Cat no. 470

Norwich Festival

Running time33:01 Colour Silent 1951 Norwich, Norfolk

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Events of the 1951 Norwich Festival.


ActualityArchive AliveHistoryMilitary

The film opens with scenes from the Civic Service in Norwich Cathedral on June 17th to inaugurate the Festival of Britain Celebrations in Norwich. The Lord Mayor's coach and horses travel through the City and arrive at the Cathedral. The Lord Mayor, Eric Hinde, is greeted by the Bishop of Norwich, The Rt. Rev. Percy Herbert and they enter the Cathedral. There is a static shot of the Order of Service and then of the dignitaries leaving the Cathedral. There is a parade of dignitaries around the Close before the Lord Mayor departs. These include the Sheriff of Norwich, Norman Tillett. He can be seen throughout the film in many of the sequences that feature the Lord Mayor. There are shots of crowds in the Close. The Lord Mayor's Coach leaves. A sequence concentrates on some of the flower displays around the City. These are in evidence throughout.

The next sequence features the arrival of HRH Princess Elizabeth to Norwich on June 18th to open the Festival. The crowds are filmed at Thorpe Station, which is bedecked in flags. The crowds are also filmed in the City around the Guildhall and the City Hall. There is a brief shot of the Princess's motorcade. She enters the City Hall with the Lord Mayor. Both make speeches from the balcony before the Princess leaves for the Castle to open the Colman Galleries. She arrives at the Shire Hall and leaves from the Castle entrance. There are shots as her motorcade pulls away. The Princess went onto the Assembly House.

The Lord Privy Seal opens the Norwich Industries Exhibition at St. Andrews and Blackfriars' Halls.The Navy's little ships at Foundry Bridge are filmed. Local dignitaries are invited to a sherry party on board. Navel personnel show small children around some of the boats. on 23rd June at Whittlingham Reach, crews prepare their boats for a regatta. There is also a brief scene of a small bore rifle shooting contest at Crown Point on 21st June.There are scenes of the Festival Carnival from Eaton Park on June 24th. This included Stanley Lindbergh's Dive of Death, although Lindbergh repeats this several times, once on fire.

There are shots of the crowd and of a beauty contest. Miss Norwich is presented with her sash. There are scenes of a gymkhana.The Festival Pageant, Norwich Through The Ages is seen at length. The caption reads, Mid-day Saturday. The initial procession was at 7.00 pm on Wednesday. This is a day time repeat that took palce at 3.00 pm on Sunday afternoon, 24th June. It features the band of the Royal Norfolk Regiment leading the various displays along Castle Meadow. These include Roman Soldiers, various medieval scenes, Kett's Rebellion, Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles II and Nelson. There is also someone being burned at the stake and a float representing the wool trade and weaving industry in the County. There are shots of the outside of the Festival Theatre. The sign shows that the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sergeant, were to play in the evening. Crowds outside wait for the arrival of the Guests of Honour, Prince and Princess George of Denmark. Various dignitaries leave City Hall and arrive at the showground to attend the Royal Norfolk Show at Keswick. There are scenes from the displays in the arena, including the musical ride of the Household Cavalry.Norwich Festival 1951.The Lord and Lady Mayoress pay an official visit to the Navy the River Wensum to view the Pavilion D'Or vessels on June 26th. A long sequence shows many craft on the River Wensum near Foundry Bridge. There are sailing craft and motor cruisers as well as some naval vessels. Some of the larger navel vessels leave Norwich passing under Carrow Bridge that has its leaves raised. The Festival also featured coach tours. One of these is seen leaving from St. Peter's Street. There is a brief shot of a walking tour around the city as it stops to admire Elm Hill. Some of the window displays from the Festival competition, organised by the Chamber of Commerce, feature. There follow (very) brief shots of the Railway Exhibition at Thorpe Station and of the funfair on Cattle Market Hill. This ran from Monday June 25th. The final scene is from the finale, inside the Odeon Theatre.

Background Information:

This was the official photographic record of the Norwich Festival. W.G. Kemp was a Sergeant in the Norwich Police. Norwich was one of the designated regional centres for the Festival of Britain and staged its own Norwich Festival


Norwich, Norfolk, 1928, Gala Day At Norwich.

Featured People:

HRH Princess Elizabeth; Miss Norwich; Eric Hinde, Lord Mayor of Norwich; Prince George of Denmark; Mrs. Hinde, Lady Mayoress ; Princess George of Denmark; The Rt. Rev. Percy Herbert, Bishop of Norwich; Norman Tillett, Sheriff of Norwich

Featured Organisations:

The Royal Navy.The Household Cavalry;

Featured Events:

The Festival Of Britain; The Royal Norfolk Show

Featured Buildings:

Norwich Cathedral; Shire Hall; Thorpe Station; Assembly House; The Guildhall; Carrow Bridge; The City Hall; Festival Theatre; Norwich Castle; St. Andrews Hall; Blackfriars' Hall

W.G. Kemp

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