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  Reprinted from Newsletter 91, dated 1999 April

Newtown centenary JN

Norbins Road looks the same now as a century ago, if you disfigure this 1903 postcard with overhead wires and a zillion temporarily abandoned cars.

Down behind St John’s Church in what was once the “north vineyards,” the last of the red-brick terraces of Norbins Road were being built exactly 100 years ago. The builder, John Barnett, constructed “Grosvenor House” for himself— the palazzo of the Poeti family for the past 40 years.

  This view from Paul Branson’s collection was mailed to Ohio in either 1903 or 1909 (even then, postmarks were illegible — and Somerset already had its own way’s with apostrophe’s).

  Isn’t it strange that in the days of horses and waggons, nobody would have dreamt of leaving them cluttering the streets, but as soon as the horseless carriage came along it was considered willy-nilly right and proper to park them absolutely everywhere?


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