5 Oct 2018

Follow the Tram Lines to the Mann Egerton Reveal in Norwich

Photo: Alex Clayton

Alex Clayton sent me photos of this recent reveal in Norwich. Located at Magdalen Road (opposite Whalebone Freehouse), it advertises the Mann Egerton & Co Garage, and is a classic gable-end ghost sign. It was covered, and partly protected, by a billboard as shown in the streetview capture below. However, at some other time, the billboard must have been changed and moved slightly downwards as the very top part of the sign got painted over, but then the part below this was visible above the top of the more recent billboard.

The bottom line reads “follow the tram lines” to provide directions from the sign to the garage. I shared the photos with my uncle who wrote back with the following:

“Mann Egerton are a famous old Norwich firm and their main garage I think was in Surrey Street, which is indeed fairly close to the old tram line (see map below) although not on the same line. The line that passes the sign is from City centre Castle Meadow, Upper King Street, Tombland, Wensum Street, Fyebridge Street, Magdalen Street, Magdalen Road, Denmark Road to the depot in Silver Road. The trams were closed down in the early 30s.”

Keith Roberts
Norwich Electric Tramways

It isn’t clear if the billboard has come down permanently, or if it will be replaced/updated in the future. For now, we can glimpse this piece of Norwich history, and imagine a time when the city was navigable by electric trams.

Update: January 2022

The billboard has remained down allowing a few more details on the sign to be made out.

Photo: Keith Roberts.

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