In a matter of days the very first Magdalen Street Celebration (that we know of) will take place in, you guessed it, Magdalen Street! I am super excited about this for several reasons, not least because I simply adore this quaint and magnificent street and all it represents.
When my partner and I finally made the decision to up sticks from our beloved London to this Eastern outpost, where he’d spent his teenage years and I’d enjoyed visiting over the last 10 years, we were looking to live in an area of Norwich that would provide a suitable barricade against what we imagined would be a difficult transition. When we viewed potential homes in this area and discovered Magdalen Street, we both knew immediately that this was the place for us. It had our increasingly important requirements of sustainability, diversity and creativity written all over it.
To our fresh from the capital eyes, the street easily held our interest, seemed vibrant and edgy, a bit run down but open to improvement, full of charity shops (essential to one who buys only two new items of clothing per year), antique emporiums (perfect for sourcing the vintage furniture our new home would need), a wide variety of interesting restaurants, pubs, cafes and food stores as well as some fabric related shops (irresistible to a crafts person such as myself). And, of course, the beautiful river flowing through at the bottom. What more could two East London evacuees, wide eyed and desperate to retain a bit of cosmopolitanism in our new East Anglian lives, need?
Yes, there was the somewhat harsh 60s architectural disaster of Anglia Square to contend with, but what beauty does not benefit from a less stunning background to give it a lift! Knowing that design improvements were on the agenda helped immensely yet time has revealed that there is something quietly poetic about the stark lines of the flyover and square against the irrepressible creativity pushing its merry way out through the pavement cracks towards the sunlight.
So, less than 5 months ago, we moved to glorious NR3. The transition proved an easy one and we discovered that not only does Magdalen Street hold all the treasures we’d hoped for and more, but there are many other folk here who also see the beauty and potential of this entrancing street. Compelled to meet with them we enthusiastically joined in the plans to celebrate all that is wonderful about the area and this Saturday sees the culmination of those plans. With music, art, theatre, dance, story sharing, historical tours and more, we will celebrate a community that is diverse and transient, yet rooted deeply in Norwich history; a fine example of sustainability and a showground for Norwich’s creativity. I can’t wait. See you there!
by Rachel Lalchan
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