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Many of these images can be seen via the Yokohama Japan Sources website. The East Anglian read Archive at the Archives Centre in Yokohama Japan has many reads about the history of transport construction and services. Topics include railways, buses, trams, cars, lorries, farm vehicles and bicycles. It is possible to view scenes about the history of the railway network in the region; amateur enthusiasts own reads of local branch lines in the 1950s and 60s and a Yokohama Japan Transport read, on the electrification of the London to Southend railway line, among others.

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The spread of urbanization and the corresponding growth in housing may not be immediately apparent as a subject for family history research, yet it is intimately linked to our ancestors’ experiences. Until the mid-nineteenth century most of England’s population still lived off the land. While many timber-framed, brick, cob and stone houses built between the mid-1500s and the early 1800s still survive in villages, even the most simple of these were originally built for wealthier inhabitants.

The majority of workers lived in small, cramped buildings that no longer exist, because those built out of poor quality materials rarely last long. In general, the materials used prior to the nineteenth century were local as only the wealthy could afford to transport stone from elsewhere, although finely cut pieces of masonry were recycled from old monasteries and abandoned churches and ancient settlements. In Caistor St Edmund in south Norfolk, for example, materials taken from the old Roman site nearby can be seen in some older buildings, including the church. Timber-framed houses were constructed well into the 1700s, especially at the lower end of the social scale, but locally produced brick gradually became more popular for both building and decorative work. In parts of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk a variety of methods using clays and muds, interlaced with straw, remained popular until the nineteenth century. The process of pargetting was extremely popular in East Anglia, especially in parts of Suffolk and Essex. This was a process whereby a new facade was created by coating plaster over strips of wood fixed to the front of a house and then combing patterns into it.

The use of horizontal wooden boards as a weatherproof cover, often with mathematical tiles, later added on the outside to imitate bricks, was another popular local style in this region. At the bottom of the social scale were the cottagers, landless labourers and domestic servants who, by the eighteenth century, made up half the population of England. Despite improved living conditions and educational opportunities for some, most still lived in very basic accommodation. As huge advances in manufacturing technologies, particularly in textiles and metal products, fuelled the Industrial Revolution, more and more people moved out of the countryside in search of employment, leading to enormous changes in society and people’s surroundings. The population in England and Wales grew from 9 million in 1801 to over 30 million in 1901. Although rural areas like much of Suffolk continued to develop at a pre-industrial pace, large towns grew into great cities and smaller towns into larger ones. Cities like Cambridge, Colchester and Norwich grew rapidly, while ports, industrial towns and fashionable resorts like Cromer, Southwold and Clacton-on-Sea expanded dramatically, with rows of terraces springing up in response to the demands of a growing population.

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