Sunday, 23 May 2010

Stay a Little Longer in Wroxham

Keith Brown Chief Executive East of England Tourism (EET) (left) is pictured at Wroxham Barns with Ian Russell on 20 May at the launch of the Stay a Little Longer guides to Wroxham, Loddon and Somerleyton.

Download a copy of the Wroxham Guide from

The leaflets are the first batch of a series of 50 Stay a Little Longer guides to rural areas in the East of England produced by EET, as part of their Sustainable Tourism East project, supported under the Rural Development Programme for England by the East of England Development Agency, Defra and the EU.

Geoffrey Lefever – Journeys Exhibition – Stew Gallery, Norwich

Marsham-based artist Geoffrey Lefever, a long-term member of the Norwich 20 Group, is staging a one-man show, Journeys, featuring his work from the last decade at The Stew Gallery, Fishergate, Norwich. The show runs from Thursday, June 3 to Tuesday, June 15, 10am to 6pm daily, free admission.

A visit to Nepal in 2002 energised Geoffrey’s abstract painting practice and much of the work in the show is influenced by this visit.

Geoffrey Lefever explains: “My exposure to Himalayan culture had a very significant effect on me and resulted in an enriched output of work. My experience was outside anything that I had previously known. My paintings were much influenced by ‘marni’ imagery, Tibetan script seen in rock carvings and stone tablets throughout the Khumbu valleys.”

But the show also features works completed in a small hamlet in France, influenced by the heat and silence and by contrast in Norfolk informed by… “the sounds, smells and winds off the sea.”

A civil engineer, Geoffrey Lefever has combined a long career, dating back to the 1950s, with his development as a painter and a photographer. He has lived in Norfolk since 1963 and became a member of the Norwich 20 Group in 1965. Geoffrey studied painting at Norwich School of Art in the early 1980s and completed an MA in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in 2004. His spell at Nottingham Trent coincided with his daughter Jane studying for a BA in Fine Art.

Geoffrey is also an experienced glider pilot and the special view of the world gained from the glider cockpit is another influence on his art.

His friend Derek Morris, a fellow member of the Norwich 20 Group and a past President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors says: “These serious and mysterious paintings demand a great deal of looking, but this effort will be repaid handsomely by meaning and understanding leaching slowly into one’s consciousness. This is a kind of painting one can return to over and over again and still find rewards every time.”

Geoffrey Lefever will also be exhibiting at Norfolk Contemporary Art 2010 at The Forum, Norwich from June 30 to July 21.

For more information about Geoffrey Lefever see,
tel. 01263 735051. For more information about The Stew Gallery see

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bank Holiday Vintage Bus Shuttle Connects Wroxham Attractions

Sidelines Coaches is running a shuttle service on Bank Holiday Monday, May 31, with its 1959 vintage Bedford bus, connecting Bure Valley Railway, Broads Tours and Wroxham Barns.

The bus will meet most Bure Valley Railway arrivals from Aylsham, and will leave the Wroxham station at 1055, 1225, 1335, 1430,1520 and 1625. Return journeys will arrive at Bure Valley Railway at 1155, 1325,1425,1515, 1615 and 1715. Single fairs only available, Broads Tours 50p and Wroxham Barns £1 (same charge for return journeys). Children under five travel free, no dogs except for guide dogs. Visitors arriving at Wroxham Barns with a Sidelines ticket will be given discounted admission to Junior Farm.

The 40-seater Bedford Duple SB3, built in 1959, was in regular passenger service until 1988, finishing its working life in Cambridgeshire. Bought by Jon and Lyn Moore of Sidelines Coaches in 2003 and fully restored, the Bedford bus is regularly used for excursions and private hires including weddings and family parties.

Sidelines Coaches Vintage Shuttle Bus Full Timetable
Bure Valley Railway 1055 1225 1335 1430 1520 1625
Village Centre (McDonalds) 1100 1230 1340 - 1525 1630
Broads Tours 1105 1235 1345 - 1530 1635
Village Centre (Roys) 1110 1240 1350 1435 1535 1640
Wroxham Barns, arrive 1120 1250 1400 1445 1545 1650

Wroxham Barns (depart) 1135 1305 1405 1455 1555 1655
Village Centre (McDonalds) 1145 1315 1415 1505 1605 1705
Broads Tours 1150 1320 1420 1510 1610 1710
Bure Valley Railway 1155 1325 1425 1515 1615 1715

To contact Sidelines Coaches tel. 01508 531323,
Photograph left to right: Jon and Lyn Moore with Ian Russell, Wroxham Barns

Wroxham Barns Hosts British Minigolf Championships – June 5 and 6

Wroxham Barns’ 18-hole minigolf course has been selected to host its first Major, the British Minigolf Association’s (BMGA) British Championships on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6. Play starts at 3pm on June 5, with the tournament comprising five rounds of minigolf.

The British Championships follows last year’s English Open, staged at Wroxham Barns, when Nick Chitty from Hornsey, won the competition with a total of 95 in the three rounds played, setting the course record of 29 with his first round.

The top British minigolfers will be visiting Wroxham Barns to compete to be British Champion along with the British Junior, Women and Seniors titles. Local golfers are also very welcome to take part. A special Wroxham Barns trophy, created by resident sculptor Sue Windley, will be presented to the top East Anglian golfer.

The entry fee is £25 adults and £10 juniors (minimum age 14). Entry forms can be downloaded from the BMGA’s website, or call 07910 243841.

Ian Russell, Director Wroxham Barns said: “We are very pleased to be hosting our first minigolf Major at Wroxham Barns. We enjoyed hosting the English Open last year when the course record of 29 was set. The golf course is proving to be a real hit with visitors. It is great fun, but is also very challenging.”

Sean Homer Chairman BMGA said: “I am delighted that we are returning to Wroxham Barns following the success of last May’s English Open. All of the players who entered were full of praise for the course, the surroundings and the welcome we received from the team who run the Barns.”

“The British Championships is our first Major of the year and it is the first time that a BMGA Major has been hosted in Norfolk,” added Sean Homer. “We will see some outstanding minigolf across the weekend. The course provides a great challenge for all the players, with a number of highly original holes, which are quite unique when compared to other courses that have hosted Majors in recent years. Given the quality of the players who will be competing in the event, I am sure that a new course record will be set.”

Wroxham Barns, http;//, tel. 01603 783762 is open daily 10am to 5pm, 10 miles from Norwich, take A1151 to Wroxham then follow brown and white tourist signs for 1.5miles on the Tunstead road. Free parking.

The British Minigolf Association is the UK’s governing body for minigolf sport, including crazy golf and adventure golf. The British Minigolf Association is the United Kingdom member of the European Minigolf Federation and the World Minigolf Federation,

Winners Announced – Poetry-next-the-Sea Open Poetry Competition

Tony Holmes (89) and Alasdair Monney (13) are the winners of the 2010 Poetry-next-the-Sea Open Poetry Competition supported by Norfolk Community Foundation. More than 100 poems were entered into the competition.

Tony Holmes from Great Ryburgh won the adult category with Sheringham Beach. Mr Holmes a former Regional Manager for Midland Bank in Norwich last entered a poetry competition 60 years ago, when he won a recital event in Leicester with Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold.

“I have written poetry all my life for my own amusement,” explained Tony Holmes. “I had a particularly productive winter due to the bad weather and decided to enter Sheringham Beach. I am really pleased to have won the competition 60 years on from my first triumph!”

Alasdair Monney from Alderman Peel High School in Wells won the student category (11-16) with his poem The Berries. “Our teacher Mr Youngman encouraged us to enter the competition. It is great to have won. I will definitely write more poetry.”

Mike Bannister, Chair of Café Poets Halesworth and president of the Suffolk Poetry Society was the judge for the second year running.

Mike Bannister said: “The house of poetry has many windows. Reading these 115 poems posted by 47 Norfolk poets, it becomes clear, in terms of sheer variety of theme and ingenuity, that the Muse herself is alive and well and living in Norfolk.”

Commenting on Tony Holmes’ Sheringham Beach, Mike Bannister said: “This well-modulated English or Shakespearean sonnet achieves, in its open simplicity, a sense of the enduring tranquillity of the Norfolk landscape. The poet uses colloquial phrases in order to anchor the scene in day-to-day reality, and then proceeds to heighten this effect with such lovely phrases as ‘the moonstruck tide’ and ‘grey-green acquatints’. It is a poem that earns its place as ‘Poetry-next-the-Sea’.

Discussing Alasdair Monney’s The Berries, Mike Bannister said: “This haunting poem demonstrates the writer’s capacity for intense concentration on his subject. Keen observation was the basis for Alasdair’s flight of fancy, as he developed a portentous sense of the turning seasons. I liked the poet’s ‘ear’ for words, his internal rhyming and the sense of rhythm. A fine young poem.”

Photograph left to right – Alasdair Monney, Mike Bannister and Tony Holmes.