Crosses for miles

If you think of the original Mile Cross Estate as a triangle with the Southern point being where the Aylsham and Drayton Roads head off in separate directions towards their namesakes, the other two points of the estate triangle sit at either end of the aptly-named Boundary Road as the two roads leave the city and head off out into Norfolk.

Here the City and County of Norwich becomes (or became) the County of Norfolk.

County of Norwich? Yep, Norwich was still technically a County, even as recently as 1974. Back in 1404 the City of Norwich was made into a seperate County (or a County Corporate) and it became independent from its host County of Norfolk. Like a lot of the rapidly-growing towns and Cities, Norwich was deemed important enough to become independent from its county, which (amongst other things) gave it a few extra privileges with regards to self-government that a City wouldn’t normally recieve. Norwich was rapidly becoming England’s 2nd most important City only being out-ranked by London. In interesting point to add here is that the City of Norwich – inside the walls – was actually larger than the City of London.

The City (now County) of Norwich had its own Lord-Lieutenant, appointed by the Crown who was responsible for controlling the Norwich militia up until the right to call on able-bodied men to fight was revoked only as recently as 1921. Norwich still has a Lord Lieutenant, appointed by the Queen as her representative for the county but this role (like that of the Sherriff) only exists in a ceremonial capacity. The County of Norwich was allowed to appoint itself two sheriffs for over 400 years, however this was reduced to just one after the Municipal Corporations act of 1835 and even then only in a ceremonial capacity.

The County’s current Lord-Lieutenant is a Richard Jewson and the city’s current Sherriff is a David Walker and Norwich remained a County (in the ceremonial sense) right up until 1974 when it was taken back under the jurisdiction of the County of Norfolk. Back to Mile Cross…

The Faden’s map of 1797 has “Mile Cross” written onto it, covering the area around Aylsham Road just south of the Boundary and across the road into what is now Catton. For the life of me I still can’t find out why this area was referred to as Mile Cross, or if it was linked in anyway to the pair of 15th Century Boundary crosses currently bookending Boundary Road. Presumably there would have been many more of these crosses encircling the city (I read somewhere that were as many as 10 at one point) and the only other cross still surviving from this period lives about 800 meteres away from Asda, hidden in the graveyard of St Mary’s church in Hellesdon, on the other side of the soon to be ex-golf course.

MXcross Continue reading “Crosses for miles”

When the bombs fell

I’ve already mentioned the Second World War a few times on this blog and it’s hardly surprising; the estate was built partly as a by-product of the First World War and before the freshly-planted trees and gardens had a chance to mature, the clouds of war were bubbling up once again, and It wouldn’t be too long before their shadows began to fall across the lands and its new estate once more. Continue reading “When the bombs fell”

Bloody vandals

Just a short entry tonight after I spotted something of interest as I was dropping off some donations to the Hallswood Animal sanctuary Charity Shop on Drayton Road. On the wall opposite the entrance and next to one of the residential doors is a concentration of ‘graffiti’. On closer inspection some of the inscriptions are quite old. Admittedly they’re not going to get any of the medieval graffiti experts too excited but the shops were only built in 1929.
MXVandAfter a quick zoom in on Photoshop this small section of wall revealed quite a few initials and dates: Continue reading “Bloody vandals”

Dick’s Story: Lassie Come Home.

You may have read the last blog entry about a tragic accident that happened on the estate towards the end of the Second World War. A Consolidated B-24 Liberator of the USAAF crashed on its final approach to the Horsham St Faith Airbase killing 8 of its 9 crew, two young children and changing the lives of their friends and family forever. If you haven’t read it already, I recommend that you do so first before reading this entry and that blog entry can be found by clicking this link.

After sharing the story on Social Media I was rather taken aback by the positive response it received and it has probably been the most-read (and commented) post of this blog so far.

One of the many people who commented on Social Media was a ‘Dick Kemp’. Dick (Richard) Kemp was the young lad whose garden the plane came down onto and it was his sister and cousin who were killed along with the American Airmen. Shortly after commenting on the post Dick sent me an email asking if I’d forward him the story so that he could share it with his extended family. Of course I obliged and emailed it over. It was another one of those fantastic moments where somebody who I’ve been researching or photographing the history of has appeared to me in person, just like when David Jackson appeared at one of my exhibitions a few years ago. Whilst I had this fine Gentleman’s attention I thought I’d chance my arm and ask him if he’d mind sharing his thoughts and memories on the incident.Aircraft_DiehlWreck_LassieComeHome_FOLD3 Continue reading “Dick’s Story: Lassie Come Home.”

Lassie Come Home

AZON_Orig Lassie Come Home_WILLIAM CASEIn the northern corner of the estate and just behind the Boundary Pub is a quiet little cul-de-sac named Spynke Road. Like a lot of the roads up there it didn’t start off this way and used to share a junction with Boundary road. It has since been closed off to stop people rat-running through the estate and to reduce accidents along the now insanely busy Boundary Road. Because of these road closures the area now has a strangely quiet and closed-off feel but with the unrelenting background drone of of traffic. Continue reading “Lassie Come Home”

Drayton Road

I recently stumbled across three fascinating images taken along the section of Drayton Road stretching from the Lidl roundabout to the junction at Asda. I’ve covered Drayton road fairly comprehensively over the course of this blog and those stories can be found below (all worth a read if you haven’t already):

Nigel Neale

The Dolphin Tragedy

Retail Therapy

Chalk and Putty

The Slough and the Knight

Shoes to shoe boxes

Little bits of History

Topography to the Point

So in this short entry I’m just going to share the images in question and go into a little bit of detail about what we’re looking at one by one.

I’ll start off with this fascinating image kindly provided by Don Thorpe:27709613_10156190490998793_7938530565865381547_o Continue reading “Drayton Road”

Green to mud or bricks

Green bits. The Estate was built with open space in mind. If you wander around the estate you’ll notice the big verges with tree-lined vistas, you’ll notice that most of the homes have been blessed with large gardens, you’ll also spot quite a few large, open greens. Some of the greens you may be familiar with were purposefully made as features of the Estate during its ‘Garden suburb’ inspired construction. Most of the open greens have survived the near 100-year life of the estate and remain in place, although not always given the attention or funding they deserve:

The brace of parks (mentioned in this previous blog entry) at Losinga Crescent on the Northern (and once-grand) entrance to the estate have survived mostly intact, although they are currently in a dire state.

The fairly pleasant green in the middle of Civic Gardens is still a prominent feature and it still retains most of its charm.MXG13 Continue reading “Green to mud or bricks”

Windmills

Back in the late 1800’s there were four windmills in the area of Mile Cross, two situated on the Eastern side of Aylsham Road (Catton) and two on the western side actually within the boundaries of Mile Cross, and it’s these two Mills that I shall be focussing on in the piece. The northernmost of these two Mile Cross Mills would have stood just behind the old Parsonage (the beautiful 3-storey Georgian Houses stood opposite the Windmill Pub) and it was owned by a Philip Rose, Miller and Baker.
4865556400_63344d57e0_o Continue reading “Windmills”