The Norwich Society

Events ONLINE TALKS

THE HISTORIANS VIRTUAL TALKS SERIES

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

The Norwich Society is pleased to present these virtual talks for you to enjoy from home.

The Historians Group is looking forward to post-pandemic times when we can begin our monthly meetings in the Library Building once again. We have decided that rather than waiting until then we are creating pre-recorded and live online talks.

All our videos can be watched on our YouTube channel here - live events will be added afterwards.

If you find our talks interesting, please like and subscribe.

The Jewish Heritage of Norwich

  • Open to all
  • Online Webinar
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Sophie Cabot

This talk explores the long Jewish heritage of Norwich and the new Norwich Jewish Heritage Group.

A look at Jewish heritage in the city, including the medieval community which flourished from the 11th-13th centuries and the post-readmission community which has been in the city since the 18th century and which is now represented by two active religious congregations as well as many citizens of Jewish heritage. The talk will also introduce the new Jewish Heritage Group for Norwich, which has been developed with the project ‘Community Archives; Skills, Support & Sustainability’ at the Norfolk Record Office, and explain how this group is seeking to expand public knowledge of this aspect of the city’s heritage. Our speaker will ask why Jewish heritage is so underrepresented in people's understanding of Norwich, and offer some ideas for future projects to address this knowledge gap.

Sophie Cabot is a Community Archivist at Norfolk Record Office. An archaeologist by training, she is also Secretary of the Norfolk & Norwich Archaeological Society, and was formerly engagement Manager at Norwich HEART.

Image credit: Picture Norfolk

This is a recording of the event, which took place on April 28th 2022, 10:30am

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Jarrold 250 Years: a History

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Pete Goodrum

A journey through the development of the Jarrold business from its retail beginnings in Woodbridge to its current position - this is the story of a business and the people who built it.

This live online talk explores how and why the business moved locations, expanded into different sectors and withstood commercial and societal changes. Who were the people who built this business? Why is there so much more to this story than is often perceived? Given unfettered access to the Jarrold commercial and personal archives, our speaker – Pete Goodrum – has written the first account of the company’s history in over a century, and the most comprehensive account of the business ever.

Pete Goodrum is a Norwich man. He has held senior positions in advertising agencies, working on national and international campaigns, and now works as a freelance advertising writer and consultant for a wide range of clients in both the public and private sectors. He is also a successful author; his book ‘Norwich in the 1950s’, topped the local best seller charts for almost three months, the sequel, 'Norwich in the 1960s', also reached the number one spot. In 2020 ‘Jarrold 250 Years: A History’, published to celebrate the company’s anniversary, went straight to number one, staying in the charts for the rest of the year. He has also contributed to the Society’s publication, ‘Aspects of Norwich’.

Pete makes frequent appearances on BBC local radio, writes and presents TV documentaries and is a regular reader of his own work at live poetry sessions. Pete has a real passion for the history of Norwich and Norfolk.

This is a recording of the event, which took place on March 31st 2022, 10:30am

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The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874: Heroes, Victims, Survivors

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Phyllida Scrivens

This live online talk will examine the facts behind the tragic events of the night of 10 September 1874, afterwards described by the Board of Trade Inquiry as 'the worst collision on a single track line ever seen in the history of the railways’

This illustrated presentation will also explore the identities of some of the heroes, victims and survivors, as researched in depth by the speaker; names that until now have only appeared in memorial lists of those involved.

Our speaker, Phyllida Scrivens, graduated from the School of Creative Writing at UEA in 2014 with an MA in Biography. Her resulting first book Escaping Hitler, the remarkable life story of the late Joe Stirling, was published by Pen and Sword Books in 2016. Phyllida has since written two further biographical works, The Lady Lord Mayors of Norwich 1923-2017, winner of the Best Biography Prize at the East Anglia Book Awards 2018, and in September last year, The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874, an extensive exploration of a controversial incident which took place only a short distance from her home in Thorpe St Andrew. For over six years Phyllida has been a popular public speaker, sharing stories from her books and research journeys, with audiences in venues all over Norfolk as well as more latterly online.

This is a recording of the event, which took place on February 24th 2022, 10:30am

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Shardlake's Tudor History of Norwich

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Vanessa Trevelyan

1549 was a tumultuous year for Norwich as Robert Kett and 10,000 followers besieged the city and demanded social justice from the king. This is the setting for C.J. Sansom’s best-selling novel featuring Tudor Lawyer, Matthews Shardlake.

This live online talk follows in the footsteps of Shardlake as he visits Norwich and is caught up in the rebellion. This is possibly a first for the Norwich Society, taking a fictional character as the basis for a talk about a key period in Norwich’s past, in an event which will prove just as fascinating whether viewers have read the books or are still yet to! There is still so much of Tudor Norwich to see, and we hope it will encourage people to explore Norwich and read the Shardlake novels.

Our speaker, Vanessa Trevelyan is a past Chair of the Norwich Society but, perhaps more importantly, a founder member of the Friends of Kett’s Heights, which was set up to help maintain the site and raise awareness of its historical significance.

This is a recording of the event, which took place on January 28th 2022, 10:30am

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150 years of Sewerage in Norwich

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Matthew Williams

The city’s first public sewerage system opened exactly 150 years ago last August, but how were the major geological and topographical challenges overcome in building it? Did it work? Has the system been changed or extended since then?

While preparing on a book about subterranean Norwich, Matt became intrigued by the depth and size of some of Norwich’s sewers, part of a hidden underground system we completely rely on, but hardly ever think about. In this talk, he draws together fragmentary information from a multiplicity of written and visual sources, and has crossed the city looking for manhole covers, to tell the story he calls ‘Norwich’s Netherflow’.

Matt is a chartered geologist and Norwich historian with an interest in tracing continuity from past to present, and in particular in how the city functions as a physical entity – his thesis being that ‘geology drives everything’. He spent 30 years in the construction industry and now enjoys writing local books while working part-time as a professional cycle instructor.

This is a recording of the event, which took place on December 16th, 10:30am.

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Norwich and Norfolk and the Fight Against Slavery

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Ian Smith

From the 1780s onwards campaigns against the evils of the trans Atlantic slave trade and the harsh treatment of African slaves in the West Indian colonies grew in importance nationally. Ian will explore the response in Norwich and Norfolk.

How many local people attended meetings? Or signed petitions? And did people actually stop consuming sugar and rum produced by slaves? What roles in the national campaign were played by local figures such as Joseph John Gurney, Amelia Opie and Harriet Martineau?

The anti-slavery movement broke new ground. Never before had petitioning of parliament been deployed so intensively. Never before had weapons like the boycott of goods been used. Never before had public opinion been successfully aroused over the abuse of civil rights in a distant part of the world. Ian evaluates what part Norwich and Norfolk might have played in this success.

Ian Smith is well-known to us as an erudite and fascinating speaker about 18th Century Norwich. After a career in the Diplomatic Service he enrolled at the UEA where he completed a masters degree and began a Ph.D focusing on the history of Norwich during this period. His talk this time will be on Norwich and Norfolk and the Fight against Slavery.

This is a recording of the event, which took place on April 8th, 10:30am as our first live online talk.

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A Tour of Norwich Guildhall

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Richard Matthew

A virtual tour of this important, but often overlooked and taken for granted building located in the centre of Norwich.

Richard Matthew is a former Guildhall guide, and this tour focuses on the physical history of the building in the city from the 15th Century through to the present day.

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The Undercrofts of Norwich

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Terry George

This talk is a voyage of discovery as Terry introduces viewers to the treasures hidden beneath our feet as we walk through the streets of Norwich.

There are in the region of 80 Undercrofts beneath the city of Norwich, Terry has managed to gain access to around 60 of them. Some are accessible to the public, for example at The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell and Dragon Hall, but many are located underneath privately owned buildings, haven’t been visited in years and are all but forgotten.

Retirement has provided former teacher Terry George with an opportunity to explore the subjects he is passionate about. Terry’s talk follows on from an article in the Norwich Society’s Member magazine, Aspects of Norwich Autumn 2019, and was received with much enthusiasm and featured in the Eastern Daily Press. This publication can be purchased from The City Bookshop and Jarrold, see publications for details.

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300 Years of Pantomime in Norwich

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Michael Blackwell

A look at the history of pantomimes in Norwich over the past three hundred years. Grab a light-stick and a bucket of pick-and-mix and enjoy the presentation!

On behalf of the Norwich Society Historians Group, Vanessa, Jo and Michael would like to wish our growing band of members a very happy Christmas season…or at least as happy as it can be in the present trying circumstances! We thought we’d give our video release for December a seasonal theme - and what better than a trip to the pantomime!

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The Norwich Pub Detective: Evidence of Former Pubs & Associated Stories

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Jonathan Hooton

Norwich has had the reputation of a pub for every day. This claim is examined and taken as a starting point for finding out where they have all gone.

The Norwich Pub Detective examines the evidence still to be found to identify former pubs in the City of Norwich and its suburbs from the blindingly obvious to the obscure and quirky. It also is an excuse to discuss many of the interesting and intriguing stories from the past that surround our former pubs.

Jonathan Hooton is a City of Norwich Tour Guide, a former Head of Geography at Notre Dame High School and has a fondness for, and plenty of experience of pubs. He has been a regular feature in the Society's event programme, and had been scheduled to deliver both a live talk and a guided tour of Norwich pubs in the 2020 summer events programme.

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Theatre in Norwich in the Long 18th Century

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Michael Blackwell

An exploration of what sorts of dramatic performances could be seen in Norwich, where these took place and the censorship theatre companies frequently had to deal with.

Michael has led on the coordination of the Society's Historians Group talks for a number of years. He has a particular interest in theatre and in this talk he shares his research on theatre in Norwich during what historians call 'The Long 18th Century', from the Restoration period in the early 17th century through to the Regency period in the early 19th century.

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Historical Research: Making and Using Maps

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By John Trevelyan

A look at how to use existing maps in historical research, as well as how to create maps to illustrate research findings.

John Trevelyan is Chair of the Society's Civic Environment Committee, and presents this video as the second in our Historians Virtual Talks Series.

Accompanying notes to this video can be downloaded here.

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Bridges of Norwich from Carrow Bridge to New Mills

  • Open to all
  • Free (non-members) / Free (members)

By Vanessa Trevelyan

A tour of Norwich's bridges, comparing the bridges we see today with historic images.

Vanessa Trevelyan is a Former Chair of the Norwich Society, and presents this video as the Society's first virtual talk.

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