The M&GN and me – chasing ghosts to the coast.

Ever since I was just a boy I’ve been more than a little bit obsessed with an old, abandoned railway line skirting the southern edge of the Mile Cross estate between the back of Sloughbottom Park and the River Wensum. In more recent times we’ve come to know this former railway as a footpath/cycleway named the “Marriott’s Way” and if you’ve ever wondered why the footpath is named this way, read on. Continue reading “The M&GN and me – chasing ghosts to the coast.”

Mary Jacobs, now and then.

Reduced 75 Valpey

Just a brief entry to show that I haven’t disappeared completely. I’ve had my fingers in far too many pies of late and haven’t had time to concentrate on one thing long enough to form anything coherant enough to form one of my usual long and rambling entries.

This merging of two photographs – or ‘Ghost’ image – is of a Mary Jacobs, standing at the gate of her recently acquired Valpy Avenue home.

Back then – for reasons unknown to me – the area in which all of the houses South of Drayton Road and to the West of Havers Road were referred to as ‘The Drayton Estate’ and not Mile Cross, even though they were built by the same builders and on the same piece of purchased farmland as the rest of the estate.

It’s likely that before moving into this house Mary would have lived in one of the yards and slums around (or not too far from) the area that is now known as Anglia Square.

These new houses must have been a dream come true to former residents of the slums; they had fresh, running water; loads of space, big gardens for growing fruit and veg, indoor toilets and this particular row, a fantastic view of the Wensum Valley, complete with regular Steam engines puffing through the middle of all that scenery – a far cry from the unsanitary conditions, gloom and squalor, typical of those old and cramped yards closer to the city centre.

Mary passed away in 1938, but her family remained in this home for many years after.

Original image supplied by Mary’s Granddaughter, Susan McClarence, who informs me that her sister was born behind those very walls.

Until I can find the time to write something a little more in-depth, thanks for looking.

Stu.