Has the clock tower in Norwich city centre been draped in Ipswich Town colours?
PUBLISHED: 15:37 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 12 April 2017
The rivalry between Ipswich Town and Norwich City has reached new heights after the famous colours of the Blues appeared wrapped around Norwich's clock tower, which is undergoing repair work.
The clock tower of City Hall has been cocooned in scaffolding for the last week while £200,000 worth of repair work is carried out.
But blue and white netting sheets have been draped around the scaffolding, sparking rumours on social media that an Ipswich-based scaffolding company has played a cunning joke on Norwich fans.
Twitter user David R Gray, whose photo of the clock tower has been shared hundreds of times, said: “Hats off to the Ipswich based scaffolding company that have wrapped the clock tower of Norwich City hall in Blue & White.”
In response, Twitter user Canaries Caption It joked: “It’s the highest those colours have been for 17 years.”
Another, Phil Build, simply tweeted: “Legends.”
But a spokesman for Norwich City Council has clarified the situation, telling this newspaper: “We’ve been enjoying the social media comments about the colour of the debris netting in relation to the essential repairs to City Hall’s clock tower.
“No doubt the Norfolk-based scaffolding company, Narford (Scaffolding), which also put up the netting will be enjoying the comments too as it’s great publicity for them and their company colours of blue and white.”
Narfold Scaffolding, based in Swaffham, which is working on the City Hall project alongside Norwich City Council and Historic England, has also confirmed blue and white are its company colours and nothing to do with Ipswich Town.
There was a mixed reaction in Norwich city centre earlier. Elwyn Davies said: “I don’t suppose walking down here that many people look up there do they? But as an Ipswich fan I’m happy to see them at the top.”
Jason Wilson: “I’m just so glad I face the walk from my stall on CJ’s Fruit and Veg because I cannot turn round as I’m allergic to blue and white.”
Jonathon Childs said: “That’s the highest Ipswich will be in any league. They are normally at the base of somewhere supporting the other sides.
“They don’t really have much success when they come to Norwich do they so it’s a bit of a joke.”
Darren Howse said: “I think that’s the highest the blue and white colours are going to be for the next few years, especially after Norwich’s great win at the weekend.”
Four long vertical pieces of metal which sit on each corner at clock level, known as finials, need to be taken away for repairs.
Those finials, and a fifth, right at the top of the tower, need to be removed, cleaned and recoated before they are re-fixed.
The work, all 14 weeks of it, is being carried out in conjunction with the city council’s conservation team and Historic England.
Due to the scaffolding accounting for at least half the cost of the work, the city council is also taking the opportunity to carry out other repair work, including repointing some of the brickwork.