The county's festival of culture still going strong 250 years later

A magnificent photograph by Wilkinson of the Festival Chorus back in 1902

A magnificent photograph by Wilkinson of the Festival Chorus back in 1902 - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Join me in a round of applause and three cheers… for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival which is currently celebrating its 250th anniversary by putting on a whole range of events to entertain us.

It is quite amazing to think how it has survived for so many years and what changes it has seen. Good times and bad times.

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

If you wanted to look the part back in 1905 you needed a proper hat and these were on offer at Garland’s on London Street. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

We can all be proud of Norman & Beard Ltd., world famous organ builders. Their music lives on - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

It is now regarded as the oldest single-city arts festival… and one which reaches out to people of all ages, walks of life and interests.

The festival started way back in 1772 as a cathedral service fund-raiser for the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Come 1788 the Grand Musical Festival had been launched at St Andrew’s Hall and St Peter Mancroft Church and then, in 1824, became the Norfolk and Norwich Triennial Festival.

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

Talking machines! They will never catch on…or will they? Head for The Phonographic Exchange Company in White Lion Street to find out more. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

One of the Sights of Norwich says the 1905 advertisement. Well for the antiques centre at the Samson & Hercules. Mr H and Mr S have certainly seen a few changes over the years. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

While the music has faded over the years the memories are kept alive by the programmes and souvenirs which contain some fascinating advertisements and today we turn the clock back to 1905 and take a look at what was on offer in the city.

Don’t forget  Rob Mitchell has written a wonderful book Festival for a Fine City which is in the shops now and is highly recommended.

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

For light, heat and power see the British Gas Light Company at the Market Place and for classy furniture and fittings W H King was the place. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

This was THE place to be. The top restaurant in the city, run by the larger-than-life C A Rayna. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

Coe’s – such a famous and much-loved Norwich name. This was their advertisement for the 1905 festival souvenir. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

Three cheers for the one and only Winsor Bishop, goldsmith and silversmith of London Street. A shop we can still be so proud of. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

It was a drink which put a spring in your step. It was sold all over the world and made in Norwich. Wonderful Wincarnis was made at the Coleman factory in the city and, as they said in 1905, it “is the key to the enjoyment of life.” - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James

Advert in the 1905 Norfolk & Norwich Festival programme

Spot of trouble with your teeth? You could visit the London Teeth Institute in Norwich, Cromer, North Walsham and Dereham. A complete set of knashers was on offer for £1/15s in 1905. - Credit: Courtesy of Derek James