Thursday 21 July 2011


My personal challenge for this round of Miss Jenny Matlock's alphabe-Thursday is to post about a location within the borders of my own county of Derbyshire, UK, for each letter of the alphabet.

Look for the letter, to see where I am.

N is for Normanton Road.


Normanton is an area of Derby, to the south of the city centre. The modern community grew out of an ancient village once known as Normanton-by-Derby and Normanton is thought to have been one of the original sites of Viking settlement;  Normanestune (Norseman's Settlement).

The main thoroughfare linking Normanton with the city centre is Normanton Road, but I think you would be hard pushed to find many Norsemen settled here today. You would, however find plenty of other nationalities because Normanton is the heart of Derby's ethnic community.

The main demographic of the ethnic community is Asian and the shops around here reflect that. for body and mind.

This is just one of four fashion/fabric shops.

Pak Foods is one of two major grocers and is always full of people. On the day I visited, the Derbyshire Constabulary were out on the streets conducting a Policing Matters consultation exercise; gathering local opinion on the way policing is conducted, finding out what people know about the Safer Neighbourhood team and gauging how people feel about different crimes as a problem in their locality.

This Asian solicitor deals with another aspect of the law; giving aid and advice on matters ranging from immigration to personal injury to taxi licensing (a lot of Derby's taxis are driven by people from ethnic minorities!).

Normanton Road also has a couple of training centres; this one specifically for Asian women.

Although the main concentration of Asians here come from India and Pakistan, there are also those from the other parts of Asia, including Turks,

nations which have re-emerged from the Soviet Union,

and a small representation of those who originate from South East Asia.

The Asian population encompasses people from three major faith groups; Islam, Hindu and Sikh. All three have places of worship close to Normanton Road.

The closest is the Derby Mosque, which is set back from the road behind only one other building.

Ironically, the building behind which the Derby Mosque was built is this one; the New Life Christian Centre, a vibrant multi-ethnic Christian church which includes many members from an Afro-Caribbean background.

Slightly higher up the road is this place of worship...

Although this area is predominantly Asian, the expansion of the European Union has seen the borders of the UK opening up to a new group of people; Eastern Europeans. Since the second world war, Derby has had a thriving Polish Community, but that has mushroomed and spread in recent years, as is reflected here.

I hope that those who read my Littleover post, 2 weeks ago, have enjoyed seeing the contrast between two parts of my city; which is relatively small in comparison to some of the biggies in the UK. (In the 2001 census, Derby was ranked just 18th in the country.)

Meanwhile, I will leave you with the smiling face of a lovely lady who stopped for a chat outside the Mosque.

She told me that walking round Normanton felt like walking in India or Pakistan, so I asked her where she came from (expecting Pakistan to be the probable answer).

She replied...

"I'm from Holland. I'm Dutch."!!

LOL - Got me fooled then!


  1. So interesting. I'd never thought of England being so multi-cultural outside of the really big cities.

  2. It is good to see this other side of Derbyshire. However grand and beautiful the scenery is (and it is, nearly as grand and beautiful as Yorkshire!), it is the ability of people to live together in tolerance that marks a location.

  3. What a great multi-cultural post! All those scrummy foods to experience!

  4. I really enjoyed my visual tour this week. This area has such interesting sites..

  5. Who would've thought she was a Dutch!! I'm from Malaysia and I think I'll feel right at home here. :D

  6. What an interesting tour you've shared with us today, H! You never need travel further afield than your own city in order to absorb the tastes and flavours of so many cultures. I thoroughly enjoyed tagging along with you :)

  7. Normanton looks a wonderfully, vibrant part of the city. I've very much enjoyed your tour:)

  8. You won't be surprised, will you, when I tell you enjoy this Normanton side of town even more than than Littleton!? But how fortunate for people of Derby who can enjoy a traditional pub and a yummy Asian dinner in one evening!

  9. I truly enjoyed looking at the photos of this post and trying to imagine a neighborhood so diverse. Lovely.

    And I chuckled that the last woman was Dutch.

    Great N!

  10. I very much enjoyed your tour of Normanton! I laughed when I read the lady was Dutch!

  11. Very interesting variety of people in this town !
    when I saw the street, I thought from tomorrow evening on I will have to pay attention when I cross the street, because I'll arrive in Eastbourne tomorrow night and have to get used to the fact that you drive on the "wrong" side, lol ! If you don't hear from me anymore, I was run over by a car !

  12. Another of your fascinating tours - I had no idea that Derby was so multicultural.

  13. Super!! Thanks for taking me on tour!! I've never been there.

  14. nice to see so many different ethnic people getting along. In 21st century US, people seem less tolerant. But that might just be that intolerance is loud... Thanks for the tour {:-D

  15. WoW! What a multi-cultural road indeed!
    Just goes to show we can all live together if we respect each other.
    The Dutch lady had me fooled too. Perfect example of never judging a book by its cover! ;-)

    Wonderful "N" post.

  16. I always enjoy these kinds of posts from places I haven't been yet. We have been to Bakewell. Have a good weekend...

  17. Wonderful H post ! Very interesting.

  18. This was so interesting! Normanton reminds me a where I live as we have a large assortment of 54 different immigrant nationalities living in Brooklyn. It is nice to see so many different people living peacefully together. It gives hope for the world!

  19. I love your posts! So fun to see your part of the world through your eyes. Normanton looks like a very busy place, and so diverse!

  20. Oh my gosh!

    What a nifty Street. I am ready to come shopping. I suspect it would be hard to escape there without becoming laden down with packages and parcels of wonderfulness!

    Thanks for this lovely stop today. I'm sending this link along to my husband as well. He was quite interested in the Matlock Baths post of last week!

    Thanks for sharing this!


  21. Very interesting. I think the shopping would be quite a learning experience. However, if I visited the UK, I would want to see and expierence the traditional English lifestyle with tea shops, thatched roofs, etc. I actually think it rather sad that the English traditions are dissappearing and so many cultures from different countries are entering. I see previous commentators mentioning tolerance. The future will reveal if the immigrants are as tolerant of English culture and laws as the English are expected to be of their's.

  22. I live around Normanton. It's a nice place to visit for the day, wide variety of goods to buy so an interesting shopping experience but there's so much crime you wouldn't want to live there or feel safe living there. There aren't any English shops really, if you want a Sainsburys or Boots. Also you'd feel alienated living there because it's hard to find other people who can speak English fluently. It's very novel to go for a day out but living there's a different story

    1. I understand what you are saying but I lived in Old Trafford in Manchester for fourteen years (including raising two young children) and have also lived in Hackney, East London, so I'm not ignorant of the problems. On the other hand, I'm not unaware of the benefits either! If you feel alienated, try the church. St Augustines on Walbrook Road is a very friendly place :)
      (As for shops, Sainsbury's Osmaston Road is on the edge of Normanton/Pear Tree and the city centre is only a short walk/bus ride away.)