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Reader letter: Should the cobbles in Elm Hill remain?

PUBLISHED: 14:01 24 August 2016 | UPDATED: 15:52 24 August 2016

20, Elm Hill. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

20, Elm Hill. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

The cobbles from Elm Hill may be replaced with wooden setts because of health and safety issues and to facilitate the possible introduction of trams along that route.

I read recently of the suggestion put forward to remove the cobbles from Elm Hill and replace them with wooden setts because of health and safety issues and to facilitate the possible introduction of trams along that route.

It upset me greatly to read this and I wrote at once to the Norwich Society begging them to reconsider this proposal.

I received a very prompt reply informing me that it was only a suggestion at present and that the cobbles, which are a menace to walk on, are not ‘native’ to Norwich and date only from the 1930s.

The fact that this ‘cobbled’ street is a huge tourist attraction and features on almost every image/calendar/postcard of Norwich seems to have escaped notice!

However, today (August 22) I have just read a quote from the very same Norwich Society regarding the £39,000 that Norwich City Council are due to spend on replacing 83 bollards in the city, in order to enable its street sweepers to access alleyways. The quote from the administrator reads: “The antique posts have been in place for decades – why are they suddenly an impediment to litter removal after all that time? It is difficult to keep the words ‘civic vandalism’ at bay in a case like this.”

Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with the quote regarding removal of the bollards, I have to ask, if this is the case, why is it then OK to propose removing the cobblestones from Elm Hill? Is that not civic vandalism also?

I would be interested to learn just how many people have been taken to A&E because of broken or strained limbs, caused by the menacing cobbles, during the last 86 years they are reported to have been in place.

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