Streets of Norwich – St. Faith’s Lane (Horse Fair to Prince of Wales Road)

Part of my Streets of Norwich project….

St. Faith’s Lane is a long road (and has historically been much longer), so this is just the section from Horse Fair to Prince of Wales Road. In the above 1880s map, there isn’t really much on this section, an orchard and a few buildings on the left-hand side and just a couple of buildings on the right-hand side, which is now Stuart Gardens.

These houses overlook Horse Fair and were built somewhere around the turn of the twentieth century. The house with the black door is 32 St. Faith’s Lane and in 1939 it was lived in by:

Percy Smith (born in 1891, worked as a traffic foreman for the omnibus company)

Mary Smith (born in 1896, a housewife)

Philip Smith (born in 1923, a trade apprentice at Laurence & Scott)

The Regent Theatre sign is still visible on the substantial building on the right-hand side. The black doors on the right of the photo are numbers 22 and 24 St. Faith’s Lane. Having a little look at the 1939 register, these were lived in by the Thurston and Lake families respectively.

John Lake, listed as the head of the household at number 24 St. Faith’s Lane (the black door to the furthest right of the photo) worked as a cinema electrician, which was handy if it was the cinema behind that he worked in. He was also an ARP warden, but the register marked him as an untrained warden, so I assume he had just signed up to help the war effort.

This is the rear of what was the Regent Theatre, which became the ABC cinema (there’s an interesting video of that at http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/213377) and later Mercy nightclub, which then closed. But more on this when I get to the Prince of Wales Road post, which this building fronts on to.

More of the former Regent Theatre on the right and the entrance to Stuart Gardens is visible on the left. Ahead is Prince of Wales Road and in older maps, St. Faith’s Road went much further, but the next stretch is now known as Eastbourne Place.