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,

Friday, 24 April 2009

Wroxham Barns Wins Silver Award England for Excellence 23 April

Wroxham Barns 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,

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,, or picked up at Wroxham Barns,

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

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

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

Saturday, 4 April 2009

RSA Annual Dinner Christ's College Cambridge

I am Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts East of England We held our annual dinner last night in the atmospheric setting of Christ's College, Cambridge 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 - 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 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.