When a vibrant community comes together, it can achieve anything.
Norwich Lanes Street Fayre 2022.
This is the first time I’ve ever wandered through Norwich Lanes Summer Street Fayre (I am ashamed to say). This week Norwich seemed to burst alive with the Royal Norfolk Show, the Lord Mayor’s Show, the Duck Race and the Lanes Street Fayre. Seeing the crowds: everyone happy and enjoying themselves, was pretty emotional. This feels like the first time Norwich has been able to properly celebrate being free again after all the pandemic woes. It was a show of strength in community and certainly in our business community too.
The Norwich Lanes Street Fayre has been operating for 14 years and is said to attract up to 20k visitors. There seems to be real trend towards shopping with independents again which is heartening to see. Norwich has some mighty fine independent businesses that’s for sure!
Congratulations Norwich and Norfolk! I know some people have their criticisms, always expecting more, but given the fact this fine city and county are still trying to get through the after effects of the pandemic, a cost of living crisis, and what seem like never ending road works, this week proved this fine city, this fine county and all of its fine people are strong and determined to continue to thrive.
Here are some images I shot, next time I will be more prepared and hopefully have more time.
Images and the history of Foundry Bridge, Norwich.
My River Wensum series starts with a photo tour of bridges. I began with Carrow Bridge as it is the nearest to my apartment. Traveling along the Wensum up towards the city, the next bridge featured in this series is the Novi Sad Friendship Bridge, followed by the Lady Julian Bridge and from there we arrive next at Foundry Bridge just by Norwich Train Station.
While I often use Lady Julian Bridge to cut up to King Street for a shorter route into the city, what I really like to do, when I have time, is to walk along the Wensum up to Foundry Bridge and cross over Prince of Wales Road to continue the river walk. I also use Foundry Bridge to cross the river to get to the post office (I am sure you are fascinated to know this). It just goes to show how important these bridges are to daily life in Norwich. I’m very glad I don’t have to swim across the river.
The Foundry Bridge (a grade II listed building) is a single-span iron bridge with its own distinctive decorative design. Here are some interesting details about the Foundry Bridge from George Plunkett.
‘The first to occupy this site was a toll bridge built of wood in 1811 by the contractors, Mendham of Holt. In 1844, with the coming of the railway, it was replaced by one made of iron by Bradley and Co. of Wakefield, and designed by C.D. Atkinson. It cost £800. It was then freed from toll. The present structure was built when Thorpe Station was enlarged; the contractors were R.Tidman and Co of Rosary Rd, Norwich. It cost £12,032. opened on January 17th, 1888.’
It is fascinating to know the cost of the construction of the Foundry Bridge. I can only imagine what a bridge of similar construction would cost today. It certainly wouldn’t be £12,000!
The thing I love about bridges is how unique each one is. Whether it be a footbridge or built for vehicular access, a swing, opening or fixed bridge, they all have their own special design, quirks, and individuality. This really appeals to me. Of course, every bridge provides an interesting viewpoint too, ideal for a photographer.
Looking back towards Lady Julian Bridge with the Nelson Hotel on the right, Norwich Station on the left, and, of course, the Canoe Man.
Looking towards the city, Norwich Yacht Station is on the right hand side and the Compleat Angler pub on the left. Willow trees line the river down towards Pulls Ferry and the next bridge in this series Bishopsgate Bridge.
While researching the Foundry Bridge, I learned the tragic story of what happened nearby on April 4th, 1817 (Good Friday) to the Norwich Steam Packet when the engine exploded. You can read about it here on the NorfolkTalesMyths.com website.
This terrible story brought to mind a ghostly incident that happened in the Hotel Nelson garden a year ago. We often wander the city streets on summer nights, taking photographs and enjoying the lights. One night, we went down the steps from Foundry Bridge and walked alongside the Nelson Hotel into the garden. I walked a little ahead of my boyfriend while he stopped to read a sign, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a bottle flew through the air and landed by my foot. I spun around expecting to see the person who had thrown it, but there wasn’t a soul to be seen. There were no bushes to hide in.
With no wind and the bottle flying at knee height before it landed, we came to the conclusion it had been thrown by a ghost, or now I wonder, perhaps if it was eerily propelled by the historic explosion…
Whether you believe in ghostly happenings or not, it is the only explanation I have.
Look out for my next blog about Bridges o’er the Wensum – or get updated by hitting the subscribe button below.
Springtime on the River Wensum, Norwich has arrived at last. It feels as though it has been a long winter and although there is always something to see waterside, life gets far more interesting as the temperature rises.
I have spent the last two years photographically recording the River Wensum through the seasons, and I continue to do so. The different styles of architecture, modern and old, are fascinating to shoot. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to shoot from a boat. My choice of craft is a canoe. It can be a bit wobbly which worries me sometimes but it’s flexible in getting good camera angles. It’s a whole new city from the water!
Where once there were Wherries and ships, now there are leisure boats, paddle boards, canoes and dinghies. Industrial use of the Wensum ceased in the 1980’s. I like to imagine how the Wensum thrived as a port. The industrial buildings all have their own stories. One of my favourite buildings is the old Furniture Restoration barn (see below). The corrugated metal it was created from has worn and rusted over the years. I like the way it is described on the Geograph site as being in a state of ‘picturesque dilapidation’.
There are other elderly buildings I love along the river but I will detail those in future posts.
Each post will focus on a particular aspect of the river whether it be the Cormorants, Barnacle or Egyptian Geese, my beloved swans, Kingfishers or the medieval bridges, historical buildings such as Pull’s Ferry and Norwich Cathedral. I will drop in some history but mostly it will be how I see the river through my eyes, here in 2022, as it continues to change and evolve.
There is so much to look at and investigate, I hope you will subscribe to see the River Wensum through my eyes and enjoy my observations, perhaps even adding your own. The other benefit to subscribing is that every month I create a free notebook giveaway. All you have to do is leave your email address (don’t worry about getting bombarded, I don’t post all that often!)
My next post will give a brief history of the Wensum and explore the bridges.