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Fascinating then-and-now photos show how Dereham has changed over time

PUBLISHED: 14:14 09 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:45 09 October 2017

Briggs Shoe Shop in the Market Place in 1915.  Picture: Gordon Olley

Briggs Shoe Shop in the Market Place in 1915. Picture: Gordon Olley

Gordon Olley

Do you remember Dereham’s slaughterhouse, right in the middle of town?

Former Briggs Shoe Shop in the Market Place today.  Picture: Gordon OlleyFormer Briggs Shoe Shop in the Market Place today. Picture: Gordon Olley

When the Norwich Street abattoir was being washed out rivers of blood would pour down the streets.

It is an image that has stayed with Dereham photographer Gordon Olley for most of his 70 years.

But fortunately it is not one that will feature in a special slide show he is presenting to Dereham Photographic Club later this month.

At the club’s open meeting on Thursday, October 19 Mr Olley has put together a collection of photos from Dereham’s past, many of which he has never shown before.

Ricketts Clothes Shop in Dereham in 1900.  Picture: Gordon OlleyRicketts Clothes Shop in Dereham in 1900. Picture: Gordon Olley

He includes different retail shops in days gone by such as butchers, bakers, clothing and ironmongers.

Early entertainment in the town will be shown in photos of the early cinema and theatre as well as the motor trades and coach companies, and many industries Dereham has lost.

Then Mr Olley will be looking at pubs and hotels over the last 100 years which he has titled ‘Where have all the Pubs Gone’ like the The Bell, The White Lion, The Greyhound and The London Tavern.

“It is amazing to see how things have changed,” said Mr Olley, who took his first photo at the age of 10 when he was given a second hand camera.

Former Ricketts Clothes Shop in Dereham today.  Picture: Gordon OlleyFormer Ricketts Clothes Shop in Dereham today. Picture: Gordon Olley

“I’ve been going through the archives and found several photos that have not been shown before.

“In one photo it shows the Dereham & Fakenham Times office in Church Street. Other shops moved around as well which was surprising.”

Mr Olley points out the demise of the independent bakery - Dereham once boasted 12 as well as a fish merchant and many butchers shops.

“I’ve lived in Dereham all my life and have seen a lot of changes,” he said.

AS Oldham, 4 High Street, Dereham in 1900.  Picture: Gordon OlleyAS Oldham, 4 High Street, Dereham in 1900. Picture: Gordon Olley

“I used to love the livestock markets at what is now the Cherry Tree car park. Farmers would drive their animals to the market on the roads and you can still see signs of that such as rails on the bay windows of the dentist on Wellington Road which were put up to protect it from the cattle.”

Dereham Photographic Club’s meeting on October 19 is open to all and takes place at the Methodist Church Rooms in Toftwood starting at 7.30pm.

Visit the website for more information.

4 High Street, Dereham today.  Picture: Gordon Olley4 High Street, Dereham today. Picture: Gordon Olley

Gordon Olley is presenting a slide show of Dereham's past at an open meeting of Dereham Photographic Club.  Picture: Gordon OlleyGordon Olley is presenting a slide show of Dereham's past at an open meeting of Dereham Photographic Club. Picture: Gordon Olley

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