Milestones to Mile Cross © 1995

    Was a booklet produced by Mile Cross People showing the history of the Mile Cross estate. We have transfered it online to this page to save it for the future.

    Please note this publication was Published in 1995 by The Mile Cross History Research Group, The Norman Centre, Mile Cross, Norwich. ISBN 0952657104 Originally  Printed by: Print Section Norwich City Council. Milestones to Mile Cross is © copyrighted by The Mile Cross History Research Group & The Mile Cross Community Association © 2011.

    Introduction  _____________________

    Milestones to Mile Cross was researched by the Mile Cross History Research Group (Elizabeth Earley, Sonia Kiddell, Fred Leathers, Mike Price, Pauline Salways, David Tye and Pauline White). They were encouraged and assisted by Richard Stowe, Area Community Officer,and by the W.E.A Norwich Branch, who provided a tutor (Joyce Gurney-Read) and funded the provision of a meeting place at the Norman Centre.

    Our thanks go to the following people and organisations who have provided information and photographs. Without the help of the local community a project such as this cannot come to fruition and we than the following for their help and co-operation:

    Brian Ayers & Derek Edwards (Norfolk Archaeological Unit), Mr & Mrs Fiddy, W.Fisher, Mrs S. Green, Charlie George, Derek James (Eastern Evening News), Florence Jolly, Phil Keen, Mike Loveday (Assistant Chief Planning Officer, Norwich City Council Planning Department), Vi & Leslie Murton, Norman Peake, Mr D.W.Smith (Superintendent Crematories & Cremation Section, Norwich City Council), Aubrey Toghill (Australia), Roy Bunclarke, Alan Easter, Les Postance, and Trevor Reyolds (Norwich City Works Department), Stephen Thompson (Senior Administration Officer, City Engineers Department, Norwich City Council), Ken Vincent (Norfolk Library & Information Services, The staff of John Boag House, The Mile Cross Community Association, Mile Cross Middle School, and many other people who have given information and advise.

    For any errors or omissions our apologies.

    Joyce Gurney-Read, W.E.A Tutor

    Richard Stowe, Area Community Officer

    August 1995

    The Area of Mile Cross Ward ____________

    Mile Cross Ward covers the area between the River Wensum and the A140 Aylsham Road. It Extends from Wensum Park as far as the Outer Ring Road.

    History ________________________________

    We must not forget that what we now call ‘Mile Cross’ was once part of Hellesdon and that the area has been populated over many centuries. An aerial photograph taken by Derek Edwards in June 1980 gave rise to an archaeological survey of a ring ditch on Sweet Briar Road by the Norfolk Archaeological Unit in the summer of 1882.

    The site produced a uniform collection of flints of Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age type, as well as fragments of Bronze Age and Iron Age pottery and a Romano-British iron brooch. The disturbance of the site caused by ploughing, combined with the acidic nature of the subsoil had resulted in poor preservation of the features, artifacts and orgainic matter. It was thought the site represented remains of a Bronze Age round barrow. Cremations has been buried within the mound at some stage but no original ground surface remained. A cremation outside the ring-ditch suggests prolonged use of the site for funerary purpases. Only two shreds of medieval pottery were found compared with an abundance of post-medieval material.

    Coins some of which are listed below, have been found by local people using metal detectors and show the wide span of time durning which the site may have been occupied.

    John 1199-1216  - ‘short-cross’ silver coin
    James I 1603-1625 - silver penny
    Wm. & Mary 1688-1694 – farthing dated 1694
    William III 1694-1701 – penny dated 1694
    George II 1727-1760 – farthing
    William IV 1830-1837 farthing dated 1830
    Queen Victoria 1837-1901 – half penny dated 1830, three penny piece dated 1860 and a sixpence, date unknown.
    Great Yarmouth token
    Leeds 18th Century token (Richard Paley)

    Hellesdon was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and in later documents. Galley Brakes and other familiar names are recorded. In Charters of the 15th and 16th centuries the ten boundary crosses that surrounded the City & County of Norwich are listed and two of these crosses, one that stood in Hellesdon and the other at the Boundary, would have marked the boundary of our present Ward of Mile Cross.

    The base of one of these crosses can still be seen outside the Boundary public house.

    Inscription reads: ‘Base of the 15th century Mile Cross which stood near to this spot to mark the bounds of the City of Norwich

    The other, heavily restored in 1902, still stands near the Sweetbriar Road / Dratyon Road / Boundary Road Junction.

    There is a similar Cross in the churchyard of St. Mary’s Hellesdon.

    The Ward is dominated by two important highways, the Aylsham and Drayton Roads. In the 18th century, on leaving Norwich by St. Augustine’s gate the road forked, one part leading to Cromer and the other to Fakenham. At the fork stood one of the many horse troughs seen in Norwich at that time and we are told that another stood outside the Mile Cross Traven. Road surfaces were rough and were not systematically improved until the Turnpike Acts were passed from the 1660’s onwards.

    In 1794 an Act of Parliament was passed ‘for amending, widening and keeping in Repair, the road from Norwich to Aylsham, whereas the roads leading from St. Augustine’s Gate to Aylsham are greatly out of repair and in some parts narrow and incommodious for travellers’.

    The Cromer Road was turnpiked in 1798 and the Norwich to Fakenham Turnpike was opened in June 1823 and followed the same line as the present A1067. It was a busy road even before the turnpike and Parson Woodeforde mentions using it on his journeys into Norwich. The roads were dis-turnpiked in 1876.

    The owners of the turnpikes provided milestones and one survives near the Golf Club on Drayton Road.

    Many toll-houses surrounded the City and one stood at The Boundary until the beginning of this Century (20th Century).

    Roads in Mile Cross _____________________

    We do not know why the great prestigious housing estate built in the 1920s was called Mile Cross.

    In ancient charters the cross at the boundary was called either "Le Whytecrosse" or "St. Faith's Cross", and yet we have Mile Cross Lane. Before the naming of the estate roads Mile Cross Road was called Half Mile Lane and Half Mile Road did not exist.

    Measurements show that the junction of the Mile Cross and Aylsham Roads is one mile from St. Augustine's Gates. Early 19th century leases speak of "two great closes in Mile Cross", and as early as 1659 Bloome was hung in chains at Mile Cross for murdering a man. So where was Mile Cross in 1659 and why was the estate so called?

    The first ideas for this brand new Council Estate. with attractive lay-out and varied styles of houses. began to emerge in 1918. It was to be the first of its kind in England. In this 20th century development the roads are named after people and places of long historic interest to the citizens of Norwich. thus weaving together a fascinating blend of old and news.

    The most ancient of these people from our Norwich past is Herbert Losinga, the first Bishop of Norwich. He lived in the 11th century and gave us the beginnings of our fine Cathedral. Losinga Crescent is his Mile Cross memorial.

    Another benefactor from the past is Richard Spynk. He was a large subscriber to the cost, and the chief organiser of the work of completing the building of the City walls, gates and towers, the remains of which still exist. He also, among other things, constructed a drawbridge. and built the arches and the gate at Bishop's Bridge. Tiny Spynke Road (off Bolingbroke Road) remembers him.

    More names from across the centuries of the history of Norwich begin to appear. Names like Robert Brasier, bell founder, who was Sheriff in 1403 and Mayor in 1410. He was intimately concerned with obtaining the Civic Charter of 1403 and with the building of the Norwich Guildhall.

    Appleyard Crescent recalls William Appleyard who died in the early part of the 15th century, but not before he had been appointed Burgess in Parliament at least ten times and elected Mayor of the City six times. He was, indeed, a very prominent citizen of his day. He lived in a house built by his father in the 14th century in Bridewell Alley where the square flint work, still seen today, is considered to be one of the finest example of such skill in England. His house is now the home of the Bridewell Museum. In its time since the 15th century it has been a gaol - "a Brydewell to keep and stay ydle persons" and a shoe factory! In 1923 Sir Henry Holmes gave it to the City,

    Then there is Margaret Paston, a notable lady from the same century. She married John Paston in 1440 and her many letters have become a rich source of information about 15th century life. She had many connections with Hellesdon and Drayton.

    Robert Suckling is a distinguished name from the 16th century. Mayor in 1572 and 1582 he was the father of Sir John Suckling, comptroller of the Household of James 1. He lived in the house opposite the east end of St. Andrew's Church, a part of which is now known as Suckling House.
    In the same century John Bassingham was a goldsmith in the City, and his doorway from London Street was later removed and placed in the Norwich Guildhall.

    Bassingham doorway in Norwich Guildhall

    Sometime during the 17th century a Scottish clergyman moved from Dumfriesshire to Norwich. His son. John Kirkpatrick, became a linen merchant, and he was not only a much revered Treasurer of the Great Hospital. but also someone who found time to research, transcribe and chronicle the history of Norwich. He died in 1728 at the age of 42 years and is buried in St. Helen's Church, Bishopgate.

    At about the same time Francis Burgess was busy understanding the "art and mystery of printing". He published a book about it in 1701, and in the September of that year he also
    published the first ever provincial newspaper. "The Norwich Post" .

    The name of another road in Mile Cross tells us of someone born later in the 18th century whose name is still famous today - Luke Hansard His name is given to the daily record of
    Parliament. He learnt his trade of printing and accounting here in Norwich before moving to London in 1769 with little more than a "borrowed guinea".  
    He became a journeyman compositor to a printer who was Printer to the house of Commons. By 1800 Luke was the head of the firm and known as "Hansard the Printer". His story came full circle in this [last] century when in 1967 Her Majesty's Stationery office moved to Norwich and continued to print "Hansard" daily.

    Moving into the 19th centery we find Samuel Woodward earning his living in the textile trade and then later when a clerk in Barclays Bank he became a distinguished amateur geologist.
    John Marshall, from lowly beginnings became a Freeman of Norwich in 1817, and then Mayor in 1828 and 1841.

    A contemporary of Marshall was Horatio Bolingbroke, also in the textile trade and Mayor in 1819. Many people benefited from his generosity.

    Another Norwich man much respected locally was John Dowson who, while being a solicitor by profession, spent much time and energy in promoting better conditions for learning. So it was to the world of education that he gave his money generously, always wanting to improve schooling in the City, as well as in the County.

    William Chambers was Sheriff in 1834. It is written of him that "he was greatly respected by all and endeared himself to many"

    Francis Blomefield, Rector of Fersfield, was a Norfolk Chronicler who set himself the task of compiling an Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. He died before the work was completed but present day historians have much to thank him for and we thank him for his two volumes on Norwich.
    Among many accounts of the past he included the statistic that over 2,000 people died in Norwich from the bubonic plague between October 1.665 and October 1666.

    Also at that time the Bignold family were prominent in Norwich. The son Samuel rose to great heights becoming Sir Samuel in 1854. He followed his father Thomas into the Norwich Union Insurance Society (which Thomas had founded) and he figured in Civic life for nearly half a century-. He was Mayor of Norwich in 1833, 1848 and 1853 and was a Member of Parliament for the City for a short time.

    Sir Samuel Bignold, Kt. Secretary, Norwich Union Life Office 1815 - 1875

    Three churchmen have also given their names to Mile Cross.
    Edward Bulmer was not Norwich born but came in 1859 as a Canon at the Cathedral. His gifts as a musician led him to take a prominent part in the musical life of the City as well as the many activities at the Cathedral.

    William Lefroy was for 20 years (1889-1909) Dean of Norwich. He was an Irishman who probably made his name here because of the "popular" services he conducted in the Cathedral every Sunday evening. It is said that they regularly drew large crowds. He also saw to it that extensive restoration work on the building was carried out.

    Like Lefroy and Bulmer John Bowers was not Norwich born. He became Bishop of Thetford in 1903 and endeared himself to The Great Eastern Railway by using their trains a great deal. They awarded him a silver pass enabling him to always travel free when carrying out his duties in the region.

    In 1844 Mark Knights was born. He became a journalist. eventually becoming the Chief Reporter for the Eastern Daily Press. His book "The Highways and Byeways of Old Norwich". published in 1887, is much treasured and quoted by the historians of today. It is a fascinating story of the City captured through the eyes of this 19th century man.

    The names of four Headmasters also feature in Mile Cross road names. "I never knew a man whose affections were warmer and more generous". These words were written of Samuel Parr who was Headmaster of Norwich School from 1779 to 1785. He was then only 39 years old. He resigned from the School to pursue a calling in the church and moved away from Norwich but although his stay here was relatively short it was obviously important. Edward Valpy, at the beginning of the last century, was Headmaster of Norwich School for 19 years. He had George Borrow, later a well-known writer, as one of his pupils and during his headship the School expanded.

    Thomas Pinder was headmaster at two of the City schools First for 36 years he was Head of King Edward VI Middle School and then he became the first Headmaster of the Commercial School in St. George's. He died in 1902 aged 76 years.

    Francis Wheeler turned to teaching after beginning his working life in the commercial world. After some experience in education he took control of Bracondale School, being an effective Headmaster for many years.

    Francis Wheeler and his wife at Bracondale School - 11th July 1903

    Although a member of an old Norfolk family Walter Rye lived and worked in London until he retired and returned to Norwich in 1900. He then spent a great deal of the following years writing and researching about Norfolk's history. One hundred and twenty books and numerous articles bear his name. He was a man of much energy and many interests. He entered local politics and was Mayor of Norwich in 1908-1909. He died in 1929 aged 86 years after a long and busy life. Rye Avenue takes its name from this colourful gentleman.

    Gypsies, Travellers and Robert Kett _______________________________

    In 1968 the Government of the day brought in the "Caravan Act". This was meant to ensure that land belonging to local Councils would be allocated for sole use as an accommodation site for gypsies and travellers.

    In 1974 such land was made available in Norwich. Situated near the River Wensum in the Mile Cross area buildings were erected for sanitation purposes and the site was made as welcoming as possible.

    Thoughts were then turned towards the travellers' children and their educational needs. Mile Cross Middle School was consulted and their Head Teacher, Miss D. Smith, and her staff welcomed them to the school. At that time many children from the area were in need of remedial classes both at the Middle and Dowson Schools. A meeting was convened at the Middle School on the 18th April, 1975 which brought together Mr. Howard (Gypsy site Warden), Mr. Welsh (Department of Health), Mr.Cross, (Adult Education Department). Mrs Laurie (Adult Education Department), Miss Smith and members of staff. It was decided that the large proportion of illiterate children merited the provision of more classroom space and another teacher, who could be shared by the two schools.

    By November 1975 concern was turned towards the poor attendance by the gypsy children and in January- 1976 the records show that only seven children from the gypsy site were on the school roll, and one of them was over age. By September 1976 the need for more space was still of concern.

    A meeting was then called which brought together Miss E. Fisher (Secretary of Association for the Education of Gypsies), Mrs Buckrell (Dowson First School), representatives from the site and other helpers. Mrs. Pattinger offered the use of her home for this meeting where the need for a mobile classroom was then discussed. This need for remedial classroom space and the even greater need for qualified teachers will always be with us throughout Norwich and Norfolk as the gypsy people like a life of travelling.

    In 1549 many gypsy families travelled around Norfolk offering their labour to farmers and selling the many useful household implements the,, made by hand. They also brought news from other parts of Norfolk and the country in general.

    This was a time of great unrest throughout the land mainly due to the "Enclosure" Acts This gave the right to many landowners to enclose common land, thus leaving the common people without any land to graze their animals and many families in a state of hunger. The gypsies found there was no-where for them to stop long enough for them to make the implements which they could sell to obtain food for their families, and their horses lacked suitable grazing land.

    It was at this time in 1549 in Wvmondham that a group of people started pulling down the fences that kept their animals from feeding. First the common land « as re-opened and then more groups started to pull down anything that resembled a fence.

    A landowner by the name of Flowerdew came across such a group tearing down his fences and he immediately offered money and food to them. This was not an act of kindness on Flowerdew's part as he wished to send this group to attack the lands of Robert Kett and his brother William, because of an old feud he had with the brothers concerning the priory church.

    Kett's fences were then torn down. On hearing of this Kett set out to meet this group. He listened to their grievances and agreed to lead them in a deposition to the Mayor of Norwich to put forward their case of injustice. Kett set off for Norwich with the group who were later to become known as Kett's Army.

    The gypsies, who were the bearers of news, quickly joined Kett and his followers and spread the news of the march to Norwich throughout the County. Many small groups off disgruntled people joined Kett, swelling the followers into a large crowd. This grew and grew until what was described as a mob of people reached Bowthorpe. It was there that Sir Edmund Wyndham, Sheriff of Norfolk proclaimed Kett's men rebels and ordered them to disperse.

    Robert Kett and his band had travelled from Wymondham and continued on to Hellesdon Bridge which had to be widened with timber, boughs and faggots so that it could support the baggage and the huge number of supporters that now travelled with him.

    Location and view of the present Hellesdon Bridge

    They decided to march north-west around the City Walls. In order to reach their eventual destination on Mousehold they probably travelled through what we now know as Mile Cross, spreading out over Hellesdon Hall Road and Drayton Road. It took two days for the insurgents, as they were now called, to reach Mousehold and set up camp. So it was that gypsy guides had led Kett and his followers across the very land where in later years they would have a permanent camp, Mile Cross, and this year marks the 21st anniversary of their site in this area.

    Parts of Norwich & Mushold, 1885 from The Streets and Lanes of The City Of Norwich by John Kirkpatrick

    Mile Cross geology and extraction industries _________

    The Mile Cross area contains deposits of sand, clay and gravel on top of a chalk bedrock. Between 130 and 300 thousand years ago ice sheets covered most of East Anglia. These carried the clays, sand and gravel to where they are today.

    The chalk is closest to the surface in the southern part of the area where the River Wensum had eroded the overlying glacial deposits. Sand is prevalent in much of the area. The gravel deposits helped form Galley Hills and further to the west on the edge of Mile Cross the sand, in the area of what is now known as Woodcock Road, gave way to brick fields. These were clay deposits known as Norwich Brick Earth.

    Map showing known 19th century and early 20th century extractions

    Brick making using the local clay became a major feature of the landscape from the east of Aylsham Road as far as Mousehold. Builders, and suppliers such as the Pointer family, made much use of these local resources to build the Mile Cross Housing Estate.
    By the 1930's the brick making and gravel, sand and chalk extraction industries in the area were fast declining.

    Today some of the land contains the scars of the past. The sandy cliff face at the back of Whiffler Road, although partially obscured by workshops, may contain long abandoned quarries, whilst "Fungies" famous sand pit off Bowers Avenue is today the site of a Play area.
    There is also a sharp drop in the land near the junction of the Aylsham and Drayton Roads opposite Wensum Park. This was the site of "Putty" Pearce's Lime Works.

    Photograph of Mr. Phillip Pearce, Sidney Vincent and Kenneth Vincent taken in 1926

    "Putty" Pearce and his Lime Kiln ____________________

    Since Roman times lime has been an important material. Its use in agriculture became widespread in Norfolk as a result of the agrarian revolution. Large areas of farmland were enclosed and the likes of "Turnip" Townshend and Coke of Holkham recommended the use of lime on the land. Yields from crops increased because liming had the effect of neutralising soil acidity. It also helped break down heavy clay soils.

    Lime was difficult to transport over long distances as it was vulnerable to damage by moisture. Where chalk pits were established kilns would often be nearby. This enabled the bulky chalk to be burnt into lime "on site" and then distributed on the land. Many farms had their own pits and kilns.

    The population of the urban area also required lime for use in mortar, whiting for walls, ceilings, chicken sheds etc, for decomposing meat and poultry and for making putty.

    In the 1860s Philip Pearce of "The Compasses" public house, Upper King Street, acquired land opposite to what is now the King Edward VII public house on Aylsham Road stretching down to the Drayton Road. For the next sixty years his family lived on the site. They extracted the chalk to make lime which was sold together with whiting and putty, and Mr. Pearce became known locally as "Putty" Pearce.

    There were two principal tunnels of between 20 and 30 yards in length stretching under the Aylsham Road, The tunnels were high enough to stand in and wide enough for a barrow. At regular distances a niche would hold a candle to light the tunnel.

    The lime kiln was brick built and approximately 30 ft. across at the top. Its depth was between 15 and 20 ft. below ground level. At the base were four shutes. These would be packed with wood and paper with alternate layers of coke and chalk to the top. These would be carried and spread into the kiln from the top in a wheelbarrow using a deal. After burning overnight the shutes would be opened and the lime taken out.

    Plan showing Mr. Pearce's Lime workings

    Next to the lime kiln about 20 yards away stood a treadle. This was approximately 4 feet deep, where freshly quarried chalk was mixed with water to make a liquid. A mule called "Dolly" walked round and round operating the grindstone and paddles. This cleaned the chalk and made it into whiting.

    After the scum from the top was removed with a net, the sluice would be opened and the whiting poured into vats. It was then left to dry off in the open shed.

    Nos. 7 & 9 Drayton Road

    The Millers of Mile Cross _________________________

    In White's Directory of 1854 there are four millers listed: Timothy Baker, Edward Batson, Joshua Reynolds and William H. Wells.

    By 1879 only three are shown: On the east side of Upper Hellesdon Road (Aylsham Road) near the Windmill public house was a Tower Mill and Henry Bond was the miller. On the west side near where Half Mile Road was later built was Philip Rose, miller and baker, whilst further down on Press Lane stood the tower mill of Ephrain Witard.

    In Kelly's Directory of 1896 we still have Ephrain Witard and Philip Rose, but by 1910 only Witard is listed.

    Ephrain's mill was known as Upper Hellesdon Mill and in early pictures of the old City Station his mill can be seen against the skyline. This Tower Mill was actually in Press Lane and was built in the 1870s replacing an earlier post mill. Although Ephrain is still shown as living at Trafalgar House in 1922 no mills are listed.

    Ephrain was one of a poor family of twelve who had moved from Clare in Suffolk. His father had died when he was an infant and it is said that his mother received nine shillings a week from the Norwich Board of Guardians. He must have prospered, owning the mill and living in Trafalgar House by 1896.

    We are told that his brother was a driver for The Swan Laundry and another brother, Herbert Edward Witard (1873-1954) was Lord Mayor of Norwich in 1927/1928. The mill was destroyed by fire on 4th May 1913.

    Trafalar House in 1995

    J. J. Hamilton & Company's ______________________

    Directory of Norwich - 1879
    Hellesdon Road (Upper) now known as Aylsham Road

    Fast Side

    Mr Samuel Denham
    Martha Christian Clarke. brewer & victualler,"Poplar Gardens"
    Mrs Elizabeth Wilson, Poplar Cottage
    J Mackley,Victualler, "Prospect House"
    (here is Philadelphia)
    Philadelphia Board Schools
    Rev harles Alexander Hope, Hellesdon House
    John William Thurgar shopkeeper
    Mr Anthony E. Lock
    William Fuller, victualler. "The Windmill"
    Henry Bond, miller_ Tower mill
    William Jeffries, cowkeeper
    Arthur Tallowin, timber merchant
    Mr John Bone
    Joseph Tallowin, victualler, "The Mile Cross'
    Walter Dennington. nurseryman
    Charles Cunnell, Brick &. tile manufacturer

    West side

    Philip Rose, miller and baker
    John Frederick Prentice The Old Parsonage
    Ephraim Witard, miller Tower Mill
    William Martin Pye. Trafalgar Cottages
    Mr William Baldwin, Trafalgar Cottages
    Charles B. Dennes. Trafalgar House
    Mr George Dearle, 1, Hewett's villas
    Samuel C Knights, 2 Hewett's Villas Walter
    William Halls, 3 Hewett's Villas
    Mrs Boddy, 4 Hewett's Villas
    Mr Daniel Adcock, Salem Cottage
    Unoccupied: Claremont House
    Mr James Spinks, 4 Belle Vue Terrace
    Mr Harry W. Postle. 3  Belle Vue Terrance
    Mr Dennis Davey. 2 Belle Vuc Terrace 
    Mr Robert Grand, I Belle Vue Terrace
    Mr Charles Barnes  Eagle Cottage 
    Mrs John Lee Barber Chalk Farm Hill

    Schools _________________________________

    The first of six schools in Mile Cross was opened 26th April 1926 as Mile Cross Council "Temporary School". Situated near Brasier Road classes of fifty were taught in wooden huts heated by Tortoise stoves and pupils were subjected to extremes of temperature. The classrooms were not fully furnished but four teachers tables did arrive in June of that year. Miss Agnes Gertrude King was the first Head Teacher and the staff were Minnie Elizabeth Andrews, Olive Alberta Cozens, Kathleen Josephine Crabtree and Lilian Mary Cooper.

    In May 1927 Empire Day celebrations meant a visit from the Deputy Mayor and other Civic dignitaries who, with 200 or more parents, listened to a programme of rhymes and dances. After the civic party had left to visit other schools the programme continued until 3.30 p.m. "when after rousing cheers the parents and children went happily home ".

    On 6th December 1926 the Dowson Infant School (known as the Drayton School) on Valpy Avenue opened and 66 children were transferred from the Mile Cross School. An open afternoon in December saw 140 parents watch children at work. Each class showed individual apparatus work, singing or recitation, and handwork. One class also danced. Father Christmas came that year.

    In September 1927 furniture and apparatus was removed to the new permanent building which opened in October with 343 on its books, including 93 from the Dowson School and three new members of staff, Misses Grenville, Baffa and Cowen.

    Dowson Primary School, built for the children on the new Drayton housing estate, opened on 27th January 1928 with 193 pupils aged from 71/2 to 101/2years. Mr. Postle was Headmaster.

    On Empire Day 1928 both Dowson Primary and Infant Schools assembled in the Central Hall with a varied programme of song and dance, and a pageant "Building the Flag" was performed. The Lord Mayor (Alderman Witard) came and after giving a short speech gave the children the remainder of the day off.

    November 1929 and a school orchestra was formed including violins, and the school also became part of the National Savings Association.
    14th June 1928 and the school was closed during the afternoon for the Norwich Schools Athletic Association Sports.

    The following is taken from the Log of the Norman Junior School 1929 -1971:

    8th April 1929. Edmund Scott opened the Mile Cross Primary School with the following staff

    Class I Mrs Payne, Class II Mrs Johnson Class, III Miss Peachey Class, IT' Mr. Reynolds Class V Miss May, Class VI Miss Ringer, Caretaker Mr. Fisk

    270 children were present at the morning session. 29th April 1929. Central Hall is now ready for use. A trial time table has been put into operation, sylabuses have been entered into record books and systematic work is now being done.

    Up until then older pupils were taught in the Mile Cross Infant School temporary buildings but 231 were transferred to the new departments when opened.

    In September 51 children from Dowson Primary were also transferred to this school. They had attained the age of 11 years. The number on the roll was now 383 including 52 children from the Infants Department.

    It has to be remembered that general welfare was not as it is today. Some children were frequently absent from school in poor weather as they had "bad boots". In the winter of 1927/28 sixteen pairs of boots were supplied from the "School children's Boot Fund" and at Xmas 1936 a total of thirty-six overcoats were donated to both Junior Schools by a Mr. Gough. Many children from the area attended the annual Crippled and Poor Children's Outings to Merton Hall.

    Such was the concern for the children's welfare that some would attend for free meals at Dining Centres such as at St. Augustines and Philadelphia Lane Schools. By 1931 children were weighed and measured and those recommended by the School Medical Officer received Milk Meals and/or Free Meals.

    In 1932 Milk Meals were provided for those who desired them and in 1934 milk was provided for the children at a reduced rate. A total of 360 children at the Mile Cross Schools purchased milk at 1/2d. for one third of a pint.

    Sweet hawkers and rag collectors were frequent visitors outside the school and became a problem. On one occasion in 1929 the Police were called by the Mile Cross Primary School.
    "P C. Tuddenham came regarding a report of nuisance being caused by an itinerant seller of cheap sweets".

    Even in those early years schools were often the subject of vandalism and theft. Windows were frequently being replaced.

    By 1931 Dowson Secondary Girls and Mile Cross Senior Boys were opened for those who were unable to attend Grammar Schools either because they did not obtain sufficient marks in the qualifying examinations or because parents could not afford to send them, although some were lucky enough to obtain scholarships.

    By 1932, 353 children had been transferred to Senior Schools. The Senior Girls had a school shed and garden opposite the school entrance and the boys had allotments, a pond and rabbits near where the three tower buildings are now.

    In 1935 the three Mile Cross schools changed their names to the Norman Infants, Primary and Senior Schools. The change was formally made at a function held in the Senior Boys Department on 10th January 1935.

    A programme of songs and a display of P.T. was given by senior boys to a numerous company which included the Sheriff, the Dean, representatives of the Education Committee, the Board of Education, Norman Trustees etc. together with old scholars of the Norman Endowed School and Managers of the Mile Cross Schools.

    In 1935 Dowson Primary had 442 children taught in nine classes but owing to lack of accommodation 50 of the youngest children remained in the Infants Department and were taught in the shared Hall.

    Physical Training was taken on the asphalt playground, with a playing field available for football. cricket and netball. Many of the teams had great success in inter-school competitions. Both girls and boys won the Championship Shield, Audrey Edwards broke the high jump record and Mr. A. Ireland, President of the Norwich Schools Athletic Association presented the shields.

    The Dowson Girls and Boys with their shields

    Pupils at the Dowson School went on regular Nature Walks with Miss Churchyard to Sweet Briar dikes and marshes, sometimes collecting specimens for the school aquarium. During July some children could spend a week at Trimingham Camp where the work would consist mainly of Nature study, Drawing and Geography. The school had outings to Sea Palling and Gorleston by charabanc.

    In the Norman Primary School many teaching practices were similar but the school did not have a playing field. Despite this the pupils took a prominent part in the Athletic Meetings. During the years a large number of children received swimming lessons and certificates were obtained.

    In 1935 the swimming season opened when 97 girls visited the "Lido" during the morning with Miss Theobald.

    In October 1935 they won the "Blyth" swimming cup and the boys won the "Finch" Cup in 1937. In June 1939 three swimming classes for boys and four for girls were formed. Instruction to be given at The Eagle Baths. The annual school outing was to Sheringham and West Runton by Motor Coach.

    The Lido Swimming Pool and Dance Hall

    April 1936 a Superintendent visited the Dowson Junior Schoo and lectured on "Safety First". "The lecture was illustrated by means of a model of cross-roads with traffic lights". Both the Primary Schools enjoyed visits to the Bridewell Museum and the Castle.

    In 1937 the Norman Primary visited the Capitol Picture House to witness films showing the Production and Marketing of Essential Foodstuffs and later the fourth year visited the brick kilns in Mile Cross Lane. They also saw the Road Safety Film "Death on the Road" at the Carlton Picture House

    The Dowson Boys Team win the Stevenson Cup

    In May 1937 Coronation Souvenir Books were distributed on Empire Day and the schools were closed for the afternoon.

    In 1938 for the first time pupils aged 7 - 11 years were accommodated in Dowson Primary. 400 were on the Norman Primary Roll, nearly 300 at Norman Infants and plans for extensions of buildings were in place.

    September 29th\30th. 1939. Nearly all day was occupied by measuring for and issuing gas masks. Owing to the outbreak of War the schools were closed. Staff attended lectures in the Senior Girls Department on gas and First Aid and other centres for courses on Woodwork, P.T., cooking, Art and Needlework.

    In October the infants were taught in classes of four at houses of parents. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th years attended school 20 at a time for just one hour, so that each child had two hours tuition per week.

    Later schooling was still irregular due to lack of fuel. On 21st August 1940 owing to an air-raid warning the school did not assemble in accordance with instructions. By this time air raid shelters (trenches) were available for children who were attending all day.

    It was recommended that due to the many warnings 5 year old children should have a regular rest in school. A.R.P. Wardens came regularly to inspect gas masks and show pupils the different types of bombs. School visits still continued to the Castle dungeons and battlements and there were organised games at Hellesdon Recreation Ground.

    After the severe air raids of April 1942 the Norman Primary School opened at once as an Emergency Rest and Feeding Centre. Staff reported for duty and worked by rota until Saturday 2nd May. Damage was limited to broken windows and two craters in the playground, but severe damage to the Dowson Infants rendered it unfit for use. January 1943 and the Dowson Infants merged with the Norman Infants until 1948.

    Christmas 1943\45 and toys and sweets were distributed to children whose fathers were in the Forces. Pantomime tickets were also given to those whose fathers were prisoners or serving overseas.

    During the last week of August 1944 the Norman Schools were used as a Reception and Dispersal Centre for about 400 evacuees from London, 40 of whom were taught in school, despite a shortage of staff.

    At Christmas the schools visited St. Catherine's Church for a Carol Service. The Rev. Gillion gave a short address and played the organ, in spite of a broken leg!

    7th February 1945. Several members of staff and about 40 children from the Norman Schools were unwell, 'a result of Tuesday's school meal'.

    Tuesday, 8th May 1945. V.E. Day. School assembled Hall at 9 a.m. and after a short Thanksgiving Service were dismissed for the remainder of the day.

    September 1948. Dowson Infants re-opened with Miss  D Read Headmistress. Sanitary and washing facilities were incomplete and the kitchen unfurnished due to lack of materials 40 infants joined the Junior School for meals in Hall. Meanwhile repairs and reconstruction continued.

    Thursday 1st December 1949. The new "Dining Hall" at the Norman Schools was used for the first time and on  the 6th the new kitchen was in use. Previously meals were taken in a hut on the playground and cooked at Bull Close School.

    The 'New' Norman Dining Hall in photographed in 1995

    15th May 1950. One of the wooden huts was destroyed by fire and neighbouring huts were damaged. The Norman Primary was robbed of a Music Room, space for Handicraft and Medical
    Inspection space. Probable cause "Tortoise stove used to heat room ".

    During the fifties railings were put up and the grounds improved. In May 1950 the Festival Sports Day with decorated prams and bicycle competitions was a great success.

    In June 1953 the Norman Infants School held a Coronation Party on the playground. The Deputy Lord Mayor and his wife came to visit and there was dancing and tea on the lawn. The microphones and loudspeakers helped to make the party a great success.
    The Dowson and Norman Primary and Infants Schools were all taken to Hellesdon Recreation Ground to celebrate and hundreds of parents watched, and some joined in.

    Later, in July, all the schools witnessed "A Queen is crowned" at The Capitol Cinema. Coronation mugs and toffees were distributed.

    Norman Infant School 1995


    The following contains just text as picture files have been corrupted and these will be re-added when time allows.

    No. 1

    Vi and Leslie Murton were born in Norwich at the beginning of this
    century. Vi lived in Union Street where her father kept a Fruit shop
    and she attended the local school. 

    Leslie went to Bull Close School and left when 14 years old to work at Mann Egerton on Cromer Road as a Shop Boy.

    Vi & Leslie at Gorieston in the 1920's

    He played football for the Norwich Schoolboys and later for Mann Egerton Juniors. Later, after losing his two brothers in the first World War,
    he enlisted in the Boys' Section of The Royal Flying Corps. He
    eventually became Coxswain of an airship and has recently been
    interviewed by representatives from the Imperial War Museum.

    Vi and Leslie were married on 16th April 1927 and went to Great
    Yarmouth for their honeymoon. After their marriage they lived in St.
    Benedict's Street and would walk up to the Mile Cross Estate on
    Sunday afternoons to look at the houses that were being built. 

    They thought how marvellous it would be if they could live in one of them

    and in 1930 that wish came true and they moved into the house in
    Suckling Avenue which is still their home today.

    Both of them worked for Bally & Haldinstein's shoe factory in Queen
    Street, Leslie staying there for 33 years.

    During the second World War Leslie was a Captain in the Home Guard. He was second in command of the 2nd Battalion and Liaison Officer to the American Air Force at Horsham St. Faiths. The Depot was at the top of Patteson Road. 

    He pulled an airman out of a blazing plane that crashed near The Bull Inn the night the German planes followed the American Liberators home.
    They have many memories of Mile Cross:
    "It was all fields - roads were mainly stones"
    "On the other side of Aylsham Road there was the Mile Cross public house and the White House no other buildings"
    "The tallow.factory caught fire one night - up a loke by the side of the Windmill public house "

    "We had a Triplex Stove for cooking and heating"
    "When we first lived here three gardeners worked on the grass and they
    clipped round every tree, and then the foreman would come round
    afterwards to make sure it was done properly. You were never allowed
    to park on the verges and you got fined £2 if you did"

    "Our rent when we moved in was 9s. a week plus 1/11d  for electricity. "
    "Before the bridge was built at Mile Cross dinners were pushed across in a boat for those living the other side of the river out working this
    side. The dinners were taken out and then the boat was pushed back. "
    "During the War Ballys had a pig club and Ted Pointer for us".

    It was a pleasure to talk to Vi and Leslie. They didn't have children
    but have a large number of relatives and friends and their delightful house is always busy with visitors. We were made to feel very welcome on our visit and enjoyed listening to their reminiscences.

    Vi and Leslie at their home in Suckling Avenue in 1995

    No. 2

    Charlie George was born April 1903 in a tied cottage at Bowthorpe. Today, aged 93, he has three daughters, 6 grandchildren and 10
    great-grandchildren. He later lived at the bottom of Nelson Street
    and as a child travelled across the river in a flat bottomed boat to
    collect the milk from Manor Farm. There were no bridges between City
    Station and Hellesdon.

    Charlie, Billy, Walter and Arthur George

    As a boy he was told that where Wensum Park now stands was a rope walk where they made and stretched out the ropes. He said it was necessary to make long cables for battleships. 

    The ropes were "ran" on the land where Edwards & Holmes shoe factory was built and the site is shown as a "rope walk" on the 1884 Ordnance Survey map. 

    On the Drayton Road we have the entrance to Ropemakers' Row and
    the "James I" was previously called "The Ropemakers' Arms".

    When he was a boy about ten years old his father took him to see the
    menagerie (Bostock & Wombles) at the Agricultural Hall. 

    Coming into Norwich they had great trouble getting the horses to pull the
    heavy cages containing the animals up St. Andrew's Hill. 

    There were camels, lions, bears and elephants. Anyway, a black man came along with one of the elephants and the animal pushed the cages up the road with his head. Later the black man caught influenza rather badly and was taken into the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital. 

    The circus left Norwich before he recovered and he later got a job as potman at a public house in Exchange Street. 

    His father took him one Sunday morning to "see the black man". He was quite an attraction at the public house as not many Norwich people had ever seen anyone that colour before.

    The land by the river by wet and marshy. There were water voles and he
    has collected as many as 30 water hen's eggs in one day. You could
    catch pike in the ditches where they had come to spawn. Highly
    illegal, of course, but I doubt if he will be prosecuted after 85 years.

    He was apprenticed to the City Council as a bricklayer but later ran
    away and joined the Army - his mother did not lock her door for three
    weeks - she did not know where he was. He ended up with the 15th
    Kings Hussars and was stationed in Dublin in 1919.
    He rejoined the Council to finish his apprenticeship and then worked for
    them with his father, who was his foreman. His father said to him one
    day "I am going to let you go tomorrow, Friday ". (It was only necessary to give someone one hour's notice those days). Charlie said "why me? I'm your son". His father said "well it's like this, there is very little work left to do and most of these lads have wives and children to support whilst you are single". Looking at it that way Charlie had to agree with him.
    He went off to London for a couple of years and when he returned to
    Norwich he rejoined the Council and married a local girl whose back
    garden had joined his as a boy.

    In 1924 he lived in Bolingbroke Road. By then he worked for Evans of Old Catton and it was then that he "set out" the house No. 132 Drayton Road which in 1926 was to become his home and it is still his home nearly 70 years later. His rent was 6s. a week and he had to pay the Council 5s. deposit for the fittings. He says when he bought his house they did not return the deposit!

    He has many memories. 

    "Walking up from St. Augustine's on the triangle of land near Wensum Park, was Dewings timber yard. There was a little old church where they later built St. Luke's and then nothing until you reached the Edward VII public house. Then allotments, Philadelphia Lane, a school, Vicarage Road, Goffs and Money's shop. 

    By Wensum Park, down the road known as The Watering, there was a creek and two tanneries. Mr. Fuller dressed skins. The river was full of garbage and animal remains. The smell was awful and the rubbish drifted down to New Mills where it was caught up in the sluices".

    "When I first moved into my house the grass verges and trees looked lovely and a reporter from the Chronicle came to take pictures of them and said how lovely they looked. The coalman and milkman would carry out their deliveries while their horses would enjoy the lush grass and on
    Sunday mornings Mr Peruzzi the ice-cream man would bring his ponies
    to graze on the grass verges. "

    In 1931 he went to work for Morgan's Brewery in King Street and in 1939
    built all their air-raid shelters, and also joined the local Auxiliary Fire Service at Mile Cross. No. I Crew Fire Brigade, Havers Road (Manor Farm) 

    Charlie George is seated far right

    On the night of the "blitz" he went with his group to the fire at Bonds Department Store. It was burning strongly and there was nothing anyone could do. Looking across at King Street he could see a glow above the brewery. As his tools were all in the works he decided to go down and have a look. He rescued his tools but the whole place was ablaze. He did, however, manage to pull the Manager's Riley safely out of his garage at No. 100 King Street. The brewery was a mess, the oak lathes used by the coopers were well ablaze, the hops were all boiling and there was six feet of froth on the brewery floor.

    One night during the war the siren went and he took his wife an daughters into the Anderson shelter which he had put underground and
    blocked off with a wall and sandbags. He saw that the house three doors away was on fire. When he got to the house he found the family were in their shelter but their top bedroom was on fire.

    Charlie George, Svlvia & Cynthia outside 34 / 134 Drayton Road after the
    April 1942 air-raids on Norwich

    He gathered up their smouldering bed linen. wapped them in a ball and
    threw them out of the window. He heard the whine of bombs and dashed
    back to his own house. A large high explosive landed up the street and blew his roof off. He went up the street to see what he could do and found a huge crater rapidly filling with water from the broken mains. The Ambulance Service soon arrived so he left them to it as he had to get back to his Fire Service Unit. 

    Charlie George at his home No.132 Drayton Road in 1995
    We enjoyed meeting Mr. George. He made us feel very welcome and related his memories with clarity, and humour.

    Norwich City Works Department.

    Mile Cross Central Depot

    In 1958 Norwich City Council agreed that the City Works Department
    should be brought together in one centralised depot. Prior to this
    there had been depots based at Nelson Street, Barker Street, Westwick
    Street and Fishergate. However, it would not be until 1965 that the
    Mile Cross Depot would be as we know it today.

    The site for the New Central Depot was some 6.5 acres. It was partly made up from landfill, a large bulk of which was from the bomb damaged
    sites in St. Benedict's. The New Depot was situated on the southern
    side of Mile Cross, bounded on it's northern side by Drayton Road and
    on it's eastern side by Mile Cross Road. At the time it was thought
    that access to City routes would be more amenable.

    Four sections of the City Engineer's Department would be brought together in the new Depot. They comprised The General Works, Building, Plant and Stores Sections.

    The General Works Section would be concerned with day to day repairs of Council municipal properties and public buildings. Cleansing  operations were also carried out with a fleet of mechanical road vehicles to clean the city roads and empty gullies. It also included for the Sewer,
    Trench and Highways Inspectors who would arrange for emergency repair and maintenance works.

    The Building Section was divided into two sub-sections: Erection and
    Maintenance. The prior concerned itself with new build projects such
    as Council houses, flats, garages and old peoples' homes. A large
    labour force would be employed to carry out these works. They included labourers, carpenters. bricklayers and other skilled tradesmen, many of whom were instrumental in building the New Central Depot. 

    The Maintenance Section undertook alteration and maintenance
    work of Council owned properties. Gangs of painters would be required
    to continuously repaint the many thousands of C Council houses.

    The Plant Section housed the Maintenance Garage, and Fitting and Turning shop, the Electrical and Public Lighting section, and what was then referred to as the Blacksmith and Sheet Metal workers shop.

    The Blacksmith and Sheet Metal workers shop would repair small items of tools such as chisels, picks and flag stands, in addition to the
    construction of any new items of plant. 

    They were also involved in the construction and maintenance of steel barriers, railings and gates.

    The Garage serviced and maintained the City Council's large fleet of
    vehicles and items of plant such as road rollers, concrete mixers and
    water pumps. It also provided vehicle testing to Ministry of Transport standards for it's own and public owned vehicles.

    The Fitting and Turning Shop undertook the repairs and maintenance of
    plant ranging from lawnmowers for the Parks Department to large items
    of machinery used in civil engineering and pumping stations. It also
    undertook precision work for other departments.

    The Electrical and Street Lighting Section provided a number of services
    concerned with street lighting and road signing. It employed a number
    of electricians that undertook the maintenance of all Council buildings and properties including schools, parks, markets and swimming pools. 

    The Stores Section held and distributed the many and wide range of tools and materials required by the other three sections. The advantage of having three sections situated together are easily recognised as this made for easier and more efficient working practices.

    The Building Section working in Mile Cross 1930's

    Working in conjunction with the Building and Woodworking Shop , the Joinery and Woodworking Shop would produce a wide range of items for the maintenance and upkeep such as window sashes and doors. Desk, tables and special types of furniture for the schools would also be crafted.

    They were also involved in the construction and maintenance of steel barriers, railings and gates.

    Stories abound from the early days of the New Depot, some of which give us a valuable insight into the daily lives of the work force. The following accounts have been related by older employees who look back with some fondness on those early years.

    Back in 1965 most of the work force would have been recruited from the
    Mile Cross and surrounding City areas. Given that different -members
    of families could be working together there was a sense of camaraderie and a feeling of local pride.

    Prior to moving to The New Central Depot all operatives would be require to commence work by "clocking on". It has to be noted that, whether by design or default, shortly before the relocation took place the dreaded clock was demolished by the rear end of a lorry, under the guidance of an employee at the Westwick Street Depot. The clock system was never re¬≠introduced. It does, however, count for some compensation to the
    "clocking on" system that the Joinery Shop would commence work on the sounding of a loud bell for many years to come.

    In the mid sixties the ongoing road programme within the City was under
    way. The average size of each road gang was some fourteen to fifteen
    men, who at any one time could be located at various sites around the
    City area. One story which stands out and shows what different times
    we live in, concerns the method of payment for these scattered gangs.
    Employees' wages would be delivered to site in cash. 

    This operation would be carried out on a weekly basis by the wages clerk, who would travel to each site in the relative comfort of a taxi cab.

    On hot summer days the road gangs were kept suitably cooled by copious amounts of barley water administered to them from a large metal
    vessel. For that portion of the workers who were not overly fond of
    barley water piping hot tea was also on offer. The preparation and supply of these beverages was entrusted to the care of a tea boy.

    The Joinery and Woodworking Section

    In this present day and age when health and safety procedures are
    paramount in our working lives it has to be remembered that in the early years many of the operatives working in the Joinery Shop had fingers or parts of fingers missing. Far from hindering the operatives these losses were looked upon with pride and most considered their first injury as acceptance into the "brotherhood of joinery".

    In modem days of automated gritting of icy roads, where sand and grit
    are mixed to the right proportions, it may be prudent to spare a thought for the gritting crews of 1965. Crew members were required to stand on the flat back lorry with boots bedded firmly into sand to maintain support. From this point they would shovel their load manually from the moving vehicle. often in harsh weather conditions.

    Apart from safety issues it is apparent that welfare amenities have also
    changed dramatically. Compared with the present day of microwaves and
    takeaways the early canteen facilities were of a very basic nature.
    The provision of food from a canteen was not yet available but the work force were supplied with tea for the sum of one old penny per cup. However, the customer was required to supply his own cup or mug!

    Today we look upon women in any industry as acceptable practice but in 1965 women were not a prominent feature. with only one female employee, who worked in the Administration Department. After the initial shock of employing a female worker in a male dominated industry the
    barriers quickly fell. 

    Soon women would begin to contribute more an more to the effective running of all departments. Women can now be found working successfully across the board on all fronts of the City Works Department.

    The growth and development of the Depot since those early days has
    included the amalgamation of three further Sections, namely the Building Cleaning Section and the Refuse and Grounds Maintenance departments.

    The Building Cleaning Section provides cleaning services for all public
    buildings and public conveniences. 

    The Refuse Section carries out the
    collection of waste, both domestic and trade. It also undertakes pest
    control operations. 

    The Grounds Maintenance Department is responsible
    for the upkeep of parks and gardens, with tree care specialists for felling and pruning.

    The Mile Cross Depot has also added six sub-depots based across the City serving local housing areas.

    The importance of the Central Depot can also be gauged by the role played by Norwich City Works Department, who are recognised as an emergency centre for natural catastrophes such as gales, flooding and other seasonal conditions.

    From the early years the City Works Department has evolved into a
    department in its own right. Owing to the massive changes in recent
    years within local authorities it has found it necessary to compete in a financially demanding market place. This feat they have achieved with not some small measure of success and claim that in winning contracts they have become as competitive as any company within the private sector. 

    All works that are undertaken by City Works Department conform to the relevant Local Government Acts.

    The competitive field in which the Council now operates gives City Works
    the potential to maintain employment. In 1995 Norwich City Works
    Department proudly celebrates its 30th Anniversary in Mile Cross.
    With no prospect of relocation in the foreseeable future the site would appear to be flourishing and will continue to play a vital role in the growth and development of the Mile Cross area and the City of Norwich.

    V.E.Day commemorations fifty years on

    On Saturday, 6th May 1995, the Mile Cross Community Association
    organised an evening of entertainment for the residents of Mile Cross. It included a cafe selling food made with war-time type rations, photographic displays of war-time memories and of the Mile Cross Area, interesting films presented by John Watson from the East Anglian Film Archive, a forties Concert Party and last, but not least, a fashion parade of the period. The following is a memory of the day from one of its participants.

    The whole atmosphere of the day was filled with excitement, nerves and
    uncontrollable fear. Everyone taking part in the event felt a strong sense of bonding and togetherness. The `fag ash Lils" was a spur of the moment decision. It was just the three of us, myself (Amanda Hunter), Ella Jones and Sarah Watson.

    Sarah Watson. Ella Jones & Amanda Hunter as the "Fag Ash Lils"

    For myself the 'fag ash Lils" added just that extra bit of fun and
    entertainment, as well as showing the other models that if the three of us could go out and make fools of ourselves and have a good laugh then so could they.

    When it was time for the fashion show to start the nerves and excitement
    grew stronger. Behind the scenes it was a mad rush, clothes flying
    everywhere and models dashing in and out. After we had all been on
    the cat walk we wanted more and all the practising had paid off.
    Finally came the time for the 'fag ash Lils" to go on. We felt rather embarrassed with our feather dusters but there was no turning back. We went out and dusted everything, including people in the audience, the feelings of fear left us and we wanted to do it again and again. After the finale we could hear the continuing applause and we all knew it was a success and for myself it was a pleasure to have been a part of that wonderful day.

    The models: Sarah Watson, Ella Jones, Amanda Hunter, Claire Matthews, Aaron Crompton, Ian Thompson and Alan Foyster, Kelly Foyster. Kate Ewes, Pam Topson, Stacev Foyster, Toni Thompson and Sam Crane.

    An extract from An Historical Journey from Norwich to Fakenham by T. B.
    Norgate in Norfolk Fair - June 1972

    After passing the old horse trough at the fork of the Fakenham Road with
    that to Cromer, the road passes the old lime kilns and "chalk
    farm" that used to be on the right going down the hill.

    the next roundabout is a reminder of the old Manor that used to
    belong to Sir John Fastolf, a contemporary with the Paston family in
    the fifteenth century The Inn is called "The Manor House"

    next Inn is at the fork of "Galley Hills" and so named, as
    earlier e- the hill was less euphemistically called "Gallows
    Hill" for an obvious real n

    The dip in the road was shown on early maps as "The Slough" and even now the site lives up to its reputation after heavy rain when water collects sometimes from one side of the road to the other.

    Early maps show a "Poor House" for Hellesdon on the main road at
    this point.

    There were two tollgates, one where the Ring Road crosses the other at the Aylsham cross-road. The old toll-house for the latter has, in fact,
    not long been demolished.

    definition of SLOUGH: Miry place or hollow: a bog; a
    swamp;: a quagmire. SLOUGHY: Mire, boggy, marshy.

    Kett's Rebellion. The Norfolk Rising of 1549 - Stephen K. Land 1977

    In Search of Robert Kett
    The Mayors of Norwich 1403 to 1835 - Adrian Hoare Cozens-Hardy & Kent 1938

    The Mayors & Lord Mayors of Norwich 1836-1974 Patrick Palgrave-Moore 1978

    A Comprehensive History of Norwich - A.D. Bayne 1869

    The Great Hospital 1249-1949 - C. B. Jewson 1949

    The Walls of Norwich City & County of Norwich 1910

    Kellys Directories & others Hamilton's Postal Directory - Vars. 1879

    Hellesdon Past and Present - RS. Joby 1977

    A History of Hellesdon Village - Kenneth Hipper 1978

    An Historical Atlas of Norfolk: 1993

    Turnpikes and roads p. 69 

    Lime Burning & Extractive Industries p.79

    Mile Cross Memories (Moments from the Past)

    Richard Joby, John Jones & Mary Manning 1993

    Mile Cross Community Festival committee

    The History of the City & The County of Norwich - John Crouse 1768

    Norfolk Crosses (N.A. No.25, pp. 292-336) - Basil Cozens-Hardy 1935

    Barrow Excavations in Norfolk 1950-82
    East Anglian Archaeology Report No.29 - Andrew J Lawson 1986

    The excavation of a Ring-Ditch on Sweet Briar Road, Norwich. 1982
    Norfolk from the Air (Norfolk Museums Service) - Jane L. Bown, Derek
    A. Edwards 1987

    Norfolk Milestones Part III. (N.I.A.S. Journal Vo1.4 No.4) - Carol M. Haines 1989

    City of Norwich New Central Depot - City Engineer, Nch.City Council 1965

    Eastern Evening News

    Norman Primary, Dowson Infants and Primary

    Various Log Books

    Pictures will be restored when available as will any mistakes in text.

    © 1995/2015/2017/2018