Notable Celebrations

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Coronation Bonfire

King George V -1911. Workers from the Gurney Estate, building a Bonfire on St. James Hill, Mousehold Heath, near Norwich, to celebrate the Coronation of King George V.Lady Isobel Gurney, wife of John Gurney and some of her grandchildren are in attendance. Catherine Gurney memories of this event. There were other excitements too and this may have been before the new King’s visit and in fact the evening on the day of the Coronation, a massive bonfire had been erected somewhere on or below Mousehold Heath, and we as small children were invited by two young officers to watch from Britannia Barracks which high up looked directly down onto the City. We climbed the steep cold staircase to the Officers room, where they had kindly laid out a feast of goodies, but insulted me by asking my nanny if she thought I ought to have bread and milk. At that age, when I was all of four, and in a blue silk frock with medals for the Coronation. We looked from the windows as the light faded and saw the massive pile of the bonfire, burst into flames and little people who looked black dancing and rushing around, my father and mother had to hurry back from London, where they had seats in Westminster Abbey for the Coronation ceremony as the Lord Mayor of Norwich had to light the bonfire.

Cavalry Barracks visit by King Edward VII

The Cavalry rode across the Heath to their drill ground, now the Heartsease Estate and Schools, and King Edward VII reviewed troops with many thousands of the populace of Norwich and its neighbours, in particular the slope between Britannia Barracks and Gurney Road, as a great open terrace to see the King pass. The laying of the 1st stone, of the new Cavalry Barracks situated on Salhouse Road and Heartsease Lane junction, by King Edward VII, date 1909. Unfortunately due to the start of 1st World War, it was never built and it became Mousehold Airfield, playing an important role in the development of aircraft and engineering by Boulton & Paul Ltd, Norwich. The King`s carriage leaves under the decorated archway entrance of the Mousehold Cavalry Ground, via Salhouse Road.