In 1958 Norwich City Council decided it would be a good idea to move their entire labour force to a brand new and centralised depot named The “Norwich City Works Department”. The new depot was to be located Just off Mile Cross Road, opposite Harmers Clothing Factory and the junction of Havers Road and it was to be built on 6.5 acres of former allotments and farmland situated in the fairly wide depression here at the bottom of the Wensum Valley.
The new depot officially opened its gates to its workforce in 1965, although most of the workers would have already being there for some time already, considering it was their job to construct their new premises. The marshy ground of the valley floor had been being steadily firmed-up since the Second World War when the area had was increasingly being used as a dumping ground for landfill and hard-core, most of being transferred here from the destroyed buildings of the nearby bomb sites around the St Benedict’s and Dereham Road area.
You can see it slowly taking over the allotment space as it’s being flattened out by a Corporation Steam Roller in this 1948 Britain From Above image of the area:
Continue reading “Mile Cross Depot” →
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):
The Dolphin Tragedy
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: Continue reading “Drayton Road” →
When some people hear the phrase “Council Estate” they tend to form an image or opinion in their head. Often that image or those opinions can be slightly misguided. Read on…
The state of housing in the late Victorian era was becoming increasingly more dire as the century went on, partly because various initiatives to improve housing and sanitation had failed and partly because of a massive population explosion taking place in all of the major cities across the United Kingdom, further adding to the problem and ironically being the main reason that most of those initiatives were failing in the first place. The population of Norwich had more than doubled between 1801 and 1851 and this was leading to an increasingly severe shortage of housing and local amenities. Only the privileged tended to own their own homes whilst the rest of the working classes were left to put up with increasingly-expensive private rents whilst being restricted to the cramped and unsanitary conditions of the yards and terraces that were emerging all over Norwich as a by-product of the 19th century.
The housing and it’s associated welfare issues were becoming too large to ignore and It was time for change.
The Public Health act (which went by the rather catchy title: An act for consolidating and amending the Acts relating to Public Health in England ) was finally published in 1875 and in a nutshell it stated that state-owned housing needed to be built and that this housing needed to be built to a high standard; with running water, toilets and bathrooms, good light, plenty of space and with good local amenities.
One of the drawings from the Mile Cross plan:
Continue reading “I’m ‘Council’ and I’m also a human being.” →
Then and now. Mary Jacobs.
Mary Jacobs poses proudly for a photograph Continue reading “A window into the past” →