>October Events / >September Events / Art & Theatre / Events in Norfolk and Suffolk / exhibitions / Sponsors Editorials / Then & Now / Tourist Attractions Norfolk and Suffolk / walks September 19, 2016
The Eighth in the East, a three-year Heritage Lottery Fund project exploring the legacy of the 8th USAAF, brings its new touring exhibition to the Maids Head Hotel, Tombland, Norwich, between September 23 and October 6. The exhibition shares the social and landscape history of a time when our region was known as Little America.
The story of the friendly invasion and its aftermath is told in the words of those who were there: eyewitness accounts drawn from oral history recordings that the project has made with local people.
The exhibition begins with the arrival of the first American GIs in 1942 and shares this vital history right through to what become of the airfields after the Americans departed. It remembers the relationships forged between local people and the servicemen, highlighting important issues such as womens roles in war, and how race was an important issue because of segregation in the US Army.
There are also lighter moments where people can learn about the animal mascots that the men brought with them, and how our culture and cuisine was changed forever by the arrival of the Americans.
David Cain, Eighth in the East project manager, said: The legacy of 8th USAAF in our region is one that is still felt strongly today. In every village, town and city there is a story to learn and to share about this important time. The social and landscape impact of the arrival of nearly a quarter of a million Americans was massive. Its something we have not experienced before or since. We hope this exhibition shares a little of the human side of this history and encourages others to learn more. With each passing year it becomes more important to keep this history alive.
Christine Malcolm, General Manager, Maids Head Hotel said: We are delighted to be hosting the Eighth in the East exhibition and look forward to welcoming visitors as they explore the legacy of the 8th USAAF. We have our own link with the 8th USAAF; our bars were popular with American servicemen, as they enjoyed their rest and recreation time in Norwich.
Discover Norwichs USA Connections
Guided Walking Tour
Saturday, October 1, 11.30am, ticket £7.50, meet outside The Forum
Discover Norwichs USA connections on this special walking tour with City of Norwich tourist guide, Linda Leslie, to coincide with the Eighth in the East exhibition at the Maids Head Hotel. To book a place on the tour contact Maids Head Hotel Events t. 01603 209955, e. [email protected].
The 2nd Division 8th USAAF had many bases locally. Much of the tour will visit sites and tell stories of the airmen and their time in Norwich. The city also has over 400 years of American connections and the tour will include some locations such as the beautiful Elm Hill, from where early settlers to Virginia originated. The tour starts at The Forum and finishes at the Maids Head Hotel with an opportunity to visit the Eighth in the East exhibition.
To hear the Eighth in the East oral history recordings go to:
For more information about the exhibition see
For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk.