Page 1

Issue 51 February 2016

Frank Bruno MBE to be guest of honour at the NARS Norfolk Show Ball


Pete Goodrum meets LiftShare founder and Managing Director Ali Clabburn at his swanky City Centre Offices


The Life and works of Charles Dickens in 30 pictures (part 1) – by Steve Browning

FINEAdvice FINEMotors FINEpeople FINEarts



Motoring - we review the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid


WAITROSE NORWICH As from the 1st February,we will be extending our opening hours from 7am Monday - Saturday. Waitrose Norwich Eaton Centre, Church Lane, Eaton, Norwich NR4 6NU Tel: 01603 458114 Sun: Mon: Tues: Wed: Thur: Fri: Sat: Branch Location

10:00 08:00 08:00 08:00 08:00 08:00 08:00

- 16:00 - 20:00 - 20:00 - 20:00 - 20:00 - 21:00 - 20:00

(8am untill 31st January 2016)

Branch Services Food Counters & Ranges Fish Cheese Delicatessen Rotisserie Meat Bakery Kosher Range Customer Facilities Lottery Counter Cash Point Cafe Waitrose Car Park Parent/ child Parking Customer Toilets

Other Services Glass Loan Fish Kettle Loan Boots pharmacy

Shopping Services Waitrose Entertaining Quick Check/Quick Pay John Lewis Click & Collect

FLY DIRECT FROM NORWICH Edinburgh Manchester Jersey Alicante Malaga MANY UK AND EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS including Belfast City, Glasgow International, Isle of Man and Düsseldorf Subject to availability. Not all flights operate for the entire travel period. Advance purchase may be required. Route information correct at time of going to print. No debit card fees apply. Bookings made by credit card or PayPal will incur a fee of 3% of the total transaction value, with a minimum charge of £5.00 per booking. Fares exclude £10/adult Norwich Airport Development fee payable at the airport. Selected routes operated by Loganair.

For more information please call Toni on 07754 180253

04 | February 2016



Issue 51 February


Frank Bruno MBE to be guest of honour at the NARS Norfolk Show Ball INTERVIEW

Pete Goodrum meets LiftShare founder and Managing Director Ali Clabburn at his swanky City Centre Offices


The Life and works of Charles Dickens in 30 pictures (part 1) – by Steve Browning




FINE people


Motoring and we

review the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid


FINE places

Issue 51


Your community magazine FineCity Magazine would like to thank all those who have contributed to this issue. This includes but is not limited to: Pete Goodrum, Stephen Browning, Harry Farrow, Tony Cooper and Tim Barnes-Clay Cover Image courtesy of: Lord Russell Baker

Editor Jonathan Horswell @JonathanHorswel


FINE arts

FINE Motors

Luke Keable


Collect your free copy of FineCity Magazine from any of our partner locations:

Harry Cawley


Tom McHarg


Aaron Gould Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps

FineCityMag @FineCityMag Tel 01953 456789 Web Address Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 2AE.

© FineCity Magazine Disclaimer: No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior written permission of the Publisher. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Publisher. Every effort is taken to ensure that the contents of this magazine are accurate, but the Publisher can not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Whilst reasonable care is taken when accepting advertisements the Publisher will not accept any resulting unsatisfactory transactions. They will, however, immediately investigate any written complaints. The Publishers reserve the right to amend such submissions and cannot accept responsibility for any loss.

2016 February | 05

Fine City Chorus Singing in harmony for 40 years If you are interested in coming along to one of our rehearsals or even possibly booking Fine City Chorus for your function, please do not hesitate contact us.

Fine City Chorus Carol Logan Musical Director of Fine City Chorus said I was asked at the national barbershop competition in May 2007 if I would consider directing the chorus, with some trepidation I agreed and have been with them ever since. We have continued to improve our scores each year and the challenges never cease. It is my job, along with the music team, to ensure that each rehearsal is fun, informative and productive and that we practice the skills required to improve our singing and performance. I plan rehearsals to include exercises to improve breathing, support and vowel matching along with lots of singing of our current repertoire. The music team and I also try to find different music that our members will enjoy singing and our audiences will enjoy listening to. 06 | February 2016

There are a number of female directors in British Association of Barbershop singers but we are in the minority. I thoroughly enjoy every Wednesday evening, where along with the hard work we put in to each rehearsal we also have lots of laughter. We work hard and play hard and I find it very satisfying when our audience reward us with lovely comments and applause. If you would like to hear us or see what we do, pop along to any rehearsal, we meet every Wednesday between 7.30pm and 10pm at Lionwood Nursery and Infant school, Telegraph Lane East, Norwich NR1 4AN or give Brian a call on 01508 578409 or 07795507421 for an informal chat.

Ali Clabburn

Pete Goodrum meets Ali Clabburn, founder and Managing Director of

2016 February | 07


feature by:

Pete Goodrum Writer, broadcaster @petegoodrum

actually bought instead of!’


t’s late afternoon, in January, and already dark, when I press the security buzzer at Liftshare’s central Norwich offices. The imposing front doors are opened, and I’m welcomed in, by Ali Clabburn himself. He takes me straight up to a floor that’s plainly the operational centre of the business. The team exude a quiet energy, and the office itself is bright and modern with a cheerful informality about it.

run was a co-operative venture so that my parents could get on with work on the farm’. He went to school in Cringleford and then on to Greshams. Next came a gap year of travelling. ‘It was on a small budget. There was a lot of couch surfing’.

We settle down with tea in a glass walled meeting room and begin to talk.

Back in the UK he went to university in Bristol, to study engineering. He will talk later about university life and his course but right now we need to focus on a moment that can justifiably be called life changing.

Ali was born in Besthorpe, near Attleborough. It was a farming family and he was the youngest of four children. ‘I suppose enforced sharing was there in my life at the outset’, he says. ‘Even the school

At the end of his first term he couldn’t afford the train fare home. He pinned a notice to a notice board asking if anyone was travelling in his direction and offering to contribute to the

petrol costs. ‘I got a lift, with a guy called Joe. We’re still friends’. The short term objective had been achieved. He got home. But, the seeds were sown for a concept that would become a company, and a career. He’d identified, and become committed to, the idea of car sharing. There was a demand for it. It was cost effective, and it was friendly to the planet. ‘That was the start of Lift Share Notice Boards. It gathered momentum, but around this time a thing called the internet arrived!’. He persuaded a friend to build him a website. These were the very early days of the internet. To put that into context, his website went live two weeks before the launch of Google, and had to be hosted in Canada. In fact, with characteristic forethought, he’d bought three website domain names on the same day;, lorryshare. com and Whilst he got on with developing Liftshare the other two domains weren’t used. ‘Then one day I was contacted to ask if I wanted to sell It meant nothing to me, until I realised that because of my dyslexia I’d applied for and

08 | February 2016

Having left university, and with the website live, he began to implement a plan. ‘The idea was to attend university ‘Freshers Fairs’ and get 5000 students to pay £10 each to join Liftshare. We started at the UEA with a target of 500 members. We got 3. So, we halved the fee to £5. We got 6. We made it free. We got over 200’. The sales campaign had in effect become a market research project. What it showed was that there was interest in, and a demand for, the idea of lift sharing, but that it only worked if the business model was based on free membership. ‘I got a couple of students from Norwich City College to build a new website’. To earn money he worked long shifts in the Virgin Money post room. ‘That was interesting’, he says. ‘What I saw was a lot of people on quite low wages, but they were always happy. I tried to work out how Mr Branson achieved that. Eventually I got it. There was free food and his very smiley face was always in evidence. Turns out that that’s a powerful combination!’ Richard Branson’s methods aside, Ali’s own entrepreneurial endeavour was gaining momentum. ‘We were signing up members. What had begun as an idea to solve a purely personal short term problem was now proving to be something people wanted. People could see that car sharing made sense. It was cheap.

FINEPeople You made new friends. The cost of living crisis, coupled with a growing awareness of the need to save the planet and address ‘green’ issues added to the overall appeal. It was getting serious’. It was about to get more so. Ali was approached by the organisers of the Glastonbury Festival. Transport congestion was a major issue for them. Was it possible to create a customised, branded, version of Liftshare for Glastonbury? ‘It was! We delivered it and it worked. And what’s more, other festivals asked us to do it too’. What happened next further consolidated the strength and potential of the brand. Councils, firstly in Bristol, then North London and Norfolk all bought in to the Liftshare concept. By the year 2000, with three community based websites up and running, it was timely and feasible to consider rolling out the brand nationally. All of this story so far has been delivered in an easy going, almost matter of fact style. In V-neck sweater and jeans, occasionally apologising for a slight cough he can’t shake off, Ali Clabburn is relaxed and articulate. I point out that, the spell in Virgin’s post room aside, he’s effectively been self employed, on his big idea, since leaving university. Which prompts me to ask if he regrets not pursuing engineering which, after all, he was studying.

Yes, as I said earlier, it started as a means to a personal end, but the concept was bigger than that. This was a social enterprise before the phrase was coined’. Ali Clabburn is not given to self praise. What he is though is clear sighted and ruthlessly self analytical. Check this out as my proof of this talented man’s ability to be so honestly self aware. I asked him about the future, and what he does next. His answer? ‘I’m always having ideas, but the problem is having the time to carry them through. But, I believe in what we’re doing here. So, selling up, or doing something else, is not an option. I will continue to do what we do here until and unless I discover something through which I could make more impact than I do now’. Now that, dear reader, is not immodesty. It’s about as clear, concise and passionate a statement of purpose as you’re likely to hear from any business leader. He knows what he’s doing. He genuinely believes in it, and the value it adds to society. It’s what he does. And he does it rather well. To date has had 30 million shared trips! There are 30 staff in the Norwich office. In Norfolk there are 6000 members

of Nationally, one in every 100 cars is part of the scheme. Think about that. As you drive along a motorway you’re almost always surrounded by about 100 cars. Every time, one of them will be part of It all started with a lift home, and home is still in Attleborough, where he lives with his wife and three children. He loves sailing and hockey but nowadays coaches in both more than participating. Given the opportunity he likes to go to festivals. And he loves living in Norfolk. ‘Everything is on your doorstep’. That’s not to say he doesn’t travel. Just back from a conference in Paris, he’ll soon be in another important gathering in San Francisco. Rounding up we shoot off at various tangents. We touch on the fact that Peter Kay and James Corden have brought car sharing into a new, entertaining, focus. Ali sees all of that as a positive. ‘This is a positive idea’, he says. ‘It reduces congestion, it helps save the planet, an average member saves £1000 a year. And as a member you get to meet nice people. What’s to lose? There are only gains’.

people’ really work? ‘Most certainly. We get letters from members. One of my favourites though was from a man who wanted to say thank you because we’d saved his marriage! He said that , because he car shares, his wife reckons he’s a nicer person when he gets home now!’ It’s time for me to go home now, and write this column. As I leave Ali asks me ‘Are you walking or sliding?’ Pardon? ‘Walking or sliding?’ He points to an opening at floor level. They have a chute, a giant slide in a tube that you slide down from the first floor to the ground floor lobby! I really want to do it, but right now I’m suffering from a slipped disc and, fragile and jacked up on industrial strength painkillers, I figure I best not risk it. Ali walks down the stairs with me, and we shake hands as I leave. That chute plays on my mind. It’s wholly appropriate, and almost a symbol for him and his team. It’s unconventional. It’s efficient. It saves energy as it gets people from A to B as quickly as possible. It’s fun. And I’ve just met a very nice person.

Does this issue of ‘meeting nice

‘I wanted to study a subject at university that would have a practical application. I’m from Norfolk. We’re good at fixing things. I realised quite quickly that my course was about 10% relevant and 90% outdated and boring maths and physics . In fact I once dozed off in a lecture and fell so fast asleep that when I woke up it was two hours later and I was in some other course. I found it quite interesting actually!’ ‘Once I’d pinned that notice to the notice board I could see the potential in the idea of sharing.

2016 February | 09

An Englishman in Taiwan

10 | February 2016

FINEPLACES Getting up to the sound of fireworks

M on Christmas Day

y sleep has been peaceful, punctuated by the soft and gentle sounds of chanting and the deep gong of bells from a Daoist temple next door. At six on Christmas morning, though, it’s rat-a-tattat from fire-crackers out in the street. Often a string is hundreds of feet long with a fire-cracker every few inches and the ‘crack’ of the sound makes me think of rapid rifle fire. Drawing the curtains and looking out of the front balcony – this apartment’s got two, don’t ya know, with one at the back of the flat as well, like a lot of Taiwanese high-rises – I can see the people down below making all the noise and laughing. The people here don’t really do Christmas but any excuse for fireworks is OK. The sun is gently warm and softly shining: this is opposed to the height of the summer when it can be hot, humid and unrelenting. It’s a lovely Christmas morning and somewhat warmer than Norfolk, England. Being in Asia we are eight hours ahead of you, so you probably have not gone to bed yet on Christmas Eve.

Travelling Like A Bullet I am on the seventh floor of a twenty-one story block in this lovely flat owned by some friends of mine who teach at one of the

feature by:

Steve Browning Writer @returningperson

2016 February | 11


universities here. It is elegant and so big you can go for a walk in it. From the front balcony where I’m standing I can see the green grassy edge of the National Botanical Gardens – the local equivalent of Kew in London, very lovely but much, much smaller – on the left side of my vision and a railway line on the right. As I stand in the warm sun, a beautiful state-of-theart bullet train, coloured fawn with a dashing orange stripe the whole length just below the windows, gently draws out of its sidings and glides up the track. It will soon whisk folk, smoothly, in extreme comfort, cheaply and on time from the bottom of this island nation where we are at the moment to the top and the capital, Taipei. The station is a few hundred yards up the road straight ahead as I look out. There will be breakfast boxes of steamed bread and ham, bubble tea – that’s tea with chewy bits of tapioca – and melon juice, for sale on board for about 200 New Taiwanese Dollars, about two pounds Sterling, or half that if you buy it before you alight.

between and a fair number with a dog or two as well. The most I have seen on a scooter is two adults, three children and two dogs. Considering that traffic lights are often seen as optional by the locals, I am always pleasantly surprised how well the roads function here. My hosts and I breakfast on steamed bread - it looks a little like raw dough but it is succulent and chewy - fruit extract and Liptons tea. Then it’s out on a couple of scooters to the huge bookshop at Sandao to see what’s new. It is typical that even people with nice cars often prefer to get around the city on two wheels as it is much easier to nip here and there and parking is a doddle. The

American?’ ‘Good God, no’, I say. ‘English’.

only drawback for me is the fumes: twenty minutes on the back of one of these things and my head feels like it is composed of petrol.

A Strange Chat At The Traffic Lights At a traffic lights where we have stopped another scooter draws up beside us. The guy riding it lifts up his visor and asks me ‘Are you

‘Thought so,’ he replies. ‘ You know that English School down by the big vegetable market? They’re looking for teachers: good pay, too’. With that the lights change and he’s off. After checking out the new books at the bookstore, we go for a walk in the park in the centre of the city. There’s lots of people and a large blue Christmas tree with big red flowers on it, and reindeer chasing each other. There’s an underground station in the middle with an escalator going down and one coming up in the middle of which is a man-made waterfall. It has no

Scooters Everywhere As Christmas is an ordinary working day here – the biggie is New Year’s Day which in 2016 is February 7th – the roads are very busy. There are little blue trucks, looking like dinky toys from up here, which a lot of small businesses have, yellow taxis and hundreds of scooters, some with one person on them, some with two, quite a few with two grown ups and two children in 12 | February 2016


function at all but to be lovely. I have never seen that in London.

intricate and colourful Daoist and Buddhist temples.

Just Like 007

We land and sit with many others on the water’s side. There is the odd Westerner sometimes but this is not really a tourist location. A young chap comes along, sets up a drum kit and gives the most amazing virtuoso performance for about an hour. Then , just as suddenly, he packs up to much applause and goes on his way. He makes a point of declining any money as he says he did it just because he felt like it.

Lunch is a sweet potato and some home-made vegetarian dumplings with soy and ginger sauce which we buy at a road side stall emitting loads of steam. Another stall is selling stinky tofu, a Taiwanese delicacy which I have refused for twenty years on account of the, well, stink of it. All visitors are pressed to eat it by wide-grinning sellers. In the afternoon we retreat to Lotus Lake which is where some of the water events of the World Games 2014 were held. It is beautiful with folk water skiing and sailing. Some locals are fishing which my hosts tell me is not allowed but people do it because the police have better things to do elsewhere. The highlight is a trip on what looks like an ordinary small bus which we catch at the lake’s side. Then, as in a James Bond film – with Roger Moore, wasn’t it? – we drive into the water and it turns into a big boat. It floats sort of, going from side to side almost as much as forwards, but takes us around the lake edged with

A Home-Cooked Feast In the evening we all go to a family vegetarian feast. It’s really tasty and anyone who thinks vegetarianism is boring should come over here. Being, as mentioned before, a usual working day, there’s no late night: just home and bed to the familiar chants and drums of the many temples and sometimes the sharp barking of wild dogs. It has been a real treat of a Christmas for one Englishman in Taiwan but nothing so much out of the ordinary for my wonderful hosts who have to work the next day. 2016 February | 13



In between performances of Richard Wagner’s monumental four-work cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tony Cooper, took time out to explore the pretty Bavarian town of Bayreuth


uch is the length of Wagner’s epic work (a mighty 17 hours) that not only do the performers need a break but so do members of the audience. Plus Miss X (a Wagner widow by choice!) was pleased to see me. She’s not so keen about 19thcentury opera, especially Wagner. Her loss, though! But she loves jaunts to Germany and last year we took in Cologne, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and Nuremberg as well as a couple of trips to Norwich’s twin city 14 | February 2016

of Koblenz calling en route to have a butcher’s at the historic Nurburgring motor-racing track nearby. We always do! And picking up a bottle or two of schapps from one of the local suppliers in the nearby wine village of Winningen, nestling the banks of the Mosel near Koblenz, where Norwich resident, Waltraud Jarrold - who was the driving force behind the twinning link between Norwich and Koblenz - grew up, is also a ‘must’. But our time spent in Bayreuth - a quiet and pleasant town of

about 75,000 inhabitants and just over an hour’s train journey from Nuremberg - was an enjoyable experience as any we’ve had on our travels. We found it quick and easy to get round and the old town echoes that of Nuremberg as it’s fully pedestrianised with Maximilianstraße and Richard Wagnerstraße the two main thoroughfares. Between the Hauptbahnhof and the Neues Rathaus lies the commercial district packed with

hotels and restaurants while the area fanning out from the Spitalkirche takes in the historic centre with the Marktplatz at its core. Here I enjoyed a nice panoramic view of the city from the rooftop of the Rathaus leaving Miss X suffering below from nervous thoughts of vertigo - and, maybe, Wagner! However, it was the old Rathaus on Maximilianstraße that really attracted our attention not least by the excellent restaurant by the name of Oskars that fronted it. But in the side alley we came across a

FINEPLACES The Hermitage Castle (Altes Schloss Ermitage) with its magical dancing-waterfountain park, a short bus journey from Bayreuth.

nice piece of street sculpture that led to the entrance of a treasurechest of art, the Kunstmuseum, which is located at the back of the Rathaus. The museum imaginatively converted from the old town hall - regularly hosts touring exhibitions. But an exhibition of a different kind entertained us when we visited Maisel’s Brauereiund Büttnereimuseum at Kulmbacherstraße which is quoted in the Guinness Book of Records as the most comprehensive beer museum in the world. It’s located

in the head office of the brewery founded by the Maisel brothers in 1887 and still going strong under the stewardship of the fourth generation of the family headed by Jeff Maisel. The brewery’s one of the pioneers of weizenbier (wheat beer) in Germany and Maisel’s Weisse is considered to be one of the finest in the Rhineland. The brewery museum is a mind of information too. You can view a historical brewing machine plus a rare collection of enamelled signs, beer glasses and beer coasters. It’s well visited, too. About 25,000

visitors pass through its doors every year while showing their appreciation to the local brew at the same time. Miss X and I followed in their footsteps and downed a couple of pints and can confirm that Maisel’s Weisse possesses that rich, earthy, hoppy taste, which is to our taste. Prost! Although Bayreuth is well known today for its association with Wagner who brought international fame to it through his music and the Bayreuth Festival, this lovely

feature by:

Tony Cooper Writer

2016 February | 15

FINEPLACES Upper Franconian town owes much of its beautiful baroque buildings, parks and other monumental treasures to the era of the royal margrave couple, Friedrich and Wilhelmine, who was the sister of Frederick the Great (Old Fritz), with whom she remained close to all her life. Friedrich was a minor member of the house of BrandenburgBayreuth - the latter name, incidentally, was the chief town of their principality - but his fate changed in 1726 when his father inherited the principality of Bayreuth after a long dispute with the kingdom of Prussia over the rights of succession. The 16-year-old Friedrich became the hereditary margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth and on his father’s death in 1753 became the new margrave. He received a good education studying for eight years at the Calvinistic Genovese University and, therefore, proved to be an enlightened monarch. He was referred to as ‘The Beloved’ and widely promoted science and the arts. But he was totally unprepared for his tasks as a sovereign mainly because his father had completely excluded him from all government affairs.

the royal summer lodge situated just a few miles from Bayreuth. Presented to her when Friedrich became the boss, it’s a ‘mustsee’ for any visitor while the New Palace and Court Garden in Bayreuth itself makes for a rewarding visit, too. And, once again, Wilhelmine has left her mark, particularly with the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors, the salon with the gold ceiling and the Old Music Room while a peep into her bedroom is not to be missed! Another fabulous treasure from Wilhelmine’s days is the splendid Markgräfliches opernhaus, one of the finest baroque theatres to be found anywhere in Europe. It’s a gem in Bayreuth’s heritage crown and most visitors steer a course towards it. My fridge magnet is a daily reminder of my visit.

Bayreuth’s a modern town, too, catering well for its citizens’ needs with a host of excellent shops with Karstadt, a high-class department store, at its core, while a rather swishy shopping mall is conveniently bridged to the old town making life easier for those on foot.

Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, are credited as ‘discoverers’ of the region. Their travel report from 1793 enthralled many contemporaries while Die kleine Schweiz - published in 1820 and written by Jakob Reiselsberger from Waischenfeld - gave the region its name.

Bayreuth’s also a handy gateway to two marvellous and inviting tourist regions: the Fichtelgebirge region and Fränkische Schweiz (Little Switzerland). A romantic area and one of the oldest and most popular holiday areas in Germany, it was given its name by 19th-century romantic artists and poets who compared its landscape to Switzerland.

A large range of outdoor activities can be enjoyed here and besides countless hiking routes the area is immensely popular for rock climbing and canoeing. One can also take a trip on the Franconian Switzerland Steam Railway which forms part of the DFS railway museum based in Ebermannstadt.

Two law students from Erlangen University, Ludwig Tieck and

The Fichtelgebirge region is absolutely delightful and borders Little Switzerland. Miss X and I targeted Fichtelberg for a day

The town of Bayreuth with its colourful rooftops reaching to the surroundings hills.

Wilhelmine, however, was of different stock. She possessed a strong and forceful personality and tried to influence the weak and unstable Friedrich in favour of Prussia, her homeland, but found it hard to overcome the influence of his ministers. Eventually, she got her way and appointed a young clerk by the name of Philipp Elrodt to handle the court’s financial matters. In this role, he attacked government corruption and cronyism, uncovered irregularities in the finances of the margraviate and identified new sources of income. Nothing seems new in politics apart from that ‘duck house’! As a result of this fiscal reform, Friedrich was able to increase Wilhelmine’s allowance and she immediately used a large part of it to enlarge the Hermitage, 16 | February 2016

Locals and visitors alike enjoying lunch in one of the many pavement cafés and restaurants located in Maximilianstraße.

The elegant and pedestrianised area of Maximilianstraße.


Leisurely walking in the shade in Maximilianstraße.

out simply because it was only a 45-minute bus journey from Bayreuth. Needless to say, it was a wonderful scenic drive of unbelievable beauty passing through such attractive mountain villages as Weidenberg and Warmensteinach - all logged up for fire and winter! In Fichtelberg we came across one of the finest bakers and confectioners in all of Germany, Rappl’s Back- und Kaffeehaus situated at Max Reger Platz, named after the celebrated German composer who was born in Brand, Upper Palatinate, Bavaria, in 1873. Interestingly, it was after attending the Bayreuth Festival in 1888 that he decided on a career in music with particular emphasis

on composing for the organ. We spent a good hour at Rappl’s whiling away the time tucking in to goodies cosily sheltered under the exterior canvas awning from a mountain rainstorm that rocked the place wild. When it pours, it pours! The weather’s always precarious in mountainous terrain but it soon turns. Bright and sunny again, we set off for new adventures. Amazingly, we came across an automobile and transport museum which seemed such an unlikely place to be situated. But it was and it more than kept us happy particularly with Miss X insisting of photographing all of the display of aircraft and helicopters.

Camouflaged by woodland, it represented a scene from a James Bond movie! Another thing that Miss X is always romantic for is that ‘winter wonderland scene’ and the images we saw of the mountains of Fichtelgebirge cloaked in snow looked a picture-postcard of delight. We need to go back! Auf wiedersehen! On this trip to Germany, Tony Cooper and Miss X took Abellio Greater Anglia’s service to London Liverpool Street - fares between Norwich and London start from £9 one way, booked in advance (www. We then crossed over to St Pancras to

catch Eurostar to Brussels and then travelled on Deutsche Bahn (DB) inter-city express (ICE) to Nuremberg via Frankfurt with the last leg of the journey to Bayreuth undertaken by a regional DB service from Nuremberg. Eurostar operates up to nine daily services from London St Pancras International to Brussels - journey time: 2 hrs 1 min. Brussels to Frankfurt fares start from £85 (one way); Frankfurt to Nuremburg from £42 (one way); Nuremburg to Bayreuth from £31 (one way). All of the routes can be booked via or on 0844 848 5 848. NEXT MONTH! Tony Cooper explores the medieval town of Bamberg. 2016 February | 17


Supermarket Voucher

Every month* in FineCity Competition With the funds in all our wallets and purses running dangerously low, a little extra help can go a long way! We are running a monthly competition across all our magazines where you could be in with a chance to win a ÂŁ50 voucher at a selection of major supermarkets. To enter, simply visit and complete the entry form. The winner will be chosen at random on the 30th of each month and will be notified via email. Arrangements will be made for the posting or collection of the vouchers. 18 | February 2016

Spider Creative Media, publishers of FineCity Magazine, reserve the right to cancel or change the competition at any time without prior notice. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose other than via FineCity Magazine. *Entry is for one months draw only. A separate entry would be required to enter each of the following months draws.



Clear out your clutter and help your local children’s hospice


re you looking to get rid of some unwanted Christmas gifts and to clear out some clutter before spring cleaning? East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) has charity shops across the county calling out for donations of good quality items to sell on and raise valuable funds for this worthy local cause. EACH provides care for children and young people with lifethreatening conditions and supports their families across East Anglia. For both families accessing care, and those who have been bereaved, EACH is a lifeline at an unimaginably difficult time. The charity has eighteen shops across the region with six across Norfolk in: Diss, Downham Market, Long Stratton, Norwich, Long Stratton and Wymondham. To ensure all their shop are

shop please contact the shop directly or call the charity’s Retail Distribution Centre on (01842) 821620 for more information.

For a full list of all shop locations, contact details and opening times visit:

a success, EACH rely on the generosity of local people to bring in their unwanted items. They are asking for donations of the following clean and good quality goods to sell: clothing, bric-a-brac, modern paperbacks, toys, jewellery, DVDs/CDs, household linens, retro and vintage clothes and small electrical items. The charity also needs donations of good quality furniture and can collect it free of charge if you’re unable to transport it yourself. You can contact their Retail Distribution Centre on (01842) 821620 for more information. Volunteers are vital to all EACH shops and there are always plenty of opportunities to help out. Volunteering is a great chance to take on a new challenge, meeting new and like-minded people and contribute to your local community. If you’d be interested in volunteering at your local EACH 2016 February | 19


The Life And Works Of Charles Dickens In 30 Pictures PART ONE (OF THREE)



any see Charles Dickens as the world’s greatest novelist, and this includes some of his illustrious

contemporaries such as Leo Tolstoy. His life proceeded almost as dramatically as his plots – his father was imprisoned for debt when he was 12 years old and yet,

just over a decade later, he had become one of the most famous people on the planet and the world’s first literary superstar. Here Stephen Browning takes a look at

feature by:

Steve Browning Writer @returningperson

his rise to fame which really was quite ridiculous and, had it been in a novel, would have been rejected by any respectable publisher as too fanciful and implausible.


I see a 12 year old boy buying pudding in the Strand. His father – the shame! – is in prison for debt. I look up again and see a 22 year old wandering the streets of London in a state of such happiness that he cannot talk to anyone as his first article has been accepted by a publisher. Just two years later this young writer is rapidly becoming a major literary star with the incredible success of The Pickwick Papers. Then I see some of the greatest novels in the English language tumbling, one after another from the pen of this amazing man. His name, as the entire world now knows, is Charles Dickens. Here’s to you, Charles, with thanks for all the joy you have given me and millions of others since you first, rather inauspiciously, saw the light of day!

Picture 1 Birth Charles Dickens was born in Mile End on the outskirts of Portsmouth on 7th February 1812, seven years after the Battle of Trafalgar and three years before the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. It was a Friday, the same day as his ‘favourite child’, David Copperfield, was born, and a day that was always special to him. His father, John, who worked for the Naval Pay Office, was a friendly and gregarious chap, good-looking by all accounts, and always had his brain attuned to what we would today call ‘ upward mobility’. He liked to buy books about a new town or area whenever he moved, which was often – maybe he read them or maybe they were to show a commitment to his new friends and neighbours. Elizabeth, Charles’ Mother, was 23, and shared her husband’s taste for ‘society’ – indeed; she is reported to have attended a ball on the eve of the birth. Charles already had a sister of eighteen months, Fanny. 20 | February 2016

FINEPLACES Picture 2 Thrown Into A Blacking Factory At 12 years old, his father having been imprisoned for debt, Charles was sent to Warren’s Blacking Factory where his dreams of becoming a gentlemen seemed lost for ever amongst the rats flooding into Hungerford Stairs from the adjacent River Thames but, even more importantly, in his young head, for he cried at the

unfathomable shame and pain of it all. He was a very sensitive boy and was most upset when he gained the nickname ‘the little gentleman’ from his young workmates. He had one good friend, however, called Fagin, though why this lad’s name ended up appended to the premier villain in Oliver Twist, is a mystery. Maybe it is because not all of Fagin is villainous and this young man represented the kindly side, the

side that shied away from the pure evil of Sikes. Whatever the reason, Dickens never enlightened us, but it is quite possible there was much more going on in the factory than the manufacture and bottling of boot polish. Physical and sexual exploitation was rife and whilst he exposed the former whenever he could, Dickens always maintained a typical Victorian antipathy to discussing the latter.

his three companions, Messrs Tracy Tupman, Augustus Snodgrass and Nathaniel Winkle, indulging in exercise. Dickens is rarely inadvertently funny, but his lack of understanding of the rules of cricket, in a scene at Dingley Dell, will bring a chuckle to lovers of the game. He didn’t know his square cut from his fine leg.

Sam Weller as Mr Pickwick’s worldly-savvy but golden-hearted manservant, sales shot up to the tens of thousands. There is almost no predicament, one feels, that the unworldly but kind Mr Pickwick can get himself into that the canny young Sam – aided by his father sometimes – cannot get him out of. Early shades of Jeeves and Wooster. Part of the fun, bearing in mind that readers had to wait a month to find the answer, was trying to work out ‘How on earth is Sam going to do it this time?’

Picture 3 Rochester The Dickens family moved several times in the early years and, in April 1817, they were posted to Chatham which merges with the historic town of Rochester. Charles was five. Chatham is not writ large in Dickens’s work. However, it does have the distinction of being the model for Mudfog which features in The Mudfog Papers, serialized in Bentley’s Miscellany when Dickens was 25 years old. This is a piece of youthful literary slapstick, maybe not as subtle as his later work but extremely funny. It follows the proceedings of ‘The Mudfog Society for the Advancement of Everything’, a parody of The British Society for the Advancement of Science which had been set up in 1831. Although this particular society has become extremely respected it was, at the time, just one of many which were set up by the high-minded Victorians for the advancement of just-about-everything and it was a target that the youthful high spirits of Dickens could not resist. In literary terms, Rochester – a little way along the very same street as Chatham - is the famous town to which the Pickwick Club came for its first adventure. Dickens was 24 and, before the book - published in monthly parts - was anywhere near finished, he was a major and permanent star in the literary firmament. ‘Pickwick’ was actually born of tragedy in that the original and brilliant illustrator, Robert Seymour, blew his brains out after a few episodes. ‘Sketches By Boz’, a previous literary attempt, had been enough of a success to persuade

Chapman and Hall, the publishers, that the young Charles might possibly contribute to the project. The vision was, initially, illustrations about sporting life with explanatory words: upon Seymour’s death, Dickens succeeded in having this reversed – henceforth his writing would be the main feature and the drawings would back up his text. Also, Dickens knew next to nothing about sport and so we only very reluctantly and occasionally find Mr Pickwick – who also went from thin to portly at this time – and

The Pickwick Papers was initially only a very minor success. At first, monthly sales struggled to reach 500. When Dickens introduced

2016 February | 21

FINEPLACES Picture 4 Eastgate House It was in his early life at Rochester and Chatham that Dickens studied some of the buildings that were to be immortalised in his greatest works. Eastgate House in the High Street is an example of a setting that Dickens used in more than one novel. A genuine school for girls in Dickens’ time, it serves as the Westgate Seminary for Young Ladies, scene of Mr Pickwick’s comic misadventures in The Pickwick Papers. Rosa also attends Miss Twinkleton’s school for young ladies, an identical building but transferred to Bury St Edmunds, in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Here: ‘Rosa soon made the discovery that Miss Twinkleton didn’t read fairly. She cut the love-scenes, interpolated passages in praise of female celibacy, and was guilty of other pious frauds.’

Picture 5 Miss Havisham’s House An even more famous building is Satis House, Home of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. It is also the last place Dickens was seen alive by the public three days before his death in 1870: the reason that he had come back to survey it is unknown, but maybe it held especial charms for him or maybe he was going to use it again in his last great, unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. We will never know. Anyway, to get to it walk to the rear of the cathedral where there is a row of cottages, Minor Canon Row, which housed, in Dickens’ day, some of the lesser clergy. They are referred to in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. If you carry on walking, Vines Park hoves into view. Pip takes this route on his way to see Miss Havisham for the last time in Great Expectations. He would probably have been thinking of all his past pain – the desperate, unrequited, love for Estella, who had been brought up by Miss Havisham to break men’s hearts. Maybe he was thinking of her cruel words: ‘Moths, and all sorts of ugly creatures hover about a lighted candle. Can the candle help it?’

22 | February 2016

Surely, too, he could have been wondering how he managed to keep his young sanity, on his most significant previous visit. The lady of the house, jilted on her wedding day, had resolved to keep everything in one room exactly as it was at twenty to nine that fateful morning, at the exact moment she received the unforgivable news of her lover’s desertion and treachery. Pip, a young and innocent boy, in love with a girl who seems to despise him, is introduced to the rot and decay of the wedding room, in a scene of horror enough to send a sensitive nature over the edge. Pip is talking: ‘The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread upon it, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together. An epergne or centerpiece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite indistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckle-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, as if some circumstance of the greatest public importance had just transpired in the spider community…

“This,” said she, pointing to the long table with her stick, “is where I will be laid when I am dead. They shall come and look at me here.”’ Pip’s last visit does, in fact, end with Miss Havisham’s death. She

catches her dress in the fire and dies of burns a short while later. She realizes that she has merely broken Pip’s heart, ruined Estella’s chances of happiness, and achieved nothing by her selfishness. She cries, “What have I done? What have I done?”


Picture 6 The Mighty Thames by Daniel Tink

London was a sooty spectre, divided in purpose between being visible and invisible, and so being wholly neither.’

Citizens of the capital will tell you that, today, London is inhabited by two types of people – those who act as if it is the centre of the universe and those who know it is. Dickens subscribed to the latter view. London imbues most of his writing, and often he was fascinated by the dirt and squalor of it all:

Our Mutual Friend

‘It was a foggy day in London, and the fog was heavy and dark. Animate London, with smarting eyes and irritated lungs, was blinking, wheezing, and choking; inanimate

Even the rain cannot wash the city clean: ‘In the country, the rain would have developed a thousand scents, and every drop would have had its bright association with some beautiful form of growth or life. In the city, it developed only foul stale smells, and was a sickly, lukewarm, dirt-stained wretched addition to the gutters.’ Little Dorr it

The mighty River Thames is often a metaphor for life itself in Dickens’s work. Rain, tears, rivers, fogs and mists, stagnant pools, the sea – all are omnipresent in his great novels. Thus we have the pure heaven-sent tears that young Paul Dombey cried when he himself was heaven-bound; the mighty ocean, over which Scrooge flies in A Christmas Carol, embracing ‘secrets as profound as death’; it is also at once the means of escape to a new life for the Micawbers in Australia and the ultimate arbiter for the flawed romantic hero, Steerforth, dying in a terrifying storm off Yarmouth

after his fateful deeds in David Copperfield; Miss Havisham’s tears for a wasted and cruel life in Great Expectations – water, water everywhere. Except, that is, for the arch-villains: Murdstone, Ralph Nickleby, Squeers, Jonas Chuzzlewit, Scrooge in his unreformed state, Quilp, Mr Dombey, Uriah Heep, Fagin, at least partially as he does a good deal of quivering and tearful wailing in his condemned cell, and I think Dickens maintained a soft spot in a small corner of his heart for him - these men don’t cry. For Dickens, shedding tears is an act of redemption and some he did not wish to redeem. 2016 February | 23


Picture 7 The Strand Dickens knew this area intimately both from when he was working at the blacking factory and from his travels to and from the House of Commons in his time as a newspaper reporter (which didn’t last long as he was to become far too famous for such a job as this). We can imagine, though, between here and Covent Garden, a poor little waif - ten years old in the fictional account, David Copperfield; twelve years in reality – eeking out his weekly pay for food and treats. He tells us that he quickly became a connoisseur of pudding: a shop near St Martin’s Church sold a very nice pudding, full of currants, but it was twice the price of a more bland but equally filling type – ‘flabby’ with currants placed a long way apart – from another shop in the Strand. Down by the present Embankment tube was a ‘miserable’ pub, ‘the Lion, or the Lion and something’, from which he could dine more expensively if he had the money. Here he might buy ‘a saveloy and a penny loaf ‘or a ‘fourpenny plate of red 24 | February 2016

beef’. One very special time, he went to an ‘alamode’ beef house in Drury Lane and asked for a ‘small plate’ of beef’ which he ate with some bread he had brought with him. The waiter had rarely seen anything so comical as this young ragamuffin mixing with well dressed ladies and gentlemen, no doubt all out to see a show, and he called his colleague over to watch. We can only imagine the burning shame of the little chap who was out on his own because his father was imprisoned for debt and who had had to earn his meager supper money rubbing shoulders with Mealy Potatoes. ‘I am a gentleman; yes I am, really …’ Charles Dickens/David Copperfield drank ale with meals, in the morning and all day as water was dangerous. On one special occasion, maybe he thinks his birthday, he went into a pub and asked for a glass of ‘very best’ ale. The landlady gave it to him, though probably somewhat watered down, bending down to give him a kiss and his money back at the same time.

The Adelphi Theatre is just up the road. Young David remembers wandering around here as it had tantalizing alleys and passageways. Later in life, Dickens would cooperate with his good friend, Wilkie Collins, to adapt the Christmas story No Thoroughfare and put it on at this theatre. It was an enormous success and ran for over 150 performances. It made a fortune. Did it make Dickens content? Silly question. Also, at the time, this area was a good place to find lodgings. In David Copperfield Mrs Crupp gave David, his Aunt and Mr Dick an apartment here following Betsey Trotwood’s financial ‘ruin’ by unscrupulous persons who would soon be most satisfyingly undone by the lion-hearted, if occasionally shambolic, Mr Micawber. Aunt Betsey soon brings the landlady to heel by hilariously demonstrating who is in charge of the flat and her beloved ‘Trotwood’. She…’ struck such terror to the breast of Mrs Crupp, that she subsided into her

own kitchen, under the impression that my aunt was mad.’ There is a happy scene towards the end of Martin Chuzzlewit, at the other end of the Strand, near Fleet Street. The novel is largely about selfishness and how each main character loses it – apart from the tragic-comic hypocrite, Pecksniff, and the incorrigible and evil Jonas Chuzzlewit. Martin returns from America, and neardeath, a changed man and relishes the opportunity to be of service to his manservant/friend, Mark Tapley when they find themselves without accommodation in the Strand. He secures ‘two garrets for himself and Mark, situated in a court in the Strand not far from Temple Bar’. He has their luggage transferred there, ‘and it was with a glow of satisfaction, which as a selfish man he never could have known and never had, that, thinking how much pains and trouble he had saved Mark, and how pleased and astonished Mark would be, he afterwards walked up and down, in the Temple, eating a meat pie for his dinner.’

FINEPLACES Picture 8 48 Doughty Street, London This was the pleasant and relatively expensive rented house in which Dickens lived following his first successes. He had married Catherine and used to venture

out on his famous night walks from here where he would mull over possible plots and characters, returning as dawn broke to write down his thoughts in a torrent of energy. His wife, and anyone else around at the time, knew better than to get in his way.

Picture 10 The Famous Young Man At The Top Of His Game

Picture 9 Nicholas Nickleby By Daniel Tink The Pickwick Papers was followed rapidly by Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. Both were world-wide triumphs. This picture is where Regents Street sweeps northwards in a stately arc and it is where Dickens housed Lord Verisopht in Nicholas Nickleby. For some reason, although we don’t know for sure, I have always imagined the ‘handsome suite of private apartments’ to be in the first half of the street on the left hand side before reaching

Hamleys. It is here, in Nicholas Nickleby, that we first meet this dissolute gentleman at three o’clock in the afternoon, reclining listlessly on a sofa, his slippered foot dangling to the ground. He is yawning and comparing notes about the previous night’s debauch with his constant companion, Sir Mulberry Hawk. They are bent on the dishonour of Miss Kate Nickleby. (They are eventually undone by a sequence of events sparked off by a confrontation with Kate’s brother, Nicholas, in an Inn probably situated in Park Lane, just off Marble Arch and not far from here).

Dickens’s early life was rounded off with a work for which he will always be remembered – A Christmas Carol. He was just 31 when it came out to unprecedented and universal acclaim in 1843. This is a portrait of him in Doughty Street about that time by his good friend Daniel Maclise. It shows a young, confident individual looking up and out into the world. Were there any more mountains to conquer? Could he possibly go on to greater things? He most certainly could. Next Time 10 More Pictures Of Dickens At The Height Of His Powers. The World of Charles Dickens by Stephen Browning is published by Halsgrove at 16.99, available in bookshops and Amazon etc

2016 February | 25

English National Opera Norfolk-based arts correspondent, Tony Cooper, previews English National Opera’s new season


prince) and Papageno (the birdcatcher) find themselves caught up in the middle of a mighty battle between Sarastro (leader of a priestly community) and the manipulative Queen of Night.

The Magic Flute explores the search for true love and enlightenment as Tamino (the royal

McBurney’s wonderfully theatrical and imaginative staging is given a contemporary setting in which live sound-effects and breathtaking animations bring this captivating tale to life. A huge hit with audiences and critics alike, there

omplicite artistic director, Simon McBurney, returns to ENO, based in London’s swishy St Martin’s Lane, to direct the first revival of his fantastic production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. An outstanding cast will be led by ENO music director, Mark Wigglesworth.

26 | February 2016

was standing room only for several performances during the 2013 run. The Daily Express described the production as ‘wonderfully original’ with ‘so many good and surprising things . . . that it is difficult to know where to start’. McBurney’s recognised as one of the most important theatrical creators in the world today and is widely known through his acting roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and the Deathly

Hallows (part I) as well as playing Archdeacon Robert in the BBC TV comedy series Rev and also as Attlee in 2015’s Mission: Impossible. His ENO production of A Dog’s Heart in 2010 was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production and his oneman show The Encounter received exceptional reviews at last year’s Edinburgh International Festival and it opens at the Barbican Theatre this month: Friday12th February.

FINEARTS Tony Cooper in the West End!

feature by:

Tony Cooper Writer

sung’ (The Daily Telegraph) and ‘simply breathtaking in its beauty’ (The Guardian). British tenor and former ENO Harewood Artist, Allan Clayton, will sing the role of Tamino. A Young Singer of the Year nominee for the inaugural International Opera Awards in 2013. The Times described him as ‘the real thing: a great British singer who deserves to be championed’. His performances as Cassio in David Alden’s 2014 production of Verdi’s Otello were described as ‘gorgeously sung; every

The Magic Flute - Ben Johnson & Devon Guthrie © Robbie Jack

The unforgettable story-telling will be matched by music-making of the highest level. Maestro Wigglesworth and the ENO orchestra will be raised out of the pit and moved to centre stage. An acknowledged Mozartian, Wigglesworth has previously conducted ‘altogether wonderful’ (The Independent on Sunday) performances of Mozart’s Così fan tutte for ENO in 2002 and ’03. He made his ‘triumphant début as music director of ENO’ (London Evening Standard) with a

‘masterly’ and ‘musically powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph) performance of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in September. The world-class roster of ENO regulars will be led by British soprano Lucy Crowe as Pamina. Especially noted for her performances of the baroque and classical repertoire, her performance in Peter Sellars’ production of Purcell’s The Indian Queen last year was ‘exquisitely


2016 February | 27


The Magic Flute - Ben Johnson & Devon Guthrie with ENO Chorus © Robbie Jack

syllable ... beautiful and poised’ (The Arts Desk). Australian baritone, Peter Coleman-Wright, will sing Papageno. He has performed with leading opera companies all over the world including the Metropolitan Opera New York, Paris Opéra and La Scala Milan as well as in a variety of roles for ENO. He was last seen at the Coliseum for ‘extraordinary’ (The Independent) performances in the title-role of Detlev Glanert’s Caligula in 2012.

Hall, sings Monostatos. His performances as Aschenbach in Deborah Warner’s production of Britten’s Death in Venice (revived by ENO in 2013) received rave reviews and in 2012 he won the Abbiati prize for his interpretation of that role at La Scala Milan. ENO Harewood Artists, Eleanor Dennis and Catherine Young, sing First and Second Lady and Rachael Lloyd joins the cast as Third Lady. Soraya Mafi returns from her ‘enchanting’ (The Daily Telegraph) ENO début as Edith

in Mike’s Leigh’s outstanding production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance to sing the role of Papagena. She’ll also sing the role of Karolka in Janáček’s Jenufa in June. Collaborating with McBurney is costume designer Nicky Gillibrand, lighting designer Jean Kalman, sound designer Gareth Fry and choreographer Josie Daxter. Set designer Michael Levine and video designer Finn Ross complete an exceptional gifted and creative team.

Young Canadian soprano, Ambur Braid, makes her UK début as the calculating Queen of Night. Braid is quickly establishing herself as an exceptional exponent of dramatic coloratura soprano roles such as Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Handel’s Semele. James Creswell returns to the role of Sarastro after ‘masterly’ (The Observer) performances in 2013. He’s currently performing as Padre Guardiano in ENO’s five-star production of Verdi’s The Force of Destiny. ENO favourite, John Graham-

28 | February 2016

The Magic Flute - Alessio D’Andrea, Finlay A’Court, Alex Karlsson

© Robbie Jack

The Magic Flute - a co-production with Dutch National Opera and the International Festival of Lyric Art, Aix-en-Provence - opens at the London Coliseum on Friday 5th February running for 13 performances until Saturday 19th March. Other highlights in the new season include Bellini’s Norma, Philip Glass’ Akhnaten and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. And award-winning director, Christopher Alden, returns to ENO for the company’s first-ever production of Bellini’s indisputable bel canto masterpiece, Norma. This critically-acclaimed production comes to London for the first time but was first seen and staged by Opera North in 2012. The scenario surrounds a closeknit community whose way of life is threatened by unstoppable change. The people want war. Their priestess Norma, secretly in love with one of the enemy Pollione, resists. But now he has a new love and in the face of his betrayal it seems Norma is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. Celebrated


The Magic Flute - Ben Johnson (foreground) Rosie Aldridge Eleanor Dennis Clare Presland (L-R background) Š Robbie Jack

2016 February | 29

FINEARTS for its fine melodies, Norma features one of opera’s most recognisable arias ‘Casta Diva’, made famous by sopranos Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland.

The Magic Flute - Devon Guthrie & Ben Johnson © Robbie Jack

Rising star soprano, Marjorie Owens, makes her UK, ENO and role début in the demanding titlerole with British tenor, Peter Auty, making his role début as Pollione. Norma opens on Wednesday 17th February running for seven performances. Watching Philip Glass’ Akhnaten is a thought-provoking, absorbing experience. The opera, which has not been seen in London for almost 30 years, explores the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh. Following the success of Glass’ Satyagraha and The Perfect American for ENO, Improbable Theatre Company’s Phelim McDermott returns to the Coliseum to direct this hypnotically-mesmerising work. Counter-tenor, Anthony Roth Costanzo, sings the challenging title-role for the first time while conductor, Karen Kamensek, a specialist in Glass’ music, makes her ENO début. This new production of Akhnaten celebrates ENO’s close relationship with one of contemporary music’s leading composers and opens on Friday 4th March for seven performances. An epic drama told on a grand scale, Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde promises an unforgettable highlight of ENO’s current season. From the opening bars of the famous prelude, Wagner’s powerful opera is one of the most significant pieces in the repertoire. It’s ENO’s first new production of Tristan and Isolde since 1996 and will be directed by ‘theatre’s most exciting young director’ (The Daily Telegraph), Daniel Kramer, with designs from Anish Kapoor, one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. The exceptional cast is led by the outstanding Wagnerian heldentenor, Stuart Skelton, as Tristan. He’s joined by American dramatic soprano, Heidi Melton and British bass, Matthew 30 | February 2016

The Magic Flute - Roland Wood © Robbie Jack

FINEARTS Norma © Alastair Muir

The Magic Flute - Katie Bedford © Robbie Jack

The Magic Flute - Mary Bevan & Roland Wood © Robbie Jack

Rose. Former ENO music director, Edward Gardner, conducts. Tristan and Isolde opens on Thursday 9th June for eight performances. Box office: 0207 845 9300 Email: Travelling by train to London - Abellio Greater Anglia run regular

services every half hour from Norwich to London Liverpool Street calling at stations en route and for the return journey the last two trains leave Liverpool Street at 22.30 and 23.30. These trains also serve Ipswich for those travelling back to Suffolk. www.abelliogreateranglia.

The Magic Flute - Clare Presland, Eleanor Dennis, Rosie Aldridge

© Robbie Jack

2016 February | 31


The Gallery Norfolk

A vibrant – and friendly – new presence on Norwich’s art gallery scene The Gallery Norfolk opens at 60 St Giles, Norwich on 30th January 2016with an exhibition by landscape artist Ruth Bunnewell


vibrant new gallery – The Gallery Norfolk – opens at 60 St Giles, Norwich on 30th January 2016. Offering high-quality, but affordable art and a carefully chosen selection of handmade craft, The Gallery Norfolk launches with a threeweek exhibition of oil paintings by the Norfolk-born landscape painter Ruth Bunnewell. Ruth’s paintings – and those of her father Leon – have become one of the main attractions at the Cromer branch of The Gallery Norfolk, which opened in summer 2012 and has achieved a notable reputation around the county – and beyond – for its liveliness and creativity. “It’s very exciting to be bringing The Gallery Norfolk to Norwich,” says its owner Polly Miller. “Visitors to our first branch in Cromer really

seem to appreciate the energy and colour that characterises the art and craft we choose. They can take its quality on trust – we make a point of searching out talented artists and craftspeople who offer something personal and special – and our style in the gallery is friendly and unpressured.” Visitors to the new Norwich branch will be able to take some time to reflect on their prospective purchases over (real) coffee and (handmade) cake in the gallery itself, since there will be a large refectory table with a selection of art books to leaf through. The opening exhibition features some 30 oil paintings by Ruth Bunnewell, who in July 2015 featured in House and Garden magazine as a rising star. She trained at the Norwich School of Art and Design (now Norwich

University College of the Arts) and bases her paintings on her own photographs, capturing a specific, remembered moment and combining stillness with dramatic use of strong lines and pigments. As Ruth herself says: “Growing up in Norfolk, I have always been drawn to the contrast between the wide open spaces of the landscape, and the tight, dark, dense groups of trees – whether they be the forests of Thetford, the woodlands that line many roads throughout the county, or the small groups of trees that stand alone in fields. The appeal is in the suddenness of the change between the light and freedom of the open fields – where one can see for miles – and the darkness and restrictiveness of being between the trees.” She cites American painters Edward Hopper and Mark Rothko as influences – along with offbeat movie director David Lynch. Polly Miller feels that: “There is an air of mystery in Ruth’s work … a tantalising sense of a moment captured when something has just happened – or is maybe just about to happen.” The Ruth Bunnewell paintings on show range in size from just 25cm square to over a metre square, with prices from £225 to £2500. Most are priced at under £1000,

32 | February 2016

with several under £500. Even if you are not planning to invest in an original oil painting or watercolour, by Ruth Bunnewell or by other artists, such as Gareth Jones, Eloise O’Hare, Sarah McMenemy and Lance Beeke, The Gallery Norfolk still offers a vast and stimulating choice of art and craftwork, much of it with a special connection to Norfolk: • Limited edition silkscreen prints, linocuts, woodcuts and engravings, including the work of nationally-known artists like Paul Bommer, Jill Desborough, Andy Lovell, Lara Harwood and Chris Wormell • Photographs by Norfolkbased Dave Morris and Mark Farquharson • Sculpture – from cast resin dogs and figures by Andy Thomas to charming, delicate paperwork birds by Suzanne Breakwell • Wirework – birds by Hayley Dix, and pictures and clocks by Helaina Sharpley • Ceramics, like the coolly elegant organic forms of Daniel Reynolds and the often intricate work – also inspired by nature – of Rebecca Broad

FINEARTS 3. October Pensthorpe

• Rococo shell work from Norfolk-based Carolyn BrookesDavies: hand-crafted baubles, mirrors, candlesticks and treasure boxes

Pensthorpe has been a favourite place since being very young. I especially enjoy visiting now, as I visit along with my niece and nephew, and this brings home the cyclical nature of parts of life. Seeing actions that I once did at Pensthorpe, being repeated by my niece and nephew, brings a feeling of security that comes with that continuity. I am drawn to the fact that such continuity which for me seems permanent, is in fact an illusion, as not so long ago the path that my family walk down was once a railway line, and maybe it is this contrast that appeals - finding permanence amongst change.

• Glass by Norfolk based-makers Salt (Max Lamb and Fiona Wilkes) and Heather Power’s exquisite etchwork • Jewellery: handmade and oneoff pieces by British jewellers such as Aylsham-based Vivienne Head, and from as far afield as Columbia! Prices start from around £50. • Gorgeous scarves by Jo Edwards. The Gallery Norfolk also offers an in-house framing service with a superb range of mouldings and mounts, backed by meticulous technical expertise and a sure creative eye. The Gallery Norfolk [Norwich] 60 St Giles Norwich NR2 1LW open 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday tel: to be confirmed email: polly@ The Gallery Norfolk [Cromer] 3 Church Street Cromer Norfolk NR27 9ER tel: 01263 515745 email: polly@ www.thegallerynorfolk. Facebook: gallerynorfolk/

1. Holkham Sands

4. Travelling Ruth Bunnewell’s thoughts on four of the paintings in her exhibition at The Gallery Norfolk 1. Holkham Sands Holkham offers such a contrast one moment you will be amongst the pines, and the next you will come out into such space. The expanse of sand, and the hugeness of the sky are challenging to capture in paint. There is almost too much there - in terms of distance that you can see - to attempt to paint, yet at the same time not enough there, especially on a day when the sky can seem to be a flat grey monotone, and this can reflect on the wet sand, seemingly showing a scene void of much detail. Often though when you look for long enough, details can emerge, such as subtle changes in colour or tone, and what once appeared ‘flat’ can be full of shapes and movement and changes.

2. Road to Heydon

2. Road to Heydon If I had to think of one scene that best describes my impressions of Norfolk, it would be one of a B-road, edged with a line of trees, with open fields either side. Perhaps this also describes other counties, but there seems to be something specific that can’t be put into words, about Norfolk. Perhaps it is the general flatness of the scenery, although this is certainly not always the case, or maybe the amount of sky that one can see. I try to capture this ‘norfolk-ness’. Perhaps also the draw to this scenery comes from the very basic aesthetics that it offers. Flat horizons and horizontal planes intersect with the vertical trees, almost forming grid-like patterns. Maybe Norfolk is a Mondrian composition made into landscape.

3. October Pensthorpe

Whereas most children seem to eagerly await arriving at a destination at the end of a car journey, my greatest pleasure always came from being inside the car looking out at the passing scenes. Even as a child I mostly felt slight disappointment on arrival at a destination. I too would ask “are we nearly there yet?”, but hoping to hear the answer that we still had quite a way to travel. This is still one of my most luxurious pleasures - sitting and watching various scenes move past. With every new scene it feels that a new story is under way, in the same way that in a theatre the set is changed and a new act is about to begin. Maybe my love of fiction, and literature ties in with how I see each scene - each scene offers a chance to imagine what has happened in that ‘set’, or what future stories may take place within in. When I paint I am painting a back-drop to possible stories. This scene was from a photo that I took from the car window whilst on the North Norfolk coast road.

4. Travelling

2016 February | 33

Tel 01603 867521 | Mob 07762039656

Antenatal Courses Increase your knowledge and confidence around labour and birth, becoming a new parent, and looking after and feeding your newborn baby. Small groups offer an opportunity to make life-long friends.

Free Early Pregnancy Class 01508 536990 34 | February 2016



orfolk based poet Luke Wright is best known for blistering, incisive and astute performance poetry and regular slots on BBC Radio, but it was his first theatre show What I Learned from Johnny Bevan that took the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe by storm. The show received a Fringe First for the quality of the writing and Wright received a Stage Award for Acting Excellence for his hurricane performance. He is bringing the show to Norwich Arts Centre on 24 May for what looks set to be a triumphant homecoming after a three week run in London’s West End and a national tour. Written and performed by Luke in deft visceral, punchy verse, with a score by Ian Catskilkin from the band Art Brut, What I Learned From Johnny Bevan is a theatrically brilliant, breath-taking poetic monologue. The book of the show will be published in February in limited edition hardback and paperback. What I Learned from Johnny Bevan is a compelling, politically charged story encompassing shattered friendships, class and social ceilings, telling the story of how the whip-smart, mercurial Johnny Bevan saves Nick at university, smashing his comfortable middle class bubble and firing him up about politics, music and literature. Twenty years later, as their youthful dreams disintegrate alongside the social justice they hoped for, can Nick, now a jaded music journalist, save Johnny from himself? What I Learned from Johnny Bevan by Luke Wright

Luke Wright What I Learned from Johnny Bevan by Luke Wright

Multi award winning, searingly relevant political drama from leading poet Wright. Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedicts St Norwich NR2 4PG 24 May 8pm ÂŁ12 01603 660352 www.norwichartscentre. 2016 February | 35


Brutally Moving Edinburgh Hit Coming To Norwich Fast paced adaptation of Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s best-selling autobiography I Am Not Myself These Days Written and performed by Tom Stuart, directed by Nick Bagnall, produced by Fuel ‘Heartbreaking and brilliant’ EdFringe Review At the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe the extraordinarily compelling tour-deforce performance of Tom Stuart, in his own adaptation of the bestselling memoir, became one of the talking points of the Festival. Audiences were visibly moved by the story of alcoholic drag queen Aqua desperately trying to make a relationship work with Jack, a highclass rent boy addicted to crack. Now Norfolk audiences have an opportunity to see it when it comes to Norwich Playhouse on Monday 15 February as part of a UK tour that includes a two-week London run. ‘Tom Stuart’s performance is breathtakingly physical... A wellconstructed adaptation of a brutal story told with energy and compassion’ The Stage *****

36 | February 2016

I Am Not Myself These Days is a fast-paced one-man show that is by turns brutal, funny and heartbreaking, a gripping tale of love and self-discovery set amidst the hedonistic excesses of 1990’s New York. It is adapted for the stage from Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s New York Times Bestseller, a darkly humorous autobiographical story of a young New Yorker’s unconventional journey to selfacceptance while living a daring dual life - advertising art director by day, glitter-dripping drag queen by night. ‘Profoundly affecting, by turns warm, bitter, optimistic, cynical and deeply, profoundly human’ ThreeWeeks **** Although the characters pride themselves on their unconventionality, their problems are universal. Tom Stuart felt compelled to adapt the novel for

the stage to bring the personal journey of a marginalised member of society into a wider context, seeking to help break down the barriers of prejudice. Tom puts it like this ‘it’s such an incredibly honest, open and engaging book. I wanted to see if I could extend that honesty to the stage and make an audience feel how I felt reading the book alone in my bed. I like to think of it as a love story, albeit an unconventional one. Although set in a specific time and place, I think most people will be able to relate to and recognise something of themselves in it, whatever their background or circumstances.’ ‘Stuart is a charismatic presence and a fine actor and storyteller’ Scotsman Tom Stuart works extensively in theatre around the UK and appears frequently at

Shakespeare’s Globe. His TV work includes Kathy Burke’s Walking and Talking, Psychobitches, Little Crackers and Law and Order. Films include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love’, and John Boorman’s Queen & Country. ‘Tom Stuart preens to perfection as Paris’ Time Out (Last Days of Troy, Manchester Royal Exchange) Director Nick Bagnall is associate director at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. His most recent work includes The Odyssey: Missing presumed dead - ETT/ Liverpool Everyman; The Last Days Of Troy Royal Exchange, Manchester/ Shakespeare’s Globe and The Henry VI Trilogy - Shakespeare’s Globe.

Listings info: I Am Not Myself These Days Written and performed by Tom Stuart, directed by Nick Bagnall, produced by Fuel Fast-paced and moving tale of love and self-discovery, in the flashy, trashy New York of the 1990s, adapted from Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s bestselling autobiography. February Norwich Playhouse 42-58 St Georges St NR3 1AB 15 February, 8pm £10 01603 598 598 www.


‘Profoundly affecting, by turns warm, bitter, optimistic, cynical and deeply, profoundly human’ ThreeWeeks ****

‘Heartbreaking and brilliant’ EdFringe Review

2016 February | 37


What’s On At Maddermarket Here’s What’s Happening At Maddermarket This Month Belly Dance Classes - 8 Week Course – Tuesdays

Wensum Lodge Sports Hall. Improvers and beginners to bellydance are welcome. Tickets: £50 per term Class starts promptly at 6pm, please wear comfortable clothing suitable for light exercise. More information on classes, and full workshop details: www. Tickets: £50 for term of 8 weeks

Belly Dance Classes - 8 Week Course – Tuesdays Tue 19 Jan - Tue 08 Mar Tuesdays 6pm - 7pm at The Stanley Cooper Hall, Charing Cross Centre, NR2 1DN (Opposite the Maddermarket Theatre) Your chance to join Eleanor’s popular belly dance classes at the Maddermarket Theatre January 19th - March 8th2016 Tuesday evenings, 6.00PM 7.00PM Stanley Cooper Hall, Charing Cross Centre, NR2 1DN (Opposite the Maddermarket Theatre) Discover the ancient and beautiful art of belly dance with professional teacher, performer, and choreographer, Eleanor. (www. In this term you will learn 38 | February 2016

traditional Egyptian dancing: a strong and feminine dance with great poise and body awareness. In class we will focus on well-defined hip and chest movements with a steady head and flowing arms. As a student you will steadily grow in confidence and expand your dance knowledge over the term through clear teaching of technique and movement, enabling you to interpret music and dance freely. These classes have great community spirit and you will have a lot of fun. You will be encouraged to be both creative and expressive with the dance. The term consists of 8 evening classes (Tuesdays evenings, January 19th - March 8th 2016), plus a choice of one of two workshops:

Maddermarket Theatre Auction Of Props, Costumes And Curiosities Fri 05 February preview 5pm, doors open 6pm, auction starts at 7:30pm Auctioneer TW Gaze Props, costumes and curiosities go under the hammer at a special event in aid of the Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre renovation fund Auction will start at 7.30 in the auditorium. Sign up for a paddle on arrival to bid for your favourite items.

The auction will be run alongside auctioneers TW Gaze after the success of 2015 where the theatre raised around £7000. Highlights will include; Vintage costumes, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Sleigh, Puppets, and the four thrones, Vintage spotlight, Belfast sink, leather high stool and show memorabelia. There will also be a tombola, vintage sale rail and a free glass of Bucks Fizz on arrival. All auction bids need to be settled on the night. Tickets: £5.00

Big O And The Travelling Wilburys Sun 07 February 7.30pm Paul Hopkins, the UKs No 1 Tribute to Roy Orbison, performs with four other top class tributes in a spectacular show recreating the time when Orbison joined forces with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty to form the legendary 1980s super group The Travelling Wilburys. This formidable team created an album that completely rocked the music industry and the public

Maddermarket Theatre Auction Of Props, Costumes And Curiosities

Option 1: Improvisation with Egyptian Dance on Saturday 13th February 2016, 2 – 4pm, at the Maddermarket Theatre. Option 2: Veils for Egyptian Dance on Sunday the 6th March 2016, Norwich, 12 – 2pm at the

FINEARTS we will explore dance as a form of physical expression. You will learn how to interpret slow soulful music and fast energetic music using Baladi folk dance and traditional Egyptian dance. Both of these dances favour movements that work freely and naturally with the body. Belly dance is often a celebratory dance used at events and gatherings in the Middle East where dances are improvised by the people. By the end of this workshop we will all dance together to bring a taste of that shared celebration and creativity to our home of Norwich.

Scratch Shot - New Writing Evening

alike, selling over five million copies worldwide. Paul and his friend’s easy relaxed style, excellent vocals and musicality result in an evening of classic songs including Handle With Care, The End Of The Line, Heading For The Light, The Wilbury Twist and Rattled. Follow them on Twitter Tickets: £19.50 (£17.50 concessions)

Scratch Shot - New Writing Evening Thu 11 February 7.30pm Reduck Produckions and Maddermarket Theatre New to Norfolk, REDuck ProDUCKions brings you ‘Scratch Shot’, an evening dedicated to the performance of fresh writing – be it for theatre, screen, radio or just for fun.

space of one evening. For actors it is a brilliant chance to be the first to bring these characters to life in a ‘rehearsed reading’ style environment. There is plenty of scope to try something new, play a different character and experience a plethora of genres! Submissions for both writing and actors will open soon in readiness for our opening night on 14th January! Scatch Shot will then continue each month on the second Thursday thereafter. It is all in the effort to promote and support new writing in Norwich. And best of all, it happens all in one evening. For actors there is no stressing about learning lines and for writers it’s a quick snapshot of what their finished piece could look like.

If you are interested in taking part, please email redduckproduck@ as soon as possible and stating if you are interested in submitting a piece of work of it you are interested in acting. Tickets: £5.00

Belly Dance Workshop; Improvisation Sat 13 February 2pm 4pm Eleanor Bellydances: learn to improvise with Egyptian dance! Discover the ancient and beautiful art of belly dance with professional teacher, performer, and choreographer, Eleanor. In this very special workshop

Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for light exercise, a soft floor length skirt and hip belt is encouraged if you have it. (Any thin scarf can be used as a hip belt). More information: www. Tickets: £20.00

Intellectual Hooligans Sat 13 February doors open 8pm, show starts At 8.30pm. (Free workshop 7-8pm for ticket holders) Comedy Impro Show The show will consist of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” games based on audience suggestions. The Intellectual Hooligans are a group of top notch improv

Experienced and new writers are given the opportunity to test-drive their pieces as talented actors take their text off the page and bring their characters to life. It is an exciting opportunity for writers to see their work in progress and how it would look, sound and be tested on a welcoming audience. Be it a screen play, radio piece or a script for stage. A whole range of writing genres and styles all from the heart of Norfolk. All in the

Intellectual Hooligans

2016 February | 39

FINEARTS comedy performers led by Daniel Taylor (founder of UEA Headlights Comedy Society) and Rob aka Will Turner (creator of Reynard City). The show will consist of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” games based on audience suggestions. Prior to the show, there will be a one hour workshop open to anyone wishing to try their hand at improv. Held in the Redwell Bar, so get there early to ensure you get a good seat and enjoy our local crafted beer and snacks. Follow on twitter @intellectHoolig Tickets: £6.00 (free workshop 7- 8pm for ticket holders)

Showbitz - The Love Songs Sun 14 February 7.30pm Showbitz invite you on a special date this St. Valentine’s Day in a celebration of ‘That Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, in all its wonderful, exciting, tantalising and heartbreaking stages. Crammed with timeless classics (and a few first encounters) from the world of stage, screen and the charts, join us on a romantic stroll through the thrills and spills of love

Showbitz - The Love Songs

and heartbreak, written by some of the world’s greatest songwriters. From the first flutter of infatuation, the romantic bloom of summer love, to the pain of separation and love’s legacy of memories, this specially compiled programme proves that All You Need is Love. So, warm the cockles of the

heart this Valentine’s Day with an evening of songs of romance, passion, devotion, and even a little naughtiness! Tickets: £10.00

Norwich Jazz Club Monthly Jam Session Mon 15 February 8.00pm 10.30pm Join us in the Redwell Maddermarket Theatre Bar where guest performers are invited to sit in with the house trio. Musicians of all ages and experience are welcome, so come on down and have a blow, or relax and listen to some of the city’s finest jazz talent. Tickets: entry free to participants / £5 to nonparticipants. Tickets on the door.

The Man With The Flower In His Mouth Mon 15 Feb - Fri 19 Feb 1.10pm Guessworks Theatre Presents

Two strangers cross paths in a cafe. One is very strange indeed... Pirandello’s classic one-act play is a disarming meditation on how we cope with living, and how we cope with dying. Presented in the Emmerson Studio Theatre Tickets: £6.00

Norwich Jazz Club Presents Kevin Fitzsimmons (Vocals) With Leon Greening (Pno) Adam King (Bass) And Matt Fishwick (Drums) Tue 16 February Doors 7.30pm, Music 8.30pm 11pm One of the finest crooners currently working on the UK scene and beyond, Kevin’s repertoire combines the great vocal standards with jazz interpretations of more recent iconic popular songs, along with self-penned compositions - bringing a fresh approach to the genre.

The Man With The Flower In His Mouth

40 | February 2016

FINEARTS “….his voice is an irresistible mix of Sinatra, Bennett & Buble – backed by a world class band” Jazz FM Tickets: £12.00 (£6.00 under 25’s concession)

Madder World Music Thu 18 February 7.30pm Explore the world with your ears! An eclectic and diverse mix of funky beats from all over the world by DJ Abraham Eshetu. This event takes place in The Maddermarket Theatre’s Redwell Bar. Tickets: £5.00 (on the door)

The Beaux’ Stratagem Fri 19 Feb - Sat 27 Feb 7.30pm (2.30pm matinees on 20th and 27th February) The Maddermarket Theatre presents By George Farquhar Directed by Clare Howard

Archer and Aimwell want money and have a great idea for getting it. Mrs Sullen wants to be rid of her husband and have some fun. Dorinda wants love. Bellair wants sex. Lady Bountiful wants to help people. Squire Sullen just wants to drink, hunt and play cards. The landlord and the local highwaymen want money... How many of them do you think will get what they are after? And what do you want ...?

If what you are after is a lively and entertaining night out at the theatre, come and join the colourful characters of ‘The Beaux’ Stratagem’ for a rollicking good frolic. Supported by Maddermarket Friends Tickets: £12 / £10 / £8

Maddermarket Theatre Tour Sold Out Sat 20 February 11am Join us for a fascinating look behind the scenes at the Maddermarket Theatre. Our knowledgeable guides will take you on an access-all-areas tour of the theatre, taking in the scenic and costume departments (with an estimated 30,000 items), green room and dressing rooms, lighting and sound control room, Maddermarket Theatre Tour Sold Out

Norwich Jazz Club Presents Kevin Fitzsimmons (Vocals) With Leon Greening (Pno) Adam King (Bass) And Matt Fishwick (Drums)

and props store. Along the way they will tell you about the remarkable history of the Theatre and its founder, and how it is used today. The tour will conclude in the newly-refurbished bar and gallery, where cake and coffee will be served. Tickets: £4.00 and includes cake and coffee.

Box Office Our box office is situated in the foyer area, opposite the coffee shop. Box Office opening hours Normal Open Hours Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm Saturday 10am - 5pm. On Show Days Monday to Saturday 10am - 7.30pm Sundays 5pm - 7.30pm Booking Tickets Tickets may be booked in person, by telephone or online. Box Office: 01603 620917

2016 February | 41


Norwich Philharmonic Society

Norwich Philharmonic Society is in celebratory mood to mark a very special anniversary. BBC Radio Norfolk’s culture vulture, Tony Cooper, finds out more


here are two performing sides to the Norwich Philharmonic Society, referred to nowadays simply as ‘The Phil’the orchestra and the chorus. And they play a vital part in the well-being and lifeblood of the classical music and choral world of Norwich. This year, however, is a special year for both of them as they’re tuning up and getting on-song to celebrate a milestone in The Phil’s grand and illustrious history - its 175th anniversary. That’s a score any English batsman would be proud to knock up! Crowning their year of years, The Phil’s presenting a gala celebration concert on Saturday, 21st May

42 | February 2016

(8pm), as part of the 2016 Norfolk & Norwich Festival, at a new Norwich-based venue and, in some ways, an unlikely one, too, the Norfolk Showground Arena housed on the Norfolk Showground site at New Costessey It’s a big flexible space with a large seating capacity of well over 2000 therefore it needs a big orchestral work to radiate round the vastness of its auditorium. The Phil has certainly picked the right work: Mahler’s E-flat major eighth symphony - one of the largest and most spectacular to be found in the classical-music repertoire. And because the work composed in a single-inspired

Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under Matthew Andrews, Photo: Bill Smith

moment at Maiernigg in southern Austria in the summer of 1906 requires vast performing forces, it’s frequently referred to as the ‘Symphony of a Thousand’, although it’s often performed with far fewer than a thousand performers. In the case of The Phil, there’ll be about 500 performers on stage. The composer (who, by the way, did not sanction its nickname) conducted the first performance in Munich in 1907. Heavenly, it instantly found favour with the critics and public alike. But to mount this sort of stuff shows just how far that The Phil - which grew out of a handful

of like-minded musicians who formed a ‘society of amateurs’ entitled the Hall Concert in 1789 to present occasional concerts in St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich - have travelled since this time. But from small acorns and all that, this small enthusiastic group flourished like no other and sufficiently grew in size and stature to enable it to stage larger choral and symphony concerts although the choral side had to be curtailed when a move was made to smaller premises in Barge Yard, King Street, in 1794. However, a further move to the music room of the King’s Arms near Gurney’s Bank on Bank Plain (now occupied by the OpenYouth Trust) reinstated the

FINEARTS chorus. And several moves later, an offer came along of a speciallyadapted concert room within a building which now forms part of the Norwich University of the Arts in St George’s Street - as long as interest was paid on the initial outlay. Here the Hall Concert thrived from 1816 to 1834 after which the organisation was dissolved and its assets sold off, each member having a share of the proceeds. But Frank Noverre, who was one of the most active and passionate music supporters in the city at the time, stepped into the frame determined that the aims of this enterprising music society should not be forgotten. Incidentally, Noverre was the grandson of the French-born dancer, Augustine Noverre, who came to England in 1775 with a corps de ballet at the invitation of David Garrick, one of England’s greatest actors, who at that time managed London’s Drury Lane Theatre where the dance troupe appeared. When Augustine retired from the stage he settled in Norwich and set up a dancing academy at the Assembly Rooms in Theatre Street. Inheriting the Assembly Rooms from his grandfather, Noverre expanded the business and also rounded up a number of prominent people encouraging them to found a new musical society at a specially-convened Matthew Andrews, conductor of the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, Photo: Bill Smith

meeting held on 5th October 1839. It was from this meeting that the Norwich Philharmonic Society officially came into existence with Frank acting as secretary/treasurer and his brother, Francis, as librarian. Public spirited and enterprising in every conceivable way, Noverre’s enthusiasm was infectious and, therefore, this new musical organisation he was instrumental in founding soon attracted support from many of the city’s finest musicians. The inaugural concert (held on 5th March 1841 at St Andrew’s Hall) was led from the violin by local musician, Richard Bray. At the time, Queen Victoria was 21 years old and the mother of a three-month-old daughter named Victoria, Princess Royal. And in November of that year she gave birth to a son who became King Edward VII and, as Prince of Wales, purchased the Sandringham estate. The opening programme included Beethoven’s first symphony, Mozart’s fifth and the overture to Così fan tutte plus a Handel concerto and a good dose of trios, glees, songs and duets - rather longer than the programmes which today’s audiences are accustomed to. The chamber-size orchestra comprised just 15 string players, a small woodwind section and a piano. The Norwich Mercury noted that the items were ‘all respectably performed’. Noverre devoted

Cellist Thomas Igloi, soloist with The Phil in St Andrew’s Hall under the baton of Julian Webb (1972). Picture reproduced by courtesy of EDP/Archant (Norwich)

a great deal of time and energy into this musical initiative and after his death in 1878 his son, Frank William Bianchi, continued the task. He also enjoyed a good relationship with the Norwich arts fraternity which led to him to found a Ladies’ Orchestral Society in the 1880s which enjoyed a considerable vogue for a number of years. But good relationships are so important within arts’ organisation - or, indeed, any organisation for that matter - and The Phil has always harboured such relationships with musicians and singers alike bringing many famous names and personalities

to Norwich. As early as 1905 they pulled of a major coup (their first, in fact) by engaging the legendary Austrian-born violinist, Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Kreisler, one of the most famous violin masters of his day, to show off his talented and technical wizardry on his chosen instrument. And another coup was securing the services of the great Hungarian-born pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch who dazzled a full house for his solo recital in the late-1950s in which he included works by Chopin. And some of the famous singers that have come The Phil’s way include the likes of Isobel Baillie, April Cantelo, Heather Harper, Owen Brannigan and John ShirleyQuirk while Lesley Garrett came and sang like a lark in 1980 becoming English National Opera’s principal soprano four years later. The list continues ad infinitum and would more than put to shame

feature by:

Tony Cooper Writer

2016 February | 43

FINEARTS Dr Bates retired in 1928 and handed over the baton to Dr Statham, who at the time had recently been appointed organist of Norwich Cathedral, where he was fondly referred to by his nickname, ‘Dickey’.

Michael Nicholas rehearsing the combined forces of the Norwich Philharmonic Society in St Andrew’s Hall (1981). Picture reproduced by courtesy of EDP/Archant (Norwich)

A former Gresham’s schoolboy as was Benjamin Britten, Dr Statham - who took charge of The Phil’s 300th concert in 1947 conducting a performance of Handel’s Messiah with Peter Pears included among the soloists - graced The Phil’s podium for 32 glorious and momentous years and in that time conducted them on no less than 130 occasions. And during the period of the Second World War, he also conducted the London Symphony Orchestra.

Ko-Ko’s ‘Little Mikado List’. Take a look at this tally: the Catalanborn cellist Pablo Casals made his Norwich début under the auspices of The Phil in 1912; the acclaimed pianist Clifford Curzon made two visits in 1941 and ’42 followed by the virtuoso horn player Dennis Brain in 1947 and ’55. John Ogden was a regular guest from 1960 to ’64 while fellow British pianist John Lill made his first appearance in 1968 making a couple more within two years. Other pianists who have delighted audiences at Phil concerts include Moura Lympany in 1972 and ’76 and the Australian-born pianist, Piers Lane, in 1980. And that brilliant superstar cellist, Jacqueline du Pré, came in 1965, making her Norwich début, followed by fellow British cellist, Julian Lloyd Webber, in 1974. The Phil had the honour, too, of Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting them in 1926 and Sir Thomas Beecham in 1937 while Sir Benjamin Britten shared conducting duties with Sir Philip Ledger (a former patron of the society and the first director of music at UEA) for two performances of War Requiem in Norwich Cathedral in honour of the Suffolk-born composer being installed as a Doctor of Music at UEA in 1967. And in January 1963, the society was bestowed the honour of a Royal visit by The Queen Mother, patron of the society. 44 | February 2016

But good relationships are part and parcel of The Phil’s raison d’être and one relationship that has blossomed since the days of Dr Frank Bates is the bond that exists between the director of music and organist of Norwich Cathedral and the choral conductor of The Phil. They go hand in hand. The relationship, however, between orchestra and choir was not stabilised until 1930 with the formation of the Norwich Philharmonic Chorus as a separate entity thus replacing the previous arrangements whereby choral works were given in collaboration with the Norwich Choral Society. That society had been founded in 1824 (Frank Noverre, incidentally, was its treasurer) the same year in which the Norfolk & Norwich Triennial Festival was founded by Richard Mackenzie Bacon, editor of the Norwich Mercury, who was the brother-in-law of Augustine Noverre. A celebratory concert of The Phil was actually held in Noverre’s Assembly Rooms - now the Assembly House and still in use today as a concert room - in 1901. It was the first concert to be conducted by Dr Frank Bates who succeeded Dr Horace Hill who was preceded by Dr F E Gladstone, Norwich Cathedral organist, who succeeded James Harcourt. He took over from

Richard Bray, the original conductor, holding the post for 35 years. Following this concert, the main venue for The Phil switched to St Andrew’s Hall but, occasionally, they used Norwich Cathedral. However, during the 1940s, The Phil presented a series of ‘wartime’ concerts on Sunday afternoons at Norwich Theatre Royal. On 7th November, 1943, for instance, the organist of Norwich Cathedral, Dr Heathcote Statham, took charge of the 289th concert (forming part of their fifth ‘wartime’ season) which featured the Australianborn pianist, Eileen Joyce, soloist in Rachmaninov’s C minor piano concerto. The programme also included César Franck’s D minor symphony and ended with a rendering of The Star-Spangled Banner and the National Anthem. Unity in diversity! But track back to The Phil’s 200th concert in 1924 and Dame Myra Hess - who organised an ongoing series of popular classical-music concerts at the National Gallery during the Second World War was engaged to play Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto with Dr Bates conducting. Myra Hess, it seems, was a big hit as she graced St Andrew’s Hall stage on no less than seven occasions after her first visit. Her last appearance was in 1940.

After Dr Statham’s retirement, the orchestra’s long-serving leader Sydney Gould acted as conductor for three seasons sharing the duties with a number of visiting conductors until Antony Hopkins came along in 1963. Another long-serving leader was Colin Clouting while Peter Smith, Ben Lowe and Fiona Hutchings have also occupied the first violinist’s chair which since 2008 has been occupied by Dominic Hopkins. Maestro Hopkins, however, enjoyed seven highly-successful seasons and following his departure the conducting duties were split between orchestra and chorus for the first time. Julian Webb, senior lecturer in music at UEA, took the orchestra over in 1971 while the organist of Norwich Cathedral, Michael Nicholas, the chorus, in 1972. When Michael moved from Norwich in 1995 he handed over the baton to David Dunnett, the current organist of Norwich Cathedral, who commenced his duties from the 1996-7 season. Following Julian Webb’s retirement in March 2003 after 32 years’ loyal service he was succeeded by Russell Keable in 2004 who, in turn, was succeeded by Peter Britton four years later with Matthew Andrews coming along in 2010 and still on the podium. But looking back to the tenure of the Noverre family and their dedication not only to the Norwich Philharmonic Society but to the general well-being of the arts and cultural world of the city of Norwich, we have today functioning on all cylinders another

FINEARTS Norwich-based family following suit, the philanthropic and arts-friendly Jarrold family, whose business was founded on print and publishing but nowadays focuses more on retail and fashion with their flagship store prominently located on the corner of London Street and Exchange Street, a rendezvous spot for one and all much in the same way that the old Swan & Edgar department store in Piccadilly Circus is fondly remembered. Caroline Jarrold (the eldest daughter of Richard and Waltraud Jarrold) is highly active and immersed in the Norwich arts scene. She’s chairman of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival and also chairman of the Norwich Philharmonic Society while her uncle, Antony Jarrold, is president. Together with her sister, Michelle, Caroline’s also a member of the Norwich Philharmonic Chorus. And Caroline’s German-born mother, Waltraud, who was raised in Winningen, an idyllic and inviting wine village nestling the banks of the Mosel near Koblenz, was the force behind the twinning link between Norwich and Koblenz. Radiating through this fine partnership (which commenced in 1980) led to the Norwich Philharmonic Chorus joining forces on a regular basis with the Musik-Institut Choir Koblenz for exchange visits (they take place every two years) to perform grand works from the choral repertoire. And this year on a tour to Germany, Norwich Cathedral Choir will also be performing in Koblenz under the direction of their dynamic young master of music, Ashley Grote. ‘The first joint venture took place in Norwich in St Andrew’s Hall in 1983,’ Caroline fondly recalls. ‘We did Haydn’s Creation. This was followed by a very moving performance of Britten’s War Requiem held in Koblenz’ Rhine-Mosel Hall in 1986. Over the intervening 32 years, the choirs have performed together 16 times in a variety of works from across the choral repertoire. Particular memorable performances for me were Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Koblenz, 1992 - a work not at all familiar to the German audience - and Brahms’ German Requiem in Norwich in 2011, where it was wonderful to perform alongside native German speakers. Over the years, many long-term

David Dunnett, conductor of the Norwich Philharmonic Chorus, Photo: Bill Smith

friendships have developed between members of both choirs that underlines, I feel, the true meaning, spirit and emotion that involves twinning partnerships.’ But partnerships of one kind or other helps life to tick along quite nicely in so many ways and in the case of The Phil, Rob Barnes and Sally West-Lindell are ‘fixers’ for the orchestra and chorus respectively. They’re also performing members, too. Rob sits with the first violins and Sally is an alto. They do a fine job keeping everything a-going in the right direction! And Sue Mitchell does likewise acting as secretary of the Norwich Philharmonic Society. And for The Phil’s 175th anniversary concert in May, a choral partnership is being forged and going, it seems, in the right direction, too, between some well-established Norfolk-based choral societies. It could be the first such collaboration of its kind in our county. Sharing the orchestral platform with the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra is the Norwich-based Academy of St Thomas while the combined choral forces is extremely strong comprising the King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, Norwich Cathedral Choir, Norwich Philharmonic Chorus and the Sheringham & Cromer Choral Society.

Eight outstanding soloists have been engaged, too, comprising Kirstin Sharpin, Katherine Broderick and Catherine May (sopranos) and Anne Marie Gibbons and Anna Burford (mezzo-sopranos) while the lineup is completed by Peter Wedd (tenor), James Harrison (baritone) and Richard Wiegold (bass). And the man with the baton in his hand is The Phil’s orchestral conductor, Matthew Andrews. But before one gets to a blitz of wonder, Mahler and the big orchestral canvas punctuating The Phil’s special anniversary year, the actual 175th birthday concert falls on Saturday, 19th March (7.30pm), when St Andrew’s Hall will be blitzed by a grand show of cannon-and-mortar fire effects in a rendering of Tchaikovsky’s famous 1812 overture in a rarely-heard version with choir. Jointly conducted by Matthew Andrews and David Dunnett, the concert will also serve up a roster of popular and well-loved works absolutely ideal for a birthday celebration. The audience will be treated to such classical delights as ‘O Fortuna’ from Carl Orff ’s Carmina Burana, ‘slow movement’ from Dvořák’s New World symphony, Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Verdi’s opera, Nabucco, ‘adagio’ from Khachaturian’s ballet, Spartacus and Polovtsian Dances

from Borodin’s opera, Prince Igor. You want more! There is more! Fauré’s Pavane, Rossini’s overture to William Tell, ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the great showpiece that is the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s masterful, powerful and all-embracing oratorio, The Messiah. And here’s a little plug for The Phil’s orchestral concert on Saturday, 6th February (7.30pm), in St Andrew’s Hall. Conducted by Matthew Andrews, the programme comprises Vaughan Williams’ Norfolk Rhapsody No 1 and Walton’s first symphony while the central work in the programme features Mihkel Poll, the talented and prizewinning Estonian-born pianist, soloist in Beethoven’s Emperor piano concerto. What could be better? Indeed! Tickets (Mahler concert): £12 to £28 (limited number of seats for under-25s at £7.50), available from Norwich Theatre Royal box office. Tel: 01603 766400 / www. Tickets (orchestral concert, 6th February; 175th anniversary concert, 19th March): £9 to £16 (students: £7), available from Prelude Records, St Giles’ Street, Norwich. Tel: 01603 628319 / www.

2016 February | 45

FINEARTS when her plane crashed deep in the Transalpine forest. All the villagers mourn her. All except César. Sebastian’s grandfather knows a man who could help them find Angelina. But before the boy and his dog can rescue the young woman, they must face a thousand dangers, endure a thousand ordeals and confront a secret... One that will change Belle & Sebastian’s lives forever. The adventure continues...

Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues Synopsis

September 1945. In the village, everybody is celebrating the end

of the war. Sebastian has grown (the boy is now 10 years old). He and Belle are waiting impatiently

Norfolk Landscapes By Doug Kennedy


orfolk is a very distinctive county, the most easterly in the British Isles. With the North Sea and The Wash to the east and north it is relatively close to the Netherlands, but Norwich is only a couple of hours by train from London. It has been a centre of great political power, but is on no major transport routes, so has no motorways and has been largely bypassed by the Industrial Revolution. As a result, many of its towns and villages are relatively unspoiled, so have kept their old buildings and character and are a delight to visit. Although known for its wide open landscapes, of which there are many, Norfolk has an abundance of delightful corners and beautiful gardens where it is the miniature that charms and tranquillity reigns. 46 | February 2016

This beautiful photo book captures the essence of Norfolk's varied landscapes in sumptuous images and an informative text that gets underneath the surface of why things look like they do. The Norfolk Broads, Breckland, The Waverley Valley, The Fens and the coastlines are explored in turn along with the wildlife you can encounter on the way. In addition, Norfolk's lovely churches that punctuate every view, and the distinctive traditional buildings that give each area its special flavour are featured.

for Angelina to return. But she never reaches Saint Martin. There is terrible news: Angelina was lost

introduction to its landscape for those less familiar with a classic corner of England.

About the Author:

Doug Kennedy is a photographer and life-long lover of nature and the English countryside. He has been a biology teacher, writer and performer of guitar music, and latterly a computer programmer. He has walked

Starring Félix Bossuet, Tcheky Karyo, Margaux Chatelier, Urbain Cancelier, Thierry Neuvic Directed by Christian Duguay For screening opportunities please contact: UK Release Date: 18th December Running Time: 98mins Cert: TBC

through great swathes of Britain, Ireland and also the United States, France and Australia and is a talented landscape and nature photographer. He now concentrates on his photography and campaigning on environmental issues, and has previously published two books on the English countryside: Chiltern Landscapes and An English Village Idyll.

Doug Kennedy has roamed the County on foot and by boat, seeking out what makes each place special and applying his photographer's eye to capture the scene perfectly. It is a book for everyone who loves the Norfolk to treasure, and a splendid



Win A Mini! or £10,000 cash!

All you have to do is complete the following sections and send it back to ensure your are included in the draw. Or enter online at: Only one entry per household Your name: How much is your home phone bill ? £ Your address: Would you like to pay less than that? Postcode: Your landline contact number: Your email address:



household bills every month?



Would you like to have an extra income?



Would you like to save 25% on your other

Please send your entry to: FineCity Magazine, Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 2AE. Terms & conditions apply. Go to for full T’s & C’s.

2016 February | 47


NARS Show Ball Frank Bruno MBE to be guest of honour at NARS Show Ball


ARS are delighted to announce that Mr Frank Bruno MBE, will be appearing at the NARS Norfolk Show Ball on 24th June. Mr Bruno’s appearance has been made possible through a sponsorship deal with NR Care Ltd.

Rebekah Bedingfield, Director of NR Care said “We are delighted to be associated with the NARS Norfolk Show Ball. Norfolk Accident Rescue Service is an extremely worthy charity which has saved countless lives over the years. NR Care pride themselves in delivering quality care services to the people of Norfolk, so we felt there was a great deal of synergy between ourselves and NARS. NR Care are excited to be sponsoring Mr Frank Bruno’s appearance at the NARS Norfolk Show Ball, as we believe he will bring something really special to the evening.” The NARS Norfolk Show Ball takes place the week before the Royal Norfolk Show itself. Lord Russell Baker, NARS Patron said “The 2016 NARS Show Ball will be quite spectacular. We are arranging a fabulous evening of fine dining, excellent wines and great live musical entertainment. We are very excited about Frank being there and have no doubt he will help to make it a very memorable evening.” The annual Norfolk Show Ball, which is a highlight of the summer, takes place the week before the Royal Norfolk Show itself, and is one of the leading events within Norfolk’s social calendar.

48 | February 2016

FINEEVENTS This high profile Ball event to be held on Friday 24th June 2016 will be hosted by the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS). NARS is one of Norfolk’s most heralded Charities, which quite literally saves lives in Norfolk through voluntary Critical Care Paramedics and Doctors, who in 2015 alone responded to over 400 ‘Red-line’ emergency calls, saving numerous lives. NARS receives NO funding from Government or the NHS and relies entirely upon the goodwill of individuals and businesses, to ensure this vital voluntary lifesaving service continues to be delivered and maintained for the people of Norfolk. NARS was established as a charity in 1970 to bring emergency doctors to the scene of road traffic collisions and continues its life-saving work to this day. NARS provides highly skilled doctors and critical care paramedics to assist at the scene of major trauma incidents and other medical emergencies – quite literally bringing the Accident and Emergency to the scene – time is always a major factor with critical care. Paul Strutt, NARS Communications Officer said “The Show Ball is a marvellous opportunity for the public to learn about the amazing work NARS members do, often with little recognition. NARS members respond to life-threatening emergencies voluntarily and in their spare time.” Barry Hart, a critical care paramedic who has been with NARS for over 20 years, has responded to over 1,000 incidents during that time. He reflected “For many, many years, NARS worked as a service in the background, helping people at times of emergency, but the public knew little about the work we did. The Norfolk Show Ball is a great opportunity for us to raise our profile and awareness, hopefully raise

funds and demonstrate the value of the service that NARS provides.” Lord Russell Baker, NARS Patron said: “We are delighted that NARS are involved with the Norfolk Show Ball 2016. We are planning what should be a wonderful and memorable evening, with a wide variety of musical and other entertainment. I am sure we can count on the generosity and kind nature of the people of Norfolk to come out and support us. We still need Norfolk-based businesses, and influential business individuals, to come forward to discuss sponsorship of this prestigious event.” Lord Russell Baker added: “Sponsorship is a vital component of the finances for the evening and we are looking for a ‘head-line’ sponsor and smaller sponsors to discuss the business advantages of sponsorship at the NARS Norfolk Show Ball 2016. The Ball is attended by some of the most influential business leaders in Norfolk, so there is much to gain through sponsorship at this event. There will be an iPad auction and table raffle and dancing to a live band until 1:00 am. We expect a strong demand for tickets and would encourage people to book their tables early.” Tickets are much sought after and will cost £75 each and tables can be booked for parties of 8, 10 or 12 places. Tickets for the Ball are on sale now through Softley Events: norfolk-show-ball-2016/ Email: or call 01603 757658

2016 February | 49


Spring Has Sprung Chef Harry Farrow has a few seasonal suggestions up his sleeve.


hen the weather starts to turn, one of my all-time favourite ingredients is in season,

and that’s glorious wild garlic. As any keen forager will tell you, North Norfolk is rich in secret locations where this wild food can be picked, particularly where there

is low stream. When paired with other seasonal specialities, it’s a recipe for culinary success. Spring lamb is soon to hit the menu at The Anchor Inn. It has to be our most popular dish at this time of year. I prefer to use a

rump cut, as it has a thin layer of fat, which is packed full of flavour, making it a really tender piece of meat. M & M Rutland Butchers in Melton Constable supply the most delicious saltmarsh-fed Norfolk and Suffolk lamb, which I cover with butter, rosemary and wild garlic before roasting in a casserole dish for around 20 minutes. For a celebration of all the season’s amazing colours, serve pink, accompanied by buttered leeks, curly kale or purple sprouting broccoli. After all, they do say you eat with your eyes! March sees the start of our famous Cromer crabs. Willie Weston of The Fish Shop in Blakeney lands Norfolk crabs and lobsters daily from his boat, as well as harvesting fresh shellfish from the local saltmarshes. It’s a little early for a summer crab salad, so why not prepare some spicy crab cakes or potted crabmeat as the perfect starter to your Easter feast? Speaking of Easter, it’s time to brave the elements again! As soon as there’s a glimmer of sunshine, be inspired to get together with

50 | February 2016


family or friends for a coastal walk to Blakeney Point. After you have worked up a thirst, why not whet your whistle with a refreshing craft beer or a gin and tonic, perhaps? Adnams’ Dry Hopped and Bullards’ pale ales are particular favourites, while Norfolk Gin is a distinctive artisan gin, handcrafted to a special unique recipe in its Norwich gin studio. Our selection of craft beers available has proved extremely popular with party-goers enjoying one of the events we have attended with outside catering business Anchors Away. The diary is already jam-packed with bookings for 2016, and we’re really excited to be doing the catering for Godwick Hall’s forthcoming comedy night. Bring it on!

Tel: 01263 860562. www.rutland-butchers. The Fish Shop Tel: 01263 741112. www.westonsofblakeney. Adnams Tel: 01502 727200. Bullards Tel: 01603 624072.

For further information on The Anchor Inn, call 01263 741392 or visit

Norfolk Gin

Contacts M & M Rutland Butchers

Godwick Hall Tel: 01328 701948.

The Anchor inn is open from 9am until 11pm daily, serving food from 12-3pm and 6-9pm. We serve high quality local fish, game, meats and vegetables, cooked to perfection.

2016 February | 51


THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE Much is justly written about heroism of the Norfolk men and women of the armed services during the Great War 1914-18. Far less is known about another group who displayed acts of courage that defy belief to this day – the crew of the fishing smacks and assorted vessels that operated from the ports of East Anglia. These men refused to let something as simple as a war

feature by:

Steve Browning Writer @returningperson

52 | February 2016

stop them from fishing and were not at all fazed by the might of the German High Seas Fleet or those new-fangled U-boat contraptions. In researching his new book, Stephen Browning has come across some of these heroes.

Literature About German Invasion. In 1914 there was a school of thought that saw invasion as highly likely and it would probably commence on the Norfolk coast – maybe at Weybourne. There were literally hundreds of graphic full length novels published in the early 1900s giving no-holds-barred and horrifying accounts of life under a foreign conqueror. A best seller was William Le Quex’s The Invasion of 1910 which sold over a million copies. In this book, the Germans landed at Lowestoft. In another, Swoop of the Vulture, Lowestoft and Yarmouth were invaded helped by previously

unknown German sympathisers. In another the Japanese landed at Liverpool. Erskine Childers, a future war hero, even got into the act with his famous novel The Riddle of the Sands.

North Sea Fishermen Protection of the Norfolk coast relied not just on the British Navy but also on North Sea fishermen many of whom were enrolled in

the Royal Naval Reserve Trawler Section. They were to use their own vessels in a variety of war work – patrolling, minesweeping and anti submarine operations. The Germans were under no illusions as to their value and sank 26 boats within the first four weeks of hostilities. The herring catch in 1913 was the largest since records began. Thereafter, over 500 herring

FINELIVING the German submarine UB.4 had a nasty surprise when it surfaced and ordered the Inverylon to prepare for boarding. Skipper Phillips ordered that the White Ensign be raised and the ship’s 3pdr. gun was brought into play, bullets hitting the conning tower. UB.4 dived but it was too late: all crew were lost. For this action Skipper Phillips was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Thereafter many smacks claimed, often quite improbably, to have sunk U-boats but only a handful of incidents were accepted by the Admiralty resulting in substantial financial rewards to the skippers and crews. The drama was irresistible, however, to the press and illustrators of books of what today we might call ‘The Boys Own’ variety and an enduring legend of the small smack crew defying the mighty Hun was born. This was very effective propaganda.

drifters from Yarmouth and Lowestoft were hired by the Royal Navy during the course of the war. In addition, in 1914, four of the largest Yarmouth steam drifters were used to install heavy steel anti-submarine mesh in what was called the Swin anchorage off Maplin Sands. This proved a vital anchorage for battleships of the 3rd Battle Squadron.

Propaganda Much propaganda disguised real events and still does today. The Germans were universally merciless, gunning and laughing at men in the water and, to the enemy, the British were nasty, pitiless creatures. One real event was that a Grimsby trawler skipper refused to pick up the crew of a downed Zeppelin as he was afraid that they would outnumber his smaller crew: the German press howled at the barbarity of this in much the same way as their British counterparts reported the bombing by Zeppelins of what they saw as ‘soft’ civilian targets in Yarmouth. The British had a field day with the sinking of the Lusitania, of the Cunard Line, on 7 May 1915.

Whether or not this was a justified act of war remains a subject of debate right up to this day but at the time 300,000 boxed medals were made and sold at a shilling each by the British with a message inside pointing out the enormity of the crime that had been committed. There were many other opportunities for events to be made the cornerstone of patriotic tub-thumping, the greatest in 1915 being the execution by firing squad of British Nurse, Edith Cavell: it is believed that this act was responsible for tens of thousands of extra men signing up especially in her birthplace of Norfolk.

Great Yarmouth And Gorleston On 3rd November 1914 Great Yarmouth was bombarded by the German Fleet. The Royal Navy failed to appear immediately. This was not a disaster as the German plan was probably to lure the British Fleet out for the waiting German destroyers but the Navy hardly moved anyway. As for the German Fleet the whole exercise proved an embarrassment and great

entertainment – albeit foolhardy – for the hundreds of people lining Yarmouth promenade and beach as there were many flashes and bangs but only one shell that landed just off Gorleston and even that failed to detonate.

Submarines And Fishing Smacks There was no submarine campaign in 1914 – it is estimated that the Germans had less than 30 U-boats at this time. However, this changed markedly as the New Year unfolded – in April 1915 alone, nine fishing boats were sunk by U-boats, rising in May to almost 60. About 70 trawling smacks, relying on sail power, still went out regularly from the east coast ports, especially Lowestoft. In spite of terrible losses, they continued to set sail, their calmness in the face of attack quite remarkable and an inspiration to everyone at home.

Skipper Phillips And His Crew Fight Back In August 1915 one of the smackowners, F.W. Moxley, suggested that some smacks be fitted with a hidden gun and this was taken up by a number of them. Very soon,

In 1916 some of the smacks were given engines and it was now common practice to jiggle the names and numbers on the hull. F.W. Moxley, for example, sailed on a smack that was named G&E, Bird, Nelson, I’ll Try, Foam Crest and Extirpator. An example of claims that turned out to be unfounded came in February 1917 just after the German High Command had given the order to henceforth sink any smacks or other boats without prior warning. I’ll Try and Boy Alfred claimed to have sunk two submarines in the North Sea. Tom Crisp, later to become one of the legendary VCs of the war, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in this action. Both submarines – the UC.62 and UB. 36 - however, were to turn up later in further actions.

Saving Lives – Skippers J. Collin And A.jenner British submarines – ‘damned un-English weapons’ thought some – went out from many Norfolk coastal stations including Gorleston.. Germans laid a series of mines one of which saw to submarine D5. Twenty one men were lost but a dozen survived, rescued by two steam drifters, 2016 February | 53

FINELIVING the Faithful and the Homeland. The skippers, J Collin and A Jenner respectively, were both awarded the Sea Gallantry Medal. There was controversy about the mine, the charge being that it was not a German but a British one that saw to the D5: the line of mines laid by the British form Goodwin Sands to Ostend were thought to have inefficient moorings and to have drifted into the North Sea. Three other drifters also went down with all hands on the same day. The press was not encouraged to say anything about this but some of the sailors in the region subsequently voiced this opinion.

in that they were picked up after two days by HMS Dryad. On 2nd November 1917 it was officially announced that the Victoria Cross had been awarded to Skipper Thomas Crisp, DSC, RNR while his son received the Distinguished Service Medal, both of which were given to him by the King.

Mines Mining was pioneered as an act of war during the first years of war, principally by the Germans. It is suspected that the German ship Konigin Luise may have begun mine laying off the Suffolk coast even before hostilities were declared. The mines were anchored to the bottom and a length of wire kept them at the required depth below the surface. They were round with ‘spikes’ made of lead which, when hit, would send an electrical charge to a detonator. The principle was fifty years old, originating in Germany.

Experimenting With The New Submarines A variety of attempts were made to enable an armed trawler and submarine to work together. One such was when a submarine would be towed, at all times invisible under the surface, by a trawler, both vessels being connected by a telephone line. If necessary, the telephone line could be cut allowing the submarine to act on its own. This has some success at the start of hostilities before being made known to the Germans when it was dropped. Sometimes submarines were sunk by ships, occasionally by accidentally colliding with a friendly vessel and, on many occasions, by unknown factors. Some of the twenty three boats lost to Harwich in the war, for example, simply went to sea and never came back. It is not recorded what happened to them. Conditions aboard submarines were appalling – sanitation was non-existent (a bucket); conditions were painfully cramped; and the air, after ten days at sea, very unhealthy. Lack of any kind of exercise, indeed of reasonable movement for arms, legs and body, meant that many men suffered painful constipation. When on land, efforts were made to provide entertainment, exercise and good food – sports and games were popular. The men knew that the next trip might easily be their last.

54 | February 2016

Tom Crisp VC

The Legend Of Tom Crisp VC Tom Crisp was the East Anglian skipper of the smack Nelson and he was in the North Sea on 15 August 1917 with the fishing smack Ethel and Millie when he saw a U-boat about three or four miles distant. His crew immediately went into action stations, manning their 13pdr gun. They were, however, no match in range for the gun of the U-Boat UC.63 which, after several shots finding range, tore a hole in the smack’s wooden bough. Another shot passed through Tom Crisp’s body and, although falling to the deck mortally wounded, he kept command, giving the helm to his son, also called Tom. He ordered confidential books to be thrown overboard and released the ship’s pigeons with the famous message: ‘Nelson being attacked by submarine, skipper killed. Jim Howe Bank. Send assistance at once’. Meanwhile the crew had kept firing back, ineffectually as the submarine was out of range, and were now about to run out of ammunition. Their small life boat

was lowered and son Tom tried to manoeuvre his father on board. ‘No, throw me overboard, I’m done for’, his father said. The crew watched from the boat as Tom Crisp sank with his smack.

What Happened To The Crew Of The Ethel And Millie? The U-boat then shelled the Ethel and Millie which received a direct hit. The crew were picked up and an explosive charge put aboard the smack by the German sailors (this was the usual method of sinking captured ships as torpedoes were far too expensive to waste). What happened next has never been satisfactorily resolved. Some suggested that the submarine dived leaving the crew on deck. Alternatively, it may be that they were cast adrift in their inadequate boat and, like so many others, died of starvation and exposure.

Summoned To Buckingham Palace Tom Crisp junior and the surviving crew of the Nelson were luckier

Sinkings off the Norfolk coast were frequent, one being the Selby, carrying coal, which hit a mine out to sea off Winterton on 30 September 1914. Initially at least, the British were not so concerned with laying mines as attempting to ‘tease’ out the German fleet for battle. British mines, such as they were, were inferior to those operated by the Kaiser’s men. They tended to go off unexpectedly and also tended to drift off from their moorings, sometimes resulting in damage to British ships – one example is the sinking, off the Yarmouth coast, of the D.5 in 1914. Drifters from Lowestoft and Yarmouth were also instrumental in the 1917 plan by Admiral Bacon to lay the vast number of 39,000 mines and nets between Folkestone and the French coast. By now the British were using the vastly superior H2 and H4 mines and the Germans, finding the barrier impassable, launched allout attacks on the ships guarding it. Great losses were sustained but, under the command of ViceAdmiral Roger Keyes, the barrier was maintained and, by late 1918, it was virtually impassable to U-Boats.

FINELIVING The Sagitta One famous steam yacht, the Sagitta, was famous partly because of its heroism and partly because it was manned entirely by students from the University of Cambridge. It did much valuable work clearing mines off the coast of Cromer and farther afield. The air force was nowhere to be seen at this time as there were no planes in the area – this was to change dramatically as the conflict progressed. Great Yarmouth was ineffectually attacked by German destroyers again on 15 January 1918. Ships set out from Harwich in pursuit but the enemy ships were long gone.

The German High Command decided that he must be tried by a naval court and, in June 1916, he was accused of deliberately attempting to ram a ship. Of course he had attempted to do this against the U.33, but this was surely a legitimate act of war, according to Winston Churchill and the British public. However the ‘sentence’ was death and this was immediately carried out. The tragic tale bears more than a passing resemblance to the trial and death by shooting of UK and Norfolk hero, Edith Cavell. Both were tried on charges that were held to be ridiculous – in Captain Charles Fryatt

The Heroic Deeds Of Captain Charles Fryatt And His Crew Captain Fryatt was a well known captain who worked for the Great Central Railway Company which basically operated between Tilbury and Rotterdam. He first came to fame when, on 2 March 1915, he was in command of the Wrexham and was ordered to stop by the U-boat U.12. He refused, ordering all available crew to help stoke the boilers, and managed to outrun the submarine. He was presented with a gold watch by his employers. He executed the same escape two week later when in command of another ship, the Colchester. On March 28, in command of yet another ship, the Brussels, he was ordered by the U-boat U.33 to stop but set his ship to ram the U-boat at full throttle. The German ship managed to dive just in time but this enabled the captain to escape. He was given a second gold watch. He came under attack in the same ship twice more on 11 June and 20 July, this time by torpedoes which missed and he subsequently managed to outrun two U-boats. However, on 23 June, he was cornered and his ship captured. There was no escape this time he and his crew were interned.

2016 February | 55

FINELIVING Edith Cavell’s case it was for treason when she was, in fact, a civilian nurse in occupied Belgium. Both defendants had shown the greatest bravery and the sentences were seen as outrageous, being held responsible for the signing up of thousands of new recruits into the armed services. Both Captain Fryatt and Edith Cavell were brought back to Britain at the end of the war in the same railway carriage van. Charles Fryatt was buried at Dovercourt after a service in St Paul’s Cathedral whilst Edith Cavell was brought back to a peaceful spot alongside the Cathedral of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in Norwich, where her immaculately tended grave remains to this day. The Captain Fryatt, a steam drifter, was built in his memory by two Yarmouth owners in 1917.

The Falaba Rescue East Anglian boats were involved in many rescues during the war,

one of the most notable being that of the passengers and crew of the Falaba on 28 March 1915 – ironically, this is the same date that Captain Fryatt committed the attempted ramming of the U.33, actions which, as discussed, led to his death. The Falaba attempted what Charles Fryatt had several times successfully accomplished – the out-running of a U-Boat, this one being the U.28. After 45 minutes, however, Captain Davis could run no more and was forced to surrender to the commander of the German vessel, Baron von Forstner. Having ordered everyone to abandon ship, the Baron fired a torpedo at close range as the boats were being lowered. The Eileen Emma, a Lowestoft drifter, rushed to the scene along with four other boats from East Anglia. 138 people were saved, and 104 died, including Captain Davis. The local East Anglian press reported, rightly or wrongly, that the Germans jeered as the men

drowned. No attempt was made by the U.28 to save anyone but later claimed at the enquiry that to do so would have risked the safety of the submarine. Altogether, almost five thousand merchant ships were lost during the course of the war. That the Germans almost succeeded in starving the country by such means is a matter of historical record – fortunately for Britain,

the convoy system and the stubbornness of the Norfolk and Suffolk fisher-folk and seamen changed the balance of the sea war from 1917. Norfolk and Britain did not starve but managed to survive – just. Stephen Browning is researching a new book for Pen and Sword, ‘The Norfolk Coast in the Great War’ due for release, all being well, in about a year.



Norwich in the Great War by Stephen Browning teve Browning’s new book, ‘Norwich in the Great War’ has just been released. It is published by Pen and Sword at 9.99 and charts the highs and lows, joys and sad times, triumphs and disasters of the Fine City during the ‘War to end all Wars’, 1914-18. It is largely based on original material of the time, most of it never before published in book form and contains many rare and fascinating photographs of the period. Ending with an assessment of how life

56 | February 2016

was changed by these monumental events, the reader is invited to take a ‘Walking Tour’ around the city taking in many of the features discussed in the book.

looks forward to meeting old and new friends at these events.

It is available at Jarrolds, Waterstones, City Bookshop and good bookshops throughout the county as well as being available at all the usual internet suspects like Amazon, WH Smith etc Keep an eye out for news of book-signings coming up soon! Steve Browning


Posh Plants: Wedding Season!

Written by Sue Huckle

The wedding season will soon be upon us! This year the daffodils in the garden had an early promise of some mild weather but are shivering now in the chill spring winds! Whatever the weather, for those tying the knot, preparations are underway with couples planning their big day down to the last detail. Of course, no wedding is complete without some beautiful Posh Plants. There is something so very english about dark evergreen leaves contrasting against the norfolk flint

of an ancient church. Framing the arched entrance or forming an avenue of living trees along the aisle, Posh Plants bring the outside in…style, sophistication and elegance are all words that marry well with Posh Plants and weddings! Any venue, from a grand country manor to a marquee on the parents lawn can be transformed by the addition of some carefully positioned plants. Hire costs are affordable, offering an opportunity to add the “wow” factor to a wedding. Posh Plants can be viewed at my nursery here at Seven Acres, or on my website I can offer guidance and advice, then they can then be delivered at a time to suit you, positioned and dressed with fairy lights if required and then collected after the wedding. Easy! Remember, a wedding is a once in a lifetime occasion...Posh Plants will be there as the backdrop in the photos...memories of your special day will be forever green!

Posh Plants Seven Acres Nursery East Tuddenham NR20 3NF

Posh Plants

topiary, plants, shrubs and trees to hire or buy

Sue Huckle is the inspiration behind many award winning gardens, offering a professional and creative approach to the art and science of garden design. At Seven Acres Nursery we have a range of lovely plants and containers for sale, as well as our beautiful collection of large topiary plants available to hire for weddings, parties and your workplace!

07703 347014 email: website:

Posh Plants, Seven Acres Nursery, Common Road, East Tuddenham, NR20 3NF

2016 February | 57

Contemporary, classic or chic modern

Kitchens and Interiors The kitchen is the heart of the home. That’s why at Graham Torbitt Kitchens and Interiors we provide quality craftsmanship, contemporary design, unique and fresh ideas to bring you the kitchen you desire. With over 25 years experience, let us put the heart back into your home.

Bespoke design and budget Creative solutions Integrity and expert advice Professional service Free consultation Inhouse at Premier Marble 3 Dewings Road, Rackheath, Norwich NR13 6PS

01603 327727 | |

Award Winning Landscaping and Design

Paving and Pathways Ponds and Water Features Lawn Laying Walls and Brickwork Timber and Decking Driveways, Fencing and Screening Garden Design by Georgina Read

T: 01953 852139 E: W:

58 | February 2016

Service only your local independent electrical retailer can provide

BCH62550GB Cordless Upright Athlet Vacuum Cleaner Our exclusive Blue Athlet has both great performance and long lasting stamina with up to 50 minutes battery life on a single charge**. • • • • • • •

25.2V Bithium lon Technology Weight: 3.785Kg 0.9 LTR Capacity Sensor Bagless Technology LED Filter Clean Indicator Flexible Nozzle Joint H11.6 x W28.5 x D18.5 Dark Blue


Yeomans Electrical 65 North Walsham Road, Sprowston, Norwich, NR6 7QA Tel: 01603 426294

*T&C’s apply. Selected model only. While stocks last. Sold as an agent for Euronics Limited.

Delivery & Installation charges may apply. Free local delivery available on selected models only and selected stores. See website for full details. Prices correct at time of print. Images used for illustration purposes only. Copyright Euronics 2016. E&EO January 2016

‘Start with a better finish...’

Myhill Decorators

Myhill Decorators have over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of decorating projects throughout Norwich & East Anglia. From house rennovations to commercial units let us do what we do best.

Daytime - 07877 499 381 Eve - 01603 758125

2016 February | 59

Flat Roof Problems? When you are looking for a company to replace your leaking flat roof you may find the following checklist useful: ■ Do you want a roof that you will probably never need to change again and which is maintenance free for a price which is comparable to felt? ■ Do you want a solid 25 year guarantee with additional insurance backing to protect you from the company going bust?

FineCity Magazine FineCity Magazine is THE premier lifestyle magazine for the fine city of Norwich. Available for collection throughout the city centre. Also read online.

Follow us on Twitter @finecitymag

■ A company with proven experience and track record who can show photos of previous work and recommendations from some 700 or so previous customers. ■ Do you want to deal with the owner of the business and not a salesman and receive a discount if you are retired, ex forces or serving emergency services? ■ Do you want to be able to see what you are getting beforehand? if you score 5 out of 5 then give us a call. You can also visit our working displays at Wyevale Garden Centre, Blueboar Lane; Highway Nurseries at Framingham Pigot.

telephone: 01603 426512 60 | February 2016

Big C

February It’s the Month of Love for Norfolk’s Cancer charity Big C


a Kilner jar with delicious chocolates will be arrive on the table. All Big C asks is that you make a donation to indulge in a chocolate of your choice with your loved one?

The Norfolk based charity has teamed up with some of the county’s favourite restaurants, as they prepare for lovers to indulge in Valentine’s dinners, to tantalise your tastebuds with some delicious locally produced chocolates in return for a suggested donation.

“It’s our 35th anniversary year and Valentines Day so we have to celebrate with chocolates. We hope lots of people will enter into the spirit of the scheme and realise all the money will be used to helping cancer patients and their families right here on their doorstep in Norfolk,” said Clive Evans, Director of Income Generation.

Here’s how to join in. Below are listed the restaurants participating in the scheme. When you finish your meal at any of these restaurants for your Valentine’s,

The donations will be given to the Big C to help fund its support centres, research, lifesaving equipment purchases and education and are all pure profit

ave a heart this February and give a bit of time and affection for the Big C’s “Month of Love” campaign. If we whispered “Chocolate” in your ear…could you be tempted?

as all the jars and chocolates have been kindly donated. The Big C is loving support from Norfolk Truffle Company, Gnaw, Digbys and others for the chocolates and Kilner and Lakeland, Norwich, for the jars. The restaurants offering the scheme are: Stoke Mill, Stoke

Holy Cross; Pedro’s Texmex Cantina, Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich; No1. Cromer; Marriott’s Warehouse, King’s Lynn. If you are a restauranteur or maker of wonderful chocolates and would like to be involved in this sweet opportunity please call Rachel Francis on 01603 619900.

The Chair and Board of Trustees of Big C, Norfolk and Waveney’s Cancer Charity, requests the pleasure of your company at a reception to celebrate their 35th anniversary year. Thursday 28 January 2016 The Bob Champion Research and Education Building 6.30pm

Drinks and canapes, followed by the premiére of the Big C Anniversary Film

Please RSVP to Christine Sayer:

2016 February | 61

Treating hearing loss can help keep your New Year’s Resolutions By Karen Finch, audiologist and Managing Director of The Hearing Care Centre


very New Year brings with it a sense of renewal. For many, this renewal may include New Year’s resolutions pledging that the next year will prove better than the last. The challenge is not making these resolutions, but making sure they do not melt away with the snow as winter turns to spring. Some common resolutions might include reducing stress levels, staying in touch more regularly with family and friends, and being more socially involved. For those who struggle with hearing loss, keeping these and other perennial resolutions may prove challenging. Here are a few examples of how treating your hearing loss in the New Year can help you achieve your resolutions and improve your life.

Reducing stress Staying stress free in the New Year may seem like an insurmountable task, but we can all do a few things to make sure stress doesn’t dominate our lives. Hearing-related stress can present itself in everyday situations with the potential to significantly increase your overall stress level. If you have become nervous to speak up when clarifying what was said in a conversation, or avoid loud places for fear of being cut from the conversation, it may be time to address your hearing issues. Finding a solution could help you reduce some of your daily stress.

Staying in touch with family and friends Staying connected with family and friends is difficult whether 62 | February 2016

loved ones are spread across the country or live just around the corner. If keeping in touch with the important people in your life tops your list of resolutions, addressing your hearing concerns may be a step in the right direction. Being able to communicate with family and friends without worrying about what was said by a loved one over the phone, on Skype, or face-to-face is of the utmost importance. Not only does it put your mind at ease, it makes conversations with loved ones that much easier.

Branching out Hearing loss may hinder you from branching out and meeting new people. If you are nervous to extend your social circle because of your hearing loss, addressing the issue in the New Year could be the push you need to make new friends and experience new adventures in the coming year. Have you always wanted to volunteer with an organisation or join a club but have been too self-conscious about your hearing loss? Don’t let apprehension and worry keep you from meeting new people and enjoying all the sights and sounds that the world has to offer.

lead to new talents and friends.

Starting a new hobby

Taking action

Starting a new hobby, whether by yourself or in a group setting, can be both challenging and entertaining. If you would like to learn how to play a new instrument and want to better hear the notes, or if you are taking a class at your local college and want to be able to contribute to the discussion without feeling nervous, having the confidence to address your hearing issues can

If any of the above scenarios resonate with you, your hearing loss could be a barrier to accomplishing your resolutions. It may be time to add another resolution to the list: book a hearing assessment. Seeking help, advice and ultimately treating your hearing loss will benefit not only your physical health but your mental and social health as well. Placing priority on your

hearing health will not only help you to achieve your New Year’s resolutions, but will give you a renewed confidence in your hearing and social life. Invest in your hearing. Invest in yourself. Karen Finch is the Managing Director and lead audiologist at The Hearing Care Centre. The multi-award winning, family-run company has 20 centres across Suffolk and Norfolk, including Attleborough, Dereham, Eye, Harleston, Thetford, Watton and Wymondham .

The Perfect way to guarantee your future income.

Investors and landlords... Your property needs us • Guaranteed monthly rent – with no deductions

• Deposit Replacement Insurance from DAS via Advanced Rent

• No more letting fees or management fees

• Fully referenced Professionals in full time employment

• We pay for all required checks including Gas Safety certificate

• Weekly cleaner and monthly gardener

• We pay for all of the utility bills

• Monthly inspections on the property

• Long term Let

• All tenant issues dealt with at no cost to you

• Rent Guarantee insurance with Home Emergency Cover from DAS via Advanced Rent

• Plus we pay for Internal repairs and maintenance

Sound too good to be true? Call us to find out more. ︱ 01603 381882

2016 February | 63

Nicholsons Mental Capacity – Importance and Assessment


hen a person lacks mental capacity, they are unable to create any valid legal agreement – for example to make a valid will. Challenges to wills on the ground that the testator lacked mental capacity are becoming increasingly common, especially when the will was made (or an existing will was changed) by someone of advanced years. When it is feared that mental capacity may be lacking, it is possible for a test to be carried out to confirm the extent of a person’s ability. The test involves two stages. The first identifies whether there is an impairment of mental functioning which is sufficient to affect the ability of the person making the decision that is in point (e.g. making a valid will). The second stage involves four further tests, which must all be satisfied to show that the person has mental capacity: The person must be able to understand information relevant

64 | February 2016

to the decision being taken; The person must be able to retain that information for a period of time sufficient for them to make the decision; The person must be able to evaluate the information relevant to the decision being made; and The person must be able to communicate their decision. If you are concerned that a family member may be losing mental capacity and there are ‘loose ends’ which should be tied up (such as creating a will or executing a power of attorney), it is important to make sure these matters are dealt with before mental capacity is lost. At Nicholsons we can assist you in organising any necessary tests of mental capacity as well as dealing with the preparation of any legal documents required. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, or need help with a legal matter, such as making a Will, contact Ann-Marie Matthews on 01603 478567 or email amatthews@

JTD 14111 Nicholsons Advert.qxp_Layout 1 07/01/2015 13:06 Page 1

If you need a will, Nicholsons make it easy... Making a Will is the only way to protect your family and assets for the future. Nicholsons specialise in Will writing, inheritance tax planning, Powers of Attorney and property trusts. We pride ourselves on making the whole process as easy as possible either by meeting in our office or visiting you in the comfort of your own home. If you are interested in discussing a Will or any other legal matter contact Ann-Marie Matthews on 01603 478567 or email

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP, 97 Yarmouth Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR7 0HF

SPECIA L OFFER with this simple w advert ill fo or pair fo r £110* r £150*

Tel: 01603 478567 Email:

* Excluding VAT

“The thought of cutting the eyeball with a laser was quite a serious option so I decided to explore other routes, which is when I found out about Ortho-k.” Martin found that Norwich optician, Damian Conway, is an expert in Ortho-k, the means of correcting short-sightedness when you sleep with bespoke contact lenses, which are then removed when on waking. The process of gently flattening the cornea to improve shortsightedness was known about by the ancient Chinese who recommended going to bed with tiny bags of sand on the eyes. But today, Ortho-k is a highly developed form of vision correction which is being recommended by more and more opticians.

Martin Faulks Norwich martial arts expert has sharper vision


artial Arts enthusiast, Martin Faulks, is celebrating a better vision having taken up a form of sight correction pioneered by the Chinese thousands of years ago.

The 37 year old publishing manager from Norwich was forced to abandon daily contact lenses which he had worn for years due to problems with dry eyes, and the resulting discomfort with the lenses.

“I was forced into wearing glasses which I just didn’t like. I do a lot of martial arts and jujitsu so glasses just don’t work.” Researching laser eye surgery Martin was concerned about the long term implications –

“I am naturally very short-sighted, but with Ortho-k my vision is perfect during the day and my sight is good at night. With glasses you lose some peripheral vision but with Ortho-k you just get total freedom. I think this should be the front line for vision correction – it is as easy as cleaning your teeth and leaves you with good vision all day,” said Martin. Ortho-k works by flattening the cornea by less than a hair’s width with specially made bespoke hard contact lenses. These are manufactured at a laboratory in Hastings, Sussex, from topographical images, referencing some 80,000 points of the patient’s eye. Inserted into the eyes at night, the gently pressure of the eyelid ensures a minute change to the contour of the eye, thereby providing good vision for the day ahead. A number of international studies indicate that this is the best for of vision correction to arrest the progression of myopia – particularly in children. To learn more about Ortho-k visit:

2016 February | 65

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Test-driven in Alicante, Spain.


oyota was responsible for a pivotal change in the motoring scene two decades ago with the launch of the first RAV4. It was a novel type of leisure focused car that forged today’s well-liked compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) market.

The 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Icon model I drove, at the model’s European media presentation in Spain, had a smooth and economical powertrain. It merged a 2494cc petrol engine with an electric motor, and there was a further one running the rear axle to deliver electronic all-wheel drive (AWD).

Now, the Japanese company has begun a new chapter in RAV4’s success story with the introduction of the first RAV4 Hybrid in the UK this year.

The AWD ability provides excellent safety and stability when navigating low-grip terrain, as I found out on some gravelly trails just outside of Alicante. The Hybrid certainly parades the refinement

66 | February 2016

you’d envisage because of Toyota’s experience with this kind of powertrain. The ‘green’ car’s linear acceleration, channelled through its continuously variable transmission (CVT) auto box, is satisfactory, rather than thrilling, for any setting. What’s more, the hybrid tech is clear-cut, demanding no special attention when behind the wheel. There are three distinctive driving modes offered: Sport, ECO and EV. Electric-only (EV) is meant for short range driving at subdued speeds when the battery is

feature by:

Tim Barnes-Clay Writer @carwriteups


charged-up, and only works with a light right foot. ECO tempers the drive power and air conditioning for best efficiency. Then Sport opens the gate to greater (and noisier) engine revs and a snappier throttle reply, while decreasing power steering assistance for further road feel. All this adds up to a class-leading economy figure of 55.4mpg, with official CO2 emissions of 118g/km. The Hybrid coincides with the new RAV4 line-up, which features

2016 February | 67


fresh exterior styling, enhanced cabin quality, improved technology and safety features. The frontal design creates a sturdier road presence and includes full LED headlights. At the side, there is a more flowing look, and at the rear the combination lamps and bumper have been altered, highlighting the car’s road stance further. The quality of the RAV4’s cabin has been boosted considerably with a full colour screen and softtouch materials. New tech features include Toyota’s 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor. This gives you sight of obstacles that would remain unseen in blind spots when using established front and rear cameras, making for safer and easier manoeuvring.

68 | February 2016

What’s more, the latest RAV4’s safety specification has been notably upgraded with the addition of the new Toyota Safety Sense assembly of features. In addition to the Lane Departure Alert, Pre-Collision System, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist tech that was also included in the new Avensis and Auris, the RAV4 further profits from Adaptive Cruise Control and a superior Pre-Collision System. Taken as a whole, the RAV4 Hybrid is comfortable and clever – and you’ll be doing your ‘solution to the pollution’ bit for the world if you buy one. PROS ‘N’ CONS • Green ✓ • Stylish ✓ • Kit ✓ • Off-Road ability ✓ • Not many thrills X

FAST FACTS • Max speed: 112 mph • 0-62 mph: 8.3 secs • Combined mpg: 55.4 • Engine layout: 2494cc 4-cylinder

petrol and electric • Max. power (bhp): 194 • CO2: 118 g/km Price: £29,795


0% APR


Multimedia system with satellite navigation

Representative over 24 months*

per month^

Reversing camera DAB radio

THE ORIGINAL SUV. NOW EVEN MORE ORIGINAL. Dingles Toyota (Norwich) Delft Way Tel: 01603 480000 @dinglestoyota

Model shown is 2016 RAV4 Hybrid Business Edition Plus 5 door FWD 2.5 VVT-i Auto £26,195. Price excludes metallic paint at £495. Prices correct at time of going to press. *0% APR Representative only available on new retail orders of RAV4 between 18th December 2015 and 31st March 2016 and registered and financed through Toyota Financial Services by 30th June 2016 on a 2 year AccessToyota (PCP) plan with 0%-32% deposit. ^Payment shown is based on a 24 month AccessToyota contract with £6,318 customer deposit and Guaranteed Future Value/Optional Final Payment. Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC; registered office Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5UZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Excess miles over contracted charged at 12p per mile. Toyota Centres are independent of Toyota Financial Services. Terms and conditions apply. Affordable finance through AccessToyota. 5 year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty subject to terms and conditions. | 69 56.5 2016 RAV4 Hybrid Business Edition Plus 5 door FWD 2.5 VVT-i Auto. Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (1/100km): Urban 57.6 2016 (4.9),February Extra Urban (5.0), Combined 57.6 (4.9). CO2 Emissions 115g/km. All mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU regulated laboratory test results. These are provided to allow comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect your actual driving experience.



Join in our Success Story

Welcome to the ‘FineAdvice’ section of FineCity Magazine About Us:

In a fast moving world, where the media seem to be ever more distant from people’s real concerns, it is vital that community lifestyle magazines like FineCity Magazine find and print the information and news that is important to local people. That’s where we come in; two years ago we added FineCity Magazine to our portfolio of publications which include; Dispatch Magazine in Attleborough & Diss and a second publication in Wymondham & Dereham. We also publish Norfolk on My Mind for North Norfolk and Suffolk on My Mind for Suffolk. Over the fifteen years we have been publishing magazines our publications have become some of the most well respected community lifestyle magazines, and a “must-read” across a Norfolk & Suffolk.

design and layout as this page is being presented to you.

Our distribution is enormous; Dispatch is delivered Free of Charge Door to Door to 30,000 homes and businesses. FineCity Magazine is delivered or collected around the City centre by 12,000 people each month, and Norfolk on My Mind has 10,000 copies available for pick up across 800 pick up locations. Suffolk on My Mind is seen by 10,000 people in Bury St Edmunds and across Suffolk. This gives us a combined readership of 155,000 every month.

We are offering YOU the full page (normal cost £505.00) for just the cost of a half page advert £295.00. You pay for the advert we’ll give you the editorial (425 words) for FREE, with a 12 months commitment.

Come and join FineCity and be part of our success story!

The FineAdvice section is designed to offer readers advice, and enable your company to be the exclusive provider.

FineCity Magazine:

In addition to the above, we will also include your company within our daily tweets and Facebook page completely free of charge.

We are inviting just one company from a few specialist market sectors, to feature in our new ‘FineAdvice’ section with a combination of editorial and an advert on a full page, in the same

FineCity Magazine is growing throughout Norwich, now with a 12,000 print run every month, and available for pick up at our prestige partner locations which includes; John Lewis, Waitrose, Jarrold, Cinema City, MadderMarket, The Theatre Royal, The Forum, Norwich Library, The Norwich

New for 2016 we are adding a ‘FineAdvice’ section in our rapidly growing FineCity Magazine.

Tourist Information Centre, Norwich Airport, Castle Mall and Intu Chapelfield, and further copies are delivered Door to Door around Eaton, Cringleford, Easton, Newmarket Road and The Golden Triangle area of Norwich.

Advice by:

Tom McHarg Sales @finecitymag 01953 456789

Meet The Family FineCity Magazine Issue 43 2015

Dispatch Magazine 2016

Dispatch Magazine 2016

Norfolk On My Mind Magazine 2016

Suffolk On My Mind Magazine 2016

Issue 51


ry 2016

Frank B MBE t runo o be guest o honou f r NARS at the Show Norfolk Ball INTER

VIEW Pete G oo LiftSha drum meets re foun der an Manag d ing Dir Clabbu e rn at h ctor Ali is swank City C y entre O ffices DIC

KENS The Lif e and works Charle of s Dick ens in picture 30 s (part 1) – by Steve Brown ing





70 | February 2016






Utility Warehouse

Have you claimed your FREE energy-efficient LED light bulbs yet? I live locally and I represent a company that will replace every light bulb in your home with the latest energy-efficient LED bulbs, completely free of charge, thus saving you around 11% OFF your electricity bill forever! If you’re a homeowner, I can help you claim: Free LED light bulbs typically worth £300-£500 They are bright, fully dimmable, light-up instantly, and use around 15 times less electricity than traditional light bulbs. Free expert installation By a team of professional fully trained fitters; they’ll visit your home and install your new LED light bulbs at a convenient time for you — completely free of charge.

Free lifetime guarantee If a light bulb ever needs replacing, you’ll be sent a new one in the post — so you’ll never have to buy another light bulb again! Lower electricity bills - forever! In addition to helping to save the planet, your new LED bulbs will reduce your electricity bills by around 11% — FOREVER Who’s behind this initiative? It’s being provided by Utility Warehouse, the Nation’s most trusted utility supplier. In addition to gas and electricity, they provide landline, broadband and mobile — giving you the convenience of all your utilities on one monthly bill. Utility Warehouse is operated by Telecom Plus PLC, a major British company whose shares are listed on the London Stock

Exchange. The company provides its members with great value, great savings and the best possible customer service. Perhaps it’s not surprising that, in a survey, 93% of Utility Warehouse customers said they would recommend them to a friend. Utility Warehouse is very different to other suppliers because they’re a club - a Discount Club. They don’t have any high street shops and because (unlike their competitors) they don’t spend customers’ money on expensive advertising campaigns on TV, they can afford to charge their customers less for the same services. They have also received numerous awards from Which? Magazine and Moneywise, and have around 600,000 satisfied customers. As a member of Utility Warehouse, you SAVE... Single supplier for all your utilities Award-winning customer service

Value that’s unbeatable Easy to switch Ready to claim your FREE LED light bulbs? Please don’t hesitate to contact me today. I’ll be delighted to explain how it works.

Advice by:

Jonathan Horswell Distributor @jonathanhorswel 07802 690589

2016 February | 71

NTR February listing (Fine City) .qxp_Layout 1 26/01/2016 10:20 Page 1

FEBRUARY Mon 1 – Tues 2 Feb LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE David Hasselhoff stars in 80s musical £8 - £35.50 Thur 4 – Fri 5 Feb RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY Stunning contemporary dance £7 - £20.50 Mon 8 – Sat 13 Feb PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT Jason Donovan stars in smash hit musical £8 - £42.50 Thur 18 – Sat 20 Feb SIBERIAN STATE BALLET Giselle, The Snow Maiden and The Nutcracker £8 - £35 Mon 22 – Wed 24 Feb NEW JERSEY NIGHTS Celebrating the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons £8 - £27.50 Thur 25 – Sun 28 Feb CIRQUE BERSERK The finest circus skills and thrilling stunts £8 - £28.50 Mon 29 Feb – Sat 5 Mar TOAST Matthew Kelly stars in gritty comic drama £8 - £25

Book online: T H E AT R E ST R E E T, N O RW I C H N R 2 1 R L

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

BOX OFFICE: (01603) 63 00 00

FineCity Magazine - February 2016  

The February 2016 edition of FineCity Magazine for the fine city of Norwich

FineCity Magazine - February 2016  

The February 2016 edition of FineCity Magazine for the fine city of Norwich