Monday, 21 December 2009

Paul Saunders - Lowestoft Scores Fundraising Success in Brother’s Memory


Norwich resident Paul Saunders (37) ran the Lowestoft Scores Race in September in memory of his brother Sean, who took his own life in 2003, while suffering from depression. Paul ran the race in aid of The Davenport Trust and raised £1822 37p for the Norfolk charity.


Photograph (right ) shows James Clarke (left) founder of The Davenport Trust with Paul Saunders.


The Davenport Trust was set up to help people of all ages recognise and deal with the symptoms of depression, an illness from which, unbelievably, one in four of us suffers.
Paul and brothers Sean and Dean grew up in Lowestoft. Their parents used to run The Crown Hotel at the top of Crown Score.


"I have never been a runner," said Paul. "But last January made a resolution to get fit. I needed a focus to keep me going and thought that the Lowestoft Scores race would be the ideal challenge with all the hill climbs. Doing something positive in Sean’s memory has been an additional inspiration. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends, family and colleagues and am very pleased to have raised just over £1800 for The Davenport Trust, which was set up following a tragic loss of life not dissimilar to Sean."


James Clarke, Davenport Trust founder said: "My heart felt thanks to Paul and his supporters for thinking of The Davenport Trust. We are a small charity that is keen to remove the stigma attached to depression and especially help young people combat its symptoms."


The Davenport Trust takes its name from Shaun Davenport, a 17 year-old student at Hewett School, Norwich, who faced a bright future, yet took his own life in January 2003. The trust’s first publication I Feel Shit featuring contributions from young people, giving their personal views on how depression can be combated is due to be published in 2010, http://www.davenporttrust.org.uk/.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

CIPR PRide Awards 2009


At the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) PRide Awards last night (7 December) at Radisson SAS Hotel Stansted Airport. Congratulations to all the winners
http://ciprprideawards.com/east-anglia. I gave away the best consumer campaign award to Project PR.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Norfolk Whisky Media Tasting 26 November


Scottish, English, Chinese, Swedish, German and Russian journalists sampled England's first whisky for 100 years on Thursday, November 26 at St George's Distillery, Roudham, Norfolk, http://www.englishwhisky.co.uk/.


Links to Eastern Daily Press and Anglia TV coverage.





Fairhaven Garden - Sustainable Tourism Award



Congratulations to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, http://www.fairhavengarden.co.uk/, winner of the Sustainable Tourism Award EDP Tourism in Norfolk Awards 2009.

http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/edp24/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=EDPOnline&tCategory=xDefault&itemid=NOED21%20Nov%202009%2013%3A35%3A46%3A523

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Fairhaven Garden - Sustainable Tourism Finalist


Great news that Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is a finalist in the sustainable tourism category for both East of England Tourism Awards and Tourism in Norfolk Awards http://www.fairhavengarden.co.uk.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Junior Farm Wroxham Barns - New Bird Hide


On 3 September I was at Wroxham Barns http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk/ for the opening of the new bird hide in Junior Farm by BBC Look East's Susie Fowler-Watt.


Pictured left to right in the hide are Eileen Calverley, Manager, Junior Farm, Ian Russell, Director, Wroxham Barns and Susie Fowler-Watt.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Paul Saunders - Lowestoft Scores Challenge in Brother’s Memory


Norwich resident Paul Saunders is running the Lowestoft Scores Race on Sunday, September 13 in memory of his brother Sean, who took his own life in 2003, while suffering from depression.

Paul and brothers Sean and Dean grew up in Lowestoft. Their parents used to run The Crown Hotel at the top of Crown Score, one of the landmarks on the Lowestoft Scores Race. The 4.75-mile run, organised by Waveney Valley Athletic Club, includes seven steep climbs, six descents and 409 steps.


Paul is doing the run in aid of The Davenport Trust, a new Norfolk charity set up to help people of all ages recognise and deal with the symptoms of depression, an illness from which, unbelievably, one in four of us suffers. He has already secured pledges totalling more than £500, see http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/paulsaunders/


"I have never been a runner," said Paul. "But in January I made a resolution to get fit. I needed a focus to keep me going and thought that the Lowestoft Scores race would be the ideal challenge with all the hill climbs. Doing something positive in Sean’s memory has been an additional inspiration. I have been aware of The Davenport Trust for some time as it was set up following a tragic loss of life not dissimilar to Sean."


"I have great memories of growing up in Lowestoft," added Paul. "We got up to lots of mischief and it was always Sean who ended up getting the blame! It is going to be very emotional running a race in an area that used to be our playground."


James Clarke, Davenport Trust founder said: "I wish Paul the best of luck for the Lowestoft Scores Race and thank him for thinking of The Davenport Trust. We are a small charity that is keen to remove the stigma attached to depression and help old and young combat its symptoms."


The Davenport Trust takes its name from Shaun Davenport, a 17 year-old student at Hewett School, Norwich, who faced a bright future, yet took his own life in January 2003. The trust’s first publication I Feel Sh*t featuring contributions from young people, giving their personal views on how depression can be combated is due to be published in early 2010, http://www.davenporttrust.org.uk/.

Andrew Hall's Visions


Listen to Andrew Hall's music and read his story at http://www.myspace.com/andrewhallvisions. His CD 'Visions' is being sold in his memory in aid of Rethink.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

FourSight - Art from Norwich, Novi Sad, Rouen, Koblenz


Norwich Twenty Group’s (N20G) autumn exhibition, 'FourSight', Fourth exhibition of work from four European Cities, showcasing more than 230 works, opens at the old Bally Shoe Factory, Hall Road, Norwich, courtesy of Targetfollow Group, on Monday, September 7. The exhibition runs to Saturday, September 19 and is open daily, 10am to 6pm, with free admission and free parking.


The exhibition features work from many of Norfolk’s top artists, with contributions from N20G’s sister art groups in Norwich’s twin cities of Rouen, Novi Sad and Koblenz. It is the fourth in a sequence of alliances with Norwich’s twins and the first time that Koblenz artists have taken part.


The art on show is wide ranging and features traditional, figurative and abstract painting, sculpture and imaginative site installations responding to the space of the old factory.
As well as the exhibition of large works, there will be an opportunity to pick up many small items in the Art Bazaar. All Art Bazaar items are donated by N20G members to raise money for the group and are sold for £15.


New Members exhibiting with N20G for the first time are Martin Battye, Mike Chapman, Katarzyna Colman, Oliver Creed, Lizzie Harvey, Gill Levin, Rachael Long, Derek Morris and John Rance.


N20G reviews the Final Degree Show at Norwich University College of the Arts each year and invites three young artists of exceptional talent to join the group as 'licentiates'. This means they become members of the group for one year free of charge and are qualified to take part in exhibitions. This year’s artists include Victoria Scott and Kevin Parker.
Image above right: Pebbles from Bossington with Apricots by Joceline Wickham

Families' House Big Lottery Fund Grant

Great news that Norfolk and Norwich Families' House has been awarded a grant of £150,000 from the Big Lottery Fund http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk to support the supervised contcat service, http://www.familieshouse.org.uk.

Broadlands Rotary Club Art Exhibition


Seventy-one local artists, featuring just under 400 paintings and prints, will display their work at Broadlands Rotary Club’s 33rd annual Art Exhibition, sponsored by Wroxham Barns, at Hoveton Village Hall on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August, 10am to 4pm. There is also a preview evening on Friday 28 August from 7.30pm to 10pm.


The event raises money for the Rotary Club’s local charities and Polio Plus, the global polio eradication initiative supported by Rotary International.


Three of North Walsham’s Hippos will be on stage during the exhibition: Horatio from North Walsham Junior School, Bubbles from Mundesley Junior School and Harriet from Wroxham Barns.


The photograph show Eileen Claverley Junior Farm Wroxham Barns Manager with Harriet.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Breakaway Networking

I have just joined Breakaway Networking - Norfolk independent business networking. It meets at Norwich Cathedral Refectory every Thursday morning at 7.30am for breakfast.
http://www.breakaway-networking.co.uk

Monday, 3 August 2009

Fairhaven Garden - the He Hews


I was at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden http://www.fairhavengarden.co.uk/ yesterday for the Green Festival and saw the He Hews - what a great band!
Here's a link to the Norwich Evening News report on the Green Festival.

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk:80/content/news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED03%20Aug%202009%2016%3A00%3A38%3A903

Friday, 31 July 2009

Simon Garnier Retires


I went to Simon Garnier's retirement do at Friary Hills, Blakeney on the North Norfolk Coast today. I cannot believe he worked for The National Trust as a land agent and area manager for 30 years. How time flies!


Photo of Simon making his farewell speech.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Norfolk Open Churches Week August 1 to 9


It's Norfolk Open Churches Week, August 1 to August 9, http://www.norwich.anglican.org/visiting/openchurches/ .


St Mary’s Fishley (photograph), an isolated Saxon Church across the fields from Acle, will be staging a Flower Festival, co-ordinated by Church Warden Chloe Ecclestone, running throughout Open Churches Week (daily 10am to 4pm). The Flower Festival theme is ‘Weddings’ – each of the displays will mark a wedding anniversary e.g. ruby and golden. There were only 17 wedding ceremonies at Fishley between 1860 and 2006 (the wedding register dates from 1835). But in the last three years there have been seven weddings plus a blessing and a christening.


"We are actively encouraging weddings at the church," said Church Warden, Ivan Barnard. "We have had more in the last three years than in the previous 50. We are also very keen on Open Churches Week. Fishley is a beautiful Saxon Church, but very isolated. Last year we had 293 visitors during the week and raised £400 through donations. We are looking forward to an even busier week this August."

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Fairhaven's 10th Green Festival


It's Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden's 10th annual Green Festival on Sunday 2 August.

The garden is a beautiful slice of the Norfolk Broads and well worth a visit at any time of year.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Baby Elephant Saves Christmas


I was at Wroxham Barns http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk/ last Friday for the early launch of a new Christmas book 'Baby Elephant saves Christmas' by Sarah Thomas. Wroxham Barns 'resident elephant', Cammy - pictured with Sarah, book and friend - inspired the story.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

World Music in Southburgh Norfolk


World Music in Southburgh Saturday, August 1, 4pm to 9pm

Anna Mudeka (pictured), Southburgh-based singer, dancer and drummer, who performs traditional and original Zimbabwean music, is organising a World Music day at her home in Southburgh (south of Dereham) on Saturday, August 1. The event will raise money for the Mudeka Education Project, supporting orphans at Rugare Primary School, Zimbabwe.

Live performances from 4pm to 9pm feature The Anna Mudeka Band, Jose Ferrera, Drumzkool and Jally Keba Susso. The event also includes Barry Jones Circus, Uncle Stash, DJ Wanda and Barnham Broom Youth Choir, plus Caribbean food for sale, stalls and a bar.

Tickets for World Music in Southburgh cost £8 for adults and £4 for children (over 5). Tel. 01362 822194, email info@tambai.org.uk. The event is being staged at Burton Manor Barns, Cranworth Road, Southburgh, IP25 7SU.


Workshops in African Drumming, Circus Skills and Cuban Drumming are also available between 12.30pm and 3.30pm, charge adult £4 and children (over 5) £3.

Celebrating Work Experience for Norfolk Students with Complex Needs


I was at Norfolk Ski Club, Trowse on Monday, July 13 at an celebration event to mark the completion of an 18-month project run by The Exchange (Norfolk Education Business Partnership) http://www.norfolk-exchange.org.uk/, introducing Norfolk students with complex needs to the world of work. The event was both inspirational and moving.


Students and staff from seven schools, Alderman Jackson, Kings Lynn, Chapel Road, Attleborough, Fred Nicholson, Dereham, Harford Manor, Norwich, John Grant Caister, Sheringham Woodfields and Sidestrand Hall near Cromer, presented their achievements and experiences over the last 18 months. The formal business was followed by a ‘tubing’ session on the Trowse ski slope (see photo of tubing).


The project, funded by the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) and co-ordinated by Laura Sides for The Exchange, provided the students with a series of work placements and experience days at businesses and local authorities throughout the county. These included catering with Pizza Express, John Lewis and the Rocket House Café, Cromer, visits to Lotus, Norwich Airport, Norwich Theatre Royal and Norwich City Football Club and working with Haven Holidays, B&Q, The Range, Future Radio and King’s Lynn Borough Open Spaces team.


Tom O’Connor, Chief Executive, The Exchange explained: "Laura Sides, our project manager, worked with the schools, introducing them to businesses and helping them arrange all manner of placements and visits. I would like to thank the employers that supported our scheme. But we need many more to come forward and give complex needs students the chance to experience the world of work. As well as being of great benefit to the students, staff also develop new skills and find it very rewarding as they help the students learn and develop."


Steve Pond, Pizza Express, St Benedicts Norwich said: "It is a pleasure working with the students. Their enthusiasm and energy is so infectious. It is also beneficial for the business to be seen to be taking an active role in the community. It has raised awareness of social diversity amongst staff at the restaurant."


Michelle Howe teacher at John Grant School Caister said: "The Exchange project has really helped our students get prepared for the work environment. We had very successful placements at B&Q and Haven. The Haven placement has developed into an extended gardening work experience. Bringing all the schools together at the end of the project to share ideas has been a wonderful way to end the project. Our students really enjoyed the chance to go ‘tubing’ at Trowse."


Feedback from parents
"The way The Exchange, the employer and the school all worked together to co-ordinate the support for him was fantastic. He has enjoyed every single minute, and I really feel now that he has a place in the world of work, which is something I was unsure of before."
"More funding should go into inclusion related projects. There is only so much the schools can do and offer, therefore it is important for other agencies to be involved in creating more opportunities for these young people as they will not be in school forever."
"The project has shown that our children need to have more community based activities, it helps them to integrate and feel more of part of their community."

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

LeGrice Field of Cloth of Gold


Went to Wroxham Barns http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk/ last Friday to do a photo of part of LeGrice Roses display for Hampton Court Flower Show. The show is marking the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII coronation. LeGrice went for a Field of Cloth of Gold theme and won a sliver gilt award.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Great Yarmouth Beach Wheelchair Racing Championship Final


I was at Great Yarmouth on Monday 15 June for the final of the Beach Wheelchair Racing Championship featuring Centre 81 members and carers http://www.centre81.co.uk/. Great fun for all involved. Photographer: Mike Harrington

American Travel Writers in Norwich


Eight American travel writers on a VisitBritain press trip went to The Maids Head http://www.foliohotels.com/maidshead/ for afternoon tea on Friday 12 June. I took this photograph of the group with The Lord Mayor of Norwich Councillor Eve Collishaw.

Welborne Arts Festival 13 and 14 June


Welborne Arts Festival was a great success with more than 1000 people visiting over the weekend. This really is one of the loveliest event locations in Norfolk. The photograph shows Alex Loughry performing outside the church. http://www.welborne.org.uk/.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Great Yarmouth Beach Wheelchair Racing Championship

Another inspirational activity

Final – Great Yarmouth Inaugural Beach Wheelchair Racing Championship
Monday 15 June at 2.30pm

Great Yarmouth beach behind the Marina Centre
The beach wheelchair racing championship has been organised by Great Yarmouth Tourism with Centre 81, a day centre for people aged 18 and over in Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas who have a physical or sensory disability.

Five Centre 81 members will compete in the final following heats staged on June 1 and June 8.
The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Tony Smith and Mayoress Mrs Sara Smith will start the race at 2.30pm and will present a trophy to the winner and medals to all finalists.

Centre 81 http://www.centre81.co.uk

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

De Vere Dunston Hall Greenkeeper Top East of England Apprentice


I sent out this story today - very inspiring.


Craig Welford (23) from Great Yarmouth, Greenkeeper at De Vere Dunston Hall, near Norwich is the East of England’s Apprentice of the Year. He received the accolade at Bright Sparks 09, the annual Apprenticeship Awards event organised by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Craig automatically goes forward to the national judging process. National winners will be announced on Thursday 16 July.

Craig Welford, who has worked at Dunston Hall for three years said: "I had no GCSEs and was lacking in confidence when I managed to get a summer job at Dunston Hall, travelling by public transport from Great Yarmouth. I put my heart and soul into the job and was really pleased to be taken on as a trainee to do NVQ2 in Greenkeeping. It is fantastic to receive the LSC award, a great boost to my plans, as I begin to study NVQ3. My ultimate ambition is to become a Head Greenkeeper."




Photograph: Craig Welford receives his Bright Sparks Award from Caroline Neville, East of England Regional Director, Learning and Skills Council.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Welborne Arts Festival 13 and 14 June


I have been working on Welborne Arts Festival http://www.welborne.org.uk/. This festival in and around the 11th century church and neighbouring village hall, must be one of the most beautiful locations in Norfolk.


This year's theme is The World Around Us featuring a packed programme of top quality visual art, music, literature, performance and children’s activities, which unfolds with the help of Town Crier Tony Nelson (on loan from Sheringham).


Anna Mudeka will be running drumming workshops on both days. I took this photo of Anna, outside the church, on Friday.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Foreign Press Association Paine and Lincoln


We had a Foreign Press Association trip to Norfolk on 12 and 13 May to explore the county's links with Thomas Paine (born in Thetford) http://www.tompaine.org.uk/ and President Abraham Lincoln whose forebears came from Swanton Morely and Hingham.


The photograph shows the group at Hingham Church where we found out about the village's Lincoln Festival to be staged in July.

British Minigolf English Open 10 May - Results




Nick Chitty from Hornsey, north London won the BMGA English Open with a total of 95 in the three rounds played. He set a new course record of 29 with his first round. Chris Harding from Birmingham came second with 97.

Adam Kelly from Cambridge won the special Wroxham Barns trophy for the best local golfer with a score of 113. Our resident sculptor Sue Windley created the trophy. Adam also picked up the best novice award. The prize for the most number of holes in one went to Chris Harding’s son Matthew with 16.

Photographs: Nick Chitty & Sue Windley with Adam Kelly

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Voicing Visions - Eighty Leading Norwich Artists and Poets Combine


Norwich Twenty Group’s (N20G) spring exhibition, Voicing Visions, Artists and Poets Collaborate, is a unique and ambitious fusion of Norfolk art and poetry. The exhibition at St Margaret’s Church, St Benedicts Street, Norwich runs from Monday, May 11 to Saturday, May 23, 10am to 6pm daily, free admission.


More than 40 N20G members – painters, sculptors and print makers – have been twinned with local poets, who have written poems inspired by the works of art. Nearly 100 collaborations will be on display at St Margaret’s.


N20G is publishing an accompanying Voicing Visions book, featuring photographs of the artists’ work set alongside their ‘twins’’ poems. The book includes a DVD of the poems read by the poets. The DVD shows an image of each accompanying painting, sculpture or print, as the viewer listens to the poetry on their computer.


The recorded poetry will also be put on MP3 players, to give visitors to the exhibition the option of listening to the poetry as they contemplate the art.


David Holgate, Chairman N20G said: "Voicing Visions is a joyous celebration of the arts. It is very exciting to see another artist’s response to your work. My ‘twin’, Bill Jervis wrote
The Hand, after seeing my sculpture of Mother Julian of Norwich. Bill’s evocative and thoughtful poem reflects on the transience of life and the eternal nature of sculpture."


The piece will endure, linger long time
Connecting our living to eternity

from The Hand, Bill Jervis



"I would like to thank Norwich New Writing Partnership and University of East Anglia, Creative Writing course for their help in securing poetry ‘twins’ for our artists, " added David Holgate. "I would also like to thank the artists and poets for their enthusiasm in bringing this fabulous series of collaborations to life."


David Holgate’s sculpture of Mother Julian (photograph shown) is set in a niche on the west front of Norwich Cathedral. The niche had been empty for 600 years, until he was commissioned to carve Mother Julian as a Millennium project.

Wells Poetry Festival - Poetry-next-the-sea May 8 to 10

Poetry-next-the-Sea is running a packed programme of poetry performances and workshops and art exhibitions for its annual festival in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk, Friday, May 8 to Sunday, May 10, www.poetry-next-the-sea.com.

Celebrated author, Louis de Bernières, will be introducing and reading some of his favourite poems and Dame Gillian Beer will explain why we cannot do without rhyme.
There will be sessions with East Anglian poets Dean Parkin and Andrea Porter and young Cambridge poets, Ian Cartland, Benjamin Morris and Helen Mort.

Fleur Adcock and Hugo Williams, both winners of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, will be in town, as will Michael Symmons Roberts, poet, dramatist and novelist, and Annie Freud, daughter of Lucian Freud, and a popular live poetry performer. On Sunday morning Meirion Jordan, Kelly Kanayama and Ben Parker, winners of the Norwich Café Writers commission, will read their winning poems.

In a change to the programme, composer Anthony Powers and local writer and poet Irene Noel-Baker will combine with Michael Chance (alto) and James Boyd (guitar) in Lyric Poetry: Where Words and Music Meet at The Maltings, 7pm on Sunday, May 10.

Anthony Powers and Irene Noel-Baker will discuss Mr Powers’ settings of poetry by Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney and Lawrence Durrell, as well as their own collaboration, the song cycle Changing the Story. They will talk about the link between poetry and song – rhyme, rhythm, imagery and phrasing. The evening will feature both words and music to illustrate the discussion.

The festival also includes a series of voice, poetry and art workshops, plus
one-to-one sessions with poet Andrea Porter, and an exhibition of work by festival artist, Gillian Crossley-Holland and sculptor, Graham High.

The winners of Poetry-next-the-Sea’s second open competition will be announced at an Open Floor event at 1 pm on Sunday, May 10, a session at which all local poets are invited to read their work.

Full details of all events and activities are at www.poetry-next-the-sea.com. Brochures can be picked up in local libraries. For further information and ticket bookings contact Susan Marshall tel. 01328 711813, suzy948@btinternet.com. Festival season tickets, for all events except workshops are £36.

Wroxham Barns Trophy Minigolf English Open


Sue Windley, resident sculptor at Wroxham Barns http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk/ has produced a special trophy for the best local golfer at the Minigolf English Open, to be staged at Wroxham Barns on Sunday, May 10. I am competing, but do not think that I will be troubling the scorers!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

De Vere Dunston Hall Launches 150 Club


De Vere Dunston Hall, Norwich, has launched an exciting new club for conference and accommodation bookers.


Limited to 150 businesses, club members will be treated to quarterly events at the hotel. Each member will receive a card, which offers discounts for up to nine people in Dunston Hall’s restaurants and bars. In addition, every time members book meetings, conferences or accommodation, they will be credited with points that can redeemed against, golf lessons, Virgin Balloon flights, leisure membership and meals at the hotel.


Paul Hannam, Sales and Marketing Director, De Vere Dunston Hall said: "We have some very loyal customers and Dunston Hall. With our new 150 club, we are aiming to develop even closer links with our customers, but also create new relationships with the wider business community in Norwich and Norfolk."


"We launched the 150 club with a special casino evening at Dunston Hall, attended by 90 customers and industry colleagues. This is just the sort of special event we will run for the 150 club, but will be guided by our members," added Paul Hannam.
For information about Dunston Hall 150 Club contact Paul Hannam, tel. 01508 470444, email dhreception@devere-hotels.com, http://www.devere-hotels.com/our-hotels/dunston-hall/the-hotel

Friday, 24 April 2009

Wroxham Barns Wins Silver Award England for Excellence 23 April


Wroxham Barns http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk won a silver award in the Outstanding Customer Service category at this year's national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, staged at the National Railway Museum, York on 23 April.


Ian Russell, Director Wroxham Barns (centre) is pictured with Lady Cobham Deputy Chair of VisitBritain, and Michael McIntyre (awards host) - photograph Graham Jepson.


East of England Tourism’s Chairman, Dr Derek Langslow commented: "These awards are the highest accolades that the tourism industry can win. We are delighted that the excellence of the region has been recognised and our warmest congratulations go to our silver award winners."

Poetry-next-the-sea May 8 to 10, 2009

Poetry-next-the-Sea is running a packed programme of poetry performances and workshops and art exhibitions for its annual festival in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk, Friday, May 8 to Sunday, May 10, http://www.poetry-next-the-sea.com

Celebrated author, Louis de Bernières, will be introducing and reading some of his favourite poems and Dame Gillian Beer will explain why we cannot do without rhyme.
There will be sessions with East Anglian poets Dean Parkin and Andrea Porter and young Cambridge poets, Ian Cartland, Benjamin Morris and Helen Mort.

Fleur Adcock and Hugo Williams, both winners of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, will be in town, as will Michael Symmons Roberts, poet, dramatist and novelist, and Annie Freud, daughter of Lucian Freud, and a popular live poetry performer. On Sunday morning Meirion Jordan, Kelly Kanayama and Ben Parker, winners of the Norwich Café Writers commission, will read their winning poems.

Composer Anthony Powers and local writer and poet Irene Noel-Baker will combine with Michael Chance (alto) and James Boyd (guitar) in Lyric Poetry: Where Words and Music Meet

Anthony Powers and Irene Noel-Baker will discuss Mr Powers’ settings of poetry by Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney and Lawrence Durrell, as well as their own collaboration, the song cycle Changing the Story. They will talk about the link between poetry and song – rhyme, rhythm, imagery and phrasing. The evening will feature both words and music to illustrate the discussion.

The festival also includes a series of voice, poetry and art workshops, plus
one-to-one sessions with poet Andrea Porter, and an exhibition of work by festival artist, Gillian Crossley-Holland and sculptor, Graham High.

The winners of Poetry-next-the-Sea’s second open competition will be announced at an Open Floor event at 1 pm on Sunday, May 10, a session at which all local poets are invited to read their work.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Wroxham Barns Hosts Minigolf English Open


Wroxham Barns’ 18-hole adventure minigolf course, which opened last August, has been selected to host the British Minigolf Association’s (BMGA) English Open on Sunday, May 10. Play starts at 11am with the tournament comprising three rounds of minigolf. This is the first BMGA English Open to be staged in Norfolk.


The top British minigolfers will be visiting Wroxham Barns to compete in the Open. But local golfers are also very welcome to take part. A special Wroxham Barns trophy, being created by resident sculptor Sue Windley, will be presented to the top local golfer. There will also be prizes for first, second and third.


Th entry fee is £15, minimum age 14. Entry forms can be downloaded from the BMGA’s website, http://www.minigolf.org.uk/, or picked up at Wroxham Barns, http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Bevin Boys National Reunion - Maids Head Hotel Norwich

Fifty former Bevin Boys (aged 82 to 84), representing 50 collieries, plus 36 partners and wives, are in Norwich from 17 to 20 April for the Bevin Boys Association national reunion, based at The Maids Head Hotel http://www.foliohotels.co.uk/maidshead.

Bevin Boys are named after Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour during World War II. He introduced conscription into the mines due to labour shortages in late 1943. Ten per cent of male conscripts aged between 18 and 25 were selected by ballot to work in the mines (48,000 in total). They were given no formal recognition for their work at the end of the war.

The Bevin Boys Association was founded in 1989 and campaigned for recognition. This was granted in 2008 when 25 former Bevin Boys attended a reception at 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister, to mark the launch of the Bevin Boys Veterans Badge. Former Bevin Boys include Jimmy Saville and the actor Brian Rix.

More background at http://www.culture24.org.uk/am28467.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Wroxham Barns Uncle Stuart's Brewery


I was at Wroxham Barns on Sunday to take photographs to celebrate the launch of Uncle Stuart's Brewery at the barns and the first batch of the brewery's Wroxham Barns Bitter http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

RSA Annual Dinner Christ's College Cambridge


I am Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts East of England http://www.thersa.org/. We held our annual dinner last night in the atmospheric setting of Christ's College, Cambridge http://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/. Christ's is at the heart of the Darwin 200 celebrations. Charles Darwin was a student at the college in the late 1820s. We were shown a magnificent collection of Darwin memorabilia in the old Library and visited his old room which has been decorated and furnished in the style of the 1820s. The candlelit dinner in the Hall was followed by a talk from Dr David Norman, a fellow of Christ's who is also Director of the Sedgwick Museum http://www.sedgwickmuseum.org/ - home of Darwin's rocks collected on the Beagle voyage. David covered Darwin's influences in Cambridge before talking about his own expedition to the Galapagos Islands and the new Charles Darwin and Galapagos Islands Fund, which is intended to promote scholarship linked to present-day aspects of Darwin's original work.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

De Vere Dunston Hall Golf Course


All 18 greens are fully back in operation at De Vere Dunston Hall golf course near Norwich http://www.devere-hotels.com/our-hotels/dunston-hall/golf. Every green was allegedly destroyed by vandals in July 2007. Now back in tip top condition, an Easter Bunny turned up at the course today to celebrate the start of the new season.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Parliament Square 24 March


I worked behind the scenes on a British Tourism week event in Parliament Square. Ian Russell and Janet Sharp from Wroxham Barns http://www.wroxhambarns.co.uk/ delivered a Wroxham Barns tea to their constituency MP, Norman Lamb.

Wymondham Station 24 March


Tuesday 24 March was the 21st anniversary of David Turner taking on the lease of Wymondham Station http://www.wymondham-station.com/. I joined more than 100 people at a special reception at which Michael Timewell, Chairman Norfolk Tourism, http://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/ and Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman South Norfolk Council http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/ presented David with a plaque to mark 21 years service to tourism in Norfolk.

CoastHopper Bus 23 March


On Monday I was at County Hall for a Norfolk Tourism http://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/ photo session in advance of O.S. Outdoors Show at NEC Birmingham (27 to 29 March). The photo shows a canoe being 'loaded' onto a new CoastHopper bus http://www.coasthopper.co.uk/.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Sunset at Snettisham

Earlier this week I looked after three journalists visiting some of Norfolk's
most important bird watching locations - part of my role working for
Norfolk Tourism www.visitnorfolk.co.uk.

We witnessed the RSPB Snettisham www.rspb.org.uk/reserves wader spectacular - thousands of waders roosting in a lagoon close to The Wash, pushed there by the high tide. It was a truly memorable experience and we were lucky to be treated to a wonderful sunset over The Wash.

We also explored The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's Welney Nature Reserve www.wwt.org.uk/welney, a magical location on the Ouse Washes and Pensthorpe Nature Reserve www.pensthorpe.com, the current home of BBC Springwatch. The landrover Wensum Discovery Tour was superb and is the best way to get behind the scenes of these beautiful reserve

Thursday, 5 March 2009

My Tenth Anniversary

I have been working as a freelance PR consultant and writer for 10 years. So to mark the anniversary I am finally going to start blogging and write updates about my working life and other interests.

This blog is in addition to http://miracleinkigali.blogspot.com/ which is about Miracle in Kigali, the book that I helped Illuminee Nganemariya write about her survival during the Rwandan Genocide and subsequent life in Norwich, UK.