Derek James

Helping others. Back in the 1970s there three Norwich Brewery workers were out and about in the in the city raising more than £1,000 for the St Raphael Club They were, from the left: Julie Chambers, Jenny Campling and Jayne White.

Raise a glass to city’s brewing past and it’s fine ales of today

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.

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Trade and Industry -- Manufacturing

Rumsey Wells hat factory home of the world famous doggy cap Pictured left to right Mrs. M. Drane, cap finisher; Mr. A. Harris, cutter; Mrs. H. Stevenson, machinist
Uses ib

If the cap fits... Rumsey Wells was the man for the job

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.

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Vernon dancing with Irene. Picture: Philip Yaxley Collection

New honour for Vernon - the Norwich dancer who inspired Fred Astaire

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.

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File picture dated 9/10/1968 of rock band The Who along with Eli, the baby elephant and models Nicola Austine (left) and Toni Lee on a ride on the Magic Bus from the BBCs Lime Grove studios. PA photo.

People tried to put them down... but the Mod generation of Who fans hit back

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.

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mike and bernie winters

Comedy duo who went from city market to TV stardom

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.

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Eileen and Ernie Humphrey with Royal Marines bandsmen in 1989.

A message from ‘Humph’, from the heart

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.

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The Who in 1970. Picture: PA.

When The Who failed to impress the crowd at The Talk in Norwich

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.

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Members of staff from Chamberlin's store.

Photo gallery: Famous city store that sold only the best

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.

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Looking good! David Clayton (left) and Steve “Dr Vinyl” Burns in the 1970s with their Gemini Disco. They are back at The Talk for the Eyes of Blond reunion party on Saturday January 24.

David and Steve back behind the decks

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.

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Author Paul Oxbury with his book The League of Forgotten Men, about the Norwich and District Thursday football League. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The overwhelming response Paul Oxbury received for his book on Norwich and District Thursday League Football

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.

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Soldiers at Lakenham hospital on City Road, Norwich, before it opened as a school. A new building now stands in its place. Picture: Submitted

Photo gallery: How EDP readers 100 years ago dug deep to help casualties of war

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.

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Martin Peters

Martin Peters - The World Cup star who graced local football

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.

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St Augustine’s School Empire Day in 1933. That’s Hazel Betts on the front row representing South Africa.

Recalling those Empire Day happy times at St Augustine’s in Norwich

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.

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Come on you Stars! A rare photograph of speedway supporters at The Firs Stadium in Holt Road, Norwich, which closed 50 years ago in 1964.

Photos: Mike Kemp Collection.

Shale and hearty, your memories of the stars and those great Firs nights out

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.

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The Bishop of Norwich Graham James, with from left, church warden Stephen Miles, Lay Preacher Amanda Sands and church warden Andrew Lee outside of Fulmondeston Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Bishop of Norwich reveals his inspiring people

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.

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It's 1953, and time for the Ascension Day service for Cringleford School pupils

Double helping of school’s rich history from author Pat

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.

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Crunch Munch meals on sale at just £2 at the Artichoke in Norwich; Photo: Bill Smith; Copy: David Bale; For: EN LYL; Archant © 2009; 01603 772434

Family firm that built a legacy to admire

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.

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American war memorial unveiled at Shipdham  pic taken 3rd sept 1983   m104843-27

Jim’s legacy to battles won and comrades lost

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.

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Packing tomatoes at Adcocks

Our city’s Edwardian greats

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.

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A vintage view of St Stephen's corner and Rampant Horse Street, Norwich.

Ancient street with right royal stories to tell

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.

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Film star and USAAF war hero James Stewart on the control tower at either Tibbenham or Old Buckenham.

The Glenn Miller Story to show again to raise money for Wymondham Abbey

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.

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Trevor Hedge: The 'quiet man of speedway'.

How Norwich’s legendary speedway rider ‘Hedgey’ rose to fame

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.

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The Octagon Singers

Norwich Octagon congregation celebrate 30 years of singing together

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.

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Derek feat pix 3/11/14

Stuart John McLaren’s written record of lives and wartime in St Augustine’s

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 literary source for this phrase has been found.

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The Guildhall, Norwich.

The colourful criminal history of Norwich’s Guildhall

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.

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Ove Fundin, 79 year old former world speedway champion and Norwich Stars rider, at Horham Community centre to support the bid to relaunch the Norwich Stars team.

Ove Fundin reveals his success in Norwich Stars Speedway

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.

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A scene from the 1984 film Laughterhouse

The film that starred Norfolk, and 350 geese

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.

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Tony Blackburn spinning the disks on Radio Caroline. Famously, he would later go on to present the first show on BBC Radio One.

The era of Radio Caroline - when pop pirates ruled the East Anglian coast

It was half a century ago when life changed for thousands of pop pickers across Norfolk and Suffolk... at the flick of a switch.

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Robert Holly as a senior at Lowell High School, Indiana, 1941.

Author David Kohler to pay tribute to a US airman at Hethel Museum

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.

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Norwich Guildhall is about to celebrate its 600th anniversary, having been built mostly between 1407 and 1413. Photo: Bill Smith.

Welcome bid to put extra HEART into Norwich’s Guildhall

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.

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Norfolk businessman Tim Hirst, who has made four unsuccessful attempts to climb Aconcagua mountain in the Argentinian Andes.

Try, try again Tim and his mountain of inspiration

Four times in ten years, determined Norfolk businessman Tim Hirst tried his best to conquer the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas.

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Scenes taken during the First World War, when Norwich engineering firm Mann Egerton turned its expertise over to building planes for the war effort.

Norfolk flies high to boost the efforts of World War One’s engineers

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.

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New apprentices at Laurence, Scott Electromotors, Norwich, in a picture used in the Eastern Evening News on September 3 1973.

Bruce steps down after 44 busy years

It was a company which helped to put Norwich on the industrial map – a symbol of British workmanship at its very best.

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Stephen Ellingham, who is reinstating the passenger ferry service across the river Yare to Whitlingham Lane.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Ferryboat-full of stories of larger-than-life ‘Nobby’ Clarke

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.

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Chairman Roy Woodhouse and chief constable, Simon Bailey, make a special presentation to former Norwich police officer Stan Limmer, and his wife Brenda, who is stepping down from running the Norwich City Police Association.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

“You are held in such high regard” - Former Norwich police offer honoured at the Oaklands Hotel

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.

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The Trafford Arms, Pub of the Week.; Landlord Chris Higgins.; Photo: Denise Bradley

Ready, take aim, and get ready to give Chris a good soaking

This is your chance to give one of the best-loved and most popular landlords in Norwich... a good soaking!

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Doris and Eddie Foy Jnr in The Pajama Game.

Jan’s cuppa - with Doris Day

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.

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Anne May, niece of Burston pupils' strike leader Violet Potter, outside the Strike School with the new book

Norfolk book honours memory of school’s justice fight

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.

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A scene from the Norwich floods of 1912.

Photo gallery: The heavens opened, and then came the floods of tears - when a month’s worth of rain hit Norwich

It has been a year when floods and high tides have caused heartache and misery for many people in Norfolk and Norwich but these photographs illustrate the great flood which hit during this week in 1912 and the death and destruction it caused.

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Ronnie Dearing (on left) with the Midnights, pictured around 1962.

Gentle Ronnie who gave so much joy through music

Many blues and rock bands which walked on stages in Norwich and Norfolk during the last half century or so had one thing in common – a tall, quiet guitarist by the name of Ronnie Dearing.

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Young Archie Gowing, second left at the back, with friends, perhaps from the church or from school at Bull Close.

Rediscovered; The tragic tale of young Archie Gowing

On the day the Evening News and the Eastern Daily Press published the names of the thousands of men in Norfolk who lost their lives in the First World War... I found a letter I had mislaid for 12 years.

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Famous city venue where people got on swimmingly

It is a building in the heart of old Norwich which has played a leading role in so many lives over the centuries – and was even a grand swimming pool.

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Trade and Industry

Mr .J.G .Louth (left), manager of Mann Egerton's tractor depot in Ber Street, Norwich, discussing the delivery of 31 Fordson tractors to the East Anglian Real Property Company of Cantley, with Mr. H. N. W. D. Carter, director. The tractors were used for general agricultural work in Norfolk.

Dated  10 September 1963

Photograph C10299
Used in EDP Down Memory Lane  9 September 2005

Planes, cars and tractors - the company that did it all

Mann EGGerton or Mann EDGerton? That is a question asked by locals of a certain age who can recall the famous motor organisation at the height of its pomp in the region during the second half of the last century.

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Muhammed Ali, the greatest boxer in the world, meets the public in the supermarket T. W. Downs in St. Stephens, Norwich.

Did you get to see Muhammad Ali in Norwich?

It was the day the “greatest” came to Norwich and described the people he met as the “most civilised” during his whistle stop tour of the country to promote the much-loved night cap Ovaltine.

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Derek feat pix 13/8/14

Flower painters who balance art and science with blooms

It isn’t often you come across such a dedicated group as the Iceni Botanical Artists – formed five years ago by painters with a passion for flowers and the Norfolk countryside.

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Dere feat pix 11/8/14

Travelling band hit top gear by hopping on to Mister Buss

The wind was blowing and the snow was falling but the boys in the band were determined to get from their homes in Norfolk to the gig in Felixstowe...the show must go on.

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First World War fuse-makers Norwich Components.

Norwich’s factory that helped win the war but closed as peace came

It was a pioneering and revolutionary Norwich factory set up during the First World War, which was destroyed by fire, re-established within three months, and continued to play a leading role in the fight for victory... saving the country vast sums of money.

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One of a series of slides taken by Roy Male from the top of the J J Colman building in Carrow Road in September 1977 and never before published.

Roy’s nostalgic look back to autumn 1977 in Norwich

It’s all starting again. Thousands of Norwich City fans are preparing another tense season at Carrow Road... just the way they were when these pictures were taken at the start of the 1977 season.

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Left to right: Dicky Bird, Bernard Fuller and George Wilson who worked at LSE all their lives.

Meet Bernard, behind the camera at LSE get-togethers

Allow me to introduce you to Bernard Rose, a man who has devoted much of his life to working at Laurence Scott & Electromotors, helps to run the pensioners’ association, attends the reunions, but rarely gets in the photographs.

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Les King launches his 4th book for the charity Star Throwers where he is a patron. Pictured with volunteers and users.  Photo: Sonya Duncan

Larger-than life Les lines up an 80th birthday treat for us all

Some people celebrate their 80th birthday in private by raising a glass with members of the family, others may push the boat out by organising a party or even be the VIP at a surprise gathering... and then there is Les King.

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Mousehold Heath.

Join the fayre fun at Mousehold Heath

Today I am bringing you news of an event on Mousehold Heath – a place which is so special and one which has played a leading role in the life of the people for centuries.

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Albert and Violet Harrison, of Norwich, pictured in the 1980s.

Mysterious war photographs sparked Gill’s Austrian quest

There were five photographs in an album belonging to Albert Harrison but when his daughter Gill asked who they were her mother Violet would just say: “They’re the people your dad was with during the war.”

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Nigel 'Boy' Syer and Olly Day in their summer show 'If It's Laughter You're After'.

Olly and Nigel set to tickle our funny bones this summer

Two of Norfolk’s best loved entertainers have teamed with a young Wroxham singer with a bright future for Thursday matinees at The Princess Theatre in Hunstanton during July.

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Glenn Miller at Thorpe Abbotts (100th Bomb Group).

Photo gallery: The day Glenn Miller played a Norwich pub - or did he?

This was war-torn Norwich of 70 years ago when the city and county had been invaded by thousands of American airmen who were said to be “overpaid, oversexed and over here.“

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Circuit 5, pictured in the Eastern Evening News in March 1966. They invited readers to suggest new names for the band, and they became 'Eyes of Blond'.

When Norwich band Circuit 5 became Eyes of Blond thanks to our readers

On the beat at the Bedford, a much-loved and well-remembered club at the heart of the swinging 60s in Norwich.

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Manufacturing engineers working at Laurence, Scott and Electromotors in Norwich in  June 1962.

Remembering Laurence, Scott & Electromotors - the heart of Norwich’s engineering

A century ago Norwich was described as an industrial city – a place where most of the working population were producing goods for sale from a pint of beer to a bar of chocolate and from a pair of shoes to a piece of “hi-tech” machinery.

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A spectacular shot from 1948 showing Syd Littlewood on the outside of Bert Spencer as thousands of Norwich Stars speedway fans cheered on their heroes at the Firs which could hold crowds of up to 26,000.

How speedway in Norwich roared back after the war

Life would never be the same again. Hundreds of people, civilians and soldiers, had died while thousands had lost their homes. Families had been torn apart and Norwich was a city littered with bomb sites.

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The Theatre de Luxe cinema in St Andrew's Street.

Remembering the Theatre de Luxe - Norwich’s first ‘picture palace’

As work starts on tearing down the former Carlton/Gaumont cinema on All Saints Green in Norwich, it is fitting to remember the much-loved Theatre de Luxe picture house which was sold 50 years ago... and then demolished.

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Carrow school, Carrow Hill, Norwich.

Remembering Norwich’s Carrow Hill school 150 years on

It was 150 years ago when an elegant building, like no other, opened its doors on Carrow Hill in Norwich... a pioneering place of education for the mustard boys and girls.

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Kenny Trowse and Marjorie Wilshire (nee Southgate), at Winkles Row, Norwich, where they both used to live.

How Hitler killed my Twiddles

As he stood in what is now a car park his thoughts were of a time, in Norwich of 1941, when his home was destroyed by a German bomb – and how lucky he and his family were to escape with their lives.

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Drummer Brian McAllister, with bassist Ivars Galenieks, and pianist Simon Brown.

‘Lost pianos’ inspire a jazz weekend treat

If ever a musical genre struggled for proper recognition in Norfolk, it’s jazz (or perhaps I should be saying That’s Jazz, in the words of the song by Louis Armstrong).

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The 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment Band.

When the Peppermint Boys of Bracondale went off to fight in the First World War

On the corner of Bracondale and Carrow Hill stands a large grey bricked Georgian house which is now owned by the Norwich Housing Trust and the building is divided into flats for the elderly...on the wall there is a war memorial which names 44 men who lost their lives in the First World War.

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Lord Dannatt unveils a plaque in memory of 2nd Lt. L

Help honour these brave airmen

This is a museum which just gets bigger and better as the years go by. One run by dedicated volunteers, which opens the doors on a slice of Norfolk history when parts of the county were turned into Little America.

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Auctioneer Elizabeth Talbot of Gaze Auction House, Diss

Time to be ‘as keen as...’ to show your mustard items

It wasn’t so much a job – more a way of life for thousands of men and women who were proud to part of the most famous family in Norwich – the Colmans.

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Billy Fury at the Cat Trap Club in Bedford Street, Norwich, in the early 1960s.

Cat Trap club memories of a legend of rock ‘n’ roll

It was one of those more intimate clubs which sprung up in Norwich during the late 1950s and the 1960s and this picture captures the time the much-loved Billy Fury was in full flow at the wonderfully named Cat Trap.

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Keith Johnson in his studio with his Norwich paintings

Keith finds artistic inspiration in Norwich’s forgotten corners

Paintings hidden away in dark corners for years, highlighting often forgotten parts of old Norwich, will be part of an exhibition by talented city artist Keith Johnson opening at Tudor Galleries in the city next month.

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Norwich rider Don Dimes at the Eastern speedway in about 1930-31.

A look back at Norwich’s speedway stadium - 50 years after the gates closed

The speedway stadium may have closed half a century ago but the memories of the thrills, spills and the special bond of friendship between the fans and the riders are as vivid as ever.

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Winkles Row, Norwich that has survived intact since 1820 and now occupied by deaf people from nearby Rotary House. Photo: Steve Adams

Community of caring housed in a hidden Norwich gem

At the start of 1820 in Norwich the news of the death of George III resulted in factories and businesses closing early and church bells being tolled for three hours.

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Nigel Podolski with his sons, Jeff, left, and Jeremy and the book on Nigel's Polish father who was a wartime pilot at RAF Coltishall and Marham. Picture: Denise Bradley

From Poland to Norfolk, via the Gulags: The war hero who took on the Soviets and the Nazis

It was 30 years ago when a man called Joe, gathered his thoughts, and started to tell the story of his war... what emerged was a brutal, savage, harrowing and at times heartbreaking account of a boy and how he survived hell on earth at the start of the Second World War.

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William Wright, on the right, with other blacksmiths, at the Norwich Gas Works

The ‘human alarm clock’ of yesteryear

The story about the 200th anniversary since the arrival of gas in Norwich prompted memories of the “waker up” in the city... along before the days of alarm clocks.

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Miss Rosalyn from Anglia TV, Romper Room opens the Spar Food market shop in Wymondham  pic taken 22nd feb 1968 14447-5

Miss Rosalyn sends a special message for her boys and girls

So many memories of the days when Norfolk boys and girls became TV stars and a special one from the presenter who made dreams come true.

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Poignant last visit to Norfolk by rock’n’roll legend Billy Fury

It was a charity concert, organised to raise money for the Evening News X-ray 100 Appeal more than 30 years ago and the star was determined that the show would go on.

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An aerial view of The Firs, once the home to the Norwich Stars speedway team

Memories of Norwich Speedway

As a new DVD salutes the heroes of the Norwich speedway years, Derek James looks back on The Stars’ success.

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Brewery pictures

Cheers! Let’s get together to meet old friends from Norwich’s breweries

It’s time for former colleagues to toast each other when brewery workers, men and women, gather in Norwich later this month for a reunion... and this is your invitation to attend.

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The Norwich Civic Association's St George's dinner, held at the Great Hospital. From left, Sheriff of Norwich, Graham Creelman; speaker, Joe Stirling; and The Lord Mayor, Keith Driver. Picture: Denise Bradley

The remarkable story of a remarkable man

The extraordinary story of how 14-year-old Gunter Stern, a Jewish boy, escaped from Nazi Germany and ended up in Norwich where he established a ground-breaking travel company was told at the annual dinner for members of the City of Norwich Civic Association.

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