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Norwich Gazette
October 1904.

Sunrise: 7:20 AM
Sunset: 6:00 PM
Temperature: 65F

Bright and warm, with a refreshing breeze; clouding over later. Small chance of light showers in the evening.

A Quick Guide to Norwich

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A Quick Guide to Norwich

Post  God on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:54 am

As of 1904

The City
Behind the crumbling mediaeval walls lies a warren of winding cobbled streets; crammed with timber-framed Tudor, brick Stewart and whitewashed Georgian buildings. With the exception of the occasional modern building, the street gas-lamps and the products advertised in shopfronts, the district has barely changed since Napoleon.

Without a doubt, it is the most valuable piece of real estate within Norwich; the majority of shops and public buildings are clustered here, there is enough nightlife present for hunting - the architecture itself almost seems to be designed with such pursuits in mind. The main issue for them is the amount of old religious buildings that fill the district, requiring detours to avoid the worst unease generated.

Most of the resident kine population are wealthy [or their servants]; the district traditionally being the preserve of the regional elite; gentry, professional men and financiers. Their homes often resemble their current position; impressive and dignified, but of a slightly worn and faded kind. Some of the grandest properties have been sold in recent years, and despite the neighbour’s complaints about 'lowering the tone' of the district, have been converted into [admittedly well-heeled] flats.

Places of Note:
Norwich Cathedral is one of the finest and largest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe, constructed by 1200. Originally with an attached monastery, it has the second-tallest spire in the country, which can be seen throughout the city. It now sits in an elegant informal park which is popular with locals.

Norwich School is alongside the Cathedral; based in what used to be the monastery. It is one of the oldest public schools in the country and easily the best school in the region. Despite this, due to it's Anglican links and classical curriculum the school is suffering from declining pupil numbers.

Norwich Castle is a stone keep originally constructed by William the Conqueror, with later curtain walls, towers and a now-drained moat. Long used as a palace, keep, prison and armoury, it has recently been converted into a museum.

The Guildhall is a small-windowed, flint-built Gothic building, dating from around 1400. It is currently the headquarters of Norwich City Council.

The Dragon Hall and Strangers' Hall are excellent examples of Tudor architecture; all age-warped timber, lead-lined windows and lime-washed plaster. Rather unassuming in appearance, they are the headquarters of Norfolk County Council and the official home of the Mayor of Norwich respectively.

The Law Courts are an elegantly modest neo-Classical building, sitting beside the River Wensum. It is the highest court in the region – only the High Court in London can change it's judgements.

St John the Baptist's is an ornate neo-Gothic Catholic church, occupying the site of the old Norwich Gaol. Now almost complete, it is the second-tallest building in Norwich.

The Assembly House is a large Georgian mansion, converted soon afterwards to house art exhibitions, formal events and the like. It also contains a surprisingly decent art collection, museum and library of it's own. Unknown to the Kine, it is the sole Elysium in the city.

The Blue Boar is a solid Georgian coaching-house on what was the London Gate. Before the construction of the Imperial Hotel in 1880, it was the best hotel in the city. It is known to be the main residence for visiting Kindred.

Cow Tower is an mediaeval cannon emplacement on the north-eastern tip of the district. Originally built to stop enemy ships sailing up the River Wensum, it is now simply an old stone structure in a small riverside park. For some unknown reason, it seems to be a popular hangout for local crows and ravens.

Chapelfield Gardens is a large formal park, along the western city wall. Opened in the 1870's, it contains ornamental fountains, a neo-Gothic bandstand and several bronze statues of local luminaries.

Curl Brothers is Norwich's first, and for now sole department store. A large multi-floored emporium open until 8PM, it is housed in an extravagantly ornate building which looms over much of the older buildings in the district.

St Crispen's
This district is directly north of the City, over the River Wensum. The original village was all but demolished over a century ago, making way for the long, tree-lined streets and squares flanked by Georgian buildings. It is the cultural heart of the city; most of the theatres, upscale restaurants and gentleman's clubs are in this district. While hunting opportunities for well-dressed Kindred are almost as good here as in the City, unfortunately the layout of the place means there is less privacy to be had.

This district is the most fashionable Norwich has to offer, though not as prestigious as the City. Most of the Kine inhabitants are professionals, upper grades of white-collar workers and with a sprinkling of young gentry who can't afford to live in London full-time.

Places of Note:
Colgate Arcade is Norwich's first and only indoor shopping street. Built near the turn of the century in the Art Nouveau style, it has become the place where the most prestigious [and expensive] shops are. Interestingly, it is frequently open until 9PM.

The Playhouse is an large, ugly modern building in a prime location in the centre of the district. It is the largest music-hall in the city, but it's offerings are a sanitised version of it for the middle classes. However, it is highly popular.

Theatre Royal is a small, rather gaudy Baroque building by the River Wensum. At this moment it is barely in use, due to loss of resident acts [to the Opera House] and apparent proprietor dithering on what future role - if any - the old Royal has.

Imperial Hotel is one of the more distinctive buildings; six stories tall, covered in fine brick latticework of several different colours and with green slate roof. It offers luxurious rooms with all the most modern comforts, full valet service, menus solely in French and nothing has a price written on it.

Grand Opera House is a new, ornate construction built due to the small size and general unsuitability of the Theatre Royal for larger productions. 'Mid-brow' and 'conservative' in repertoire [Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart etc], it frequently attracts acts from London.

Thorpe Hamlet
Crossing the River Wensum eastwards from the City is the town of Thorpe Hamlet. The air here has a distinctive tang; that of cocoa and mustard, two of the district's major employers.The streets are modern, humble and crowded; at all hours there will be the sounds of train engines, machines working and trucks being shunted. For lower-class Kindred, Thorpe is the best they can hope for; a wealth of pubs, music-halls and brothels which serve the locals makes hunting not overly difficult.

The Kine here are the higher grades of the working class; mechanics, engineers and other skilled workers, living in modest, yet sturdy modern terraced housing. Hours are long and the work is hard, but these kine are generally financially secure.

Places of Note:
Victoria Station is the main railway station for the city of Norwich. An rather gaudy palace to the wonders of the steam engine, it is usually the first sight a visitor sees of the city. Behind it are the large yards and repair shop, servicing the factories and the local trains for the region.

Colman's Mustard Factory, Caley's Chocolate Works & Jarrold's Print Works are the three main employers in the district. All three are large, dark-bricked buildings with hordes of workers and deliveries day and night. All three are well-regarded as employers.

The City Gasworks sit on the rural edge of the district, but their huge towers are visible across most of the city. That is when the visibility is good - for converting coal into "town gas" for lighting is a messy business, and is one of the major contributors to the lack of fresh air.

To the south of the City lies the slum of Lakenham, the counterpart for Thorpe Hamlet. It is a textbook of the failures of the industrial age; overcrowded, disease-ridden, squalid holes where people literally starve and freeze to death during a period of slack work. Only sketchily patrolled by kine police, it is a place where the criminal, the desperate and the poor are pushed into close contact and then left to their own devices. Naturally, this place is great for hunting, as long as the Kindred doesn't mind being derided as a bottom-feeder or running the risk of becoming a "plague dog".

Places of Note:
The Boulton & Paul Iron Foundry, Hatton's Leatherworks and Rove Slaughterhouse are the major employers in the district - and the main reason for the putrid reek that hangs over the area. Like the factories in Thorpe, they are active day and night. Unlike them, they offer backbreaking, unsecured work for a pittance.

Lakenham Docks are the only one serving the city; allowing transport of goods between Norwich and the North Sea via the river Yare. While small when compared to the ones seen in cities such as London and Liverpool, it keeps the city supplied with bulk goods such as coal, cotton and timber.

Newmarket Road lies on the extreme rural edge of the district, near the local railway station. It is a 'football stadium' which can have several thousand kine watch a match at once. Currently home to Norwich City FC.

To the west of the City lies Eaton, a rather depressingly dull "suburb" filled with modern semi-detached homes inhabited mainly by the bourgeoisie; wealthier shopkeepers, managers and the like. There is little of real interest here, and that's how the residents like it. For a Kindred, hunting opportunities are few; though there is enough activity not to make it a figurative desert.

Places of Note:
Mousehold Cemetery was opened due to the lack of burial space in the traditional churchyards some twenty years ago. While not that full, it contains enough gravestones, statues and mausolea to remind viewers of the "Final Certainty" of existence.

Queen's Hospital is the main healthcare facility in the city, and the leading one in the region. That says something about the quality of medicine, as the hospital is understaffed, overcrowded and unsanitary even by current standards. Perhaps this is the reason why it is directly beside the Cemetery?

Eaton Fields are a huge stretch of heathland on the fringe of the district, larger than the district itself. The only structure is the ruins of an old church, deserted save a few wild sheep which live on the Fields. For whatever reason, locals tend to shun the place.

The Norfolk County Cricket Club lies on the southern edge of the district, almost on the River Yare. It is one of the unofficial outposts of local "Society"; invitations to join are rare, for Society is quite choosy who they interact with.

To the north of Eaton and west of St Crispen's lies Dereham. Built mainly during the last century as an overspill of the City and St Crispen's, over the decades it has grown to become a town in it's own right. Solid and generally unpretentious, it is mainly inhabited by shop workers, clerks and the like.

Places of Note:
The Octagon Chapel is the first Methodist chapel in the city, built in the 1750's. A fine example of English neo-Palladian architecture, it is also now the home of the local branch of the Salvation Army.

Earlham Synagogue was the first purpose-built place of Jewish worship in the region, back in the 1780's. While building it was a sign they felt secure in the country, the fact it is almost impossible to identify it out of the row of townhouses says they weren't confident enough to advertise themselves.

The Commercial School was set up to cater for parents who disagreed with the Norwich School's classical curriculum or were unable to attend on religious grounds. While the teaching is not as good as their competitor's, it is at least more focused on modern subjects, such as science and living languages.

The New Police Station is large, gloomy and built like a fortress. It is the headquarters of the East Anglian Constabulary, which is responsible for law enforcement throughout the region. It is here that most of the police detectives, scientists and doctors are based.

The Norwich Workhouse is only marginally more friendly-looking than the Police Station. It is nothing more than a dumping-ground for the extremely poor, abandoned children and those seriously ill but unable to afford treatment. Few adults leave the prison-like rooms alive.

The Red Lion is a rather large nondescript building. Despite it's pub-like name, it is in fact an overspill for the City Council. Currently, only the records department is based here.

Sexton, Son & Everard is the largest shoemaker in the city and the district's single largest employer. Based on the edge of the district by the River Wensum, it mainly produces shoes for women and children.

The Sewer Works is a group of splendidly ornate neo-Gothic structures on the banks of the River Wensum, a monument to the city's pride for their modern sanitation which has banished the threat to cholera.

North-west of St Crispen's lies the neat bungalows and small country villas of Hellesdon. On the fringe of the city, it is primarily inhabited by kine with a private income or in a comfortable retirement – it is particularly popular with those which served their working lives in the Empire.

Places of Note:
Hellesdon Asylum is the sole mental hospital in the region. Hidden away with a screen of trees and stout walls, few know what goes on inside. And even less care.

Royal Norwich Golf Club is sprawling, private and expensive. To be invited to join is a mark of favour even higher than the Cricket Club; for people of national importance are known to enjoy the greens and clubhouse on occasion.

New Catton
To the north-east of St Crispen's lies the village of New Catton. Only with a few hundred kine residents, it is only of interest to Kindred due to the fact it also contains the prison and barracks.

Places of Note:
HMP Norwich is the region's sole prison. Only opened a few years ago, it is one of the new purpose-built prisons, with running water, secure cells and tight security. It houses hundreds of prisoners, from petty thieves awaiting trial to convicted murderers waiting to be executed.

Britannia Barracks is the home of the Norfolk Regiment, some 1,600 strong. Mainly infantry, but with cavalry, a small stock of artillery and support units too.

See Also: A Quick Guide to East Anglia

'Writing is the most fun a person can have by themselves' - Terry Pratchett

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