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No homelessness, open-air swimming pool and a concert hall - what our columnist wants from a future Norwich

PUBLISHED: 18:00 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:04 11 February 2019

Norwich - Lakenham outdoor swimming pool  pic taken 12th june 1966  m3315-30a  pic to be used in lets talk june 2013

Norwich - Lakenham outdoor swimming pool pic taken 12th june 1966 m3315-30a pic to be used in lets talk june 2013

Oi! Where are you off to at this time of night?

Lakenham Swimming Pool. Mid 1980sLakenham Swimming Pool. Mid 1980s

It’s strange the way some little incidents stay in your mind for most of your life.

I was walking along Prince of Wales Road in Norwich minding my own business when this large police officer stepped out of a doorway to stop me.

It must have been around midnight on a Saturday night and the place was deserted.

Mind you, we are talking early 1960s when those Beatles played the Grosvenor in Prince of Wales Road before it was pulled down.

Lakenham Swimming Pool 1980sLakenham Swimming Pool 1980s

Those were the days when you could have a summer swim in the wonderful open-air pool at Lakenham and jive the night away at the Samson & Hercules.

No more.

How times have changed... But is life better or worse - and what do you think Norwich will be like in 2040?

We tend to look back to the ‘good old days’ but were they?

NUA Graduations Day, 2018.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNUA Graduations Day, 2018. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

When we think of the future we should consider the past. It’s a pity some of our city fathers didn’t when they carved up the city, destroying public buildings and whole communities in the name of progress.

But Norwich is still a great place to live attracting people with attitude and an edge. Norwich has always gone its own way rather than follow others.

It has been called the graveyard of ambition. People move here and tend to stay. It’s that sort of place.

You know the old saying. A pub for every day of the year (there were actually a lot more) and a church for every week in the year.

Dancing at the Samson and Hercules in the early 1960's. Picture: Archant LibraryDancing at the Samson and Hercules in the early 1960's. Picture: Archant Library

Thousands worked in the large factories while others went to the ‘union’ where they often spent the rest of their lives.

Today we have pioneering and important places such as the John Innes Centre along with the UEA, the Norwich University of the Arts and City College Norwich. We are a centre of education and innovation.

As to the future.

We must reach out to business to come to Norwich, help and encourage those already here... And we need a far more superior public transport system. Not just in the city but across the county.

I will probably be long gone by 2040, but if I looked down on the city I would like to see happy people living in decent homes they could afford, a purpose-built concert hall attracting world famous artists... And no-one being forced to sleep on the streets.

Oh, and an open-air swimming pool full of people having a good time.

I suspect I may be asking too much.

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