Cat no. 474

Proud City

Running time37:11 Colour Sound 1955 Norwich, Norfolk

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An in depth look into how Norwich City Council spends the money collected in rates.


DocumentaryPortrait of a Place

The film begins with aerial views of the City showing the City Hall and the Castle. A close up shot shows the daffodils growing on Castle Hill. R.H. Mottram takes part of a tourist on a guided tour of Norwich. This operates as a device to show the main tourist attractions of the City in quick succession. The 'tour' given by the camera includes The Castle, showing interior and exterior scenes. The party visit St. Andrew's Hall, Elm Hill, The Cathedral and the Close and the Maddermarket Theatre. There are high angle shots of the market and scenes showing the Guildhall and the City Hall. The City Hall provides the link to the main subject of the film; how the City Council spends the money collected in rates. Interior scenes of employees at work show them typing and at a drawing board. The commentary mentions that the City has built 5,600 public works houses since World War II. A slum clearance scheme at Vauxhall Street is shown in its completed state. The site of the Heartsease Estate, started in October, 1954, is shown before building work started and then building is seen in progress here and on other developments. There are brief scenes of the Lakenham Secondary Schools under construction.

The film takes a cradle to grave approach to displaying the services of the City Council. It begins by looking at the work of the City's midwifery service. Midwife takes specialist oxygen equipment to a baby born at home. New infant and junior schools built at North Earlham features along with the Colman Road Special School. Children play in the sand pit and in the paddling pool at the infant school and playing cricket at the junior school. At Colman Road Special School, children take part in handicraft classes. There is also a school garden tended by the pupils. At the Lakenham Secondary Modern Schools, boys do PE outside the school. The film shows science classes at the Blyth Grammar School for Girls and at the City of Norwich School. The girls dissect a frog in biology; the boys undertake an electronics experiment in physics. This sequence also shows school milk. At Norwich City College there are interior scenes showing an electrical laboratory, engineering workshops and the carpentry and joinery workshop. All students are male. At the School of Art students demonstrate screen printing and other textile methods.

The film links the education with a section covering other services by showing the Free Library, the Earlham Branch Library and road crossing patrols, one of which is undertaken by a WPC. The next section covers the services offered by the City Council. Police Officers leave the Bethel Street Police Station. They are seen on traffic control at Orford Place and there are high angle shots of motorised patrols. The police river control also features. The ambulance service transports a patient in an iron lung. The volunteers of the Civil Defence Corps are seen on a training exercise. The rescue squad rescues a casualty from a burning building and then the volunteer ambulance crew take over. Fire engines leave the Bethel Street fire station and undertake a drill, rescuing a casualty from a smoke filled building. The City's Weights and Measures Department check gas metres, loaves of bread and petrol pumps. They visit the bottling plant of a dairy and a flour mill. There are interior shots from both of these. The electricity generating station features, showing the coal gantry and corporation supply yards. Road maintenance is reviewed, showing the construction of a roundabout in Mile Cross and the gritting service. The construction of the sewage disposal plant at Whittlingham in 1954 features along with the rubbish tip at Harford. The cattle market is shown and there are shots of the site at Harford chosen for the new market. The Health Department checks meat carcasses after slaughtering and a new industrial site is under construction. At the water department there are interior shots of the laboratory and exterior shots at the Heigham Waterworks. The film reviews the leisure amenities in Norwich. It shows the swimming baths at Lakenham. At Earlham Park children play in the river Wensum. The flower beds at Waterloo Park are filmed along with the swings and the paddling pool. Heigham Park and Chapelfield gardens also feature. The Earlham Golf Course is shown and some of the City's 2757 allotments. The cradle to grave theme of the film continues with shots of old people's homes at The Lawns and Eaton Hall. A section on the pageantry of the City completes the film. This shows the opening of the assizes at the Guildhall before transferring to the Shire Hall. The Assize judge arrives to be greeted by the Lord Mayor. Also present are the Town Clerk, the Sheriff and the under-Sheriff. All are in full regalia. The final scene is of the assize Sunday service in the cathedral. This was conducted by the bishop. RAF trumpeters offer a fanfare as the party leaves the Cathedral.

Background Information:

Bernard Storey was the Town Clerk in Norwich.The Earlham Golf Course was the site designated for the new University of East Anglia in 1960.


On 15th May, 1997 it was announced that £4.1m of money from the National Lottery had been awarded to Norwich City Council to refurbish some of the City's Parks. £1,115,000 was designated to renovated the bandstand and ornamental ponds at Waterloo Park. The Pavilion was restored as a multi-purpose hall. An event stage was added and a cycle route and car park provided. £61,000 was provided to restore the fountain and pool in the rose garden at Heigham Park. A maze was planned also.

Featured People:

R.H. Mottram, former Lord Mayor of Norwich; Rt. Rev. Percy Herbert, Bishop of Norwich; Ian Dunbar Dickson, MC, MD, Lord Mayor of Norwich; Assize Judge; Sheriff; Under-Sheriff; Town Clerk

Featured Organisations:

Norwich City Council; Proud City.

Featured Events:

The opening of the Assizes at the Guildhall ; The Assize Sunday Service

Featured Buildings:

(All Norwich.); City Hall The Free Library; The Castle Earlham Branch Library; St. Andrew's Hall The Police Station, Bethel Street; The Cathedral The Fire Station, Bethel Street; The Maddermarket Theatre The Lawns; The Guildhall Eaton Hall.North Earlham Infant School The School of Art; North Earlham junior School ; Colman Road Special School; The Lakenham Secondary Modern School for boys ; The Lakenham Secondary Modern School for girls; Blyth Grammar School for Girls; The City of Norwich School ; Norwich City College

Norwich City Council

Norwich City Council

W.G. Kemp

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