Saturday, 28 November 2015

Researching Norwich: recommended reading

Researching the north of Norwich is a key part of the Magdalen Walks project. Here are some initial thoughts about where you might start. There will be lots more to come as the project progresses. 

Whenever someone asks me what books I can recommend to help them gain a better understanding of Norwich's history & archaeology, there are two key works I refer them to. 



Firstly, there is the excellent survey, 'The Story of Norwich', written by Norfolk Record Office archivist, Frank Meeres. It is an accessible and well-organised work that provides a good overview of the city's development from an archival perspective ie one focused on what historical documents can tell us



Secondly, Brian Ayers', 'Norwich: archaeology of a city', provides a great overview of the city from an archaeological perspective. Brian is the former Norfolk County Archaeologist and is, therefore, in an excellent position to offer rigorous and comprehensive insights. 

If you are intending to learn more about your city get your hands on a copy of each of these. In the first instance, why not go to your local library and borrow a copy. Having read it, you might well decide to invest on your own personal copy. 

Finally, I wish to add that, over the years, Brian and Frank have been amazing ambassadors for Norwich's history and archaeology.  Not only do they give of themselves generously in terms of talks and walks; they are also very approachable and prepared to answer questions and listen to different perspectives. I feel very strongly that we should recognise the value and contribution of experts like them. They have certainly helped me in my learning journey and I am duly grateful to them
both for that. 

Colin



Monday, 23 November 2015

Looking Forward to the Journey




I was one of the volunteers that turned up to session described below by Colin. I'll be adding my less than experienced voice to the blog. Colin will talk fact and I will talk fiction. At least until I know a bit more. In many ways I think this is the essence of what we're trying to achieve. Some people think they're not interested in history. That's like saying you're not interested in yesterday. There are stories all around us that we may pass every day without noticing - they're embedded in the old city walls; they are scored in the pathways along our streets. There is surely something to inspire each of us. 

I am interested in history for history's sake because I like to compare the old with the new and the ancient with the old. I've never undertaken an activity like this before however as my history has been confined to books. I'm looking forward to interacting with the elements and learning to take a better look at what exists in front of our noses. To unearth the stories behind the facts and try to create a picture of what life may have been like.


I'm looking forward to the journey.


Matt

Friday, 20 November 2015

Norwich Over the Water

Eighteenth century prospect of north
Norwich, centred on St Clement's Church
This morning volunteers interested in researching and promoting the history, heritage and archaeology of the north of city will be gathering at The Stage along St Augustines. I will be helping to facilitate this project, which we are calling 'Magdalen Walks'. As well as working together to research our area, by late Spring 2016 we will be offering tours of Norwich 'Over The Water'. Walking is a key part of our venture, and this is about encouraging curiosity, discovery and physical and mental health. In addition, we will be working with BBC Voices to make a series of films showcasing this historic heart of Norwich. 

Having lived in the north of the city for 23 years now, getting the opportunity to help promote the history, heritage and archaeology of 'my patch' really excites me! If you're interested in getting involved, email me on howeychoosetouseit@gmail.com. 

Colin Howey
Freelance Heritage Interpretation Trainer