The Norwich Society

News 2022


See the Events Programme

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The 2023 Events Programme will be released in early December.

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Book now for November's Historians Talk

The Norwich Society Historians Group is for those with a special interest in Norwich History.

See HERE for details.

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The Norwich Society Historians Group is for those with a special interest in Norwich History.

Since the start of COVID-19 in 2020, speakers have been producing videos of their talks, these can be watched on our YouTube channel here.

Happily this Autumn we are once again able to hold live talks in the Forum's Auditorium, but where possible we will continue to provide videos of talks so everybody has the opportunity to enjoy them. See HERE for details.

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East Norwich Masterplan - The Society's views July 2022

The Society seeks to offer the long view of these new opportunities within the context of Norwich’s long and dynamic history.

Find out about the Society's views HERE

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The Society's next AGM is on June 28th - documentation now available online

The next Norwich Society's AGM is planned for Tuesday 28th June 2022 from 7pm at The Forum, Norwich.

All members are invited to join us for the Society's Annual General Meeting later this month. As well as voting in this year's Trustees and confirming administrative requirements such as the financial accounts, we'll also be joined by the Lord Mayor and hear the first announcements about how the Society is planning to celebrate our centenary next year!

We'll also be starting the summer 2022 events programme with a talk about the History of the Plantation Garden.

Our AGM and talk is free to attend, but entry is for members only.

Find more details and AGM documentation at

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The Norwich Society's comments on the latest Anglia Square plans are now available

The Norwich Society shares the City Council’s desire to see a final and successful resolution to the Anglia Square issue. Our aim is not to oppose for opposition’s sake or to seek repeated call-ins and public inquiries.

Looking back over the length of the pre-application process, we must commend the applicants on their willingness to engage with the community and at the resources and efforts they have dedicated to the task. There are numerous instances where the architects have picked up on specific community ideas and made detailed amendments to their plans. However, the essence of the development proposals before us is the same as that which was first publicly aired last autumn. The Norwich Society therefore formally objects to the latest planning application (22/00434/F) and believes that, if the application is determined in its present form, it should be refused permission.

The Society believes that the proposed development pays insufficient regard to the character and appearance of the Norwich City Centre Conservation Area and to the important heritage assets in the vicinity. As things stand, the development will cause significant harm to heritage interests because of its heights, massing and layout. The Norwich Society also believes that the development would not provide the standard of residential environment that should be expected of such an important site, due to its high density and the layout and orientation of the units proposed.

In our judgement, significant amendments will be needed before planning permission can be granted. Nevertheless, the Norwich Society remains keen to work with the City Council, the developer and the Anglia Square community to help solve the challenges that remain.

Our full comments can be read here: New Anglia Square Proposals Response, May 2022

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The recording of the recent debate on climate change is now available to watch online

This recording of the thought-provoking debate sponsored by The Norwich Society which took place on 23rd April 2022 at The Forum, Norwich is now available to watch on our YouTube channel.


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Book tickets to our next online Historians Talk - The Jewish Heritage of Norwich

10:30am, Thursday 28th April, online webinar

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.

This talk is free, but must be booked in advance


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Debate booking now open: How Should Norwich Adapt to the Adverse Consequences of Climate Change?

23rd April, 3:30pm at The Forum

This event is FREE, but must be booked in advance

Extreme weather, flooding, storms, damage to infrastructure, impact on biodiversity, soil quality and human well-being – the potential adverse consequence of climate change will require planning and changes to how we live.

What adaptions will Norwich have to make, what’s the timeframe and outlook for the city, and what are the main obstacles we need to overcome? This thought-provoking debate sponsored by The Norwich Society will see speakers from across the political spectrum discuss these questions and more.



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Book tickets to our next online Historians Talk - The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874

10:30am, Thursday 24th February, online webinar

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 online talk is FREE but must be booked in advance.


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Book tickets to our next online Historians Talk - Shardlake's Tudor History of Norwich!

10:30am, Friday 28th January, online webinar

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 talk is free to attend, but must be booked.


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