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Issue 50 January 2016

Interview: Meet Greg Smith. Chief Executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association

FINEMotors FINEplaces


And the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show Ball.


A Perfect New Year Walk

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Blow away the cobwebs after Christmas


Mention FineCity magazine when calling to find out about our latest offers







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Issue 50 January 2016

Interview: Meet Greg Smith. Chief Executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association

FINE people

07 16



And the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show Ball.




Blow away the cobwebs after Christmas


FINE places

Issue 50 Your community magazine

30 58

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, Daniel Tink, Tony Cooper and Tim Barnes-Clay Images courtesy of:


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© 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 January | 05

Fine City Chorus Singing since 1975 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 Needs YOU” “Men of Norfolk” We need you! Fine City Chorus is a Norwich based, all male A’Capella (Barbershop) choir and we are looking to attract some keen new members. You don’t need to have sung before or be able to read music, enthusiasm is more important. We meet every Wednesday evening at Lionwood Infant School, Telegraph Lane East, Norwich NR1 4AN. We’re a very friendly sociable group with men from 21 through to their

06 | January 2016

mid 70’s. We hold several social events during the year and also raise money for local charities. We’ve recently done our bit for “Movember” raising well over £1600. Our repertoire ranges from Elton John, Adele, The Beatles through to 1940 style musicals and we sometimes sing at local fetes and events. If you are interested in seeing and hearing what we do, why not come along to our rehearsals

where you will be warmly welcomed. During January each Wednesday will be “Open Evenings” where you can listen to us and have a chat. If you would like to know more before then, you can phone Brian on 01508 578409. Singing and being part of a group activity is really good for your mental and physical health. It’s also lovely to work with others to create rich, warm harmonies using nothing more than the human voice. Here are some quotes from our members “I’d never sung before, I can’t read music nor can I play an instrument, but my family said I had a nice tone when I sang along to the radio. I joined the choir 4 years ago aged 48 and I only wish I taken up singing 30 years ago it’s so much fun” “The reason I joined the chorus was that it gave me a new lease of life when my wife passed on”. “We are a very friendly bunch and give a warm welcome to anyone who walks through the door”.

“I’m still not the best singer in the world but I make a positive contribution to rehearsals and to our famous sing-outs when we make the most beautiful harmony. It’s much better than the telly!” “It is a rewarding and motivating hobby to sing and perform in a way that lifts the spirits”.

If you would like to book us to sing at your event please phone us on 07534 987921

Greg Smith Pete Goodrum meets Greg Smith, Chief Executive of Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association

2016 January | 07



’ll admit it. I’m not always right. So, it came as no surprise that when Greg Smith started telling me his life story there was no mention of him being a soldier, despite my impression of him being the sort of man who’d known military life. We’re in his office at The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, looking out at the show ground. He’s had a minor IT problem this morning and after a brief conversation with colleagues to get things sorted we begin. Greg tells me he was born in Norwich, to a father who worked at Boulton and Paul and a mother who was a teacher. ‘I was a boy from New Catton, and I got a place at Norwich School because I was a chorister’. Agricultural seeds were sown early as he went from Norwich to university at Newcastle to study for a degree in Agriculture and Food Marketing. ‘I came from a non farming background, but it interested me. I’d worked on some farms in school holidays. Newcastle were one of the first universities to offer serious marketing qualifications and the combination of subjects met my objective of coming out with a degree that would relate to a wider perspective’. After graduation he had, he says, ‘a military itch that needed scratching’ and he considered going in to the army. (Ah. Maybe my instincts weren’t wrong…..). A tutor convinced him to reconsider and he did. Marketing research, in the agricultural sector, seemed attractive and London beckoned. ‘I did have a girlfriend there as well’, he adds. His first job, in the capital, was with a leading research agency. For over eight years he was immersed in research for a range of clients covering machinery, chemicals and even government policy on agriculture. ‘I worked on everything from tractor cabs to animal feed, and I learned a lot about agricultural practice - but with a marketing slant’. All of this put him into the media world, and agency life suited him. ‘I loved it. I liked the variety, the thrill of the chase, the

08 | January 2016

commercial buzz’. He mentions, briefly, in amongst this, that the ‘military itch’ still needed scratching. (I say nothing, but wonder again if my first impressions had been right after all). ‘I began to realise’, he says, ‘that to progress meant I needed to move into agency management’. Which is what he did, becoming Managing Director of a subsidiary of the legendary Nielsen research company. ‘It meant being based in Oxford. We moved to Buckinghamshire - children had arrived by then - and settled happily. He enjoyed the work, carrying out a range of research projects including shopper behaviour for the likes of Tesco and other big fmcg brands. He moves briskly through the next few years of his career, taking in his being, at 35, Managing Director of a full service research agency back in London. ‘It was a baptism of fire’. There was also a spell running a business in Ireland and, in the early 2000s, a ‘fleeting pass with the internet’ led him on to a job with another high profile name in research - MORI. The company was sold in 2005 but he stayed in his role until 2009. Greg Smith looks out of his office window a lot when he’s talking. There’s no question of a lack of confidence leading to avoidance of eye contact. Nor is there any shortage of engagement. He’s articulate, informed and courteous. He’s amusing too. But somehow he

feature by:

Pete Goodrum Writer, broadcaster @petegoodrum


always sees the bigger picture. The world outside the office, and beyond the desk. ‘I’ll rewind a bit’, he says, turning to face me. ‘That military itch - I did scratch it. I’d joined the Territorial Army, in 1980. The plan was to do a couple of years. In fact I retire from it in May next year’. In fact he retires from it in May next year as a decorated and honoured soldier and at the highest rank possible as a reservist. He was promoted in 2010 to Major General, and was appointed Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets). (Smug? Me? Never!) He admits to a period of ‘disenchantment with corporate life’ around 2009 after his ‘brilliant time’ with what had become Ipsos MORI. He went into the MOD . In fact he was asked to serve full time. ‘Age and rank meant that I’d never be deployed – although I’d been to most of our operational theatres - but I’d seen and contributed to a significant shift in how the UK uses its military reserves. From the post-cold war, army of last resort, of the 1980s, through the uncertainty of the 1990s, and on to what I call the

age of mobilisation in the 2000s, I’d dealt with politicians, civil servants and leading figures. I’d commanded an infantry unit. I’d been part of it’. It’s an understatement at the least. The reality is that Greg Smith has made a significant contribution to reserves shifting from the ‘army of last resort’ to a fully integrated part of the nation’s defence. The most he’ll say is ‘Not bad for a boy from New Catton’. It says a lot about the man. In 2011 he and his wife Rebecca spotted a house for sale in Norfolk. ‘We thought - why not? We have family there. It’s a great place. We came back’. The following year he saw that the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association was looking for a Chief Executive. He applied, got it, and became full time in 2013. And so we come to the present. ‘It’s a busy life. There’s the Show, the events we run throughout the year, and of course we are land owners’. This all embracing description barely scratches the surface of his work. The Royal Norfolk Show alone is a massive undertaking. One of only eight agricultural shows to hold the Royal warrant it’s the biggest of the UK’s 2 day

shows, attracting some 80 90,000 visitors a year. The site itself - the Showground - has been owned since 1952 and there’s the infrastructure, buildings, rentals and income generation to consider. ‘It all takes a lot of looking after’ is another of Mr Smith’s characteristic understatements. As our conversation develops it becomes clear why he looks out of that window a lot. He loves this place. He’s passionate about educating people, especially the young, about the world of agriculture which he describes as ‘this great green factory’ around us. He sees the educational role of the Association as vital, and enthuses about the opportunities to share experience and develop awareness. It all interlinks. The 100 or more events a year and the estate, generating income as an ‘insurance’ against the show itself which is budgeted to break even. The show is also planned to strike the right balance between agriculture, business and ‘entertainment’ to maximise audience appeal. And at the heart of it all is charity, with the annual Norfolk Show Ball raising funds for a

chosen host each year. This year he’s proud to announce that the hosts are Norfolk Accident Rescue Service. I talk to them later - read my piece in this issue! Away from his day job Greg Smith says he ‘thinks about’ participating in sport. He’s dipped into practical farming with ‘ a few sheep and chickens’. He loves fishing and sailing and he’s a devoted Norwich City supporter. He’s retained links with Newcastle University and chairs their Business School Advisory Board. ‘I owe it something’ he says reflectively. Taking this sudden reflection on his beginnings as prompt he courteously, and with genuine interest, begins to ask me about my life and career. And I begin to tell him, because he’s as good a listener as he is talker. But hold on. I’m the interviewer here. And anyway we’ve talked for quite a while, and I’m conscious of his schedule. In searching for a summing up he hesitates, for the first time really. ‘All in all’, he says, ‘most of what I’ve done, or what’s happened to me, has been by accident’. Hmmm. I’m not so sure. I think that when opportunities have arisen, perhaps sometimes unexpectedly, he’s seized them. But I think the claim that it’s all been by accident is seriously self deprecating. I also know that my early impression of his being a soldier was right. And I know that this hugely talented man, with his unusual mix of marketing and military experience, combined with his knowledge and love of agriculture, is in exactly the right job. The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, and all its activities including the flagship Royal Norfolk Show, have someone who is commercially astute. Their Chief Executive. They also have, in the same person that is Greg Smith, a strategist. A man who can see the big picture but not lose sight of the details. Someone who can lead from the front, take on the big challenges, but still know everybody in the team.Their Commander In Chief. 2016 January | 09


The Norfolk Show Ball 2016 - your hosts! Pete Goodrum meets Norfolk Accident Rescue Service


he 2016 Norfolk Show Ball is hosted by a truly awesome organisation. NARS. Norfolk Accident Rescue Service is a shining example of what can be done by dedicated volunteers, and it’s a credit to our county. Hopefully, as they would be the first to say, you’ll never need them. But believe me, you need

10 | January 2016

to know about them. This is the outstanding team who provide invaluable support at the scene of road traffic accidents. Let me take you back to their beginnings. In 1970 ambulances were quite primitive by current standards. And paramedics as we know them today didn’t exist. A scheme was started to get General Practitioners to the scene of an accident.

Responding in their own cars the GPs would bring specialist knowledge, expertise and immediate care to those involved. From those early days a charity grew, developing into a service that specialised in working with ambulance crews to improve patient care at accidents throughout Norfolk. The band of volunteers we now know as NARS. And now let me tell you about today. An accident happens. A 999 call is made. The NHS Critical Care Desk gets around 3000 of those calls day and they screen them, establishing which incidents will benefit from high level resource. Through GPS they know where a NARS car is in relation to the accident. They call them, and Norfolk Accident Rescue Service swings into action. The Call Sign is MEDIC 22. 2.7 litres of Audi A6 Quattro with racing brakes and world class medical equipment on board is

on the road. It gets there quickly, and on arrival the crew are often the most senior and qualified people at the scene. They take charge. They deliver immediate care. They co-ordinate the necessary resources, bringing in ambulances, including the Air Ambulance if necessary, and they get the injured to hospital. Always saving time. Often saving lives. These people are volunteers. They drive as well as tend the injured. They sometimes work in the NHS as well as giving their time to NARS. It’s demanding. There are 6000 miles of road in Norfolk and 350 people a year are hurt or killed on them. MEDIC 22 is an impressive vehicle and its crew delivers vital support. But NARS needs MEDIC 23, and MEDIC 24. And more. Norfolk Accident Rescue Service provides an invaluable service but receives no government or Health Service funding. Which is why donations to NARS are essential. It’s crucial that they can develop their training programmes, acquire more vehicles and buy more equipment. NARS are the hosts at the 2016 Norfolk Show Ball. It will raise money for them, and raise awareness of them. And you can help too. You can find out how to help and donate by visiting www. Help Norfolk Accident Rescue Service in their invaluable work. Help them now - because they’re here to help.

feature by:

Pete Goodrum Writer, broadcaster @petegoodrum


The NARS Norfolk Show Ball 2016


he 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. 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 2016 January | 11

FINEPeople 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 Norfolkbased 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. It is advised to book early as the NARS Norfolk Show Ball 2016 is expected to sell out quickly. Tickets can be purchased by emailing or by calling 01603 757658.

Image courtesy of Archant

12 | January 2016


Lord Baker Local Charities Receive Boost from Lord Baker’s Community Fund


ord Russell Baker of Little Moulton and the Lord Baker Community Fund managed by the Norfolk Community Foundation, is pleased to announce that East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH), Star Throwers Cancer Care and Support, Chapel Road School for Severely Disabled Children and the Norfolk Community Foundation will each receive £2,735.20 totalling £10,940.80 as a pre-Christmas boost for the amazing services that these charities provide to local Norfolk Communities. Anna Douglas, the Development and Marketing Manager at the Norfolk Community Foundation said, “Norfolk Community Foundation has enjoyed working with Lord Baker this year as he has built his fund through his fundraising campaigns.  The Fund sees a number of local charities benefit from a significant donation from a series of events with a difference

including the ‘Darts Masters’ and the ‘Grand Norfolk Charity auction’. We would like to thank Lord Baker for his contribution, and look forward to working with him in 2016 when he plans to launch a community fund as part of his charitable giving to support local community projects.” The Lord Baker Community Fund will continue to grow in 2016 with some amazing events being planned. The Norwich Charity Darts Masters at Norwich City Football Club on Saturday 25th June has already been organised. The Darts Legends in attendance will be Eric Bristow, Keith Deller (2015 Champion), Bobby George and our very own Steve Beaton from North Walsham. This stands to be another amazing evening and hopefully raising significant funds and awareness for the supported charities. Tickets are on sale now at £22 and can be purchased on-line at: https://ncdm-2016.eventbrite.

Lord Baker said, “I am delighted to be able to support these amazing charities and provide a good level of funding that will enable these charities to continue delivering the outstanding services they provide to young children, and people of all ages suffering from Cancer. I am also, as Patron of NARS, delighted to announce that the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service will be supported within the Lord Baker Community Fund in 2016. NARS provide a critical care fast response service in Norfolk with voluntary critical care paramedics and doctors, and quite simply save lives”. Lord Baker added, “Chapel Road School for severely disabled children are moving to a new school in 2007; named the Chapel Green School, and when I was invited along to visit the school and meet the children in May this year, it occurred to me that the different levels of abilities, both physical and mental, need play areas to suite, So I aim to raise enough funding over the next couple of years to build the outside play and recreation area’s

to suit the differing ability needs”. Karin Heap who is the Head Teacher at Chapel Road School said, “We are hoping to move into our new School in Old Buckenham by spring 2017.  Although funding for the building has been secured, this does not include specialist outdoor learning resources needed outside the classrooms. We need to raise additional funding to set up exciting and innovative outdoor learning spaces across the school grounds.  Our plans include special equipment for children with multi-sensory impairment such as sensory play equipment and equipment such as swings and roundabouts with wheelchair access. Lord Baker is hoping to raise enough funding over the next year or two through the events he organises to build the outside play area’s”.

For further information about the Lord Baker events for 2016 please visit the Lord Baker of Little Moulton web site - 2016 January | 13


Justyn Rees Larcombe


ustyn Rees Larcombe was a City high flyer with a loving wife and family who had made his fortune. But the man who once had a glittering army career and was honoured by the Queen had a close-guarded secret – he was a compulsive gambler. His downward spiral cost him everything including at staggering £750,000 but his addiction went in an instance and restoration began when he returned to his

14 | January 2016

boyhood faith he told a captive audience at the Best Western Brook Hotel, Bowthorpe, Norwich on 7 December. Justyn spoke about his gripping story at the County Town’s Initiative Christmas Dinner before a packed audience that included a host of civic and church dignitaries. The man who had gambled daily during the height of a three-year addiction says: “From November 2012 I have never

placed another bet or have been tempted to.” Now he helps others kick the habit that stole his life and 15 months ago he completed a mammoth cross-channel swim to raise money for the charity that supports his son who suffers from a rare paralysing disease. “I still do not know how I fell from having it all to having less than nothing,” says Justyn recalling the beautiful house, smart car and prosperous job

in the rising world of finance. “But I feel privileged that many of the important things are back: my family, self-respect and my values. Maybe I am better off than before because now I know that honesty, family, friendship and love is important.” His book - Tails I Lose published last year is a warning about the murky world that crippled him. And besides being a speaker he also leads recovery courses that are turning others from debt and addiction to new hope and life explains the insurance consultant and trained debt counsellor. Justyn returned to his boyhood home to live with his mother three years ago. He reached the end of the road when his wife and two small children left. He was drinking heavily and about to be evicted from his home and with no job or income, he toyed with ending his life. He had lied and borrowed from family and friends and used his company credit card to pay for his gambling. With mounting debts with 11 loan companies there seemed no escape. “Finally my pride was gone and I got down on my knees and prayed a simple prayer for forgiveness. My gambling had placed a cloud between God and me but gradually my life began to recover and the debts were taken from my shoulders when I visited a debt counsellor who silenced my creditors and repaid the loan.” Justyn had placed his first £5 bet on a tennis game when he was 40 years-old as his son’s illness worsened. Before long he began to gamble large amounts in search of ‘the big win’ to repay some of the credit card debt. Twice he cleared his debts or closed his betting account but each time he started betting again shortly afterwards. When he placed a £17,000 bet on a tennis game and lost it all he stumbled into the murky world of on-line betting and soon discovered online casinos – it became a dangerous combination! “I loved my wife and family completely yet I was a terrible husband and father and robbed my wife of her dreams,” says


Maybe I am better off than before because now I know that honesty, family, friendship and love is important.” Justyn who gambled his wife’s savings that were earmarked for their new home and sold his wedding ring to feed his addiction. During Christmas Day and family holidays his addiction did not let-up. And when his four year-old son had a serious epileptic fit, Justyn checked the progress of his bets on his telephone, while holding the little boy’s hand as they were rushed to hospital by ambulance. Now his family have returned Justyn aims at being a model father and husband. “I am grateful for simple everyday pleasures like reading my boys a bedtime story and talking to my wife – a woman I lost and now

have no intention of losing again.” He completed a cross-channel swim in September 2014 after months of rigorous training, boosting the charity that supports his son who suffers from hemiplegia. “In sharing my terrible story, I have come to understand I was by no means the first to throw my life away but I would like to be one of the last. Compulsive gambling, like many addictions, can be a lonely place. I want people to know that they are not alone; that they won’t be judged if they talk about their habit that’s become a compulsion; that there is hope, a way out. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

2016 January | 15

Aspects Of

Graffiti from 1757 in Cathedral cloisters

16 | January 2016

FINEPLACES Down by Riverside

Norwich Unusual and Offbeat Aspects of Norwich

feature by:

Steve Browning Writer @returningperson


here are several conventional guides to the glories of the Fine City. Here, though, we take a look at a few of the more unusual places and stories about the city, some bordering on the distinctly peculiar….

Assessment Of The Character Of The Citizens Of Norwich Two Hundred Years Ago

Gentleman’s Walk in Winter

Good to hear that, according to the following account, it was only necessary to execute a member of the Norwich lower classes every now and again – if we are to believe what we are told, this is primarily due to the diligence of the magistrates in stamping hard on vice and crime when it did occur: ‘The inhabitants in general are remarked for their urbanity, hospitality, and the readiness with which they contribute to all public and private charitable institutions, the better classes for their taste and munificence; and greatly to the credit of the lower classes, much less of that inclination to dissoluteness of manners prevails among them than is usually found in large and populous cities. So strict is the attention of the magistrates, in checking of its earliest existence the progress of vice and immorality, that the execution of a criminal in the city does not occur for many years together...’ (Assessment of the Norwich character in The History of Norwich from the Earliest Records to The Present Time 2016 January | 17

FINEPLACES by P. Browne. Printed and sold by Bacon, Kinnebrook, and Co. Undated publication but probably about 1815) In these days, there were stocks and cages in the Market Place, often occupied by men the worse for drink or petty criminals. Sometimes, flogging would take place before they were locked up without food or water for as long as the local magistrate thought fit. Women were punished for similar offences by ducking stool at Fye Bridge. I once asked a Professor of History what would be the overriding impression of someone travelling back in time to the Market Place of two hundred years ago. The hustle and bustle? The poverty? The noise? ‘No’, she said, ‘it would be the smell, of offal, of blood from the butchers, of sewerage, of your fellow man- a modern person would faint’.

Norwich Drinking It is worth bearing in mind that, despite what our present tabloids would suggest, drinking has been going on to excess for probably as long as man has existed. This is certainly the case in the Fine City. This was not just a way of life for the ‘common man’ - it also extended very much to ‘higher’ society, where port and strong liquor were thought to enliven the blood and refresh the mind. Some doctors would prescribe brandy or champagne to their patients when all else had failed, a few well-known 18th and 19th century figures reputedly having had a last drinking bout before meeting their maker. Gout was known as a wealthy man’s ailment (it was brought on by too much fortified wine) and people were by no means always ashamed of it. And Norwich has for centuries been famous for its fine quality brews. In the most entertaining small book, ‘East Anglian Reminiscences’, edited by EA Goodwyn and JC Baxter (Boydell Press 1976), is an example of a song to be enjoyed when a goodly quantity of punch has flowed: ‘The man that takes nothing, And goes to bed sober,

18 | January 2016

Dies as the leaves die, dies as the leaves die Dies as the leaves die, In the month of October. Let each man take his glass tonight, And go to bed mellow, And live as he ought to live, live as he ought to live, Live as he ought to live. And die a hearty fellow’.

The Strange Events Surrounding The Beginning Of The Anglican Cathedral

St Peter Mancroft and new library

The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity surprisingly started life as an act of penance. Following the Norman Conquest, Herbert de Losinga was required by the Pope, as punishment for the serious moral crime of ‘buying’ the Bishopric of Thetford – he paid nineteen hundred pounds, a colossal sum – to build a Cathedral adjacent to Tombland. He also built a Benedictine Monastery here. The first stone was laid by him in 1094. Tombland, which has nothing to do with ‘tombs’ but derives from BoundaryMarkers in Colegate

Dame Julian outside West Door of Anglican Cathedral

FINEPLACES the Norse word ‘thum’ meaning ‘empty space’, consequently became the new centre of the city with a thriving market. The inspiration for the design is a mystery – some experts believe that the Presbytery may follow the designs of the Imperial Palace in Trier, Germany. In any event, the soaring proportions with the roof’s thousand roof bosses and compelling pristine spirit, has remained the chief glory of this city ever since, even though the ‘busyness’ of life is best manifested nowadays in other parts.

Holy Mysteries Of Times Past There is some ancient graffiti on the stonework which you can see if you look carefully as you wander around. One representation of churches has the date ‘1634’ and another is of a galleon in full sail - was the first a plea to remain safe and the second a wish to sail to safety in the light of the Great Plague which had first come over in sailing ships in 1599? We shall never know for sure, but this seems likely. The cathedral has seen much violence, notably in 1643 when Puritan hoards desecrated much of the interior – if you approach the Ambulatory and look on your right you will see the tomb of Bishop Goldwell, minus his nose and scored with numerous axe and sword marks; there is also a rusted musket ball lodged in the left hand side. Try as they might, the marauding rabble were unable to destroy it. The magnificent Pelican Lectern, just behind you, was only recently accidentally rediscovered having been buried in the Bishop’s Garden, presumably to escape destruction. Even more remarkably, the priceless Dispenser Reredos, now in St Luke’s Chapel almost alongside Bishop Goldwell’s tomb, was only saved from destruction by some quick-thinking person who turned it upside-down and used it as a decorating table to escape detection. Bishop Goldwell himself wanted to make sure he was

Sir Thomas Browne on Hay Hill

never forgotten and consequently there are dozens of ‘gold wells’ - a rebus on his name - painted and carved all over the place. You can easily spend a day in the cathedral looking at the many wonders – including the roof bosses which are unique in that they tell a ‘tale’, that of the world from beginning to end, and as such are a little like a modern graphic novel with each one depicting a slight movement in the story from the one before. One great attraction is as you come full circle and approach the West Window: there, on your left, is the famous Skeleton. This early

17th Century memorial reads:

The Castle Where No King Ever Lived

‘All ye that do this place pass bye Remember death for you must dye. As you are now even so was I And as I am so shall ye be. Thomas Gooding here do staye Wayting for God’s judgement daye’.

The nearby Castle was also built at this time. The Normans wanted to impose their authority on those who may be tempted to oppose them. It is a fine structure, of Caen stone, resurfaced in Victorian times. Kett was hung in chains over the walls following his rebellion in 1549. Yet, it never had a monarch live here. It has a fascinating museum inside, which includes a 19th century bird collection, a wonderful array of paintings by the ‘Norwich School’ – notably John Crome and John Sell

Legend has it that Thomas Gooding was buried standing up as the skeleton on the wall depicts.

2016 January | 19

FINEPLACES Cotman – and a world-beating display of ceramic teapots. The most memorable exhibits for me however, are the death masks of felons who were hung just outside: many believed that criminal tendencies could be seen by the shape of the head but, to the untrained eye, apart the imprint of the death rope, these specimens have little in common.

A Tragedy In King Street King Street, just down from the Castle was, during this period, the most important street in the city. The Pastons had a house here as did the chief city merchants. There was once also a large brewery in the street and one of the directors, while inspecting the brew, became overcome with fumes, fell in and drowned.

Riverside –From Sopwith Camels And Wire Netting To Night Life During the First World War, the Riverside area – just down from King Street – gained great importance as it was the home of Boulton and Paul, a famous Norwich firm capable of producing just about anything in metal. They came to prominence in particular when they invented a wire netting machine and received almost never-ending orders from the colony of Australia which was having difficulty containing rabbits. They also claimed, justifiably, that practically nothing made in metal was beyond them, and they made complete metal buildings for the army and for export, including a complete light house in Brazil. During the conflict, they turned to aircraft production and made more of the famous Sopwith Camel aircraft than anyone else: these were tested out on Mousehold Heath. The site of the main factory – now a block of modern luxury flats – is named after another of their later aircraft, the Sidestrand bomber. At the time of their greatest success, another legendary Norwich firm – Jeremiah Colman of mustard fame – was situated just up the river. Both firms have

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Relaxing inside the new Millennium Library

Walking along the river at UEA

gone now, Boulton and Paul to Wolverhampton while Colman’s mustard is part of Unilever. The ‘Riverside Quarter’ is now the new entertainment centre of the city with fine modern flats, nightclubs, restaurants and a multiplex cinema.

Giving The Enemy The Boot Another vital aid to the First World War effort was made in factories spread all over the city. This was the famous Norwich marching boot, made for the Allied and Russian armies in hundreds of thousands of pairs.

The following is a celebration of this industry, as recorded in The Peace Souvenir, Norwich War Record. Edited by Herbert Leeds, Jarrold and Sons 1919: ‘Whatever criticisms may be levelled against Britishers regarding the conduct of the war and the supply of materials


The Market Place on a bright and busy day

of war, nothing but praise is due to the excellence of the British marching boot. Friend and foe alike have testified in no ungrudging way to the supremacy of the footwear supplied to our troops as compared with the productions of other countries, and it would be difficult to imagine a better testimony than is provided by the fact of the wonderful organisation created by the Germans to secure by hook or by crook every available pair of British boots – an operation in which respect was paid neither to the living or the dead. That Norwich played an important part in equipping our men and those of our Allies with large quantities of boots and shoes is a matter for the greatest congratulation’.

respected citizens were unable to find their own homes, or feeling sure that they could not be mistaken, boldly walked into somebody else’s house. Ladies who took two or three turns in by-streets, lost their bearings, and had to enquire of passers-by where they were. Pedestrians walked into trees, lamp-posts, street orderly bins, any obstruction in the highway, sometimes with serious results to themselves. Nervous people of both sexes shrieked out every time they heard footsteps, and

thoughtless people did much execution with umbrella-ribs. Some protected themselves from collisions with a luminous disc pinned to their clothing in some prominent position. Never was there so little traffic in Norwich streets after nightfall’. (Peace Souvenir, Norwich War Record. Edited by Herbert Leeds, Jarrold and Sons 1919)

Parading Up And Down Gentleman’s Walk Today, for most people going

about their everyday business, the centre of town is the Market Place. This has been the ‘social’ hub of Norwich since, probably, the 18th Century. At the bottom of the square is the wonderfully named Gentleman’s Walk. The male of the species was, in olden days, the ‘Peacock’. Dressed in silk waistcoats, with wigs suitably powdered, gentlemen would try to attract the ladies and also celebrate the fact that they were masters of the universe by parading up and down Gentleman’s Walk, dropping into the many coffee houses for a chat with their peers. It is interesting that the term ‘Tuck Shop’ – evidenced in public schools all over the Empire – may have originated from ‘Tuck’s Coffee House’ which was an attraction here. It had a library of sorts and the latest papers, along with sweets and delicacies to be enjoyed. Here is how traders in the Market Place appeared two hundred years ago, from a publication of 1815: ‘The centre of the market is appropriated to persons from the country, who, on market days, sit here with stalls, hampers, and pads, for the sale of butter, cheese, eggs, poultry, and butcher’s meat; there are three large pairs of scales, with weights

Fine City Humour The terrible suffering of the First World War was alleviated to a degree by the humour of the people of the city. Indeed, the often tragic story of the Somme was scarcely known as the government kept the lid on the true scale of incompetence and disaster that preceded victory. It only became clear many years later. Anyway, people continued to see the funny side and here is a description of life in a blackout in 1915. ‘On nights of extreme darkness the conditions were not without a comic aspect. Sober and

His Grace the Duke of Wellington stands guard over the Anglican Cathedral

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FINEPLACES provided by the committee, which all persons may freely use; and there is no toll demanded for any of the before-mentioned articles. The East side of the Market-place is for the sale of garden stuff, the North end for fish, and the South end is the fruit market. Herbage and fruit pay a small toll collected by the clerk of the market; these last articles are sold here every day of the week, and on Sundays all stalls, etc, are taken away. The Upper Market is situated on the West side of the Great Market, near the North entrance of St Peter’s church, to the West of which is the Butchery and the Shambles, between which lies the Fish-market’.

Sir Thomas Browne Just below the Forum, in Haymarket, is a statue of Sir Thomas Browne, one of the most influential gentlemen in Norwich’s history. He wrote Religio Medici, a work of international renown concerning the raison d’etre of the medical profession. He was knighted by Charles II in 1671. And yet, his legacy is not without controversy – despite his enlightened views, more than one woman was sentenced as a witch on his evidence in court. We have this description of his knighthood: ‘Knighthood of Sir Thomas Browne 1671. His Majesty king Charles the Second, with the Queen, and the dukes of York, Monmouth and Buckingham, visited this city. They kept their court at the duke’s palace, in Maddermarket, and were magnificently entertained by Lord Henry Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. His majesty attended divine service at the cathedral, visited the bishop at his palace, and afterwards came to guildhall, and shewed himself to his subjects from the balcony, and dined with the corporation at a sumptuous dinner provided at the new hall …. After dinner his majesty conferred the honour of knighthood on Dr Thomas Browne, one of the most learned and worthy persons of the age. The mayor, Thomas Thacker esq declined that honour’. The last sentence is intriguing.

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From the same source we learn this about his character: ‘He was a person of most extensive learning and profound judgement; very eminent in his medical profession, and of extensive practice: he was a sincere professor of the religion of the church of England, which he dignified by his unaffected piety, strict morality, unbounded charity, and benevolence: his probity rendered him universally respected, and his benevolence generally beloved: in his person he was comely and venerable, as appears from his picture, which hangs in the vestry of St Peter’s Mancroft church’. Note: The picture is still there. Even after death, controversy accompanied him – his skull was found to be missing from his skeleton when his tomb was opened, being ‘found’ in mysterious circumstances and subsequently reunited a long time afterwards.

The Struggle To Gain A Library For The Common Man Norwich was the first provincial city in the country to have a library – from 1608. Of course, it was restricted to the upper echelons of society as many

believed that knowledge, given freely to the lower orders, would only breed discontent. The common man was designed by God to ‘go up one furrow and down another’. To show him a better life was unkind and he would inevitably become unhinged. This feeling was regarded as proved by the French Revolution next century. A more formal library was set up in 1784. Here is an account of this library written about 1815. The fees would have been out of the question for all but the wealthy: ‘A very neat building, formerly a chapel for the Roman Catholic religion, under the patronage of the Duke of Norfolk. When the chapel in St John’s churchyard was erected, this building was lease of the duke, for the purpose to which it is now applied, and for which it is very convenient. In October, 1794, the library was removed hither from the city library-room, in St Andrew’s hall, where it had been kept from the time of its first institution in 1784. The terms of admission are two guineas and a half; after which the subscription is only twelve shillings annually. The collection of books consists of upwards of 6000 volumes, and are

increasing. There are at present more than 500 subscribers, twenty-four of whom constitute a committee, exclusive of the president, vice-president, and ex-president. Twelve of the committee are chosen annually, and each member sits two years. The librarian takes care of and delivers out the book every day between the hours of eleven and two, and seven and nine in the evening from the 1st of September to the last day in April, Sundays and some particular festivals excepted’. It is true to say that until well into the last century it was seen as a great privilege to be allowed to take out books. There were lots of rules and regulations – no pencil marks, no turning down of pages, no exposure of the books to wind and rain etc. During research in the Reserve Section of the present library, I came across a library book dated 1898 which, at the end of a long list of do’s and don’ts had this rather alarming statement: ‘INFECTIOUS DISEASES. Readers in whose homes there occurs any case of infectious disease must deliver all Library books in their keeping to the medical officer of the Borough and make no further use of the The Music House, Kings Street reputed to be the oldest in the city

FINEPLACES started here, too, including Colman’s Mustard, Caley’s Chocolate, and Boulton and Paul, mentioned previously. The UEA, with the motto ‘Do Different’, has produced an impressive and increasing number of distinguished alumni including Sir Paul Nurse, who won the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine; Tito Mboweni, Head of the South African Reserve Bank; Baroness Amos, past Leader of the House of Lords; Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Commander of UK Maritime Forces; and the present King of Tonga. The famous ziggurats of UEA designed by Sir Denys Lasdun

library until the house has been declared free from infection’. It was thought at one time that cholera could possibly be spread by books.

Top Library In The Country Nowadays Today, The Millennium Library at the top of the Market Place is a very fine structure, horseshoe shaped, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins and built of hand-made bricks. As well as books, you can have a pizza or beer here, take out CDs and films or research your family history. It is very friendly with helpful staff but it can be noisy – the building as a whole is called ‘The Forum’, which means ‘meeting place’ in Latin, which is just how many citizens use it. Proud to relate, it is the most successful library complex in the country which is as it should be, Norwich having pioneered a ‘book-lending’ service more than four hundred years ago.

Origins Of The ‘Canaries’ As everyone who has not been living under the proverbial rock knows, the local football team is called ‘The Canaries’ and this region is football mad. Former football songs were not perhaps as catchy as they are today but they had a romance about them: this is part of the Canaries’ song in the early days (Norwich Football Club came into being in 1902): ‘To our Norwich City we mean

to bring fame; With our Norwich City we’ll play such a game That Fulham and Tottenham will faint at the name Of Norwich Canaries, what-ho!’ That football in this area has long been the subject of passion is evident by the following quote. It is from Sir Thomas Elyot and dates from the 16th Century, a much more violent time: Football... ‘wherein is nothing but beastlie furie and extreme violence whereof proceedeth hurte, and consequently rancour and malice do remain with them that be wounded’. (From ‘Football’ in Eastern Counties Magazine and Suffolk Note-Book, August 1900-May 1901. Jarrold and Son, 10 and 11 Warwick Lane EC, London)

Some Famous Names Many people still think that famous citizens associated with the Fine City tend to end with Admiral Lord Nelson or Jeremiah Colman. This is emphatically not so. Norwich has given birth, education or home to many eminent people – among them Herbert de Losinga, Bishop Bathurst ( one of 36 children ), Edith Cavell, Sir Thomas Bignold, Sir Thomas Ivory, Baroness Amos, Philip Pullman, Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Thomas Browne, Stephen Fry, Delia Smith, Charles Clarke MP, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Jeremiah Colman, George Borrow and John Crome. Some famous industries have

A Few Unusual Places To Visit Here are four places of great interest to visit, not always mentioned in guide books. The Victorian Plantation Gardens are situated next to the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Often called Norwich’s ‘secret gardens’, they do, indeed, have a magical quality and, as you enter, the 21st century gives way to the 19th. Run entirely by volunteers, you can join the Trust and help out if you like. Else you can simply pay a yearly subscription to help defray costs. Sir Roy Strong is Patron. St Julian’s Shrine is situated within the Church of St Julian, located between King Street and Riverside and the cell of Lady Julian can be visited today. In 1373, recovering from a grave illness, Lady Julian received 16 visitations from God. She subsequently wrote these in the first book to be written in English by a woman, The Revelations of Divine Love, a book, furthermore, which has been in print ever since. She became a recluse and anyone who was troubled was received at her window. Julian would go into the church to pray and, returning, tell the supplicant what the Lord had advised. Julian taught that there is no anger or hurt in God’s love. Here is one saying: ‘He says, ‘Do not blame yourself too much, thinking that your troubles and distress is all your fault. For it is not my will that you should be unduly sad and despondent’.

The Rosary Cemetery is a very special place, unknown to most, that encapsulates much of the city’s history. It is a five acre plot full of beeches, oaks and chestnuts and, in spring, a mass of bluebells, that is managed with a touch just light enough to keep nature permanently and beautifully on the verge of rampage. In this haven of Victorian peace, only a short distance from the railway station, are buried Jeremiah Colman, John Jarrold, RH Mottram and, more ostentatiously, John Barker, Steam Circus Proprietor, who was killed in an accident on April 12th 1897; along with the great and the good of Victorian society – Norwich Sheriffs, Mayors, artists and important men of industry. It is very tranquil, with the only shock likely to come from a squirrel suddenly springing from one tree branch to another perilously close to your head, almost as if he is playing with you. University of East Anglia, perfect for study but also incredibly beautiful with the Broad, thick woods and pathways by the River Yare. You will spot lots of fish, wild flowers in hues of yellow, mauve, blue and magenta, dragon flies and (extremely) fat rabbits.

Keeping A Look Out For Boundary Markers Finally, in this account of the slightly unusual and offbeat, it is fun when going about the city to take a look out for Boundary Markers and to think for a second about their history and the often passionate and dramatic events which led to their placement. These markers can be seen in many parts of the city. David A. Berwick, the well-known Norwich historian, says that, from a total of 160 in 1935 there are now, sadly, only about 90 left in the city. What were they for? Well, it was extremely important to mark the exact extent of the parish boundaries as no parish would wish to take on responsibilities that rightly belonged to its neighbours, nor to miss out on the collection of parish rates. ‘Walking’ the parish limits and putting up Boundary Markers

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FINEPLACES The atrium of the Forum building which houses the new library hosts many events here a ‘robot’ entertains children and adults alike at a gardening exhibition

was an often most convivial activity known as ‘Beating the Bounds’ and involved men and boys, a great quantity of ale usually, plum buns for the boys and maybe a sumptuous dinner for the grown-ups at the end of proceedings. And, to our way of thinking, it could be bizarre. It was not unknown for the maybe muddy party of, say, fifty people to enter a house by the front door and depart through a window if this were the exact parish boundary. Or again, in 1814, Chapelfield Gardens, known then as Chappley Fields, was the city reservoir and the parish boundary went through the lake. A brave swimmer was rewarded with half a crown to swim across it. So that small boys would remember a particular part of a boundary, they were sometimes ‘bumped’ or even hung upside down and their heads ‘bumped’ – gently we hope! – on the parish edge. Usually the boys would also carry wands of willow and ‘beat’ the boundary as they proceeded. The following excerpt recalls part of the ‘perambulation’ – such was 24 | January 2016

one name for it – of Mendlesham in 1898. It is recalled by Mr Walter Tye in 1958: ‘The most difficult obstacle encountered in the perambulation was a pig-sty at the Boundary Farm, through which everybody had to clamber, as it laid across the boundary. Entrance by the front gate was easy, but squeezing through the small muck-hole at the back was indeed trying, especially to the more corpulent farmers. Anyhow, with assistance both fore and aft, everybody managed to squeeze through. Most likely the expectancy of hospitality in the farm kitchen made everybody all the keener. And we were not disappointed. Never were ham sandwiches, pork pies, Suffolk rusks and home-brewed beer more relished. The beer, so said our host, was brewed on the day his eldest son was born, and he was in his teens. Despite caution, however, many of the thirsty ‘beaters’ were afterwards found sleeping it off in a haystack…. ….There were no absentees, however, at the Royal Oak

Inn later in the day, when a sumptuous supper was laid out on long tables in an upper room. There before us were huge joints of beef and mutton, tasty pies, bowls of vegetables and salads, cakes of every description, and scores of shaky tinted jellies, the likes of which we seldom see today. Even if the aged Rector had failed to bless the crops during the day he certainly had no compunction in giving thanks for such a welcome spread. Supper was followed by speeches, songs, tales and jokes, most of which we had heard before, and of which we never tired. Farmers, tradesmen, millers, shoemakers all took part, until we heard that oft repeated call. ‘Time, gentlemen, please’. One and all agreed that ‘beating the bounds’ was a fine institution and should long continue. But alas, with the passage of time, this ancient custom is well nigh forgotten, the Royal Oak Inn is no more and only a few of the old Mendlesham ‘beaters’ are left to tell the tale’. For further information please

see: ‘Beating the Bounds in Georgian Norwich’ by David A. Berwick (the Larks Press): a guide to a fascinating ancient custom which can lead you around the extant boundary markers of the city. £6-50

This article is adapted from the book NORFOLK, EXPLORING THE LAND OF WIDE SKIES by Daniel Tink and Stephen Browning. It is published by Halsgrove at 16.99 and is available from good bookshops everywhere and all the major online sites such as Amazon, WH Smith etc


EACH Make a New Years’ Resolution to support your local children’s hospice


ast Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is calling upon the people of Norfolk to make an extra special New Years’ resolution for 2015 - to support local life-threatened children and young people. EACH provides care for children and young people with life-threatening 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. There are many ways in which you can make New Years’ resolutions which not only benefit you as an individual, but these local families. Getting healthy is always top of the list, and there’s plenty of ways to do it and raise vital funds. You could get sponsored to go on a diet, give up smoking or drinking alcohol and donate the money you save to the charity too. As well as abstaining, you could get active by taking part in a challenge to improve your fitness, register for a 10km run near to you and raise money for your efforts. If you fancy a tougher challenge here are some suggestions - visit our website for lots more! Team EACH Skydive at Beccles Airfield, 24th April Lands End to John O’Groats cycle ride, 10th May

RideLondon, 30th July If you fancy something a little less active then why not have a collection pot at home and collect your loose change in aid of EACH or have a clear out and hold a car boot sale. Not all resolutions need to have a fundraising element however – you could pledge to donate your time as a volunteer, learn a new skill or help raise awareness of the cause. If these options are all too much – make a simple resolution to make a donation to EACH: Visit our website and click on donate – Send a cheque to - East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), Suite 5, The Old Dairy, Elm Farm Business Park, Norwich Common, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0SW

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A Perfect New Year Walk If you need to blow away any cobwebs after Christmas, the Norfolk Coast offers fabulous walking territory. Here is an idea – it is a seven mile stretch but you can rest or cut the walk short in Wells if that is best. Map and Photographs Daniel Tink

Setting Out Walk snapshot: This, for many walkers, is the North Norfolk Coast at its finest. It is a walk with everything - sandy pathways (with some loose stones), tarmac floodbank and marvellous fresh air. It can, though, get very muddy following wet weather. You may like to linger a while at Holkham Bay with its far-reaching sandy dunes and mounds of sea-grass. It is possible to forget time

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Steve Browning Writer @returningperson

Holkham to Stiffkey Distance 7.2 miles

‘I have lived in Norfolk all my life. It inspires me, the sea, the limitless skies, the mud and the burning sunsets and the freedom of a place where more than 50% of the neighbours are fish’ Raffaella Barker, Norfolk novelist

feature by:

here and in winter especially you can sometimes walk in this vast magical flat land for miles, without seeing another member of the human race, all the while feeling the fresh sea breezes on your face and tasting the salty tang of the ocean on your lips. When ready to head out of Holkham, follow the black and white National Trail acorns to the boating lake and car park. Walk up onto the floodbank. In 1978 the floodbank was breached, washing up onto what is now the play area. The sea bank here now hosts a wondrous variety of wildflowers. You may agree with the late Spike Milligan when he said that wildfowers ‘intoxicate with their beauty’.

Wells The town of Wells next the Sea is a picturesque centre with some

dazzling panoramas. It is famous for its shellfish. ‘The boys from Holt will never bolt, The Thetford lads are thorough, And so, I wis, are the chaps from Diss, Wymondham and Attleboro’. The Swaffham chaps are good at ‘scraps’, The Wells sound as a bell, And hard as nails are the railway men From Melton Constable’ (From The Norfolk Recruit’s Farewell by Cloudesley Brereton, Jarrold and Sons, Norwich 1935)

old pine woods where you may spot grey squirrels and some rare birds. The Quay is a favourite spot to eat, either in a restaurant or sitting with fish and chips, cooked crab or crabsticks on the front. Railway enthusiasts will be fascinated both by the Walsingham light railway and the Wells Harbour Railway, both 10 and a quarter inch guage. Kids love to take the train from the town to the beach – they run every 15 minutes. There are four trains now operating and they are called Densil, Weasel, Howard and Edmund. The town itself has a very elegant green at the centre called The Buttlands overlooked by a couple of comfortable hotels with good restaurants offering locally cooked food. The green itself, like Chapelfields green in Norwich, was used in past centuries for archery practice, Norfolk boasting the finest battle archers in the Kingdom.

You can walk for one and a half miles along the sandy beach, famous also for its colourful beach huts. Accessible behind the beach are one hundred year


A good website for more information is www.wells-guide. ‘The prevailing wind in Norfolk in onshore; this explains why Norfolkmen invariably speak with their mouths closed’ (Traditional saying)

A Trip To Walsingham Nearby, just off the walk proper, is Walsingham. You may wish to take a trip there either in the above train or on foot. It has a fascinating history and is still visited by pilgrims from all over the world. Walsingham became a religious centre following a vision by Lady Richeldis, who owned Walsingham Manor, in 1061. The Virgin Mary transported Lady Richeldis to Nazareth where she was shown the place that Jesus was born and instructed to build a replica in Walsingham. There she built a simple wooden structure and afterwards a priory became established. It became very wealthy – in 1511, Erasmus visited and said ‘You will say it is the seat of the gods, so bright and shining as it is all over with jewels, gold and silver’.

Henry VIII plundered it in 1538 with the complicity of the Prior, one Richard Vowell, whose reward was a pension to the vast tune of £100 per year. A poem of the time lamented: ‘Levell, levell with the ground The Towers doe lye, Which with their golden glitt’ring tops Pearsed oute to the skeye. Where weare gates noe gates are new, The waies unknown, Where the presse of freares did pass,

While her fame far was blowen. Oules doe scrike where the sweetest himmes Lately wear songe, Toades and serpents hold their dennes Where the palmers did throng. Weepe. Weepe, O Walsingham, Whose days are nights, Blessings turned to blasphemies, Holy deeds to dispites. Sinne is where our lady sate, Heaven turned is to helle; Satan sitthe where our lady did swaye’

Walsingham, O farewell!’ The site lay in ruins until 1897 when it was restored, and a replica of Lady Richeldis’ shrine was erected in 1931. Today, as we say above, it is once again a place of pilgrimage for many.

Back On The Coast Walk The saltmarsh to your east boasts some of the most varied wildlife in Europe. You will glimpse waders in the more remote parts spots - Oystercatchers, redlegged Redshanks, and Little

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Egrets, the latter having taken a shine to the area in recent years. You will see is a circle of hardstanding called the Whirligig which was used during the Second World War to test miniature surveillance aircraft. The saltmarsh itself is really a ‘no-go’ area as it can be very dangerous, so it is vital to stick to the pathway. Once you reach the National Trust Car Park, follow route towards the village of Stiffkey. The Coasthopper stops here (on the A149 coast road). There is a rare circular World War One pillbox just off High Sand Creek camp site. Holkham National Nature Reserve runs from Burnham Norton to Morston and is approximately 4000 hectares in total, Holkham Bay being the epicentre. It was reported in 2011 that a rare species of ant-lion, Euroleon nostras, had been discovered in the area. The banks of sand are perfect for their homes. Almost 2000 larval pits of this ferocious predator were subsequently found. Adults resemble small dragon flies but are actually of members of the lacewing family. They feed on ants, woodlice and other invertebrates, which wander over the rim of their cone-shaped burrow and fall into the ant-lion’s huge jaws where they are sucked dry. For two

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years they live in this way before becoming flying adults, surviving only about a month thereafter. Tea rooms, cafes, fish and chip shops and/or pubs are available at Holkham, Wells and Stiffkey. There are several public toilets. The Norfolk Coast Path in general is served with extensive facilities as compared to almost none at all in some earlier sections of the walk. If you are not sure if walking is for you, then it can be a good idea to take one of the shorter walks which we outline on the coast as diversions and resting places are readily at hand if necessary!

Stiffkey You will soon arrive at Stiffkey, where you will no doubt hear the incredible tale of its most famous resident:

The Extraordinary Life And Terrible Death Of Harold Davidson, Rector Of Stiffkey Harold Davidson came from a church family and could count an Archbishop of Canterbury among over two dozen clerical relations. He was not overly academic, having been asked to leave Exeter College, Oxford as he preferred to be elsewhere most

of the time and failed his exams. He was, however, a powerful speaker and a deeply principled man, gaining the lifetime support of the Bishop of London with the result that his clerical career went very well, indeed – at least initially. In 1906 he gained a fine appointment as Rector of Stiffkey St John with Stiffkey St Mary Morston where he administered all the land owned by Marquess Townshend. He was diminutive in stature at just 5 foot 3 inches, but full of energy and much loved by his parishioners, all of whom he sought to know and visit. His future looked golden.


He had, however, if not exactly a secret, well at least something it was wise not to shout about in this highly prudish age – he used to visit prostitutes in Soho, London, helping them in any way he could - sometimes giving them money but more often arranging them to gain employment. Later at his trial, it did not bode well for him as it was revealed that this employment was usually in the theatre, which was seen as a den of vice. In reality, he had many contacts there because he had been keen on the stage since his undergraduate days. He also made one or two serious enemies as he saw himself not as a man to hold his tongue unnecessarily. One person, in particular, could not stand him - a Major Philip Hamond who owned land in Morston. The Rector had refused to allow the major to be churchwarden and they had several other altercations. In 1930 the Rector missed Remembrance Day Service and he was accused by Major Hamond of insulting the dead. It did not help that the rector kept quiet about the reasons for his

absence which may well have been because he was delayed from returning from his work with the Soho prostitutes. In what sounds remarkably similar to the persecution of Oscar Wilde several decades previously, Major Hamond gained wind of the Rector’s London ‘mission’ and made a charge of immorality against him which, if proved, would lead to defrocking. A private detective agency was engaged in London to follow the Rector. Of 40 girls who were approached, only one had anything dishonourable to say about Davidson and this was when she was drunk: when sober, she recanted and subsequently tried to commit suicide. However, the wheels of ecclesiastical law had begun and Davidson was sent for a Church disciplinary trial which began on 29 March 1932. On 8 July the Rector was found guilty on all charges. His life became even more bizarre. In September of the same year he appeared fasting in a barrel in Blackpool. He would also appear being roasted

and prodded by the ‘devil’ with a pitchfork. Finally, in 1837, the Rector appeared in an amusement park in Skegness where he shared a cage with a lion and lioness all the while bemoaning his fate. On 28 July he stood on the tail of the lioness and was attacked by the lion. He was buried in Stiffkey, thousands gathering to pay their respects. The case of Harold Davidson, the Rector of Stiffkey, sometimes known at the ‘Prostitutes Padre’ remains the subject of fascination right up to the present day. It has been the subject of several plays, films, novels and even a musical. As to his guilt or innocence, the jury is still out. Past famous residents include Henry Williamson, author of ‘Tarka the Otter’. He bought Old Hall Farm in 1937 but eight years later the farm failed and he moved to Devon.

A Trip To Binham Priory South of Stiffkey (on the Norfolk Coast Cycleway) is Binham Priory, a most impressive

set of monastic ruins, was founded by Pierre de Valognes and his wife, Albreda, just after the Norman Conquest. Pierre was the nephew of William the Conqueror. The nave now serves as the parish church. Originally a Benedictine priory dependent on the Abbey of St Albans, it originally housed eight monks but we know that when it was suppressed in May 1539, this number had fallen to six. The priory must have been reasonably wealthy because it received the tithes from thirteen churches on land also given to Pierre. A tunnel is said to run from the priory to an unknown destination. Some years ago, legend has it, a fiddler and his dog decided to investigate. The people at the entrance heard him for some time but then silence fell: he and his dog were never seen again. This walk ends here but you can carry on for many miles, if you wish, along the Norfolk Coast Path as far as Cromer. The Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path by Stephen Browning and Daniel Tink is published by Halsgrove and is available in bookshops and online priced at 14.99

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The Voice Project Choir Internationally Renowned Choir To Perform New Project At St Andrews Hall

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he Voice Project’s new work will make inspirational use of iconic Norwich landmark The latest new choral work from Norfolk’s internationally renowned Voice Project Choir will make imaginative use of Norwich’s medieval Friary complex St Andrew’s Hall to mark the turning of the year. The atmospherically beautiful choral music will explore themes of dark and light, hibernation and awakening, and take us from the dark of winter to the promise of spring, from dark of the night sky to luminous sunrise. Titled Red Shift, the performances will be on Saturday 23 January at 6pm and 8pm. The Voice Project Choir

creates innovative performances that bring together the massed voices of a completely open access choir and exceptional professional performers. Amongst others Red Shift features outstanding flautist Rowland Sutherland who has played as featured soloist with ensembles ranging from the BBC Concert Orchestra to the bands of George Benson and pop singer Joss Stone. Music for the concert will be specially written for the 150+ voices of choir by Helen Chadwick, Orlando Gough, Karen Wimhurst and its co-director Jonathan Baker, with setting of words by Coleridge ,Tennyson and St Julian of Norwich as well as acclaimed contemporary poet

George Szirtes to create a truly unique experience. Voice Project co-director Sian Croose said ‘We are really looking forward to creating a piece for St Andrew’s Hall , which is the venue where The Voice Project started its life with our very first performance which was with Barbara Thompson. The choir is sounding great and we are planning to create an experience for the audience that is truly inspiring and uplifting’. Winners of the People’s Choice Award at the 2013 and 2014 Norfolk Arts Awards, the choir has a history of creating pieces that celebrate iconic Norfolk landmarks. Recent projects have included site-specific events at Norwich Cathedral, City Hall,

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and Holkham Hall. Created by singers and musicians Sian Croose and Jonathan Baker in 2008, the choir is now one of the best known in the East of England and beyond following appearances at international jazz festivals in London, and Europe, on British national TV and radio and French peak time national TV. St Andrews Hall is the centrepiece of ‘The Halls’, a complex of several magnificent flint buildings that form the most complete friary complex surviving in England that date back to the 13th Century. In the intervening years, as well as for worship it has been used as a mint, a school and for over 100 years as a workhouse.

Listings: Saturday 23 January, 6pm and 8pm Red Shift The Voice Project Choir, conducted by Sian Croose, with flautist Rowland Sutherland + guest musicians and solo singers. St Andrews Hall, St Andrews St Norwich NR3 1AU for info and tickets

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The Voice Project The Voice Project, the internationallyrenowned Norwich-based choral organisation, is all set to fire up a medieval building in their latest creation. Tony Cooper reports


brand-new venture in song comes with The Voice Project Choir’s new work that will be making inspirational use of St Andrew’s Hall, one of Norwich’s most iconic landmark buildings, in a show promising great things. Entitled Red Shift, the theme of the piece marks the turning of the year and will receive just two performances on Saturday 23rd January at 6pm and 8pm. Atmospherically-beautiful and serene choral music will resonate throughout the medieval friary complex exploring the themes of darkness and light, hibernation and awakening, taking members of the audience from the darkness of winter to the sparkling promise

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of the awakening spring and from the darkness of the blacknight sky to a ravishing luminous sunrise turning into a cloudless plain-blue sky. The raison d-être of The Voice Project - co-founded by singers Siân Croose and Jonathan Baker in 2008 - is to provide an openaccess singing project offering a whole range of creative ways in using one’s voice. They’ve been highly successful in their mission as over this relatively short period of time the choir has gained a rich and enviable position within the choral framework of the east of England and rapidly grown into one of the best-known and bestloved choirs in the region and beyond following appearances

at international jazz festivals in London and continental Europe as well as guest appearances on British mainstream television as well as on French peak-time television and national radio. Hundreds of singers have been involved in their performances featuring groundbreaking new vocal music as well as workshops designed to build vocal confidence and explore a wide variety of uplifting and inspiring music for voice in general. A community singer/musician, Siân Croose has founded and nurtured choirs and vocal groups for well over a quarter of a century. She has sung in grand cathedrals to humble village halls and from tiny villages to great capital cities either working solo or with a cast of thousands while Jon Baker, a singer/teacher/ composer, has written extensively for television, radio and theatre. He’s a founder member of The Neutrinos with whom he has toured continental Europe and North America. Winners of the People’s Choice Award at the 2013 and 2014 Norfolk Arts Awards, The Voice Project - widely renowned

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Tony Cooper Writer

for creating innovative and groundbreaking performances featuring exceptional professional performers - harbours a history of creating pieces that celebrate iconic Norfolk landmarks. Recent projects have included site-specific events at Norwich Cathedral, Norwich City Hall and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts as well as at the inspiring north Norfolk Palladian-designed country house of Holkham Hall built for Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, by the architect William Kent, aided by the architect/

FINEARTS aristocrat, Lord Burlington. For their latest work, however, the outstanding British-born flautist, Rowland Sutherland who has played as a featured soloist with ensembles ranging from the BBC Concert Orchestra to the bands of George Benson and pop singer, Joss Stone takes his place in Red Shift’s line-up working alongside singers Jeremy Avis (tenor), Jonathan Baker (bass), Lisa Cassidy (soprano), Siân Croose (alto) and Sharon Durant (soprano) with Derek Scurll (percussion) while Tim Tracey will conjure up a moody and atmospheric lighting display to complement the overall stage action. Sutherland has enjoyed good training in his chosen instrument. He studied flute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Philippa Davies and later jazz with the late pianist, Lionel Grigson, in the mid-1980s. He has also performed in new music ensembles, jazz groups and symphony orchestras as well as many various non-Western-type groups, pop outfits and so forth. Currently, he’s a professor at the Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama while also tutors jazz flute at the Royal Northern College of Music. Sutherland also fronts his

own band, Mistura, which has performed at a number of leading British jazz festivals including Glastonbury, Glasgow and Greenwich. Their style focuses on Brazilian jazz fusion alongside Afro-Cuban and Pan-African grooves. Their album release is entitled Coast to Coast. Music for Red Shift, however, has been specially written and selected for the 150-plus voices by Helen Chadwick, Karen Wimhurst and The Voice Project’s co-director, Jonathan Baker, as well as by the 1950s British-born composer, Orlando Gough, who first burst on to the British music scene in a blaze of glory in the early 1980s as co-founder of minimalist music ensemble, The Lost Jockey. Word settings come from Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Alfred Lord Tennyson as well as from the writings of Saint Julian of Norwich (circa 1342-1416), the English Christian mystic, philosopher and theologian. Little is known about her life aside from her writings. Even her name is uncertain. However, the name ‘Julian’ comes from the church of St Julian - situated off Rouen Road, Norwich - where she lived in isolation as an anchoress. Also making a contribution to the text is the acclaimed Hungarian-born, contemporary

poet, George Szirtes, who family found refuge in England in 1956 following the Hungarian Uprising. He lives in Norfolk and recently retired from teaching at UEA. The Voice Project’s co-director, Siân Croose, enthuses: ‘We’re really looking forward to creating a piece for St Andrew’s Hall which, incidentally, is the venue where The Voice Project started its life with our very first performance starring jazz saxophonist, Barbara Thompson. The choir’s sounding great at the moment and we’re planning to create an experience for the audience that’s truly inspiring and uplifting.’ In fact, the concert with Barbara Thompson at St Andrew’s Hall was staged with Bigger Sky, an expansion of The Big Sky Choir. And the

success of this concert led to the creation of The Voice Project Choir. They also had the privilege of performing the piece, entitled Journey to a Destination Unknown, specially written by Barbara Thompson and commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre, at St John’s Smith Square London with Bigger Sky in 2003. And another pertinent ‘local’ fact to Barbara Thompson (who’s married to jazz-rock drummer, Jon Hiseman, who played a blistering sell-out gig with Quintessence in Norwich Cathedral in 1972) is that she made her Norwich début in the Seventies at the Jacquard Club in Magdalen Street with her punkrock jazz outfit, Paraphernalia. It was a night of nights! A great player and person, she was awarded the MBE in 1996 for services to music but due to Parkinson’s disease diagnosed in 1997 she retired as an active saxophonist in 2001. But after a period of working as a composer she briefly returned to the stage in 2003 to replace the unwell Dick Heckstall-Smith during Colosseum’s ‘Tomorrow’s Blues’ tour and in 2005 she performed live with Paraphernalia in their ‘Never Say Goodbye’ tour. And Ludlow-born, master saxophonist, pianist and clarinettist, Dick Heckstall-Smith (who died in December 2004 aged 70) was no stranger to Norwich, either. He played with some of the most influential English blues, rock and jazz fusion bands of the 1960s and 1970s and regularly performed at the Orford Cellar Club in Red 2016 January | 33


Atmospherically-beautiful and serene choral music will resonate throughout the medieval friary complex exploring the themes of darkness and light Lion Street with the likes of the Graham Bond Organisation, whose line-up included two future members of the blues-rock supergroup, Cream: bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. He also played the Cellar with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers as well as Blues Incorporated, Alexis Korner’s groundbreaking blues band. And he also found himself in the line-up for Quintessence’s Norwich Cathedral gig. Heckstall-Smith was top drawer and took up the soprano sax while studying at Dartington College and became captivated by the sound of the famous American soprano sax player, Sidney Bechet, who toured the UK in the 1960s calling in at Norwich with Humphrey Lyttelton playing St Andrew’s Hall. Now part of ‘The Halls’ complex, St Andrew’s Hall is the centrepiece for music-making in Norwich housed in a complex of several magnificent flint-knapped buildings that form the most complete friary complex surviving in England dating from the 13th century. It may not be the best of concert-halls in today’s modern hi-tech climate but, nonetheless,

34 | January 2016

it has served the city well for decades. For instance, it has been ‘home’ to the Norfolk & Norwich (Triennial) Festival since 1828 while the likes of the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. The Academy of St Thomas and The Mozart Orchestra regularly perform there. And in the 1960s, that great American jazz icon, Stan Kenton, created his famous Wall of Sound in St Andrew’s Hall to a couple of packed and excited houses

while in the same decade the American jazz vibraphonist/ pianist/percussionist, Lionel Hampton, who worked alongside the likes of Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus and Quincy Jones, followed in his wake and danced on his big bass drums to the roar of another packed house. But the complex has seen other uses, too. It has been operative as a mint, a school and for well over a

century, a workhouse. That’s history for you! But Norwich is wrapped up in it and The Voice Project is becoming a grand part of that history and being deeply etched into the record books that chronicles the rich, colourful and varied musical life that makes Norwich such an attractive place in which to live or visit! for info and tickets


Vocal Invention 2016


mini festival within Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016, Vocal Invention is a packed weekend of extraordinary singing adventures for everyone. Plans are still being finalised for the weekend but will include performances, workshops talks at Norwich Arts Centre with surprise pop-up events all over the city centre. Curated by the ever-creative Voice Project the event aims to fill Norwich with singing. Guest performers, coaches and workshop leaders will be announced soon, past guests have included by The Neutrinos, KLF mainman Bill Drummond and singers Phil Minton, Maggie Nicholls and Carol Grimes.

Martin Figura

Norwich Arts Centre 21-22 May Details will be at

Martin Figura Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine


orwich poet Martin Figura’s new book Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine is published by Cinnamon Press in March. It’s a collection set in the latter half of the 20th Century - the ‘post war mods and rockers generation’ – that reflects on the times that have helped shape what we have become today. He is also adapting the poems, for an interactive theatrical stageshow. This will be incorporate extensive visuals, an evocative soundscape and lighting alongside a real life Catastrophe Machine that plays an active part in the proceedings! The show will premiere locally in May at Norwich Arts Centre in May as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Wells’ Poetry-next-the-sea before London dates and a national tour. Former army Major Martin came to national attention with his autobiographical collection of poems Whistle which related the shocking events around the murder of his mother by his father. Whistle was the recipient of several book awards and the live show toured extensively around the country to great audience and critical acclaim.

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Holt Festival 24-31 July The annual Holt Festival features a hugely varied range of music, theatre, visual art and spoken word. Staged in the last week of July with the charming North Norfolk Georgian country town as its backdrop, this award winning annual feast of the arts has quickly become one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the Norfolk calendar and increasingly entices visitors into the area. There is also an annual Arts Prize with a growing reputation. The first highlights will be announced in late February with the full programme revealed in May. Recent years have seen performers including Michael Palin, Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Steelye Span, Tom Parker Bowles, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Sir John Hurt, Melvyn Bragg, 10CC and Stephen Fry grace the stage and Artistic Director Charles Pugh promises that his second year at the helm will see the town’s venues and streets come alive with a spectacular array of talent. 36 | January 2016


Out There Festival 2016 Great Yarmouth’s 16/17/18 September


he Out There Festival continues to go from strength to strength. The cream of circus and street art performers from all over the world fill the venues, parks and streets of Great Yarmouth with a riot of colour, thrills, spills and fun. The festival attracts more than 60,000 people to Norfolk’s traditional seaside resort and always includes lots of community participation, family fun and hands-on things to do. It is the largest festival of it’s kind in the east of England and enjoys a national and international reputation for world class artistic quality, new and diverse work and innovative community engagement – and almost all of it is free! If you only visit this Norfolk seaside gem once this year this is the weekend to do it!

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Brendan Cole - A Night To Remember Music and dance extravaganza from Strictly Favourite - January 31, 2015


trictly fans may be disappointed that professional dancer Brendan Cole and his Sky Sports presenter dance partner Kirsty Gallacher are now out of the popular TV dance show, following their elimination last weekend, but followers can see him on stage in Norwich in a few weeks’ time. After two previous successful touring shows by the 39-yearold dancer, Brendan is heading back out on the road again from January to reprise his third and latest show, offering audiences A Night To Remember. The music and dance extravaganza thrilled Norwich 38 | January 2016

Theatre Royal audiences at the beginning of this year and will return on Sunday, January 31, with two performances at 3pm and 7.30pm. Brendan’s recent participation in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing was his 13th season in the dance phenomenon, a competition he won in the very first series when he partnered Natasha Kaplinsky. The New Zealand born dancer, who came to the UK as a 19-year-old on a one-way ticket with just £1000 in his pocket, has pulled together an experienced cast of dancers, musicians and vocalists with a stunning blend of dazzling choreography and theatrical entertainment which is

loaded with ballroom magic and Latin excitement. Following on from his previous shows of Live & Unjudged and Licence To Thrill, A Night To Remember boasts an extended cast in an exciting production which proved highly popular earlier this year and will visit 46 venues over a ten-week period.

Listing: Brendan Cole A Night To Remember is on stage Sunday January 31, at 3pm & 7.30pm. Tickets £8-£36.50. Discounts for Friends. For more info or to BOOK ONLINE www.


Richard Alston Dance Company Power and grace combine in trio of dance pieces – February 4 & 5, 2016


resh from celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Richard Alston Dance Company returns to Norwich Theatre Royal on February 4 & 5, 2016, with a programme of musicality and sculptural grace. The company will present three powerful pieces – Stronghold, Mazur and Brisk Singing. Stronghold is the latest work from associate choreographer Martin Lawrence, creator of Theatre Royal favourites such as Madcap and Burning, and is an extended reworking of his Gambit, a piece which attracted critical acclaim. It is a ferocious, dark and brooding work for the full company of ten dancers,

reflecting the turbulence and tension in the music which is composed by Pulitzer prize winner Julia Wolfe. She wrote the piece for eight double basses with rolling harmonics at the beginning, creating a rich and deep sound which changes so that at the ending there is just one intense long note. Choreographed by Richard Alston and first performed in June this year, Mazur is a dance for two friends sharing what they love and what they feel they have lost. It is danced to Chopin’s Mazurkas, played live on stage by pianist Jason Ridgeway. Mazur is another Polish word for the Mazurka in which Chopin again and again expressed longing for his beloved homeland

– which he and his friends felt was lost to them and to which they could never return. Alston’s Brisk Singing is set to the magnificent Baroque music of Jean Phillippe Rameau’s opera Les Boréades, and is a dance of joyous springing rhythms in response to the brilliance of the French composer who was known in his own time as ‘le dieu de la dance’ – The God of Dance. Les Boréades were the Hyerboreams, inhabitants of an imaginary kingdom in the back of the North Wind whose lifetimes spanned a thousand years which were entirely devoted to song, dancing and pleasure.

Listing: Richard Alston Dance Company runs from Thursday 4-Friday 5 February 2016 at 7.30pm. Tickets £7£20.50. Discounts for Under-25s and Groups. Pre-performance talk on February 4 at 6.30pm. Tickets FREE but must be booked in advance at Box Office. BOX OFFICE 01603 630000. For more info or to BOOK ONLINE www.theatreroyalnorwich.

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A grand opulent scene from Puccini’s spell-binding opera, Turandot, as staged by the New York Met.

Cinema City Special screenings at Cinema City in January focus on opera, ballet and drama. Tony Cooper reports


eorges Bizet’s gorgeous and ravishing opera Les Pecheurs de Perles focusing on lust and longing set in the mystical Far East returns to The Met stage for the first time in a century with a ‘live’ showing at Cinema City on Saturday 16th (5.55pm) and an Encore showing on Monday 18th (2.30pm). Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful

A scene from the Bolshoi’s Taming of the Shrew.

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Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Her suitors are played by Matthew Polenzani (tenor) and Mariusz Kwiecien (baritone). They sing the lilting duet ‘Au Fond Du Temple Saint’ which opera fans know so well and adore equally as much. Director Penny Woolcock explores the timeless themes of pure love, betrayal and vengeance in a production that vividly creates an undersea world

stunning new production and retelling of Shakespeare’s The

on The Met’s grand and spacious stage. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda brings his romantic flair to the lush score from the composer who also penned Carmen. https://www.picturehouses. com/cinema/Cinema_City/film/ met-opera-les-pecheurs-deperles Norfolk At The Pictures: a special late-night screening of the 1998 neo-noir crime comedy The Big Lebowski can be enjoyed on Saturday 23rd (11.15pm) and, as usual, will be accompanied by White Russian cocktails, Big Lebowski-themed music and fancy dress (optional). Dressinggowns, jelly shoes and rugs all welcome! Don’t miss out! https://www.picturehouses. com/cinema/Cinema_City/film/ the-big-lebowski Many suitors dream of marrying the lovely and sweetnatured Bianca, including Lucentio. However, her father will not let anyone marry her before her elder sister, the illtempered Katherina, is married herself. That’s the well-loved story of Shakespeare’s immortal

comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, which French-born choreographer, Jean-Christophe Maillot, has freely adapted and tailored specifically for the extremely-talented dancers of Moscow’s famed Bolshoi Ballet Company. The production (which can be enjoyed ‘live’ on Sunday 24th for an afternoon performance commencing at 3pm) is staged exclusively for the Bolshoi and, therefore, cannot be seen anywhere else! https://www.picturehouses. com/cinema/Cinema_City/film/ bolshoi-ballet-the-taming-of-theshrew

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Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful Hindu priestess, in Bizet’s captivating opera, The Pearl Fishers, staged by The Met.

This delightful Frederick Ashton double-bill - created for The Royal Ballet - opens with his setting of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini which uses the music’s dark turbulence and brilliance to inspire some of his most thrilling choreography. A witty, impassioned and sublime work it comes ‘live’ from the Royal Opera House on Tuesday 26th (7.15pm) and forms the pinnacle of Ashton’s romantic style. The second half of the programme features Ashton’s delicate, deceptively comic ballet, Les Deux Pigeons (The Two Pigeons), a work rarely performed nowadays. The scenario’s based on a fable by Jean de la Fontaine of the same name with a score by André Messager who dedicated it to Camille Saint-Saëns. His influence helped gain Messager the commission for the ballet following a trio of works which the younger composer had written for the Folies Bergère, Fleur d’oranger and Vins de France and Odeurs et Parfums. Messager, in fact, held important posts in Paris and London as head of the OpéraComique, the Paris Opéra, the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire and of the Royal Opera House. Therefore, Messager introduced the ballet - an engaging and beautiful work and a real treat for balletomanes - to London audiences in 1906. However, Ashton’s twoact version was premièred at the Royal Opera House on 14th February 1961 with Lynn Seymour and Christopher

Gable as the lovers while The Royal Ballet touring company performed it regularly and on at least two occasions at Norwich Theatre Royal. But that was many years ago! Two ‘live’ pigeons are used to represent the lovers and they have a theme of their own in the music. They are first seen together during act one while the artist and his lover dance together. Then the young man’s dissatisfaction and temporary desertion of the girl is represented by one pigeon flying alone off stage just before the interval. The painter’s return in act two is prompted by a pigeon coming to land on his shoulder and when the lovers are reunited both pigeons perch above them on the chair. It’s such a romantic piece! https://www.picturehouses. com/cinema/Cinema_City/film/ roh-live-two-pigeonsrhapsody Following the hugelysuccessful broadcasts of Coriolanus and King Lear, National Theatre Live brings the Donmar Warehouse’s highlyanticipated new production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses to cinemas broadcast ‘live’ from Donmar’s London home in Covent Garden on Thursday 28th (7pm). Directed by Josie Rourke (Coriolanus), the cast includes Elaine Cassidy, Edward Holcroft, Janet McTeer, Thom Petty, Jennifer Saayeng, Una Stubbs and Dominic West. In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos’ novel of sex, intrigue and betrayal in pre-Revolutionary France scandalised the world. Two hundred years later, Christopher

Hampton’s irresistible and compelling adaptation swept the board winning the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play. Josie Rourke’s revival marks the play’s 30th anniversary. The scenario centres upon former lovers, Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont, finding themselves competing in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cecile de Volanges before her wedding night but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and beautiful Madame de Tourvel. While these merciless aristocrats toy with others’ hearts and reputations, their own may prove more fragile than they supposed. https://www.picturehouses. com/cinema/Cinema_City/film/ntlive-les-liaisons-dangereuses Christine Goerke, Lise Lindstrom and Nina Stemme, three of opera’s greatest dramatic sopranos, take turns in the title-role of Puccini’s Turandot (Saturday 30th, 5.55pm) of the proud princess of ancient China, whose riddles doom every suitor who seeks her hand. Tenors Marcelo Álvarez and Marco Berti share the role of the Calàf, the brave prince who sings ‘Nessun Dorma’ to win her love. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani. Based on the play of the same

name by Carlo Gozzi with lyrics by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, Turandot - the ‘opera of enigmas’- received it première at the Teatro alla Scala in April 1926 two years after Puccini died but, unfortunately, the score was left unfinished half-way through act three. However, the wellrespected Italian-based music publisher Casa Ricordi and the illustrious Italian-born conductor Arturo Toscanini paved the way for Franco Alfano to complete the score and, in doing so, he weaved Puccini’s sketches and orchestral fragments into a ravishing finale love duet. Italian-born Alfano - who, incidentally, had considerable success with several of his own works during his lifetime - is best known today for his opera Risurrezione completed in 1904 and based on the novel Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy. The first performance was given on 30th November 1904 at the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, Turin. Zeffirelli, however, spun the libretto’s fairytale into a superstylised, fabled Chinese miseen-scène featuring gongs, dragons, lanterns and pagodas lit in red fires (‘Fuoco e sangue!’) and blue moons (‘Perché tarda la luna?’) by lighting designer Gil Wechsler, underpinned by a unified, meticulous choral mass by Donald Palumbo and sweet white voices by Anthony Piccolo. It’s a great work full of passion and one that stirs the emotions and the soul like no other and with a grand and opulent staging by the New York Met, what could be better! https://www.picturehouses. com/cinema/CinemaCity/film/ met-opera-turandot

Box office:

A scene from the Donmar’s 30th anniversary production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Elaine Cassidy and Dominic West. Photo: Johan Persson

0871 902 5724 Online: https://www. cinema/Cinema_City The Dining Rooms are open daily from 10am to 9pm (Sunday: 8pm) Reservations: 01603 623435 www.norwichdiningrooms.

2016 January | 41


‘Pedigree’ by James Dimelow

James Dimelow, photo by Mickie Dann


orwich, the only UNESCO City Of Literature in England, arguably produces more writers than anywhere else of a similar size. For this edition, we asked talented local dramatist

and member of Norwich Writers’ Circle, James Dimelow, if he could pen a short radio play, just for our readers. ‘Pedigree’ has been written for fun, and to illustrate how a simple and entertaining radio script might be constructed.

This is what James produced for us. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. We join divorcees Kate and Richard during an evening out… A busy city centre restaurant. There is a constant sound of clatter in the background.

Richard Yes, that’s right. Kate Let me know if you change your mind about our little chat. People always say that I’m a really good listener.

Kate Good evening, and welcome to Cymbeline’s. Richard Kate!? Kate

Richard. You look awful.

Richard I’m surprised, that’s all. I wasn’t expecting to see you working in a place like this. Kate Take a seat. You must be exhausted from your week at the office. Richard Thanks for your concern, but I really don’t really want to talk about it. Kate Table for two wasn’t it?

42 | January 2016

feature by:

Steve Browning Writer @returningperson

FINEARTS Richard Titus has gone missing... he was last spotted in this area of the city... have you seen... I don’t know why I am bothering to ask, all I feel is heartbroken and hurt. The police aren’t even offering their assistance and the media, unfortunately, just see us a joke. An animal Titus may have been, but that dog was our whole life. The hours we spent with him. The quality time we had together – we were a family. I doubt this something you will be able to comprehend, or even begin to understand.

There is a momentary pause.

Kate So no Crufts this year? That will be tough. There will be no Supreme Champion present to defend their title. I saw you all over the television last year. A perfect family in the flushes of puppy love. Happy, content and secure, complete with your empty inane smiles.

Kate I have an idea. Henry told me a few hours ago that he wanted to make something special for us both to remember. After all, we are celebrating our first anniversary today.

Richard Do you recommend anything special on the menu this evening? Juliet’s cooking – she will hate me for saying this – usually ends up as a real dog’s dinner. Kate No wonder you decided to eat out tonight. Richard Any suggestions? I think we should celebrate – take our minds off our current troubles – Twelfth Night does only happen once a year. (beat) The head chef... what do you think he would recommend?

Richard Tell me more... I had no reason to suspect...

Richard The Supreme Champion even wins a deal with the event sponsor to advertise their own special brand of pet pies. Kate Really... and your young female friend was impressed by this? Richard My long-term girlfriend, as you fully well know, has got a name. Don’t tell me you still get upset when you attempt to say it? Kate She... Richard Juliet. Kate

Where is she?

Richard She – Juliet – is just parking the car outside. There’s a lot of traffic about... we are only too aware of the head chef’s well-crafted notoriety – it’s taken us ages to even to get a reservation. If you don’t mind, I said I would order something in advance... I’m sure she won’t be too long now. We are seeing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ later... and until the mysterious disappearance is solved, the pair of us are left feeling like ‘Romeo & Juliet’. (beat) It’s quite ironic really, I always thought of our own tempestuous relationship as a tale of ‘Love’s Labours Lost’. Kate To me, it always felt like a ‘Comedy Of Errors’. What

you did to poor Othello was unforgivable. Richard I said that I was deeply sorry at the time... surely we can put this behind us once and for all... we’ve both moved on. What I can say? Your prized pooch is long gone. I’ve got Titus now, plus I’m happy being part of a couple that regularly entertains our closest... and you... you... you’re well... here. A dead- end job, no friends, and by the looks of things, definitely not in a relationship. It’s obvious to me, and everyone else, that you and Juliet are clearly not of the same pedigree. Kate Richard, our barren marriage was hardly much ado about nothing was it? What I always wanted from life you constantly failed to give to me. Othello was all I had in the world – my own child at last. He was a more than adequate substitute for what meagre drops of life you were able to provide.

Richard How dare you... Kate How dare I? It wasn’t me who rushed home, in a fearful state of guilt, and managed to match the intense screech of their car tyres with the insane scream of my beloved. Little did I know that the resulting argument about Othello was all leading up to the delivery of the dreaded divorce papers. Richard Four years have passed. If I remember correctly, you were the one who wanted to sign their life away. Little did I know that that court would favour my case. His Honour did insist that I keep both houses, and of course, my blood-red Ferrari. The judge said that he would have awarded them to you, but he felt that you were always a little bit... unstable. (beat) Kiss me Kate... let us both finally kiss goodbye to the past... all’s well that end well, isn’t?

Kate My fiance said that he’s been planning a surprise for ages. Despite his notoriety, Henry’s just a puppy at heart. His bark is so much worse than his bite. I can’t wait to see what he has made for me. I believe it’s almost time... I must check... wait a minute... hold on... hold on... it’s done... it’s done! My dish is done. Richard Could I try it – Cymbeline’s finest? Kate

Be my guest...

Richard Wow... you really shouldn’t have... it looks amazing - I have never seen or smelt anything like it before. Mmmm... it’s so delicious and unique... the texture of the meat is supremely good. Tell me, does this dish have a name? Kate ‘The Pie Of Champions’, so called because it only contains meat of the finest pedigree. Do tuck in, please have some more... Richard eat it all?

Do you mind if I

Kate Of course not Richard, it’s as you like it. Everything’s exactly as you like it. As the feast continues, we begin to hear Howard Keel ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’.

2016 January | 43


Tony Cooper in Deutschland!

Bayreuth Most of Tony Cooper’s travelling, particularly in Europe, takes in some cultural pursuit one way or the other. Once again he finds himself back on the train returning to Bayreuth and to the world of Richard Wagner


ravelling by train is a total joy for me and, indeed, for my erstwhile travelling companion I always refer to as Miss X. Here we are once again at Norwich Thorpe Station ready to embark on another marathon journey to the Continent. Germany is the country we’re heading for and Bayreuth, a picturesque town located in Upper Franconia but now part of the Federal State of Bavaria, our destination. I’m here to get a basin full of that great German romantic composer Richard Wagner and take in another performance of Bayreuth Festival’s iconic production of Wagner’s momentous four-cycle work,

44 | January 2016

Der Ring des Nibelungen (‘The Ring’ for short) while revisiting Jan Philipp Gloger’s stunning production of Der fliegende Holländer and Katharina Wagner’s equally stunning new production of Tristan und Isolde as well as focus on this year’s new offering, Parsifal, directed by 1960s Cologne-born theatre director, Ewe Eric Laufenberg. If you’re a Wagner fan, you’ll be in seventh heaven. If not, you’ll be impressed! Well, I think so! Written in 1841, Wagner’s first mature opera was Holländer and Herr Gloger oversaw an imaginative and compelling production. He was quite daring in his approach to the work and pushed the boundaries of production by shifting the

Bayreuth Festspielhaus in all its redeeming glory.

scenario from a ‘nautical’ setting to a ‘business’ one. He represented the ‘sea’, for instance, as a worldwide web of international money markets with the Dutchman happy as Larry making money off the backs of others but cursed in sailing the High Seas eternally while hooked into the money markets that control him. He can only redeem himself by a woman’s love, something non-material. And Katharina Wagner (Bayreuth’s new artistic director), the 30-year-old great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner and daughter of Wolfgang Wagner, is also a director who pushes the boundaries in search of new ways to interpret the works of her illustrious great-grandfather, Incidentally, her father (who died in March 2010) was the son of Siegfried Wagner, grandson of Richard Wagner and the greatgrandson of Franz Liszt. What family history! He directed the

Bayreuth Festival alongside his brother Wieland from 1951 until the latter’s death in 1966 and then assumed total control until he retired in 2008. Therefore, Katharina now gloriously follows in his footsteps. Her staging of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (her

The Dutchman (Samuel Youn) makes his entrance.


feature by:

Tony Cooper Writer

‘first’ for Bayreuth) caused a flutter among the dovecotes as she moved the scenario from a singing competition to a painting one while setting the action in the freewheeling and glorious Sixties. The production didn’t score a hit with everyone but, nonetheless, I found it challenging to say the least and enjoyed seeing it again. But change, I feel, is necessary at Bayreuth to ensure a healthy future for the festival but clock back to the days of Wieland

The Dutchman (Samuel Youn) sets eyes upon Senta (Ricarda

Wagner and you’ll find that he’s the person who really ushered in a new dawn on the Green Hill and started the controversy flowing that has never really

Merbeth) for the first time.

stopped. He dumped the elaborate naturalistic sets and grand productions common in his grandfather’s day replacing them by minimalist affairs and, in

doing so, came up against some forceful opposition. His Brechtian-influenced Parsifal in 1951 (the first Bayreuth Festival to be held after the

Senta (Ricarda Merbeth) with an effigy of the Dutchman surrounded by factory girls in light-blue trouser uniforms

2016 January | 45


Second World War) was booed to bits in company with Patrice Chéreau’s politically-motivated centenary Ring in 1976. But today, surprisingly, they’re now hailed as masterpieces. C’est la vie! or if you like So ist das Leben! Wieland was also derided for his 1956 production of Meistersinger. Stripped of its pageantry, Bayreuth audiences saw it as an outrage and the breaking up of a most ‘sacred German Wagner tradition’. The protests continue! Will

Brünnhilde’s Ring of Fire.

46 | January 2016

A scene from Die Walküre: Wotan (Wolfgang Koch) giving Brünnhilde (Catherine Foster) a piece of his mind.

they ever stop, I wonder? It’s now the third time that I’ve seen Castorf’s Ring which many Wagnerites found out of kilter right from the start. But while the Bayreuth booing mafia enjoy their moment against Castorf, a great many now contradict them and loudly voice their approval. Bayreuth audiences are getting use to change. The times are a-changin’! Bob Dylan said so! And Katharina Wagner’s saying so, too! Good for her! However, her new production

Audience members gather on Bayreuth's famed Green Hill for cycle - Das Rheingold

the first opera of the Ring

The trio of Rhinemaidens (Das Rheingold) all ready for action: Woglinde (Mirella Hagen), Wellgunde (Julia Rutigliano), Flosshilde (Anna Lapkovskaja)


Wolfgang Koch as a gangster-looking Wotan.

of Tristan (which opened last year’s Bayreuth Festival in a blaze of glory in the presence of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel) marked the 150th anniversary of its world première at Munich. It hit the mark full on! But Katharina doesn’t mind taking chances of finding new ways and exploring new ideas in which to stage the works of her illustrious ancestor, who would, I’m sure, approve! And thinking ahead to the next Ring cycle planned for 2020, I know who I should like to see as its director. Widely considered to be one of the greatest works ever written to pure erotic love echoing the legendary days of King Arthur, Tristan is an emotional work to say the least. And Katharina Wagner tapped into the opera’s emotional strength to deliver a brilliant, powerful and compelling production that drifted at times from its traditional setting. Wagner rated it as one of his ‘favourites’ and it’s only the eleventh time that the opera has been staged at Bayreuth. Complementing the production, however, was a brilliantly-designed set created by Frank Philipp Schlössmann and Matthias Lippert comprising a three-dimensional labyrinth of

stairs evaporating into thin air, an influence, perhaps, of Giovanni Piranesi or M C Escher but it was Piranesi’s engraving Il ponte levatoio: Le Carceri d’Invenzione (The drawbridge: the Imaginary Prisons) that caught my eye. The set - which also served as Tristan’s ship - gave the illusion of the ‘unattainable’ that was self-evident and at the core of this production. However, whatever happens on stage as to be backed up by the right action in the pit as the orchestra plays such a dominant role in all of Wagner’s operas. Therefore, with Christian Thielemann (recently appointed music director of the Bayreuth Festival) controlling the baton, he furiously drives his players on getting from them rich, imaginative and exciting playing that’s simply thrilling to hear. But in the confines of the Festspielhaus, built and designed by Wagner for the sole purpose of presenting his Teutonic masterpieces, it’s a musical experience like no other. But think of the first Bayreuth Festival held in 1876! What a triumphant launch it enjoyed with a gala performance of Das Rheingold in the company of such distinguished composers as

The Woodbird in Siegfried (Mirella Hagen) in fine fettle.

Bruckner, Grieg and Tchaikovsky as well as Wagner’s pianist/ composer father-in-law, Franz Liszt, who, in fact, came to Norwich in September 1840 giving back-to-back concerts at the Assembly House and the Theatre Royal as part of his Grand Tour of England. Every visit I make to Bayreuth, my thoughts race back to my first visit in 2010 and my first leisurely stroll up the steeplyinclined Siegfried Wagner Allee, named after Richard Wagner’s son, commonly known as the Green Hill. My first encounter with Wagner on home soil, I thought. If the Gods dreamt of Valhalla, I simply

dreamt of Bayreuth. And here I was after years of ‘dreaming’ walking the stairway to the Gods - to Valhalla, in fact! I enjoyed the ride of my life with Brünnhilde and her Valkyries in full flight in a Ring production realised by the legendary German theatre director, Tankred Dorst. It proved controversial to the core and not everyone’s cup of tea! But neither is the current production, I’m afraid, directed by the Berlin-based, avant-garde theatre director, Frank Castorf. But I loved it no end and found the production challenging, exciting and invigorating to say the least. A renowned deconstructionist,

2016 January | 47

FINEARTS Castorf’s artistically adventurous as they come and one significant change he brought to his Ring (mounted for Wagner’s bicentenary in 2013) was swapping the greed for gold for the greed for oil, the ‘black gold’ of modern times. Thus oil became the treasured Nibelung horde. The American state of Texas became the setting for Rhinegold while Walküre found itself transported to the city of Baku on the Caspian Sea in preRevolutionary Russia. And Baku next year focuses on F1 racing for the first time as the European Grand Prix will be held in the Azerbaijan capital on Sunday 12th June. Miss X and I will be there! Obviously, motor-racing is another passion we share and after Bayreuth it’s off to Belgium by train to attend the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday 28th August. Odd mix, I guess! F1 racing and opera, especially Wagner! All of the sets for Castorf’s cycle were amazingly built on a mammoth revolving stage. The set for Siegfried was monumental to say the least showing the

carved heads of Communist chiefs Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao in a Mount Rushmore-style setting complemented by Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, a masterpiece of ‘new realism’ design, while the set for Götterdämmerung, in stark contrast to socialist dreams, was given over to Wall Street dominated by the façade of the New York Stock Exchange counterbalanced by a ruined tenement block in a run-down area of East Berlin. Here Hagen and Günther (the two Ring baddies) are found scheming away making a living from a pizza takeaway joint while Gutrune (controlled every inch of the way by Hagen) passes the time of day whizzing about in a BMW Isetta bubble car. Got the picture? But what’s so notable about this production is to the fact that Catherine Ann Foster (who hails from Nottinghamshire) is cast in the pivotal role of Brünnhilde and is the first English-born soprano to have sung this role at Bayreuth. I can truly say she delivered a performance of great magnitude and strength in true Wagnerian style. She reprises

Brünnhilde (Catherine Foster) delivering the famous Immolation Götterdämmerung.

scene from

The intricately-designed set for Bayreuth's brilliant new production of Tristan und Isolde.

48 | January 2016


Wolfgang Koch (Wotan) and Albert Dohman (Mime) arguing by their silver-plated, Air Stream double-wheeled, mobile trailer representing the subterranean city of Nibelheim.

the role for Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in the spring making her American début plus she’s returning to Bayreuth in the summer. She’s more than enthusiastic about the challenges of singing such an important role as Brünnhilde and this is what she had to say: ‘I was actually accepted to sing Brünnhilde at Bayreuth in May 2012,’ she fondly recalls. ‘I just couldn’t believe it. For a long time it felt so unreal but in just a short space of time I had achieved what I thought was nigh impossible. ‘I’ve worked on Brünnhilde since 2006 and, I think, I’ve really got to know her well. She’s a woman of the world, highlyemotional but very self-confident who develops into an extremely strong person as the story of the Ring unfolds reaching its destiny in Götterdämmerung where Brünnhilde sees that lust, greed and corruption that encapsulates

the curse is inextricably tied to the ring. To cleanse mankind Brünnhilde has first to cleanse the ring by burning not only the ring itself but the last living holder of it as possession of the ring demands a sacrifice. The dwarf, Alberich, lives on as he sacrificed his humanity therefore Brünnhilde sacrifices herself to ensure mankind can be reborn to start again. To this end, she orders the waters of the Rhine to sweep over the fire to wash away the vestiges of the curse. This is the beginning and end of the Gods and their beloved Valhalla. It’s a big and exciting scene not just for the singers but for the audience as well. Every performance is challenging.’ However, the big orchestral production numbers (with the players hidden from audience view deep in the bowels of the theatre’s spacious pit) such as the Gods’ Entrance into Valhalla in Das Rheingold, Siegfried’s

momentous Rhine Journey and the Funeral March from Götterdämmerung are exciting to hear but in the vast confines of Bayreuth’s Festspielhaus, with its clear, bright acoustics, it’s riveting stuff all the way. At curtain call the orchestra’s always showered with heaps of praise underwriting why Bayreuth’s the place to see, hear and soak up Wagner! There’s no place like it! Indeed, there’s not! Auf wiedersehen! The journey to Valhalla was as simple as they come. On this trip Miss X and I took Abellio Greater Anglia’s service to London Liverpool Street - fares between Norwich and London start from £9 one way, booked in advance (www.abelliogreateranglia. 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 which ferries wanting Wagnerites to their beloved Valhalla. 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 Bayreuth and its environs.

Images published by courtesy of Bayreuther Festspiele and taken by the festival’s official photographer: Enrico Nawrath

2016 January | 49


What’s On At Maddermarket Here’s What’s Happening At Maddermarket This Month Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show Fri 08 January 7.30pm ‘Purveyors of Cool’ swing into town with The Greatest Music of the 20th Century Every song a classic - Come Fly with Me, Volare, That’s Amore, Under My Skin, Mr Bojangles, That’s Life, Mack The Knife, and many more of your favourites. Tickets: £20.00

Norwich Jazz Club Mon 11 January 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.

Art of the Trio, Phil Brooke

50 | January 2016

Art Of The Trio Tue 12 January Doors 7.30pm, Music 8.30pm - 11pm With Phil Brooke (Gtr) Simon Brown (Pno) Ivars Galenieks (Bass) Blow away those January blues in the company of Phil and the guys, performing trio arrangements synonymous with artists such as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck, each lovingly transcribed by Phil (The Master) himself. Tickets: £12.00 (£6.00 concessions)

Scratch Shot - New Writing Evening

Scratch Shot - New Writing Evening Thu 14 January 7.30pm 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. Experienced and new writers are given the opportunity to testdrive 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 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 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


Tickets: £50 for term of 8 weeks

Madder World Music

Belly Dance Classes

Belly Dance Classes Thu 14 Jan - Thu 10 Mar Thursdays 6pm - 7pm January 14th - March 10th 2016 (no class on the 11th Feb) Thursday evenings, 6.00pm - 7.00pm Discover the ancient and beautiful art of belly dance with professional teacher, performer, and choreographer, Eleanor. In this term you will learn traditional Egyptian dancing: a strong and feminine dance with great poise and body awareness. In class we will focus on welldefined 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 lessons, plus a choice of one of two workshops: 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. (Exact time and venue TBC) Improvers and beginners to bellydance are welcome.

Classes take place in the Theatre’s Emmerson Studio and start promptly at 6pm, please wear comfortable clothing suitable for light exercise. For more information on classes and full workshop details visit

Thu 21 January 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 Star Spangled Girl Fri 22 Jan - Sat 30 Jan 7.30pm (2.30pm Matinees On 23rd And 30th January) By Neil Simon Directed by Stash Kirkbride

Newly graduated and full of belief for a better world, Andy and Norman have set up a pocket sized business, running their own political magazine from their San Francisco apartment. All is well in their world, until Sophie moves in next door! An exOlympian swimmer and all-round southern bell, Norman instantly goes nuts for her, Andy tries to hold it together, and sure enough all hell let’s loose! A fire-cracker of comedy, with split-second timing, and delivered at a pace that will leave you breathless. Beat the winter blues and see just how hot January can get! Creatives Director Stash Kirkbride Set Designer Peter Beck Resident Stage Manager Karen Davies Cast Norman Christopher Neal Sophie Jess Taylor Andy James Ducker Tickets: £12 / £10 / £8

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 January | 51

For more information please call Toni on 07754 180253

52 | January 2016

Celebrating Old Values In A Modern Business Watsons partner Nick Eley extols the virtues of working in a firm that puts People first.


ince his first day with Watsons, in 1978, Nick Eley has seen every facet of the property business and supported people throughout the county in buying, selling, renting and letting their property. Whilst the biggest change in the profession has been the increased use of the internet – at the end of the day, estate agency remains a people business. At the heart of Watsons values is staying in contact with their client and customers, understanding what they want and what they need and then delivering an extraordinary service. “Buying or renting a home is

an emotional purchase. So many times, I’ve seen people with a list of what they see as essential requirements – then they fall in love with a property that has just the view they’ve always dreamed of, or a house that needed far more doing to it than was hoped but was their fantasy cottage – you just can’t always get that across by typing words into a search engine. “ Nick’s team offer a service that is about talking to people and working with them in selling or letting their property. Watsons firmly believe that their knowledge and experience helps the customer negotiate the right deal and the right place.

“You need to choose a team that can help you throughout the sales process and be there during the highs and lows. It’s also about working with a firm that can help you find your next home – after all, this may be the biggest purchase you ever make. Our customer testimonials back up our service – we don’t need to tell you about what we do – we can put you in touch with people who have first-hand experience of working with us and recommend new customers to us each day.” “I recently worked with a lady who gave me explicit instructions about the property she wanted to buy. I had taken her to see

a number of properties and we talked through all the reasons why each property was not suitable. Next day, I valued a house and gave her a call – it was more bedrooms than she wanted, has work to be done and a garden that was much too big – she walked in and fell in love. Estate agency is about building relationships and that’s what makes us different.” Nick’s long and successful career with Watsons, was moulded by his first boss, John Watson, a former Pathfinder Pilot in the Second World War who had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. “John was a well-known character throughout East Anglia – he really connected with people and established a culture in the firm that still holds true today. John recognised that working alongside the community and employing local people establishes a foundation of trust. Our ethics and values promote relationships that will be around for the next 125 years.” In the UK, there is a culture of home ownership, and it’s essential that you choose the right people to work with when making a decision about your future lifestyle. The last 37 years that Nick has worked in the firm has produced property booms and recessions, price hikes and changing patterns of ownership. “Nowadays, young couples are having to wait until their thirties to find the money to put down a deposit and get a mortgage because lenders are back to stress-testing mortgage applications. That, in turn, has led to some people to move away from home ownership and into the rented sector. At the same time, some people like the flexibility of renting. The increase in demand has largely encouraged landlords to improve accommodation standards, knowing that they will get better returns and better tenants. We work with a number of landlords in helping them find tenants

2016 January | 53

FINEHomes or providing a fully managed service. With recent changes in legislation we have guided our clients through their duty of care. This with the added assurance that all client monies are regulated through the RICS money protection scheme – gives you peace of mind.” The firm was a product of a merger of interests in 1890 between Edwin Watson in Norwich and PL Browne of Bishops Stortford in Essex. John Watson, son of the founder, came into the business briefly in 1940 before joining the RAF. After the war, he returned to become senior partner and focused on his passion for auctions, antiques and fine art. Over the years, Watsons has developed through its professional work as a firm regulated by the Chartered Institute of Surveyors. The profession has had to adapt to some dizzying developments. In 1978 for example, when Nick started the average national house price was £16,823; today in East

Anglia, it’s around £194,258.” “Whilst other estate agents are our competitors, they are also our customers. Our experienced network of Chartered Surveyors and Registered Valuers are invited by homeowners, housing associations and leading panel management companies to provide a valuation of property throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Essex – we are a premier panel member because we are in touch with our customers and have a genuine understanding of the value of land and property. We can tell you what your property is worth and what it should sell for – we recognise that when you make a decision to sell or buy that you want to know that you have been given advice by valuation specialists.” “Our business works in partnership with other companies such as Hoyl – offering financial services. The Guild of Professional Estate Agents – offering UK wide links

to other estate agents with a London agency office. The business is unrecognisable today – we are valuing and surveying property throughout East Anglia and managing more than 4,000 property units on a daily basis as a leading supplier of block and estate management. The passion and the interest we show in all areas of property ensures that we can provide the best value service.” Estate Agency is now recognised as a profession and is underpinned by redress schemes such as the Property Ombudsman. Nick and all his residential sales staff are qualified or are undertaking the National Association of Estate Agents technical award in residential agency and the Association of Residential Lettings Agents technical award in lettings and management. “With more than 100 estate agency businesses in Norwich alone, knowing that you can trust the advice you are given is

an important consideration for property buyers and sellers. Add to that the application of tried and trusted people skills instilled over decades in a firm that has proved its quality credentials through longevity. “One hundred and twenty five years and still passionate about property and the people who walk through our doors. Quite a record.”

Contemporary, classic or chic modern

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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 | | 54 | January 2016


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

Posh Plants Looking forward‌ January is one of my favourite months. I live in hope for some seasonal weather, cold frosty nights and crisp clear days with blue skies. Maybe a fall of snow which for me can last through till February. Of course, it’s lovely to be outside. The nursery is in semihibernation, hardier plants shiver outside, bulbs are emerging and the Posh Plant trees and plants are cosseted with some protection from the extreme cold and wind, ready for hiring out to weddings, events and parties. As fulfilling as it is working outside it also sometimes very pleasurable to be inside, making plans for the year ahead and catching up on work which forms the structure of the business. Decisions need to be made such as which plants to grow and which new products will be stocked and marketed on the online shop.

Items for the garden such as seating and furniture have to be top quality as well as offering good value. I like to stock products and plants that I would be happy to use myself, both in my own garden and in those I design. Planning now, in the coldest months, for the warmer months ahead, is great fun. Lots of exciting styles and designs to choose from. Here are a few new products which are available from the Posh Plants online collection. The Battersea Bench is a really sturdy and comfortable addition to any garden, here it is shown in Thyme green but is also available in Clay, a soft stone colour. The St Mawes Bar Table is solid and very heavy! It has a removable central section which can be either used as a drinks cooler holding ice, or a planter. Great for relaxing with the paper and a coffee, or for those

summer evening parties ahead of us! This gorgeous lupin I spied at Chelsea and will be available in the late spring.

For lots of interesting garden related products have a look at the Posh Plants online collection at Happy browsing!

2016 January | 55


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At CLARKBUILD LTD we know you will receive a professional and personal service for all your building, wet rooms and maintenance needs. Please call us for a free quotation. T: 01953 601678 M: 07788 722151 Unit 15, Penfold Drive, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 0WZ

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2016 January | 57

Jeep Renegade Exclusive First Drive - Jeep Renegade ‘Night Eagle’ Location: Sicily.


he Jeep was made for battle. In 1940, the looming U.S. involvement in World War II pushed the army to appeal for a new vehicle appropriate for war. And so the Jeep - a workin-progress vehicle - relentlessly evolving on its open patent, tailoring to shifting demands of combat, was produced - and sent overseas to the hostilities. The Jeep name itself is infused with folklore, but the label is most likely derived from GP, or General Purpose, which may have been the initial moniker of the militarydesign vehicle. Indisputable, however, is Jeep’s far-reaching saga. It’s quite literally a narrative of movement: U.S. soldiers across European borders during World War II; women working on Jeep assembly lines,

58 | January 2016

President Roosevelt sitting in a Jeep in front of lines of black American soldiers. Fast forward seven decades and, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the first Jeep, I was invited to Sicily to sample Jeep as it is now – and as it will be. The line-up of Jeep concept cars being showcased at the company’s ‘You Don’t Drive it, You Live it’ Italian event perfectly underlined the brand’s natural synergy with customisation, and the desire for personalisation that the brand inspires. Vehicles were on hand for us to drool over and try out around the Italian island, which, by the way, is home to Europe’s highest active volcano, Mount Etna. The smoke pouring from the top of the angry volcano seemed to add to the drama of the Jeep models. They

demonstrated how Jeep can meet the requests of customers looking for a unique look, combined with the legendary capabilities of the American brand. Hero of the firm’s extreme aesthetic treatment is, perhaps, the Renegade. Launched in September 2014, the model has expanded the Jeep global vehicle line-up massively. By entering the growing small sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment, while staying true to the fun-and-freedom lifestyle Jeep is known for, the Renegade delivers something special. It offers a blend of best-in-class offroad capability, open-air freedom and convenience. The result is an efficient vehicle offered to attract an adventurous customer to the Jeep marque. Taking it up a level is the new ‘Night Eagle’ special edition.

feature by:

Tim Barnes-Clay Writer @carwriteups

Designed to enhance the bold design of the Renegade, it is based on the Longitude midrange trim. It features black styling cues with satin-finished grey elements - such as the ‘Jeep’ badge on the front grille,

FINEmotors the fog light frames, the roof bars and the dedicated badge, combined with exclusive 17” black alloy rims. What’s more, this special edition introduces a new matte paintwork, appropriately named Volcano Sand, which was on the model I drove. It complements the other four available colours: Carbon Black, Alpine White, Glacier Silver and Solar Yellow. The Volcano Sand-liveried Renegade Night Eagle sports a 2.0 diesel 140 engine, combined with a six speed manual transmission and Active Drive 4x4 system. On the inside, a leather steering wheel, exclusive fabric seats with electric lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat, UConnect with five inch screen, manual climate control system, cruise control and rear parking sensors make for a highly comfortable and technological ambiance. There is an instant charm to the Renegade’s driving behaviour. Thanks to light pedals and its high driving position, from where you can see the swollen American-style bonnet, the Jeep feels authoritative and yet userfriendly. Over normal bumps

the ride is slightly quivery and it hardly ever settles, but such a criticism could be directed at any contender in the class. The engine pulls vigorously, although it becomes harsh beyond 3,000rpm. However, this doesn’t matter, because it’s a bona fide resilient off-roader first and foremost, and so sounding tough is part of the appeal. Undeniably, the Renegade is the most capable small SUV on the rough stuff. It’s also a top family motor because the seats are wide and there is ample room for four people. Additionally, the Renegade has a far more appealing character than most cars of its ilk. What’s more, it sports a stout interior design and wide-opening doors that allow good space for fitting child seats. It is expected that a limited number of Night Eagle models will be produced in 2016, so if you’re interested, visit your local Jeep dealer quickly. The Renegade Night Eagle can be specified with a 2.0 Multijet (120 HP or 140 HP) lump; a 1.6 Multijet 120 HP power unit or a 1.4 MultiAir 140 HP engine, depending on the market.

2016 January | 59

Independent Venue Week™ Launches Plans For 2016 Monday 25th – Sunday 31st January 2016


ow in its third year, Independent Venue Week is back in January 2016 with a week-long series of gigs all around the UK. The 7 day long campaign which runs nationally but with a local grassroots focus has grown again from last year with 120 now venues taking part, from Aberdeen to Exeter and Belfast to Norwich. Among venues joining this year are Quay Arts (Isle of Wight), The Soundhouse (Leicester) and Nambucca (north London). This year’s Ambassadors are Mercury Prize Shortlisted Artist Wolf Alice who are taking over from Frank Turner (2015) and Colin Greenwood (2014). “We are proud to be ambassadors of this year’s Independent Venue Week and ask for peoples support so these kind of unique, intimate and sweaty shows continue for everyone to enjoy. Venues that we started off playing along with so many other bands have created some of our funnest memories to date. We’d love for that to continue for us and for other bands, please show your support.” Artists performing over the 7 days include Everything Everything, Matthew E. White, Mallory Knox, Childhood, Misty Miller, Beans on Toast, Eliza and the Bear, Saffron (Republica) Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets), Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly, Georgia, Get Inuit and Edwyn Collins who is following up his involvement last year. As well as playing live, he is also curating the week at Hebden Bridge Trades Club. Other curating partners include

60 | January 2016

Rob da Bank and Sunday Best, BBC Introducing, PIAS, Domino Records and The Joe Strumner Foundation with a DJ set from Shikari Sound System. More artists will be announced across social media in the coming weeks. This year, IVW is partnering with two charities; Attitude is Everything, the music charity that works with audiences, artists and the music industry to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. Also involved is Stay Up Late with their gig buddy scheme linking adults who have a learning disability to a volunteer with similar interests in music, so they can attend gigs together. Helen Sprott, Director, Music at Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is pleased to be supporting I Like The Sound of That and their brilliant Independent Venue Week project for the second year running through our Grants for the Arts programme. It is

vital that independent venues are recognised for the value they bring both to their local communities and the national music scene. Over the last year, Independent Venue Week has grown, diversifying its offering with projects for charities such as Stay Up Late and workshops for young people. It is ideally placed to continue delivering the Arts Council’s ambition to support and celebrate grassroots artists across the country.” This year see’s continued support from founding partners PRS for Music, Musicians Union and Marshall Amps as well as Vauxhall returning for a second year with their Vivaro On Tour campaign offering artists free use of a touring van throughout 2016. Partnering for the first time is Open Live with their with their venue and artist technology that records high definition live audio, Live & Loud with their online booking service for venues and artists and east London music

focused brewery, Signature Brew. Paul Sims, Head of Marketing PRS for Music “We are very proud to have been involved with Independent Venue Week since its launch and are delighted to be able to support its continued growth once again in 2016. Our members love playing in small live venues and Independent Venue Week’s determination to safeguard their future is a cause very close to our hearts.” IVW are, once again, running their free workshops in partnership with Cato Academy. The workshops offer help and advice for 14-20 year olds in developing a career in live music touring and production. 5 workshops will take place in January in Birmingham, Bristol, Hull, Liverpool and London – full details and how to apply can be found on the website. “It’s great to be back again already – this third year is our most exciting yet” said Founder Sybil Bell. “Wolf Alice has had an incredible year playing so many of the venues we are working with culminating in their sell out show at Brixton Academy. That’s the kind of journey bands go on and we’re so chuffed to have them as our Ambassadors this year.” Details of all participating venues can be found at the main website independentvenueweek. com. Dates and ticket links will go live on the site as shows are confirmed and more gigs, artists and partners will be announced over the coming days and weeks through IVW social media channels.

www.Independentvenueweek. com Facebook @ independentvenueweek Twitter @IVW_UK #IVW16 Instagram @IVW_UK

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Norfolk couple branches out What plants do you associate with Norfolk? Mustard? Certainly. Turnips? Maybe. Olives? Probably not. But a new venture by Norfolk arborist Paul Smith and his wife Antonia specialises in introducing these iconic Mediterranean trees to thrive in Norfolk's temperate climate. The county has recently been hailed by 'Visit Norfolk' as having a winning combination of both dry and sunny conditions. After years of travelling in southern France and Spain, Paul and Antonia set up the Norfolk Olive Tree Company to bring these uniquely beautiful trees to a new and perfectly adapted home in Southern England. Nestled in the Courtyard of the Cotswold Furniture Company, Riverside Road, Norwich. The Norfolk Olive Tree Company boasts a rich variety of Olive Trees from ancient gnarly specimens to the more ornamental Cloud Trees, Pom Pom Trees and the miniature Bonzai Olive Tree beloved of many plus the architectural

twisted stem Olive Trees. The timing of this venture could not be more perfect as the Olive Tree, also known as the 'Tree of life' was proclaimed the darling of the Chelsea flower show; Britain's largest fruiting specimen grows a stone’s throw away. Setting the trend was James Righton, the musician, who bought a one hundred-yearold Olive tree as a wedding gift for his new bride Keira Knightley. Angelina Jolie is reported to have bought her husband Brad Pitt a two hundred-year-old Olive tree as a Valentine’s Gift. The Couple have chosen three main varieties: the Lecchino and Frantoio Olive Tree, because they are from Tuscany and have fantastic tolerance to the cold. They have fast growing crowns and hold their leaves through the coldest winters. The third species is the Arbequina this is the favourite Olive tree in Spain and will thrive in a really hot spot. Many people think Olives are fragile and demanding plants that need permanent sunshine.

However, Olives tolerate a wide range of temperatures and can withstand frosts down to -10. As an Evergreen, Olive Trees provide year round colour and structure. Not only can you buy these beautiful Trees but they are also for hire for events and special occasions. Delivered in style in their 1960's Citroen Diane Van. In the short time since the Norfolk Olive Tree Company has been open, clients have included Brit Award winning singer songwriter Beth Orton and film director

Guy Myhill, winner of 'The Golden Hitchcock' award. Other customers have travelled from as far away as London to visit Paul and Antonia’s show garden, which can be found in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral. "It really is quite surreal looking through the leaves of Olive trees across to Norwich Cathedral,” says Paul Smith aged 47, "but it’s becoming something of a photo opportunity for many of our customers, with pictures of our place cropping up all over social networks.” He added.

2016 January | 61

Treating Hearing Loss Can Help Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions By Karen Finch, audiologist and Managing Director of The Hearing Care Centre Every 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 62 | January 2016

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 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.

Starting a new hobby 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 lead to new talents and friends.

Taking action 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. For more information please call 0800 096 2637 or visit www.hearingcarecentre.

2016 January | 63

Shepherd’s Crook Shepherd’s Crook is extremely sumptuous with full-size double bed, freesat flatscreen TV, and fully equipped kitchen including fridge and dishwasher. And unlike a lot of shepherd’s huts, our WC and shower is truly en-suite - you don’t need to go outside! Based on the edge of Framlingham Suffolk

64 | January 2016

Call Becky on 07778 381953 for availability.

Service only your local independent electrical retailer can provide


For over 125 years, the Bosch name has been synonymous with engineering excellence. Bosch home appliances are renowned for their quality, reliability and performance which derive from their inherent, unflagging commitment and the painstaking thoroughness with which every unit is made. There are no gimmicks or frills with our products – just pure, clean lines and beautiful, functional simplicity that will enhance any kitchen.

Delivered direct to your door with our free home delivery service from your local independent electrical retailer when you buy a selected Bosch home appliance. Terms & Conditions apply.*

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Make the most of your retirement Michael Boon is your local Equity Release Council member for professional independent advice. If you are interested in releasing a tax-free lump sum from your home then Michael will be delighted to guide you through the different types of equity release schemes available to find the best plan for your needs.

To find out more call Michael on 01508 483983 or visit

with equity release

Equity release schemes allow you to release tax-free cash from your home to boost your finances in later life • Many clients use this money to repay an existing mortgage, make home improvements, buy a new car and even go on a holiday of a life time, while others may wish to offer financial assistance to their children or to improve their own quality of life in retirement. • Business Matters is qualified and registered through the Financial Conduct Authority to offer a valuable equity release service for homeowners aged 55 or over. • Business Matters only recommend approved schemes from The Equity Release Council.


This is a lifetime mortgage, to understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration. Business Matters is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No. 301141.

2016 January | 65

Ann-Marie Matthews, Partner & Head of Private Client Department, Nicholsons Solicitors

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.

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Do you have a valid Will? The majority of people understand the importance of making a Will. It means you decide who will benefit from your assets and how you provide for loved ones. If you fail to have a valid Will in place when you die, then the law decides who will benefit from your estate. This can result in people that you would not have chosen becoming beneficiaries. According to the law today, if you die without a Will, your spouse or civil partner will inherit everything, and if you have children, they inherit the first £250,000, plus your personal belongings and half of your estate on trust until they reach the age of 18. With the growth in house prices over the last few decades, many people find their estate is worth much more than £250,000, even though they may not consider themselves especially well off. If your estate is worth over this figure, then these rules mean that 66 | January 2016

it can be shared with children, parents, siblings or in some cases, more distant relatives that you never knew existed! In the event that no surviving family members can be traced, then your estate which may have taken a lifetime to accumulate could end up passing to the Government. Another thing to bear in mind is that under current law an unmarried partner has no entitlement to receive anything. Making a Will is often a much quicker, simpler process that costs far less than you might think. Best not to put things off and make a Will now! If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article or would like to know more about making a Will contact Ann-Marie Matthews on 01603 478567 or email amatthews@nicholsonslaw. com.

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

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

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“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later”

Residual Income If YOU want more money, you NEED to read this! I went to a job interview today and when the business owner asked what my remuneration expectations were, I replied; • First I would like to receive a brand new Car for helping my friends and family save money on their bills. • I expect you to provide me with the very best online training, plus unlimited access to high quality classroom training (and my own personal mentor for the times in between or when I can’t be bothered to log on to your free training sites or search your jam packed website). • I want you to pay for me and my partner to go for dinner once a month with wine/beer

• I expect you to pay me every time a customer I introduce to your services pays their bill to you....forever. • I want in writing that I can earn money while I am asleep through your company and if I don’t want to get out of my pyjamas for a month, you won’t sack me.... and in fact you will give me a pay raise. • I want you to reward me when I help other people succeed in your business and I want them to have the opportunity to earn more than I do if they wish (even though I introduced them and got a head start). • I want you to do all the maintenance on my personal hosted website, including

videos with well known celebrities and updates on new products and services. • I want you to arrange for 4000 people to fill a room and clap and cheer while I walk across the stage. I want this to happen several times a year and the only reason you will do it is because I will have completed my ‘job’. • I want you to send me and my family on a 5star luxury holiday. • The family holiday will be exhausting so you better send me and my partner away on a European city break too. • I want you to promise that if I work for you for 3-5 years for just 10 hours a week, you will give me complete financial and time freedom. So.....when can I start ??? After he recovered from shock, he threw his head back and laughed out loud “You can’t be

serious! You’re dreaming … You will never find an opportunity like that... ANYWHERE ... And if you do, come back to me and I’ll work with you!” So I stood up, give him my business card and said ...”Call Me” You see, with Utility Warehouse you really can have all of the above. Just get in touch and I WILL show you how. It’s FREE to talk and/or meet with me. It’s FREE for you to get all the information you need so you can make an informed decision. This opportunity is open to everyone, and we will give you unlimited FREE training at a venue local to you, we will give you a FREE mentor to help you get started and FREE unlimited help and ongoing support. It’s up to you to make it happen, just call me now 07802 690589 (Jonathan).

2016 January | 67

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FineCity Maqgazine - January 2016  

FineCity Magazine for our fine city of Norwich. The January 2016 edition.

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