Post-war housing in Norwich: a bicycle tour of the fine city's domestic her...

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Image credit: Union Street, Coach and Horses (30 June, 1962) from the archive of George Plunkett

At the end of World War II, Norwich had a housing waiting list of more than 7,000. By the start of the nineteen-seventies, Norwich had the highest proportion of council housing in any city outside the capital. At the peak of construction in the nineteen-fifties, around 1,000 homes were being completed annually. According to John Boughton, author of the forthcoming book Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing (Verso Books, 2018) "it also had some of the best."

This bicycle tour will complete a circuit of the city of Norwich, exploring the origins of Norwich's post-war need for housing, and the varied designs of its different estates and developments. From the largest estates to the lesser known infill developments, we'll consider the different architectural and urban responses to Norwich's dramatic twentieth-century growth.

The tour is a 'pilot' in anticipated of future tours and is offered at no charge, although critical feedback and donations will be welcomed. At the end of the tour, we will adjourn to a pub for a warming pint.

Important notes:

• Rendezvous point in central Norwich (NR1 / NR2) to be confirmed nearer the time.

• Please bring your own bike. Check your tyres, brakes and chain before the tour. Bring bike lights and an adequate lock.

• Wear appropriate clothing, including scarf, gloves, etc. The tour will take place regardless of the weather.

• We will be cycling on a variety of public roads, shared footpaths and dedicated cycle paths. You will be responsible for observing the Highway Code at all times.

• You should have a reasonable level of fitness, but we will pace ourselves according to the slowest rider. We expect to cycle no more than 8 miles over the course of three hours, with some moderate gradients.

Don't have a bike? Rent one from:

Abellio Bike & Go (Norwich Station) - note, you must register in advance to receive a membership card.
Bicycle Links (135-137 King Street)
Ofo (dockless, throughout Norwich) - download the app and use coupon code Y03EPg for a free ride

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