WATCH: See this incredible footage of Norwich 31 years ago
PUBLISHED: 16:43 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:35 07 February 2020
Archant Library/Richard Harvey
A family’s memories captured on home video and discovered in an attic gives a fascinating glimpse of how Norwich looked in 1989.
Electrical engineer Richard Harvey found some VHS tapes hidden away for decades in his late mum's loft. And when he played them, one captures the view across what is now Castle Quarter when building work was just beginning. Castle Mall, as it was previously known, opened in 1993 after four years of building work.
Mr Harvey, who lives in Three Score, Bowthorpe, filmed the site on a camcorder he borrowed from his employers one Saturday morning back in 1989.
Standing in what was the original castle gardens, Mr Harvey, now 53, filmed the area with his mum Christine Harvey, who passed away four years ago, hoping at the time to spot his father, Geoffrey Harvey, who was a builder for RG Carter on the site.
With trees out in pink blossom, it appears to be springtime. "I remember taking the video with a camcorder that was as big as a microwave on my shoulder," said Mr Harvey. "The videos were stored away in my mum's attic and I've only just got round to finding them. When I played this one, I thought other people would enjoy seeing it."
The video serves as a reminder of how things have changed. One landmark building which Mr Harvey pans over to is Prospect House, in Rouen Road, home of this newspaper. But it shows it when it was still Eastern Counties Newspapers, with the bold ECN logo clearly visible. The firm would go on to became Archant in 2002. And you also catch a glimpse of a BMW sign in Cattle Market Street. This was the Averills business which shortly after this film was made, was taken over by local businessman Graham Dacre, in 1992. Fourteen years later he would sell it for more than £100m.
Other items you can see is the statue of a stag which used to be on top of 8, Orford HIll, when it was a gun shop, the market stalls, City Hall, the Bell Hotel and La Rouen pub.
The site itself shows 'Danger, deep excavation' warning signs as well as cars driving round in the distance and there's even a brief look at what we were wearing in 1989 when two passers-by walk in front of the camera.
Before the shopping complex was built, a fair was held on the site as well as open air performances. Originally a cattle market, it was later used as a large car park.
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