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The top 5 things people ask Google about Norwich

PUBLISHED: 14:51 10 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:28 10 January 2017

'Welcome to Norwich a Fine City' sign.  Picture: Denise Bradley

'Welcome to Norwich a Fine City' sign. Picture: Denise Bradley

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In this technologically driven age, when people want to know something they turn to Google for help. Here’s a look at the top five things people have been asking about the fine city and the answers the search engine provides:

Our fine city of Norwich from St James Hill. Photo: Peter Dent/Citizenside.comOur fine city of Norwich from St James Hill. Photo: Peter Dent/Citizenside.com

Why is Norwich great?

Type the words ‘why is Norwich’ into Google and this is the first search suggestion you’ll receive. Click on the question and you’ll instantly be bombarded with articles and listicles about Norwich being the best student city or one of the happiest places to work in. Have a browse and Google’s results will surely provide a sufficient answer, but to really understand what makes it so great, you’d need to experience the city off the screen, so if you’ve never been to Norwich and this is something you’ve been wondering, come and visit - we don’t bite.

Why is Norwich called Norwich?

The second most popular question is all about the origins of the city’s name, which is rather unsurprising given the struggle many people have with its pronunciation (we’ve all undoubtedly heard someone call it Nor-witch at one point or another). A quick search will reveal all you need to know about the history of the city, namely that it had humble beginnings as a small Anglo-Saxon settlement on the River Wensum between the 5th and 7th centuries and in time grew into a town known as Northwic, with wic being an Anglo-Saxon suffix signifying an area where artisanal activity and trade are supplied from outside, such as a port.

Why is Norwich City called the Canaries?

The Canaries are as much a part of Norwich life as The Puppet Man and real ale, but it’s clear that very few of us know where the team’s nickname actually stems from, so it’s Google to the rescue once again! Curious minds might be interested to learn that the club was originally known as the Citizens when they formed in 1902, at which time they played in blue and white shirts. This name stuck for a few years, before it was switched to The Canaries in April 1905 after the local area became well known as a centre for the breeding and export of canaries. People’s Weekly Journal were the first to refer to NCFC as the “canaries”, with national press picking up the name later on in 1907. Inspired by the new nickname, the club ditched their previous kits in favour of bright yellow shirts and the following season The Canaries well and truly took flight on the pitch.

Why is Norwich a UNESCO city of Literature?

Good question! Norwich has an extensive history with literature, with many of our local writers (such as Julian of Norwich and Phillip Pullman), having had great impact on the written world. Because of this and the fact that the city is home to five percent of the UK’s independent publishing as well as an abundance of libraries, book shops, museums, theatres and galleries, Writers’ Centre Norwich took it upon themselves in 2012 to lead a bid for the city to become England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, and were successful, adding Norwich to a prestigious network made up of only twenty other cities across the world.

Why is Norwich a fine city?

The welcome signs that countless drivers pass each day proclaim Norwich to be a fine city, people on the street refer to it this way and I’ve undoubtedly written it one too many times in this piece already, but where did the saying come from? The answer is simple, it is a quote stolen from Lavengro: The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest, an 1851 novel by East Dereham-born writer George Borrow, in which he includes the following description of Norwich: “a fine old city, truly, is that, view it from whatever side you will; but it shows best from the east, where the ground, bold and elevated, overlooks the fair and fertile valley in which it stands.”

• Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to know about Norwich? Let us know in the comments below.

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