Samson and Hercules building reopens under new owners
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
One of Norwich's most famous buildings - with its two 'doormen' guarding the front entrance - is open again.
Samson and Hercules House in Tombland, which has been occupied in the past by restaurants, a nightclub and ballroom, is now the new base for Great Yarmouth firm the Mortgage Advice Bureau.
The firm bought the building last year and had hoped to move in by December 2020 - but was delayed by Covid.
It now has a small team of around five-10 staff working in the building - which is open to customers. As Covid restrictions ease more, the bosses hope more workers will move in - with capacity for around 20-25.
Work is still being finished on getting the building ship-shape as new offices however new signage has gone up outside.
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The building was where many couples met when it was a ballroom and later, a nightclub.
Little remains as a reminder of the building's history - the ballroom and a swimming pool in the basement were removed years ago. However, the original boiler for the pool does still remain.
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When the famous statues were once painted red for a lobster restaurant, there was a public outcry.
The Mortgage Advice Bureau bought the building to relocate from its office in Palace Street in Norwich, which is in addition to its headquarters in Great Yarmouth.
Stephen Alger, one of the directors at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: "It is a responsibility to own the Samson and Hercules building but we will look after it, so many of us have memories of the building and as soon as we say where we are, people know it.
"We did wonder whether we should paint Samson and Hercules green and yellow in celebration of Norwich City - but no, that was only a joke and we will be certainly keeping them white."
Oliver Dack, director, added: "We've still got a bit of work to do with the building, we have been repairing the plinth Samson stands on. We've had a soft launch and will be having a grand opening when Covid allows."
The business deals mainly with people looking to get a residential or buy to let mortgage.