Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Market Farces.

Much hot air has been expended about the recent reorganisation of the market. I feel it might be interesting to show the second reorganisation (the first was in Victorian times) that was completed in 1936. Market, Memorial Gardens and City Hall were designed to be one homogenous whole along with various improvements to roads and tree planting along the Walk and beneath the Guildhall.

This (probably copyright) picture is taken from the Souvenir programme for the opening of Norwich City Hall 1936. This is the sketch that was provided by the architects (C H James and S Rowland Pierce) after they won the the architectural competition held to choose a new design for the building. The layout for the market was designed by Robert Atkinson.

City Hall did not quite turn out as in this picture but the market did. Please note the presence of a tram in the foreground and also the statue of the Duke of Wellington which was later moved to the Cathedral Close. It was still envisaged that all the stalls would be cleared away at the end of each day allowing a space for meetings, dances etc. Ironically given how claustrophobic the market has become the programme says "It has been the aim of the Corporation to ensure that the new Market Place shall form part of a civic centre worthy of a City famous for its open spaces."

Edwin Lutyens' war memorial has been moved from below the Guildhall and placed in "a terrace garden which it is hoped, will make a colourful foreground to the new building and also a position of dignity for the War Memorial. Beneath the terrace a large vault has been constructed in which the Market Stalls will be stored when not in use."

"The Market Stalls for the most part will be open wooden stalls of the usual type, which will be of a uniform design. The fishmongers and butchers, however, will be provided with a box type stall designed to keep the fish and meat exposed for sale free from dust and dirt"

"All the stalls will be covered with canvas tilts of varying colours, so that the Market will lose nothing of its previous picturesque appearance."

The Angel Of The East

Long before Anthony Gormley had built The Angel Of The North. it was envisaged to have a 30 foot tall angel perched 185 feet above the City of Norwich. I am sorry that it never was built.

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