Saturday, April 26, 2008

Norwich Lanes

Our Oz friends who work near Cambridge, Susanne and Crosby, were here for the weekend, so we thought it was about time we wandered through the famous Norwich Lanes. When you have an old city with narrow little streets, rather than knocking all the old buildings down so you can drive cars through there, you make them a feature as they are.

This is Elm Hill, and not strictly speaking one of The Lanes - you can, in fact, drive a car down this street ... although the cobblestones are the roughest I have ever seen. The tourist blurb says that there are more Tudor houses in Elm Hill than in the whole of London. I guess there really aren't many Tudor houses in London!

This street is really short, and just around on the left before the church

would be the old village green with the pump still there - but locked down now. (We used to use one of these when we lived at Little Tom's Cottage in the '60s.)

The church at the end of the street is very much part of the scenery in Norwich. There are / were 52 churches - one for every week of the year, only a few of them still operate as churches. There were also 365 pubs ...

The really amazing Tudor house was not in Elm Hill at all, but in Tombland.

We actually went to the tourist information office to find out why it's called that. Apparently, back in the day, it meant a wide open place - like a market place - and it still has wider pavements than in other parts of Norwich.

Amazing, init?

We went through into the courtyard and had a look at the back, too.

Everything was so delightfully crooked and curvy.

A Time to Dance

We must have missed the memo, because we still don't know what was really going on, but everywhere in the narrow lanes, tinkling there way between the bustling crowds of tourists, there were Morris Men - and women. At various places there were dances.

There were several teams of the traditional white-hanky-wavers.

And there were some less traditional mixed teams.

Then there was a parade of all the teams through the lanes.

There was even a crocodile man who seemed to be getting people ...

We all forgot our cameras - all of these pics were grabbed on my little Nokia phone.

The rest of the weekend was totally English: wet and drizzly ... but we there was always lots to talk about.

Hey! Maybe that's why the Brits are such great conversationalists ...