From 7-10 September, The Fine City of Norwich will be busy as a bag of frogs.
People will be running around historic buildings, gasping with wonder at the fascinating past which has been hidden in plain sight before their very eyes.
Because it will be Heritage Open Days!
An annual celebration of local history, where a vast number of places open freely to all to explore and discover that multi faceted mirror to our lives we call The Past.
I’m pleased to say a lot of these people will get the benefit of my latest bit of graphic work, ahem, when they follow The Norwich Heritage Hunt.
I have designed, illustrated and written the leaflet, which will guide them from The Forum to the Cathedral, on a short walk taking in five places where they can meet costumed characters with a strong connection to those locations.
Its A4, introduction and information on one side, and this specially created street map on the other.
I must say, this map has been quite a job. It has to be simple and clear to lead everyone safely, both local folk and strangers, through the streets of the busy city centre. There are small, important details which not even all the locals know, such as the tiny St John’s Alley, which goes actually underneath a church tower.
And which of the magnificent gates into the Cathedral Close is the Erpingham Gate – choose the wrong one and you will miss meeting the great Sir Thomas himself.
So I had to think carefully what streets to leave out, and what useful landmarks to squeeze in, without it getting too busy.
And I had to suggest a fun element, give you some idea of what to expect, by showing the characters. But fitting them in around the street guide – tricky! Needless to say, it isn’t to any actual scale, c’est impossible!
The Hunt should be fun; for example you can find Elizabeth Sotherton, a Mediaeval merchant wife, in St Peter Hungate Church. Living nearby, she would have known it well. Her hubby is an important man in the city, but she is absolutely minted from her own business dealings, let alone his.
You can meet Will Kempe, Shakespeare’s most well known comedy actor, at the Maddermarket Theatre. Though by rights he should be a bit puffed, having just danced all the way from London to Norwich in just nine days. He finished the dance (done for a bet, so its said) just about where the Theatre is today.