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St Margaret, Norwich
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As with St Laurence, St Margaret was recommended for redundancy and eventual demolition by the Brooke Report, the first of these ensuing in 1975, by which time the report's plan to demolish the churches and sell off their sites had been defeated, largely by popular outcry. The city council had wanted to wipe out the jumble of medieval and later buildings that form the wedge between Westwick Street and St Benedict's Street, and turn it into a really sexy traffic junction - four lanes of cars and lorries coming together from two different levels to be funnelled down St Andrew's Street and into Bank Plain. Now, thirty years later, we find it preferable to keep traffic out of our cities, and it is salutary to think that we came close to losing our heritage for a temporary town-planning fashion.
St Margaret is a pleasant church to visit, if you can, as it is not open except when there's something on. It seems well suited to its modern usage, and we can only hope that the funding is in place to secure it for the future.
Simon Knott, November 2005
You can see thousands of George Plunkett's other old photographs of Norwich on the Plunkett website
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