Shoe Factory

Gorgate shoe factory 1969

Gorgate shoe factory was a branch of Norwich’s Norvic Shoes. Betty Bates lived in the cottages near Gorgate Hall. Women from Dereham and villages round about were employed sewing uppers which were taken to Norwich for finishing. Jean Woods cycled about 8 miles to work. In bad weather, she left her bike in Dereham and caught the bus to Gorgate. The hours were 8 until 6 with an hour and fifteen minutes for lunch because these were the hours of the Norvic factory in the city. However, there wasn’t very much to do at Gorgate in the break, so they often walked to the Gravelpit pub in Beetley for a shandy.

The building is currently a solicitor’s offices but was also a laboratory researching treatments for asthma and hay fever during the 1940s.

[Courtesy of Ian Clarke, Dereham Times]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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