Comparing changing Norwich: Brazengate – Coal depot to supermarket and more

from Southwell Rd looking North. Coal depot in 1986 to supermarket car park in 2020

Prompted by some dialogue on Twitter, I paid a visit to George Plunkett’s excellent archive of images of Norwich.

Having failed to locate what I was looking for, I lost myself for half an hour browsing through this wonderful, excellently catalogued resource. I came across the image of the the coal yard of Norwich’s Victoria Station which remained in operation until 1986, the same year that Plunkett took his image from Southwell Road bridge. I saw that it had the same viewpoint of an image I’d made during a walk in May 2020.

The site has been occupied by the Sainsbury’s supermarket that opened in October 1989. The persepective of the images differs because of focal length of lenses used, the most prominent common feature being Aviva/Norwich Unions Surrey St. complex. It’s notable how much infill has taken place since 1986, including Sentinel House on Surrey Street (which has recently been converted from offices to accommodation) and Pablo Fanque* House, the recently opened student accommodation on All Saints Green.

*Pablo Fanque, notably the first black circus proprietor in England and who was mentioned in the Beatles song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” has a further connection with Plunkett’s image, his circus was located on the site of the main booking hall of Victoria Station.

Published by one85

Citizen of the fine city of Norwich. Interested in photography, literature, Norwich, Norfolk and Italy.

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