Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Light Fantastic Photography Exhibition at Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads

Visitors to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, Norfolk Broads, can view the finalists in the garden’s ‘Light Fantastic’ photography competition on display in the tearoom until Friday, January 11, when the winners of the adult and under 12 categories will be announced. All photographs entered in the competition were taken at Fairhaven. The garden is open every day over the Christmas period, but is closed on Christmas Day.

Photograph by David Balcombe, adult finalist

Wildlife photographer, Peter Mallett who headed the judging panel, which chose a shortlist of eight adult entries and three under 12 entries, said: “The judges were particularly impressed with the way photographers had thought about the theme when composing their entries. This was particularly evident in some of the under 12 photographs.”

The winners’ prizes will be:

Adult – a Kata press reporter bag from Wex Photographic, a print of the winning photograph framed by Peter Mallett, plus a year’s Fairhaven Garden family membership. The photograph will also feature on the cover of the local Village Book.

Under 12 – an Olympus VG-130 compact Camera from Wex Photographic, a print of the winning photograph framed by Peter Mallett, plus a year’s Fairhaven Garden family membership.

Photograph by Callum Lewis under 12 finalist

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

The garden is open daily all year (closed Christmas Day), free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales. There is wheelchair access 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.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Greater Yarmouth Tourism Reveals Seaside Nostalgia Success

Greater Yarmouth Tourism launched its 2013 campaign on Tuesday 11 December in the historic Grade I listed  St George's Theatre to an audience of more than 200 tourism professionals, representing businesses in the Borough. St George’s Theatre reopened in November following a £8 million refurbishment programme.

Great Yarmouth now attracts more than 5 million visitors to the resort per annum and tourism comprises nearly 30% of the borough’s workforce.

Councillor Colleen Walker, Her Worship the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, unveiled the 2013 brochure. The brochure’s art deco style cover with a modern twist celebrates the increasing interest in the British seaside and growing nostalgia for childhood holidays.  The 2013 TV advert, filmed at a range of Great Yarmouth locations over summer also had its première at the event.

Councillor Michael Jeal, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Business and Vice Chair of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, revealed the 2011 economic impact of tourism figures, which demonstrate that the ‘stay and daycation’ trend continues in Great Yarmouth.  The number of visitors to the resort is now 5.085 million (4.408 million in 2010), with the value to the local economy up at £531,865,000 (£501,358,000 in 2010). Employment in tourism related jobs is also up to 10,262 (9,551 in 2010), comprising 29.3% of the workforce (27.3% in 2010).

The full results for 2012 will not be available until next year but the performance of with unique visits breaking half a million by the end of November, up 29% on the final total for 2011, supports the trend for continued growth.  In addition, online accommodation bookings and booking value have doubled since the website launched in 2009.

Councillor Michael Jeal said: “This year will long be remembered for the success of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The weather had an impact on the start of the season in Great Yarmouth, but the summer and early autumn saw the resort celebrating in style with the Olympic Torch Relay, Maritime Festival, Heritage Open Days, Out There Festival, the Tour of Britain cycle race and the International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring Convention.”

“Tourism is vital to the economy of the Borough,” added Councillor Jeal. “It is equally vital for the public and private sectors to continue to work together to capitalise on the renewed interest in the British seaside holiday. We have impressive growth in visitor numbers and employment, but slower growth in the overall tourism income. Money continues to be tight, so we must maintain our focus on improving quality combined with value for money.”

Great Yarmouth is a top ten UK seaside resort, which attracts more than 5 million tourists and day-trippers a year. With 65,000 bed spaces across the Borough, a third of all holiday nights spent in Norfolk are tourists staying in Greater Yarmouth. Nearly 25% of all holidays nights spent in Norfolk and Suffolk combined are taken in the Borough of Great Yarmouth.

St George’s Theatre  is a Grade 1 listed building; originally a chapel completed in 1721.  St George’s Trust runs the theatre on behalf of Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority (GYTA) is a unique public / private sector partnership, founded in 1994. It brings together all partners from both the public and private sector to ensure that together we can collectively provide a better resort to help businesses survive and flourish and ensure that jobs are created and sustained.

Photograph left to right: Ken Sims Chairman Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority, Cllr Colleen Walker, Mayor of Great Yarmouth and Cllr Michael Jeal Cabinet Member for Tourism and Business.

Monday, 10 December 2012

St Seraphim’s Chapel – Orthodox Christian Faith and Railway Heritage in Walsingham Norfolk

St Seraphim's Trust (est. 2005), based in the former Walsingham Railway Station Norfolk, home to St Seraphim’s Orthodox Chapel since 1967, has received a stage one Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.

The grant is being used to develop plans for a full Heritage Lottery bid in spring 2013 for funds to interpret and present to visitors the story of St Seraphim’s, a centre for traditional Orthodox Icon painting for more than 40 years, along with the building’s railway heritage (1857-1964).

St Seraphim’s Orthodox Chapel is located next to the coach park in Little Walsingham and is open daily. “Visitors are always very welcome,” said Project Manager Sylvia Batchelor. “We are very interested in finding out how visitors respond to the chapel and our heritage. This will help with the development of our plans.”

St. Seraphim’s Trust aims to build on the long tradition of Orthodox Icon painting carried out by Father David (d 1993) and Leon Liddament (d. 2010) at the chapel for more than 40 years. Their icons were highly regarded and can be seen in churches and homes throughout the UK and worldwide. The icons of early British saints including local saints were an important part of their work

“We are delighted to have been invited to stage an exhibition of Father David and Leon Liddament’s Icons in The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral in December 2013,” said Sylvia Batchelor. “This will bring their work to a new audience and help raise the profile of our project in Walsingham.”

The project will make the chapel and the rest of the building, including the surviving station platform and the large garden behind the platform, fully accessible to all visitors. Plans include a display area for Father David and Leon Liddament’s Icons, and workshop spaces where courses and events will be held to enable people to learn about iconography and its role in the Orthodox Christian faith.

Work has already begun to develop a community garden, a natural space to complement the spirituality of the chapel and provide a calming and natural reflective environment for use by pilgrims and the local community. A viewing hut has been established from which visitors can see all the religious sites in Walsingham.

“We particularly need a key volunteer to help manage the garden and volunteers to work on St Seraphim’s archives,” added Sylvia Batchelor.

The story of the Orthodox faith in Walsingham began in the 1930s when emigré Russian priests visited the Anglican Shrine. A Pan-Orthodox Chapel was established at the Anglican Shrine in 1945. But the growth of interest in the Orthodox faith led to the development of St Seraphim’s Chapel in the old railway station in 1967. Father David, the priest in charge led a Lay Brotherhood of St Seraphim and created the Icon workshop. Further growth in the Orthodox community saw the opening of the Holy Church of the Transfiguration in Great Walsingham in 1988.

For more information about St Seraphim’s Trust and the chapel email Sylvia Batchelor Project Manager, or Jessica Knights Project Administrator, t. 01328 820610.

Top: St Seraphim's Chapel
Bottom: Jessica Knights and Sylvia Batchelor

50 Christmas Trees in a Church Dickleburgh Norfolk - the winning trees

The ninth annual 50 Christmas Trees in a Church at All Saints Dickleburgh, drew to a close on Sunday, December 9, with the prize giving for the most popular trees voted by visitors to the festival.

Dickleburgh Good Companions’ tree was the winner in the adult category and Gissing Children’s Centre won the children’s category. The Nick Arnull Plate for the most innovative tree was awarded to Daisychains, a charity that supports families who suffer from, or have ever suffered from, postnatal depression.

Funds raised from the event will go to WheelPower; a charity that provides sports wheelchairs for young disabled athletes.

Rev’d Norman Steer, event organiser said: “This has been the best Christmas Tree festival we have had so far. We began with the visit of Paralympic athlete Danny Nobbs for our official opening. His inspirational attitude, determination to do well, warmth and love for sport shone out of him and set the tone for a fabulous week. Many more children’s groups visited than before to sing carols and listen to Christmas stories and we had lots of regular return visitors.  We look forward to working with WheelPower to secure a sports wheelchair for a young Norfolk athlete and will soon start planning for 50 Christmas Trees 2013.”

Photograph captions:
Top: Dickleburgh Good Companions
Middle: Gail Webster Daisy Chains
Bottom: Gissing Children's Centre

Friday, 7 December 2012

Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Guided Walks - Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads

Join Ian Guest, Head Gardener at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads for a guided walk in the garden on Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26 and New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, both starting at 11am.

Garden admission, including the guided walks, is adults £5.50, concessions £5 and children £3 (under 5 free). The walks last 1½ hours and a complimentary mince pie and glass of mulled wine will be on offer at the end.

Highlights include the massive 950-year old King Oak and other ancient oak and beech trees, the views across South Walsham Inner Broad and the opportunity to look out for kingfishers. Learn about the history of the garden, the collection of plants introduced by the 2nd Lord Fairhaven and the organic working methods still used today.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham NR13 6DZ, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, t. 01603 270449.

The garden is open daily all year, 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), tearoom, gift shop and plant sales. There is wheelchair access 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.

Monday, 3 December 2012

50 Christmas Trees in a Church Dickleburgh opened by Paralympian Athlete

Norfolk shot putter Danny Nobbs, who represented GB at the Beijing Paralympics, opened the ninth annual 50 Christmas Trees in a Church  festival at All Saints Dickleburgh, South Norfolk on Saturday 1 December.

He was accompanied by two London 2012 Games Makers, Cathie Davies, who fenced for Wales in the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Mandy Dutton from Pulham Market, along with Annie Chapman, organiser of the annual Ladies Tractor Road Run, who took part in the Torch Relay.

The festival runs daily until Sunday 9 December, open 10am to 7pm (closes 4pm on 9 December for prize giving). This year 50 Christmas Trees in a Church is supporting WheelPower, a charity that provides sports wheelchairs for young disabled athletes.

Admission is adult £3.50, senior citizens and concessions £3, pre-booked groups £2.75, children under 16 free.

Christmas Trees of all shapes and sizes, some handmade featuring special seasonal messages, will decorate the church, contributed to the event by local businesses, community organisations and children’s groups. The event has a competitive edge, as each organisation that enters has the chance to win prize money in the visitors’ vote for the best trees. There is also a special award for the most innovative tree.

Morning coffee, light lunches and teas are served every day throughout the festival in Dickleburgh Church. Rooms (next to the church).

Photograph left to right Annie Chapman, Cathie Davies, Danny Nobbs and Mandy Dutton.