Spring, when thoughts turn to love

EDP Norfolk - - Last Word In Property - Ma­son Bur­rell of Brown & Co has a spring in his step this month

HAV­ING WALKED around the City in my lunch hour, I no­ticed the Easter eggs fill­ing su­per­mar­ket shelves. Surely this sig­ni­fies that spring is just around the cor­ner?

It’s the time when a young man’s thoughts turn to love! Well, for­tu­nately my thoughts turn to the fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject of the evo­lu­tion of Nor­wich hous­ing and life in the city.

My one reader asked if I could tell him more about how coun­cil hous­ing de­vel­oped. I am sure this sounds ut­terly riv­et­ing to most, but hav­ing looked a lit­tle bit deeper into the sub­ject, I was sur­prised to find that Nor­wich led the way.

Pre­vi­ously I have men­tioned how Nor­wich de­vel­oped out of the city bound­aries to es­cape the slums in the cen­tre and how the ‘Homes for Heroes’ scheme, just af­ter the Great War, changed Nor­wich. Well it seems that by the 1980s, Nor­wich had the high­est per­cent­age of lo­cal au­thor­ity hous­ing in the coun­try, a fact that I can’t re­ally ver­ify (I’ve had to rely on web­site in­for­ma­tion).

Nor­wich was ap­par­ently not only a leader in the quan­tity of new lo­cal au­thor­ity homes, but also the qual­ity, with one of Sir Edward Lu­tyens’ un­der­stud­ies hav­ing de­signed and over­seen the con­struc­tion of thou­sands of homes be­fore re­tir­ing in the 1950s. It was also agreed that the peo­ple of Nor­folk would not ac­cept liv­ing in large blocks of flats so new spa­cious de­vel­op­ments, such as Mile Cross (which was one of the first of Nor­wich’s lo­cal au­thor­ity de­vel­op­ments built dur­ing the 1920s) pro­vided com­mu­nity cen­tres, al­lot­ments and school­ing and was con­sid­ered the cut­ting edge of mod­ern liv­ing.

Be­tween 1920 and 1930, it is un­der­stood that at least 7,000 new homes had been built by the coun­cil, dou­ble that of pri­vately-built homes. So how were the newly-housed peo­ple of Nor­wich en­joy­ing the very lit­tle so­cial time they had while not work­ing in the fac­to­ries?

Well, pic­ture houses were be­gin­ning to pop up around the city, so it be­came pop­u­lar to take your sweet­heart to see a film. If you re­ally wanted to im­press her you could have treated her to some Rown­tree’s Choco­late Squares or maybe a Flake, which came into pro­duc­tion in 1920, fol­lowed by my favourite, the Crunchie, in 1929.

One of the most pop­u­lar pic­ture houses was the Re­gent on Prince Of Wales Road with its grand ball­room and café. I un­der­stand that the pic­ture house may not have been the qui­etest place to go court­ing, as talkies didn’t re­ally come into force un­til the late 1920s, so any­body who could read the sub­ti­tles of­ten had to read them in loud whis­pers to their date.

If you pre­ferred some fresh air per­haps you would don your best Derby hat and take a stroll with the ob­ject of your af­fec­tion on your arm through Ea­ton Park. How ro­man­tic! The park was opened in 1928 by the Prince of Wales.

Hav­ing been con­structed, as many of our parks in Nor­wich were, as a means of pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment for re­turn­ing sol­diers. It took 100 men three­and-a-half years to build.

So, as you walk through Ea­ton Park with your sweet­heart on your arm and your best hat at a jaunty an­gle, spend a few min­utes to ap­pre­ci­ate the work that cre­ated it.Š

If you re­ally wanted to im­press her you could have treated her to some Rown­tree’s Choco­late Squares or maybe a Flake

Above: The Re­gent in Nor­wich’s Prince of Wales Road

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.