Explore the lives of Bengali and Sylheti-speaking communities living and working in the Cathedral and King St Quarters of Norwich.
Follow the walking trail and scan the QR code at each marked location to hear a first-hand account of the lives of residents: their memoires of migration, of growing up as second and third-generation Bengalis, and of how Norwich has changed over time.
There are 14 excerpts in total for you to enjoy — the full audio and transcripts of each are available on our website and from the Norfolk Record Office.
Continue your walk down Magdalen Street, home to an eclectic mix of charity and antique shops, independent businesses, and a central spot for some of the city’s finest restaurants.
‘The lesson I learnt from life is tenacity. I never gave up, made a career for myself unaided, always had an urge to move forward and aim to do things for the poor in Bangladesh.’
Here, Wali Ullah tells the story of his ambitious and tenacious journey from Dhaka to Norwich,
where he co-owns Spice Valley, an award-winning Indian restaurant.
Khairul and Shireen Anam
‘For the last 10-12 years we have celebrated the Pohela Baisakh programme in Norwich. On the occasion of this cultural programme, we mix with other Bengali families, arrange pitha mela as well, where people bring various types of pitha dumplings and we eat these together. We were the pioneers of organising these kinds of programmes.’
Then meet Khairul and Shireen Anam, a married couple of 42 years, who pioneered the Pohela Baisakh programme in our city.
Stories From the Quarter is a National Centre for Writing project in partnership with Norfolk Record Office, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund. It aims to document and celebrate the stories of the vibrant and diverse communities that live and work in Norwich.
With special thanks to Mahbubar (Mash) Rahman, Shagufta Sharmeen, Ummay Honi Lethe, Access Creative College, Jason Wick at Goat Pen Studio, and Colin Fraser.