Vintage Film of Norwich in Norfolk

vintage film and old photos of Norwich in Norfolk

Discover vintage film of Norwich in Norfolk from the British Pathé archives, featuring royal visitors, solemn events and the occasional quirky hobby too!

George V in Norwich (1912)

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

ROYAL: King George V during visit to Norwich (1912), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

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

WW1 Visit From Queen Alexandra (1918)

Queen Alexandra makes appearance at Norwich (1918), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

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

Edith Cavell: 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

Prince Henry Lays A Hospital Foundation Stone (1925)

Prince Henry at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (1925), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

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

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

NORWICH: Norwich war memorial unveiled by ex-Private Withers (1927), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

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.

The Norwich War Memorial commemorated 3,500 war dead of the Great War (1914-1918). 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.

Sports Day (1914-1918)

Norwich Aircraft Workers At Sports (1914-1918), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

This lighthearted footage 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 (1914-1918).

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 in 1934

The Gate To The Broads – Norwich Aka Norwich – Scenes Of City & Its Surroundings (1934), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

This 1930s footage from Pathetone opens with views of Norwich Cathedral. Then 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.

Visit by Queen Mary (1935)

Queen Mary visits Norwich (1935), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

Queen Mary arrived for the laying of the foundation stone for the new church of St Catherine. 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
  • Grandchildren include Queen Elizabeth II

Log Rolling (1935)

Log Rolling At Norwich (1935), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

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

King George VI opens Norwich City Hall (1938)

ROYAL: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth open Norwich City Hall (1938), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

This item from Gaumont British News has a very serious tone, from the orchestral music to the urgent commentary and formal processions on screen. 

There is an irony that many ex-servicemen stood to attention for their majesties, given that 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

Norwich Dodgers Penny Farthing Cycling Club (1952)

Cycles (1952), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

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 did a nice article in 2020.

Does anyone know which streets are seen in this footage? 

Princess Margaret visits Norwich (1952)

ROYAL: Princess Margaret visits Norwich (1952), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

So many people turned out to see Princess Margaret, 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 staff stand next to her!

1970s Norwich

Around Norwich (1970-1979), posted to YouTube by British Pathé

This silent 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

You may also like

.

Or discover more locations in the England sitemap