At the meeting of Norwich Writers’ Circle on 17th May we received the adjudication of entries for the Past Search Trophy for Non-Fiction, as sponsored by writer and NWC member Gill Blanchard.
Local writer, historian and former Sheriff, Nick Williams had taken time to read and carefully analyse the 2,000 word essays, proposing people, places or events that deserve a coveted Blue Plaque in Norwich. In his opening remarks, Nick said: “These competition entries have been a pleasure to mark and I am impressed by the high standard of both research and writing.”
’He went on to give feedback to each writer. The wide variety of topics included Gurney Court, Robert Watts, a former Lord Mayor, New Mills, Jenny Lind and Lawrence Scott. And then the moment we were all waiting for. The winners!
Andrew Heron on Jenny Lind, popular Swedish opera singer and philanthropist who gave her first concert in Norwich in 1847. The Children’s Department at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is named in her memory.
Mickie Dann on Robert Watts, 18th century notorious murderer and the last man to be executed in Norwich on the actual site of his crime.
Barré Funnell on New Mills Yard on the River Wensum, now a neglected landmark in the city, yet with a rich history since 1430 of grinding corn and supplying water.
Iain Andrews on Gurney Court.
Phyllida Scrivens on Joyce Morgan, Lord Mayor of Norwich 1975-6
Paul Taylor on Laurence, Scott and Electromotors
As is our tradition, each entry was read aloud with members and visitors agreeing how much we had all learnt about our city. Sponsor Gill Blanchard endorsed the adjudicator’s comments about the evidence of research and resulting narratives. Chairman Phyllida thanked Nick Williams for his endeavours and invaluable feedback before the meeting enjoyed refreshments and conversation.