It's not unusual! - The other times sinkholes have opened in Norwich

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian J

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian Judd © Archant (01603) 772434 - Credit: Adrian Judd © Archant

Fans of Tom Jones walking a certain route home from his Earlham Park concert had an extra obstacle to avoid on their way out.

A suspected sinkhole opened near the track connecting the park to the University of East Anglia and had to be cordoned off by the police before concert-goers left the site.

But as the Welsh wonder once sang himself, it's not unusual for this to happen in Norwich - owing to the Fine City being built on chalk.

Here are just a few of the recent times the city has been plagued by sinkholes - beginning with unquestionably the most famous.

March 1988 - Earlham Road bus incident

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian J

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian Judd © Archant (01603) 772434 - Credit: Adrian Judd © Archant

It is an image which has become synonymous with sinkholes, which will be revisted for generations to come.

On March 3, 1988, the number 26 bus was making its usual journey along Earlham Road when the collapse of a medieval chalk mine caused a hole to form underneath its wheels.


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The rear end of the bus was swallowed in the sinkhole, but fortunately, neither the driver or its passengers were harmed.

Rouen Road, Norwich, March 2018

Car in sinkhole on Rouen Road is lifted out.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Car in sinkhole on Rouen Road is lifted out. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Two decades later and another vehicle found itself stuck in a city sinkhole - this time on Rouen Road.

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The incident happened close to the entrance of this newspaper's headquarters at Prospect House and saw the road closed for several hours.

Thousands of people watched a live stream of the predicament unfolding, with the Citroën Picasso left stranded. 

Another sinkhole opened on the same road last month.

Mountfield Park, Hellesdon, October 2018

Mountfield Park in Hellesdon, which is currently closed. Picture: David Hannant

Mountfield Park in Hellesdon, which was closed for the latter months of 2018 after a sinkhole opened - Credit: Archant

In October 2018, a sinkhole believed to be 30ft deep opened up in Mountfield Park in Hellesdon.

The hole led to the parish council taking the tough decision to temporarily close the park, which is popular with dog-walkers and serves as a cut-through.

It remained close to the public for more than a month.

Frere Road park - March 2021

A sinkhole has appeared in the park on Frere Road, Norwich

The green space on Frere Road where is a sinkhole has appeared is popular with dogwalkers and children. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Another park suffered the same fate this year - the one on Frere Road in Heartsease.

On March 9, a hole three metres wide and four metres deep opened up in a piece of recreational land in the estate on the edge of the city.

The hole was fenced off by the city council while contractors investigated its cause and carried out repairs.

Plantation Gardens - April 2016

Subsidence at MJB Plantation Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich. Plantation Garden closed sign.
Picture

Subsidence at MJB Plantation Hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich. Plantation Garden closed sign. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

It is one of the city's hidden gems and among the finest beauty spots Norwich has to offer.

But on April 8, 2016, it was forced to partially close to the public after subsidence caused a 20ft sinkhole to open up in its grounds.

The gardens reopened the following month but the subsidence led to the closer of Plantation Hotel, which shares the site.

December 2019 - Angel Road lorry

Sink hole on Angel road. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Sink hole on Angel road. Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

A city road which has been plagued more than most in recent years is Angel Road, in the Catton Grove area.

On December 5, 2019 a sinkhole opened in the road trapping a lorry for the majority of the day.

The hole was repaired, but in the space of the next six months there were two further instances of subsidence on the same city road.

And it happened again in April of this year.

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