Cat no. 637

Come With Me To Norwich

Running time17:44 Black & White Sound 1952 Norwich, Norfolk

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A travelogue of Norwich presented by Richard Dimbleby.


DocumentaryIndustrial / Sponsored FilmPortrait of a PlaceTravel / Travelogue

This film opens with a shot of Richard Dimbleby's supposed diary page for June 10th Tues. Norwich. Interviews. 1) Sir Robert Bignold. 2) Mr. James Hanley. 3) Mr. Harold. 4) Mr. Stuart. 5) Sister Thorne and Mrs. Howell. The film shows brief shots of Norwich itself, setting its subject. There are shots of the Maids Head Hotel, of the Castle, the Cathedral and of City Hall. The geographical position of Norwich is established as lying between the rivers Yare and Wensum. The Yare is represented by shots of the river front at Thorpe St. Andrew, the Wensum by shots of the Port area of Norwich alongside Riverside Road. After further views of the Cathedral, Castle and the City Hall there are shots of a narrow pedestrian street, showing St. Peter Mancroft in the background. The film continues with a rapid collection of shots showing the Suckling Hall, Elm Hill, Strangers Hall, the Maddermarket Theatre and the Assembly House. Shots of the offices of the Norwich Union Insurance Society, formerly the home of Samuel Bignold, introduce an interview with Sir Robert Bignold. This takes place in one of the former guest rooms of the Mansion. Sir Robert speaks of Norwich's historic past, represented by shots of the Guildhall, and of how the city is moving with the times. This is illustrated by shots of Prince of Wales Road. He also speaks of how Norwich is rebuilding after World War II. There is a shot of a ruined building standing next to a new industrial block. He also describes the foundation of the Norwich Union. There are stills of horse- drawn fire engines and Sir Robert shows the camera the silver plate worn by firemen to identify themselves and of the fire mark that identified insured buildings.

The film returns to being a travelogue showing the Guildhall and then the Cathedral. There is a procession of clergy into the cathedral and the commentary highlights its spire, the second highest in England. There are further shots of Prince of Wales Road. In The Close the film shows the statues of Nelson and Wellington as well as Edith Cavell's grave and her memorial in front of the Maids Head Hotel. There are quick shots of some of Norwich's Churches. St. Peter Mancroft, St. Michael at Plea, St. Andrews and St. Giles appear in rapid succession before the film focuses briefly on St. Peter Hungate, a museum of ecclesiastical art. Shots of The Bridewell Museum introduce an item on the Norwich shoe industry. Richard Dimbleby interviews James Hanley, a shoe manufacturer and President of the Norwich Boot and Shoe Manufacturer's Association. He explains that the footwear industry in Norwich concentrates on ladies' fashion shoes and children's shoes. He has some examples on his desk. The film shoes a footwear designer at work and then there are long shots showing the workroom in the factory followed by close up shots of some of the operatives at work. James Hanley speaks of the good labour relations within the shoe industry - there hasn't been a major industrial dispute for 50 years.Dimbleby's next stop is at the Cattle Market on Castle Hill. This, he explains, is the largest outside Smithfield. There are interior shots of the Corn Hall and then Mr. Harold, a local farmer. He explains that local farmers are moving away from cereal crops and into growing sugar beet. He also explains the importance of barley to the local brewing industry. Mr. Stewart explains about buying mustard seed. There are shots of mustard growing in the fields and then shots of the Mill at Stoke Holy Cross and of Colmans' Carrow Works. Interior shots from here show some of the processes of milling mustard. It is analysed in the laboratory and then milled, sieved, blended and packed.

The film returns to its travelogue, showing the junction of Castle Meadow and Prince of Wales Road. The Royal Hotel, the Agricultural Hall and the post office are in shot. There are further shots of Norwich Streets before Dimbleby visits Caley's chocolate factory. Here he meets Mrs. Howell and Sister Thorne who discuss industrial health and the provisions made by Caley's. There are shots of the exterior and interior of the factory. Some of the processes of manufacturing chocolate are shown. Grinding, checked by George Swain, mixing, refining and making the fondant cream. These are placed in moulds and then covered with chocolate. They are placed to set in the refrigerator and then packed. Dimbleby finishes his tour with a shot of the (empty) canteen.He returns to the Castle to visit the art gallery. There are interior shots of this. Outside the 'Twenty Group' of local artist hold an exhibition of their work.

Background Information:

The series of 'Come With Me' films featured:
1951 Bridport
1952 Berwick-upon-Tweed
1952 Swansea
1953 Norwich
1954 Cardiff
All the films can be viewed in BFI Player


Many of the Norwich Street scenes are a record of how Norwich looked before large parts of it were pulled down to build the Bethel Street Library. Mr. Alan Steward (called Stuart in the film) worked for Colmans.

Featured People:

Sir Robert Bignold Mrs. Howell; Richard Dimbleby, presenter; Mr. James Hanley; Mr. Alan Steward; Mr. Harold George Swain

Featured Organisations:

Caley's; The Norwich Boot And Shoe Manufacturer's Association; The Norwich Union Insurance Society

Featured Buildings:

The Agricultural Hall; The Maids Head Hotel; The Assembly House; Norwich Union Insurance Society offices; Augustine Steward's house; The Post Office, Prince of Wales Road; The Bridewell Museum; The Royal Hotel; Caley's factory; St. Andrews Church; Norwich Castle; St. Giles Church; Norwich Cathedral; The Church of St. Michael at Plea; The City Hall, Norwich; The Church of St. Peter Hungate; Colmans' Carrow Works; The Church of St. Peter Mancroft; The Corn Hall Strangers Hall; The Guildhall; The Mill at Stoke Holy Cross; The Maddermarket Theatre; The Suckling Hall

Norman Cobb Productions

Norwich Union

General Film Distributors

A National Screen Service Norman Cobb Production

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