Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Abandoned Boozers of Norwich #1: The Shoemaker

When I first came to Norwich for the university, one of the most common things I’d hear amongst fellow newcomers was the old, You know, Norwich is meant to have a pub for every day of the year.

Whether or not this was ever based on fact, I don’t know, but in mid-2010 this Norfolk adage rings increasingly hollow. Whether blame lies with the smoking ban, home drinking with cheap supermarket alcohol, the credit crunch, or elsewhere, pubs certainly feel quieter than in years past, and more and more appear to be standing empty and dead.

Back when I arrived, The Shoemaker (presumably named in honour of Norwich’s shoe-making past) was certainly open: I would pass by on the way to my girlfriend’s, but never checked it out, so couldn’t comment on its health circa 2000. Moving across the city, I promptly forgot its very existence, until almost ten years later when I ended up back in West Earlham. Wandering these streets again, The Shoemaker stands thus.

These photos were taken in May 2009. Today, 12 months later, a story in the Evening News details how The Shoemaker is about to be demolished, to make way for cheap homes. According to the article, it opened on April 16th, 1955.

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