Thursday, 21 June 2012

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden – Summer Music in the Glade 2012

Taverham Brass Band returns to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, Norfolk, on Sunday July 1, to launch the garden’s Summer Music in the Glade season with a selection of classic hits and songs from the shows. This open-air concert is from 2pm to 4pm. Normal admission charges apply, adult £5.50, concessions £5 and child £3, under five free. There is no additional charge for summer music events.

Fairhaven Music in the Glade programme
All events are from 2pm to 4pm.

Sunday, July 1, Taverham Brass Band

Sunday, July 8, Sutton Jazz Quartet

Sunday, July 15, Norwich Accordion Club Band

Sunday, July 22, John Brown singer/songwriter

Sunday, July 29, The Castaways

Sunday, August 5, Norfolk Reeds Clarinet Quartet

Sunday, August 12, The Classic Dixieland Trio

Sunday, August 19, Great Yarmouth Brass

Sunday, August 26, The He Hews

Sunday, September 2, Any Swing Goes

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction,, tel. 01603 270449.

There is wheelchair throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden. Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance; mobility scooters available. Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

The garden is open daily all year (closed Christmas Day) 10am to 5pm, also open Wednesday until 9pm to the end of August; entry charges are adult £5.50, senior citizen £5 and child £3 (under five free). Free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Theatre at Fairhaven – The Importance of Being Earnest

The Pantaloons are staging Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham on Friday, June 29 at 7pm (gates open at 6.30pm). Tickets for this open-air production are £9 adult and £5 child in advance, from Fairhaven Garden tel. 01603 270449, or £12 adult and £8 child on the gate.

Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece gets The Pantaloons treatment in this anarchic take on the classic comedy of manners,

Bring seats and rugs and picnics - refreshments available.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction,

Wymondham Music Festival Fortnight Norfolk – Saturday, June 23 to Sunday, July 8

Demon Barber Roadshow

The 17th annual Wymondham Music Festival Fortnight, Norfolk, June 23 to July 8, featuring 43 events, many of them free, kicks off with the combined jazz bands from Wymondham High and the Jazz Band of the Gymnasium Waldstrasse Hattingen in Wymondham Market Place at 10am on Saturday, June 23.

The first evening concert on June 23 features O Duo’s percussion extravaganza, 7.30pm at Wymondham Abbey. This is followed by the popular annual Midsummer Jazz Picnic with the DixieMix Band at Becketswell on Monday, June 25 (6pm - 9pm).

Concerts and events that follow feature Americana, classical, folk, world, jazz, swing, disco, funk, soul and early music in a range of venues across the town.

There’s the BBC Folk Awards 2009 Best Live Act winner, The Demon Barber Roadshow, with its high-energy mix of music and dance, as recommended by Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2, ‘The Demon Barbers are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, If you get a chance to see them – don’t miss it, they are brilliant.’

Jazz pianist Craig Milverton pays homage to 16 of the great jazz pianists, Cuarteto Guarachando present an evening of Afro Cuban music, son and salsa and Norwich’s Claire Barker Band bring in the disco, funk and soul.

There’s also The Kickstart Sessions, performances from young bands at Ketts Park Centre on Saturday, June 30 from 11am to 5pm, presented in association with SNYA Radio and Woodshack Rehearsal Studios.

Tickets for all concerts and workshops are on sale at the Book Fountain Wymondham, or email, tel 01953 601939. See for full Festival Fortnight programme details.

Festival Fortnight highlights

Wymondham Abbey:

O Duo, June 23 at 7.30pm – Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox, with their percussion extravaganza, a mix of popular classics and contemporary music played on marimbas, vibraphone and huge array of percussion.

 Eclipse, An Apple For My Love, June 27 at 7.30pm, music, songs, dance and legends of the British Isles including Irish jigs, English folk songs, Celtic legends, baroque grounds and Purcell songs – Joy Smith (harp), Layil Barr (recorder), Steven Player (dance) and Thomas Hobbs (tenor).

A Little Bit of Gershwin, June 28 at 7.30pm, Karen Harries (mezzo soprano) and Will Fergusson (piano), music from George and Ira Gershwin and their contemporaries.

Cuillin Sound, June 30 at 7.30pm, featuring Lynda Coffin (flute). Sarah Watts (clarinet) and Laurence Perkins (bassoon).

Explorers and Enchanters, July 1 at 8pm, Laura Cannell (recorders) and Carolyn Gibley (piano), 20th century music arranged for recorder and piano.

Wymondham Young Musicians’ Concert, July 2 at 7pm.

Jazz Piano Legends, July 5 at 7.30pm, Craig Milverton, UK Jazz Pianist of the Year 2010, pays homage to 16 great jazz pianists of the last 100 years.

Lunchtime recitals at 1.10pm on June 29 (Annabella Ellis 2012 Norfolk Young Musician), July 2 (music for two organs David Morgan and Anne Duarte), July 3 (The Clarinet Connection), July 4 (David Dunnett organ with American choir Musica Missouri – Independence Day special) and July 5 (Love found, Love lost – Tom Elliott baritone and Julian Haggett piano).

Wymondham Central Hall

Claire Barker Band, June 29 at 8pm – Norwich based disco, funk and soul.

Skyliner Band, July 4 at 8pm – 1940s dance with this nine piece band specialising in the big band music of the 1940s.

Cuarteto Guarachando, July 6 at 8pm, son, salsa and Afro Cuban music, Adriana Lord (vocals), Luke Rattenbury (guitar), Eddie Myer (bass and Juan Carlos Paez (drums).

The Demon Barber Roadshow, July 7 at 8pm, winner of the Best Live Act, BBC Folk Awards 2009, a high-energy mix of song, dance and musical surprise.

Open-air Events

Wymondham High Jazz Bands, June 23, 10am to 12noon, Market Place

Midsummer Jazz Picnic at Becketswell, June 25, 6pm to 9pm, featuring Dixie Mix Jazz Band

Brother Pit, acoustic American music, June 30, 10am to 12noon, Market Place

Teddy Bears’ Picnic, July 1, 11am to 1pm, at King’s Head Meadow with live music and storytelling for young families.

Ben Grizzly and the Loose Leaf Drifters’ country style, July 7, 10am to 12noon, Market Place.

Festival lecture-recital

The Lute in England through Art and Music, with David Van Edwards and Peter Trent, Tuesday, July 3 at 7.30pm, Fairland Church Centre.

Festival Fortnight Finale Wymondham Baptist Church

Music for a Golden Queen, July 8 at 3pm, Hexachordia brings Festival Fortnight to a close with a feast of music popular at the court of Queen Elizabeth I.


Wymondham Songfest 2012, June 30, 9am – 5pm at the Green Dragon, write, perform and record a song in a day with Johnny Steinberg.

Woodwind workshop with Cuillin Sound June 30, 1pm – 3pm, Abbey Hall.

An hour of Morris, Rapper and Clog dance moves with The Demon Barber Roadshow, July 7, 5pm, Central Hall.

Full Festival programme details are at, tel. 01953 601939.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Follow the Swallow at Junior Farm Wroxham Barns

Wroxham Barns and the RSPB have joined forces to ‘Follow the Swallow’ at Junior Farm. A ‘Swallowcam’ has been installed in the farm’s goat barn to watch nesting swallows. Live footage of chicks that have now hatched is being screened to visitors in the small animals barn.

The birds stay at Junior Farm until the autumn, so there will be plenty of opportunities to watch the new brood grow.

The RSPB has developed special swallow activities, which will be run by the team at Junior Farm at weekends until the summer school holidays, when they will take place daily. There will also be monthly children’s swallow art competitions and the RSPB will be regular visitors during the summer.

Swallows are very agile small birds with dark, glossy-blue backs, red throats, pale undersides and long tail streamers. They are in the UK from March to October and migrate south in the winter. Female swallows sit on their eggs until they hatch. There are usually four or five chicks in each brood. Feeding them is a very busy job; five chicks can eat about 6,000 insects every day, so adult swallows can be seen flying around Junior Farm all day.

Ian Russell, Director Wroxham Barns said: “We are really pleased to be working closely with the RSPB at Junior Farm. We opened our hide three years ago to help visitors understand more about the birds on site and have had excellent support and advice from the RSPB. Our ‘Swallowcam’ will give both children and adults a greater appreciation of the natural world around them. It will also be fun watching the swallow chicks develop over the summer months.”

Joanne Hand, Regional Projects Manager RSPB said: “Follow the Swallow’ at Wroxham Barns is part of a busy programme of family activities being organised by the RSPB in the Broads this summer. We are bringing people and the wonderful broadland wildlife together wherever possible – both at our nature reserve at Strumpshaw Fen and in local communities and at Broads-based visitor attractions”.

Junior Farm is open daily 10am to 5pm; entry charge is £5.75 (under 2 free). Wroxham Barns,, tel. 01603 783762 is 10 miles from Norwich, take A1151 to Wroxham then follow brown and white tourist signs for 1.5miles on the Tunstead road. Free parking.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chamber Orchestra Anglia at Norwich Roman Catholic Cathedral, Friday June 22

Chamber Orchestra Anglia heads to Norwich Roman Catholic Cathedral for the eighth concert in the Norwich 12 series, in association with Norwich HEART, on Friday, June 22 at 7.30pm.

The programme features Bach’s Violin Concerto in E major, soloist Victoria Goldsmith and Mahler’s Symphony No.4 (chamber version), soprano Rachel Bowden. There will also be a poetry reading by Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient.

Tickets costing £15 (£5 under 16) are available from Norwich Theatre Royal box office, tel. 01603 630000, or online via

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Raveningham Gardens – Special June Rose Weeks

Raveningham Gardens near Hales will be open for two special rose weeks from Monday, June 18 to Friday, June 22, daily 11am to 4pm and Monday, June 25 to Friday, June 29, daily 11am to 4pm. The Edwardian Rose Garden was replanted in 2000 with repeat flowering roses and hybrid tea roses. Old varieties are displayed on the walls of the house.

Visitors can also explore the 18th century walled kitchen garden, Victorian glasshouses, arboretum and herb garden, enjoy contemporary sculpture throughout the gardens and the huge herbaceous borders. Also visit Raveningham’s 14th century church. Tea and cakes are on sale on sunny days.

Raveningham Gardens, Raveningham, NR14 6NS is open all Thursdays, 11am to 4pm, until the end of August. Admission: adult £4, concessions £3.50 and children under 16 free, tel. 01508 548152, .

Photograph: Julia's Rose

Geoffrey Lefever North Norfolk Artist’s 30-Year Retrospective at Salthouse Church

Marsham abstract artist Geoffrey Lefever is staging a 30-year retrospective exhibition, featuring 40 works, at St Nicholas Church, Salthouse north Norfolk from Saturday, June 16 to Sunday, July 1. Geoffrey Lefever Selected Works 1982-2012 will be open every day from 10am-5pm, free entry (opens at around 11am on Sundays after the church service).

For 20 years, Geoffrey Lefever was a painter of expressionist landscapes and industrial landscapes in oil, but confronting the equivalent of ‘writer’s block’ in the late 1970s, he embarked on a three-year degree in fine art at Norwich School of Art and Design (now NUCA), emerging as an abstract artist focussing on collage and mixed media work.

Geoffrey Lefever explains: “The three years at art school were at times painful, being confronted by ‘self’ every day. In my final year, my work evolved towards abstraction by means of collage. My degree show works are the earliest in this 30-year retrospective.”

In 2001, Geoffrey was inspired by his daughter Jane’s fine art degree course at Nottingham Trent University, to complete a two-year fine art MA there. “My final show at Nottingham comprised large abstract works on paper hung away from the wall surface. My work has continued to evolve in ways that I had not envisioned. While still totally abstract, at times it tends towards minimalism, but always with an emphasis on structure and the significance of materials such as hessian, ash and paper.”

“For the past 11 years the annual Salthouse exhibition has provided Norfolk with the very finest in regional art, each show developed by an invited curator,” said Geoffrey Lefever. “I have been privileged to show my work there. The location of the church is quite inspirational on a rise overlooking the salt marshes. The sheer magnificence of the building and the quality of light off the sea makes this a very special setting for art works. I can think of no better venue for my retrospective show.”

Geoffrey Lefever has been a member of Norwich 20 Group since the 1960s. He has exhibited with the group in Norwich’s twin cities, Koblenz, Novi Sad and Rouen. He is a member of the Union des Arts Plastiques in Rouen and exhibited with them this spring. Geoffrey was part of the Four Abstract Painters show at Mandells Gallery, Norwich earlier this year and also exhibited with Norwich 20 Group at The Forum and The Apex, Bury St Edmunds in May.

For more information about Geoffrey Lefever see

Photograph: Geoffrey Lefever in his studio

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden Annual Green Festival Sunday, June 24

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham is staging its annual Green Festival on Sunday, June 24, 10am to 5pm. An action-packed day of entertainment and fun environmental activities is on offer in this beautiful Broadland garden. Normal entry charges apply on the day: adult £5.50, concessions £5 and child £3 (under 5 free).

Meet Baloo the alpaca, the festival’s mascot and go on the alpaca amble with the Burnt Fen alpaca herd. Children will enjoy the yurt village play area in the woods with circus skills, Punch & Judy, recycled crafts and face painting. The Greenword Storytellers will be telling the tale of The Enchanted Sleep in Fairhaven’s new willow enclosure, all about a gardener and his struggle with brambles.

The Dixieland Jazz Trio provides the musical backdrop in the morning, with The He Hews and their brand of ska/skiffle in the afternoon. Craft demonstrators include pottery, willow hurdles, pole lathe turning, spinning, weaving and dyeing and bead making. There will also be craft stalls and ideas for green living.

The Nancy Oldfield Trust’s electric boat will be offering boat trips on the broad, alongside Fairhaven’s ‘Primrose’.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, tel. 01603 270449,

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including the Sensory Garden. Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance. Mobility scooters available. Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

The garden is open daily all year, 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), also open until 9pm on Wednesday and Thursday until the end of August. There is a tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, winner of Best Broads Holiday Experience and Best Visitor attraction under 50,000 visitors) EDP Tourism in Norfolk Awards 2011.

Photograph: The He Hews

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Mudeka Foundation – Musical Charity Launch Hay Hill Norwich June 16

The Mudeka Foundation, a new charity set up by Norfolk-based Zimbabwean musician Anna Mudeka, to help HIV orphans and disadvantaged children in the Harare area of Zimbabwe will be launched at Hay Hill, Norwich on Saturday, June 16, from 1pm to 3pm,

Two Norfolk groups, Dumisani African drummers and dancers and Broads Vocal Harmony will provide an African themed musical backdrop to the launch.

Anna Mudeka and her fellow Mudeka Foundation trustees will be on hand to talk about the aims of the charity and their trip to Zimbabwe in March, where they visited the schools and children that they support. Alex Dunlop, from BBC Look East, who is patron of the foundation, will also be present.

Anna Mudeka said: “My old primary school in Harare has 1500 students of whom a third are Aids orphans. They desperately need our help as only 70 of the orphans are supported by the State.”

“We also visited two secondary schools including Muda, a two-hour drive from Harare. The school is in a small building with no glass in the windows and no equipment – just four benches. Of the 35 students only five have two parents. We are keen to develop a project to equip this school, as well as provide financial support for the students to pay their school fees and buy a school uniform.”

Anna Mudeka’s annual Southburgh World Music Festival on Saturday 28 July, featuring music from Brazil, Eastern Europe, Senegal, Zimbabwe and the UK will be raising money for the charity. Anna is also planning a sponsored walk along the Norfolk Coast Path between 23 and 27 August. If you would like to take part you can apply for a sponsor form at

For more information about The Mudeka Foundation and Southburgh World Music Festival tel. 01362 822194.