What does history sound like? This collection of songs goes some way to answering that question as it brings to song some of the stories, memories and histories of Anglia Square and its North Norwich communities. The sheer variety of songs collected here is testament to the diversity of lived experience that has shaped and energised this neglected part of our ‘fine’ city over the last few hundred years. They tell tales of community resilience, class war, political radicalism, industrial ingenuity, developers’ dreams; capitalist exploitation, familial love and hard labour. They give voice to the marginalised, the poor, the silenced, the defiant, the futurists, the powerful, and the non-conformers. But what these songs also sound are the now silent material, cultural and industrial landscapes of the area: the clickety-clack of the looms; the scrubbing of dirty work clothes; cries of laughter and despair ringing out from the overcrowded yards; the debt collector’s knock; the hustle and bustle of Shopping Week; the mixing, hammering and drilling of concrete; the hum of tyres in the sky; the hissing of bus brakes at Stump Cross; the ever-present burbling of the river.
To sing these love songs to Anglia Square is to sing the many, many lives of Anglia Square and its communities, past and present. Let’s sing them loud!
Jeannette Baxter, Research Consultant, Anglia Square: A Love Story
Click on the pictures below to learn more about how each song was created and to download lyrics, scores and audio recordings. All choir recordings by BBC Voices and all vocal recordings by Charlie Caine.