit: Clarissa Place

People have been having their say on the future of the former Carrow Works factory - including a Norwich man who married his late wife at its abbey more than 65 years ago.

More than 100 people attended two drop in sessions at Carrow Works over Friday and Saturday, with more set to have their say through an online survey on the plans, which could see 4,000 new homes built on the edge of Norwich. 

Carrow Works revelopment

How the Carrow Works site could look after redevelopment. - Credit: Allies And Morrison

Feedback on areas including environment, heritage and transport will form part of the developing masterplan for the East Norwich area, which includes the former Colman's and Britvic Carrow Works site, the Deal Ground/May Gurney site at Trowse, the Utilities site between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham and Carrow House. 

Some highlighted concerns over the closeness to Trowse, while others cited transport links as issues. 

One man, though, was there for a more nostalgic reason - Bob Dryland, from Bramerton, last visited the site for his wedding reception at Carrow Abbey in August 1965.

His late wife Christine worked in the sales ledgers office at the Colman Factory and as a member of staff was given permission to host the reception there.

Christine Dryland at Carrow Abbey.

Christine Dryland worked at Colman's Factory and was given permission by her employers to hold her wedding reception at Carrow Abbey. - Credit: Bob Dryland

Mr Dryland, who was 18 at the time, brought photos from his wedding day to the drop-in session on Saturday.


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The 74-year-old said: "I haven't been here for 56 years, it is my first time back. I knew it was going to be quite moving for me, I was rather she was with me. 

"It was a great wedding venue. For the future, [Carrow Abbey] would make an amazing reception area."

Bob Dryland and his late wife Christine on their wedding day at Carrow Abbey. 

Bob Dryland and his late wife Christine on their wedding day at Carrow Abbey. - Credit: Bob Dryland

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His friend Craig Liversidge said the site meant something to many people and the development needed to take many viewpoints into account. 

Meanwhile, Dr Alistair McKelvey, who is from Bracondale and was attending on Saturday, said his main concern was the transport provision and impact on the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital if 4,000 new homes were built.

He said: "Clearly you hear there's a big development and you are apprehensive about what that means.

"I hope they are going to make provisions for the infrastructure - the transport links, the public services all the new homes will use."

Friends Angela Woodrow and Eileen Wyatt said they felt the exhibition was very comprehensive and questioned how current natural features would be protected. 

The Carrow Works site

The Carrow Works site. Pic: Fuel Properties. - Credit: Fuel Properties

Jason Syrett, of architects Allies and Morrison, said the 4,000 homes were an indication from the city council and not a target and that feedback would be used in the masterplan to create a development that was done in a "sustainable and forward-thinking way".

Following the initial consultation, a concept masterplan will be produced as a result of what people say, which will be subject to another round of consultation.

The third stage, in 2022, would be to draw up a detailed business case to unlock the money to enable the schemes to go ahead.

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