Exhibition: Norwich Blitz, Norwich Arts Centre, until May 5 2012
Seventy years ago, Hitler had Norwich in his sights as part of the famous Baedeker Raids that saw the German Luftwaffe target Britain’s historic cities.
Starting at 11.40pm on April 27 1942, bombs rained down on the "fine city" until 1.15am on April 28; landing with devastating precision on the railway station, a maternity home, the grammar school the telephone exchange and many historic buildings.
In that short time more than 160 bombs were dropped, leaving 155 casualties, 600 injuries and a city’s landscape forever changed. A second raid was to take place on April 29, followed by a third on May 1.
Yet rumour has it Hitler was strict in his instructions for the Town Hall not to be hit, as he felt its Germanic architecture and grand balcony in the centre of Norwich would provide the perfect backdrop for a victory speech that was, thankfully, never to be.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Baedeker Raids, which take their name from the famous guidebook to historic British cities that the Nazis used to plot their attacks, Norwich Arts Centre is holding a special exhibition of more than 60 archive photographs charting the extent of the damage and the people that survived to pick up the pieces.
An innovative selection of work entitled "Blitz Ghosts" by photographer Nick Stone is also included. Stone has digitally combined historical Blitz photos with modern ones to create powerful images of destruction in the modern-day Norwich landscape.
Images courtesy of Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service. Enjoy thousands of images of Norfolk’s unique history at: www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk