Cat no. 116

British Movietone News: Their Majesties at Norwich

Running time5:01 Black & White Sound 1938 Norwich, Norfolk

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The 1938 Royal Visit to Norwich.



A newsreel record of the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Norwich in 1938, primarily to open the new City Hall. The King and Queen arrive at the City boundary by car where they are met by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Mr. Russell Colman. They proceed to the Guildhall where they meet the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Mr. Charles Watling. The Royal party walk solemnly to the War Memorial and the King lays a wreath of poppies. Contingents from ex-servicemen's organisations and local youth and volunteer groups are inspected. Accompanied by the Lord Mayor, the King and Queen mount the dais to open the City Hall. The King reads his speech in reply to the loyal address. The King and Queen leave in an open car. The Queen visits the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to open the Geoffrey Colman Memorial, a maternity wing at the hospital. She is received by Dr. Cleveland, Chairman of the Board of Management, and opens the wing with a key presented to her by a schoolboy. The King visits Carrow Road to see Norwich City play Millwall. This made history as it was the first time a reigning monarch had witnessed a second division league match. Afterwards the King and Queen visited the Norwich Lads' Club together.

Background Information:

This film is a good record of the Royal visit to Norwich with the exception of the visit to the Mutual Service Club. This is recorded in Time On Their Hands. The City Hall. The new City Hall was one of a number of public works designed to alleviate the effects of unemployment in Norwich during the 1920s and 1930s. Eaton Park and Wensum Park were two other such projects. The City Hall was designed by C.H. James and S. Rowland Pierce, who had won the competition for the best design for the new building, with much of the facade modelled on Stockholm's City Hall. The Foundation Stone was laid in 1936 by the Lord Mayor of Norwich and the building was constructed over three years costing ?220,000. (P. Standley, Norwich Vol. 2; A Second Portrait in Old Picture Postcards. S.B. Publications, 1989.)
Charles Watling. Charles Watling was born in Norwich in 1871 and began life as a stable boy. In 1915 he took over his employers' bankrupt firm Globe Parcels Express. this became known as F.C. Watling Ltd. He became a Liberal Councillor in 1922, Sheriff in 1929 and a Magistrate in 1934. He was active on the Ancient Buildings Committee working on projects such as Elm Hill and was also involved in the inauguration of airways services for Norwich. He died in 1949.Norwich City V Millwall. This match made history as it was the first time a reigning monarch had attended a second division match. This did not catch Norwich City at their best. They lost the match 0 - 2 and were relegated the Division Three (South) at the end of the season. They were unable to re-establish themselves for several years as this was the last full season played before World War II caused the suspension of the League programme. British Movietone News. British Movietone News was the first sound newsreel. It broadcast from June 1929.


British Movietone would have made two versions of this report. The version in the Archive is the longer version that would have been shown in and around Norwich. A shorter version would have been shown in the rest of the country. However, there was no duplication; scenes were cut from the longer version. A jump in the King's speech illustrates this point.

Featured People:

HM King George VI; HM Queen Elizabeth; Mr. Russell Colman, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk; Mr. Charles Watling, Lord Mayor of Norwich; Dr. Cleveland, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

Featured Organisations:

Norwich City F.C.Millwall F.C

Featured Events:

The Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Norwich, 29th October, 1938

Featured Buildings:

City Hall, Norwich.The Guildhall, Norwich; The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; Norwich City Football Ground, Carrow Road.The Norwich Lads' Club

British Movietone News

Leslie Mitchell (reporter)

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