Old Images of Norwich, Norfolk

vintage film and old photos of Norwich in Norfolk

Glimpse history through old images of Norwich, Norfolk, England.

George V in Norwich (1912)

It’s only 30 seconds of a silent, black and white film, but see the huge crowds that turned out for the arrival of King George V in 1912. 

King George V

  • Born: 3 June 1865, Marlborough House, London
  • Died: 20 January 1936, Sandringham Estate
  • Parents: Edward VII, Alexandra of Denmark
  • Spouse: Mary of Teck (m. 1893–1936)
  • Children: King Edward VIII (later duke of Windsor); King George VI; Henry, duke of Gloucester; George, duke of Kent; Prince John; Mary, princess royal, who married the 6th earl of Harewood

ROYAL: King George V during visit to Norwich (1912) – British Pathé on YouTube


Queen Alexandra’ during’s WW1 Visit (1918)

Queen Alexandra of Denmark came to unveil a statue erected in the memory of Edith Cavell, a WWI nurse and humanitarian.

Edith Cavell was a British nurse celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination, and for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during the First World War, for which she was arrested.

Queen Alexandra of Denmark

  • Born: 4 December 1865, Swardeston
  • Died: 12 October 1915, Tir national
  • Born: 1 December 1844, Yellow Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Died: 20 November 1925, Sandringham Estate
  • Spouse: Edward VII (m. 1863–1910)
  • Children included George V, Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom

Queen Alexandra makes appearance at Norwich (1918) – British Pathé on YouTube


Norwich Cattle Show (1919)

Xmas Beef Norwich Aka Norwich Cattle Show (1919) – British Pathé on YouTube


Prince Henry (1925)

In 1925, HRH Prince Henry laid the foundation stone of the new children’s block of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Prince Henry

  • Born: 31 March 1900, York Cottage
  • Died: 10 June 1974, Barnwell Manor, Barnwell
  • Spouse: Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (m. 1935–1974)
  • Children: Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Prince William of Gloucester

Prince Henry at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube


Duke of York’s Visit (1925)

In 1925, the Duke of York arrived for the celebrations of the museum’s centenary.

Duke Of York (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube


Sir Baden-Power (1926)

In 1926, the Chief Scout, Sir R. Baden-Powell, attended the monster Rally of local scouts.

The Chief Scout – Sir R. Baden Powell On Sleeve As The Cheif Scout (1926) – British Pathé on YouTube


Norwich war memorial unveiled by ex-Private Withers (1927)

The Norwich War Memorial commemorated 3,500 war dead of the Great War (1914-1918), adn was unveiled by ex-Private Withers.

The arrival of 50,000 people to watch the unveiling shows the depth of grief for these young men even nine years after the end of the war.

Ex-private B.A. Withers, a disabled veteran of the Norfolk Regiment, appears in a picture on the Armistice Norfolk website.

On the day I uploaded this footage to Local History Videos.com, it had sat on YouTube for more than half a year and I was the 9th viewer. I often come across important but overlooked footage like this, which is why I set up this website.

NORWICH: Norwich war memorial unveiled by ex-Private Withers (1927) – British Pathé on YouTube


1920s Cattle Shows

Xmas Beef AKA Xmas Beef – Norwich Cattle Show (1920) – British Pathé on YouTube

Norwich Fat Stock Show (1923) – British Pathé on YouTube

Xmas Beef – Norwich (1927) – British Pathé on YouTube

Norwich Fat Stock Show (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube

Farming: Norwich Cattle Show (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

Fine Fat Cattle (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube


1300 Years (1930)

In 1930, the Archbishop of Canterbury, 110 Bishops and Archbishops attended a service at Norwich Cathedral celebrating the thirteen hundredth anniversary of the creation of the diocese.

Te Deum Laudamus Aka The Deum Laudamus (1930) – British Pathé on YouTube


New Homes for Hospital Nurses (1932)

In 1932, Queen Mary visited the new homes built for hospital nurses.

“Never Weary In Well-Doing”! (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube


Norwich (1934)

This 1930s footage opens with views of Norwich Cathedral. We see the Cloisters and the grave of nurse Edith Cavell. 

Next are various shots of the old buildings in Norwich, followed by the Marketplace next to the tramlines. Then it’s the Guildhall, street scenes, public gardens, views of the river, and people boating. It ends with Norwich Castle and the view across the city from the Castle Walls.

There are plenty of people wandering around the streets too.

The Gate To The Broads – Norwich (1934)

The Gate To The Broads – Norwich Aka Norwich – Scenes Of City & Its Surroundings (1934) – British Pathé on YouTube


Queen Mary’s Visit (1935)

Queen Mary arrived for the laying of the foundation stone for the new church of St Catherine at Mile Cross.

It may be 1935, but she still wears floor length dresses and coats.

Queen Mary (Mary of Teck)

  • Born: 26 May 1867, Kensington Palace, London
  • Died: 24 March 1953, Marlborough House, London
  • Parents: Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, Francis, Duke of Teck
  • Spouse: George V (m. 1893–1936)
  • Children: King Edward VIII (later duke of Windsor); King George VI; Henry, duke of Gloucester; George, duke of Kent; Prince John; Mary, princess royal, who married the 6th earl of Harewood
  • Her grandchildren included Queen Elizabeth II
https://youtu.be/4FP_WrdRLvU

Queen Mary visits Norwich (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Queen Mary at Norwich (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube


Log Rolling (1935)

A small group of people watch antics in a swimming pool.

Log Rolling At Norwich (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube


King George VI opens Norwich City Hall (1938)

This 1938 item from Gaumont British News has a very serious tone, from the orchestral music to the urgent commentary and formal processions on screen, even though the King’s visit was to open the new City Hall.

Many ex-servicemen stood to attention for their majesties. The next world war was just a year away.

It’s amazing to see how many people came to cheer on the royal couple.

We hear a speech given by King George VI, with just the slightest hint of the speech problems that became so famous with the release of the feature film The King’s Speech.

King George VI

  • Born: 14 December 1895, York Cottage
  • Died: 6 February 1952, Sandringham Estate
  • Buried: 15 February 1952, St George’s Chapel, Windsor
  • Spouse: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (m. 1923–1952)
  • Children: Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

ROYAL: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth open Norwich City Hall (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube

Royal Visit To Norwich (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube


1930s Cattle Shows

Fine Fat Cattle (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube

Fine Fat Cattle (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube

Christmas Fat Stock (1934) – British Pathé on YouTube

Christmas Is Coming (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube


Wartime Sports Day

This lighthearted footage of a sports day for local aircraft workers is surprisingly good and clear.

Along with the clothing, the quality of the film suggests this is from the Second World War (1939-1945) rather than the Great War dates (1914-1918) that the YouTube upload was labelled with.

There’s a touching moment at the end, when you see a collection of smiling faces from a dark time in our country’s history. The images are clear enough for someone to spot their relatives, should they have old photos to compare and a link to aircraft manufacturing.

Norwich Aircraft Workers At Sports (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube


Princess Elizabeth’s Visit (1951)

In 1951, Princess Elizabeth visited the city. She became Queen Elizabeth II in February the following year.

Special – Princess Elizabeth Visits Norwich (1951) – British Pathé on YouTube

Selected Originals – Princess Elizabeth Visits Norwich (1951) – British Pathé on YouTube

ROYAL: Princess Elizabeth arrives in Norwich (1951) – British Pathé on YouTube


Norwich Dodgers Penny Farthing Cycling Club (1952)

The Norwich Dodgers Penny Farthing Cycling Club was founded by Mr Kerrison. Quite a collection of quirky cycles came out for the cameraman, along with a small crowd of spectators.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Kerrison’s Dodgers, the Eastern Daily Press published a nice article about them in 2020.

Does anyone know which streets are seen in this footage? 

Cycles (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube


Princess Margaret’s Visit (1952)

So many people turned out to see Princess Margaret in 1952, there was only enough space between the crowds for one car to travel slowly along.

The camera turns to capture some of the faces in the crowd, including children.

3 year old Michael Lloyd Owen hands a bouquet to the princess at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital. Then the princess has her hand x-rayed as hospital staff stand next to her rather than from behind a protective screen!

ROYAL: Princess Margaret visits Norwich (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube

Princess Margaret In Norwich (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube


Miniature Fairground (1955)

Sidney Cooper, from Norwich, spent 30 years building a miniature fairground on a scale of an inch to a foot.

Miniature Fairground (1955) – British Pathé on YouTube


Miniature Portraits on Ivory (1956)

Mrs Daysi Brookes had a successful career as an artist painting miniature portraits onto ivory. There’s no comment made about this choice of material by the commentator, showing how much attitudes have changed towards ivory in the subsequent decades.

Ivory Paintings (1956) – British Pathé on YouTube


Painted High Heels (1956)

A group of female artists at a Norwich studio painted pretty designs on celluloid covered heels for women’s shoes.

High Heels (1956) – British Pathé on YouTube


Royal Show (1957)

In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the Royal Show.

The Queen presented the Royal Agricultural Society’s medal for long service to 27 farm workers.

ROYAL: Royal Show at Norwich (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube

https://youtu.be/Vrd6mV8N24s

Queen Attends The Royal Show At Norwich (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube


Magdalen Street (1959)

It’s a shame this black and white footage is silent. But it shows the plans drawn up for improving Norwich’s Magdalen Street, then a shot of the city from far away fields, before many great shots of the people and premises along the street.

This is a ‘must watch’ gem for everyone who knows the city.

Operation Facelift (1959) – British Pathé on YouTube


Window Cleaner (1962)

A 1962 newsreel item about modern window cleaners included a Norwich man who bought an old fire engine so his ladders could reach the top floors of office buildings.

Window Cleaning (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube


Mail Sorting Office (1967)

A 1967 newsreel item about the postage system ends at Norwich, where the mail processing centre is very technologically advanced for the age.

Postal Fortnight (1967) – British Pathé on YouTube


1970s Norwich

Silent 1970s footage from Norfolk’s historic city shows many beautiful old streets and buildings. There are occasional vehicles, though most of the streets seem deserted. Occasionally, children, adults and pensioners are seen on screen.

Locations include:

  • Elm Hill
  • Tobland
  • River Wensum
  • Octagon Unitarian Chapel on Colegate
  • Strangers’ Hall
  • St. Benedict’s Street
  • Bullard and Sons Anchor Brewery 
  • Roman Catholic cathedral
  • Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
  • Co-operative Society Warehouse
  • Library
  • Very old building with pillars

Around Norwich (1970-1979) – British Pathé on YouTube


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