September 1 2015 Latest news:
How to describe The Fatal Gates of Norwich is a challenge. It is a book like no other. It is unique, brilliant and the chances are it will make you laugh out loud as it blends fact and fiction in a glorious way.
It is a picture to saviour. A rare attraction and an astonishing work of art hidden in a yard which had a reputation as being one of the worst slums in Norwich more than a century ago.
North Walsham born David Lowe, who went on to become known as “Mr Entertainment in Ipswich”, is thought to be the last man alive from the crack 2nd Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment who took on the Japanese in one of the bloodiest battles of the war in the Far East...and won.
The small boy was made to stand in front of the class while a red-faced and furious teacher shouted at him until he finally admitted how sinful he had been. Yes, he had been to the pictures on a Sunday.
Ladies and gentlemen join me in a toast... to the members of Easton Good Companions Club, a group which has just celebrated 60 glorious years.
There was a time when the longest and oldest street in Norwich was one of the busiest – so many people lived, worked and played in historic King Street.
It was more than 15 years when the doors of one Norfolk school closed and the boys and girls left for the last time... this was Cawston College, near Aylsham.
From childhood memories of parties at American airbases across Norfolk to stories of enduring friendships created during the Second World War... recordings of memories make sure the momentous story of the “Friendly Invasion” will never be forgotten.
It is the “Big Reunion” at the most talked-about school in Norwich and this is your invitation to attend... so step forward all you Hewett students and staff, past and present. It’s party time.
For months the people of Norwich had been waiting for war. Public and private shelters were dug and put up, the air raid wardens took up their posts, sirens had sounded and then, on July 9, 1940, the Luftwaffe appeared over the city and life would never be the same again.
One remarked: “In England the war stops for tea!” While another said: “The English know how to make tea, and we know how to make coffee.”
We have been remembering the street parties in Norwich and across Norfolk which celebrated the end of the Second World War in Europe in 1945... but these are rare pictures of a pitch party, and not any old pitch.
Imagine being part of a large family living in a tiny dark home without power or water supply where a communal tap and a lavatory were at the end of an often rat-infested yard with an exotic name in the heart of old Norwich.
It was fifty years ago when a Norfolk postman delivered his last letter... and turned into a “pop star.” His name was Allan Smethurst and he was The Singing Postman.
It was another of the beautiful buildings in Norwich destroyed in the Blitz of 1942... one built way back in 1455 which became the first music hall in the city.
This was the department store for the people were the price was always right... set up by Granny Price in 1885 it turned into one of the most popular and best-loved shops in Norwich.
It was a century ago when this wonderful and elegant thatched Norwich building opened its doors as a cinema like no other.
It was called Kett’s Finale. A beer brewed and bottled in Norwich 30 years ago to mark the end of an era. Another great city industry – which once employed generations of men and women – had gone.
It was 200 years ago when an announcement appeared in the Norwich Mercury... which resulted, a century later, in the arrival of one of the most colourful and flamboyant shopkeepers Norwich has ever seen.
The superstar who time forgot - an American idol and a First World War hero - has finally been honoured in the city where he was born... Norwich.
The Mods are on the march again... coming to the defence of their idols The Who when they almost lifted the roof off the old Industrial Club (now The Talk) in Norwich 50 years ago.
They were loved by millions. After Morecambe and Wise these boys were the top double act in the land... and to think were once selling clothes on Norwich Market.
I have a message for the people of Norwich and Norfolk from a poorly patient at a hospital in Scotland... a special one which comes from the heart.
Fifty years after The Who failed to impress the crowd at The Talk in Norwich, 60s favourites Eyes of Blond had them shouting for more when they reformed for a charity gig last weekend.
More than a couple of centuries ago isolated Norwich was in a poor way. The Mint has disappeared along with the famous old weavers and the textile trade. It was without railways, without penny postage, morning papers, matches, gas or electricity.
Just look at those snazzy bow-ties being sported by two trendy disc-spinners back in Norfolk during the 1970s when flapping flares, frizzy perms and hot pants were fab gear for a generation of disco kings and queens.
Accountant Paul Oxbury has scored a winner with his new book telling the story and following the glorious history of the Norwich & District Thursday League Football League which attracted tens of thousands of players over its 109-year history.
A century ago the full horror of war was starting to impact on the people of Norwich and Norfolk as the broken and bleeding men were returning home for treatment... but a crisis was looming. The hospital beds were filling up.
The prisoners were on a run, the police copped it in a final, the Post Office stamped their authority on a season and there was Martin Peters who knew a thing or two about football... welcome to the wonderful world of the Thursday football league in Norfolk.
She was Miss South Africa in the glorious Empire Day celebrations at St Augustine’s in Norwich and more than 60 years later she was made an MBE – that’s little Hazel in the front row.
It was more than just a race meeting... it was a reunion, a gathering of friends. Men, women and children from all walks of life coming together to enjoy the thrills and spills of speedway.
We all have people who have inspired and encouraged us on our journey through life. Some are living and have become friends while others are from a time long ago and lived in a very different world to the one we inhabit.
The discovery of an old tin box, containing a treasure trove of rare information telling the story of one village school in Norfolk with a rich history and an exciting future, has resulted in not one, but two, fascinating books.
From the grand and the ornate to the sturdy and practical, J S Smith and his son Walter were men who helped to shape Norfolk of the 21st century... and yet they have been almost forgotten in the mists of time.
American airman Jim Wright only spent a few months in Norfolk during the Second World War but he never forgot the place and the people at a time of turmoil... and he has now left between $100,000 and $200,000 to the Second Air Division Memorial Library in Norwich in his will.
Turn the pages of this “new” book and you will see photographs of mostly stern-looking gentlemen with moustaches and whiskers dressed in their best bib and tucker. You may recognise some of their names because they were the Men Who Have Made Norwich.
It was the main entrance to the walled city of Norwich from London and in 1578 thousands lined the route cheering and clapping as Queen Elizabeth, riding side-saddle, arrived. She was followed in 1671 by Charles II and his much-loved Portuguese wife, Queen Catherine.
A classic film about a man who played his music in Norfolk, portrayed by an actor who served his country with distinction in the county, will be shown on Sunday to raise money for glorious Wymondham Abbey.
He was the quiet and modest Norfolk skid-kid who rose to become an international speedway star winning, 45 years ago, the Wills Internationale – the most prestigious individual meeting outside the World Final itself.
Back in 1984 Octagon member Betty Rathbone contacted music teacher and singer Mary Rae and asked if she would organise some concerts at the beautiful and elegant Georgian chapel in historic Colegate – a building so much a part of Norwich’s history.
Across a darkly stained oak beam at the top of St Augustine’s war memorial in Norwich the words THEY ARE NOT DEAD WHO LIVE FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS have been carved and gilded on its east facing side...no literary source for this phrase has been found.
It is a building which is a glorious example of the flint work Norwich was so famous for...and one which is at long last opening its doors and welcoming back the people it has served in so many ways for centuries.
It was 60 years ago when a young unknown and shy Swedish speedway rider made his way to Norwich by train, pushing his bike, held together with bits of old wire and string, between stations.
It was a film which was a celebration of Norfolk, was first shown in Norwich, starring no fewer than 350 geese... and now, 30 years after its release, is being shown again.
It was half a century ago when life changed for thousands of pop pickers across Norfolk and Suffolk... at the flick of a switch.
A little museum with a unique collection of displays and material highlighting a time when Norfolk was ‘invaded’ by thousands of Americans will be open for the last time this year on Sunday.
Welcome to what was my parlour... and allow me to unlock a house of history in the heart of Norwich. One of the most important buildings of its kind not just in Norfolk but the whole of the country.
Four times in ten years, determined Norfolk businessman Tim Hirst tried his best to conquer the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas.
From boots to aeroplanes... A century ago the skilled men and women of Norfolk and Norwich were making a range of goods, equipment and machines for our forces in the First World War.
It was a company which helped to put Norwich on the industrial map – a symbol of British workmanship at its very best.
Those who spend their working days on or around the water – the sea, the Broads and the rivers – tend to be larger-than-life characters. Folk with a dry wit and a head full of great yarns.
He was a man of the people, demonstrated through Army service with the Royal Engineers, an officer commanding Army cadets, and 30 years as a Norwich policeman.
This is your chance to give one of the best-loved and most popular landlords in Norwich... a good soaking!
Among the audience at a Wymondham film show and exhibition to pay tribute to Doris Day, now in her 90s, will be one of her biggest fans who has met the Hollywood star over tea and cakes at the Dorchester Hotel in London.
A new book on an extraordinary event which took place in a small Norfolk village 100 years ago will be launched at a unique rally which illustrates how a good and honest cause still deserves to be remembered in the 21st Century.