Sunday, 17 July 2011

Costessey: Hill Road in the 1940s

Hill Road, Costessey 1940s

I LEARNT a bit more about Costessey’s “shantytown” on Friday – from three gentlemen who are old enough to remember the ramshackle collection of prefabs that sprung up on the old Jerningham estate after the First World War. This photo (leant to me by one of the three, Roy Howard) actually shows one of the more developed streets. Elsewhere, in areas like Ashtree Road and Grove Avenue people were living in converted railway carriages; such was the shortage of more suitable housing. “It was a poor area,” confirmed Roy, “and in the early years it had a bad reputation too. You could buy a plot of land for £50 and move out here, so people did. The roads were just tracks and you’d have to get your water from a water pump. But gradually over the years the shacks disappeared and the houses and bungalows went up instead.” Indeed these days you have to be 65+ to remember a time when New Costessey was anything other than a respectable Norwich suburb.

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