New faces and community spirit - what is life like in the Silver Triangle?

PUBLISHED: 10:40 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:26 09 September 2019

What's it like to live in Silver Street? Picture: Archant

What's it like to live in Silver Street? Picture: Archant


We asked people what its like to live on their street and this is what they said.

Silver Street in NR3, is a terraced Victorian street much like any other in north Norwich, it has two pubs within walking distance, The Cottage and The Leopard which was recently voted Norfolk CAMRA's pub of the year. A corner shop at one end and is book ended by much busier roads, Silver Road and Bull Close Road. In 2011 it was made one way.

People living in the street who spoke to us said they felt the street was a safe place to live, where neighbours talked to one another be it more on social media than in person.

'There used to be more of a community, but that's life'

Roberta Hughes bought her house in Silver Street in 1988, she said in the years since she has seen many faces come and go. The 61-year-old also said she missed the days of street parties and the Neighbourhood Watch scheme which ceased when the organiser left the area.

She said: "Obviously a lot of people come and go, there are more rental properties than there used to be, there used to be lots of people who owned their houses."

Roberta Hughes who has lived on Silver Street since the 1980s. Picture: StaffRoberta Hughes who has lived on Silver Street since the 1980s. Picture: Staff

Ms Hughes, who is a retired pub landlady said she felt people didn't look after their houses, especially their front gardens as much as they used to: "The way people look after their houses has declined and I think that's a little bit down to the number of rentals, I think when you own a house you look after it a bit more.

"There was more of a community, when I first moved here than there is now but I just think that's life, especially this sort of street.

"The person who used to do the community watch has moved away so we've lost that, it's a shame. There used to be street parties, for example when it was the Jubilee and I know there were a few more after that which were quite nice.

"But's it's safe and I've never had any problems."

'There's a few things that have happened around here'

Carl Robinson, a resident of Silver Street who said he liked living in the area. Picture: staffCarl Robinson, a resident of Silver Street who said he liked living in the area. Picture: staff

Carl Robinson, a self employed engineer has lived in Silver Street for 15 years, he said despite a few problems in the area with drug use and crime, police were always quick to respond to people's concerns.

The 46-year-old said: "There's quite a good community around here, we know a lot of our neighbours. "There are students around and they're always made to feel welcome. The new faces add to the community."

Mr Robinson said crime was a concern for some of his neighbours: "There are a few things that have happened around here but as soon as something does happen the police are called.

"There was a bit of a spate of issues and think people are blaming it on county lines. I don't think it's got worse, I just think people are more aware of it - people are talking about it more.

"There are some people in the street who are worried and there has definitely been an increase in things happening but we've spoken to the police about it and we have a monthly meeting with them. The response is good we have got CCTV at the back of the house."

He said, he thought the sense of community in the street was strong, although a lot of discussions took place on social media: "There's a good sense of community people talking more but then on social media, I think it's good thing, people talking more."

The Cottage on Silver Road. Picture: Google MapsThe Cottage on Silver Road. Picture: Google Maps

'Most people have an interesting story to tell'

RJ who has been the acting manager of The Cottage on Silver Road since January said although the area was quiet, there was a friendly atmosphere.

She said: "We're quite a quiet pub but the people are all really nice we have a lot of great locals and we're getting friendly with next door.

"We've never had any major issues here, as far as I'm concerned it's lovely.

"I think when people come to the pub they want to have a chat, it's one of my favourite parts of the job, when you know someone and what they like to order. It seems like nothing but to some people it means quite a lot and I've found most people have an interesting story to tell."

'It's harking back to the old days of community policing'

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PC James Marrison, beat manager Silver Triangle and Constitution Hill said since he became beat manager two and half years ago he had noticed the relationship between the police and community strengthen.

"The relationship between the police and the community has grown since the introduction of the neighbourhood teams last year, it was good before but because we now have dedicated police officers who can do that much more for them it's got better and people's confidence in the police has grown. People know who to turn to."

PC Marrison said the team had an email account which people were encouraged to email concerns to, he said: "It's listening to people's concerns and we are regularly talking to people to ask what the issues are. It's nice that people are confident to tell us these issues but actually they are keen to work with us too and it's quite refreshing and positive to see a community actually wanting to work with and engaging with us."

PC James Marrison. Credit: SCW/1PC James Marrison. Credit: SCW/1

PC Marrison said there was an awareness within the community of county lines and drug dealing, but that in a bid to drive it out of the area, people had been keen to work with the police, he said: "There's an alley way and particular area known for county lines and street dealing so we have targeted that as one of our main patrol areas, all around the area there's an alley way layout so we have done foot patrols and thankfully that seems to have worked. As well as that there are residents down that way who feed information back to us so we can be on the top of our game a bit more because people don't want to see it happening, they want to work with us."

'For a lot of people the corner shop is good'

The manger of Silver Stores, who preferred not to be named, has run the shop on the corner between Silver Road and Silver Street for 21-years. Serving the local area, not just Silver Street, she said over the years trade had changed as people moved away from local shops and towards supermarkets.

"When I first started here, a lot of the houses were owned by families, as their children have grown older people have sold there houses so there are fewer families and possibly less of a community.

"It's a shame, when I look back to when I first came here years ago, the pub was heaving and if we ever got any grief with customers they would come over from the pub to come and help us.

Silver Stores on the corner of Silver Road and Silver Street. Picture: StaffSilver Stores on the corner of Silver Road and Silver Street. Picture: Staff

"We have regulars come who in, and a little bit of passing trade. Customers change year on year so there's no consistency because people buy different things.

"For a lot of people the corner shop is good, especially for older people but times are getting hard. We see people come in with their Iceland bags, we are used more as a convenience, it's understandable though."

'It's mostly working people, a few young families'

Matt, a 43-year-old computer programmer said he chose to move to Silver Street in 2015 because of its proximity to the city centre. "The street is really nice, it's quite a nice area, there aren't too many student lets, it's 50/50 rental and people who have bought their houses. It's predominately young professionals and a few young families but there's not that many so that's a bit of a concern."

Matt, who preferred not to give his surname, said there had been a few issues in the street but that they were mostly problems repeated across the whole country.

Many of those living on Silver Street said they thought there had been an increase in the number of rentail properties on the street. Picture: StaffMany of those living on Silver Street said they thought there had been an increase in the number of rentail properties on the street. Picture: Staff

"I think generally it's a nice area, but there's definitely a few problems but it seems there's more people with serious drug problems and then there's county lines. You get a few things going on but it's pretty quiet, it's one way which I think is a bonus. Parking is like any other street - people like cars.

"The sense of community is a problem and I think that's why people spend more time on line but it does seem that the way the country is" he said.

'At the end of the day it's a lovely community'

Bob Utting, the landlord of The Leopard on Bull Close Road pub grew up in area a stone's throw from Silver Street and knows the area well.

He said: "When I was growing up I found that there were more family and starter homes in the area but now people are renting and it seems to be mainly young professionals, there's still the odd family but when I was a kid there were a lot more.

Bob Utting, the Landlord of The Leopard pub, which won Camra 'pub of the year' award earlier this year. Picture: Ella WilkinsonBob Utting, the Landlord of The Leopard pub, which won Camra 'pub of the year' award earlier this year. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Mr Utting who has been landlord of the pub for five years said there was a good sense of community and the neighbours many of whom had parcels delivered to pub.

"Neighbours come into collect their parcels, which is good for me because they'll often buy a drink and good for them because I'm open from midday. We're just like a type of parcel depot which I don't mind, that's part of what neighbours do."

He also said there was a good relationship between the community and the police who had worked together to tackle issues in the area: "About a year ago we had quite a big problem around the back of the pub but with CCTV, the police and neighbours we all worked together.

It's been quite successful.

"At the end of the day the people in the area are lovely and it's a lovely community."

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