Monday, 25 November 2013

Maids Head Hotel Norwich wins Best Food & Drink Category at Norfolk Tourism Awards

The Maids Head team at the EDP Tourism Awards 
Maids Head Hotel Norwich staff are celebrating winning Best Food & Drink Tourism attraction at the EDP Tourism Awards.

The hotel, which returned to private ownership last December when it was purchased by the Chaplin family, who also own The Gonville in Cambridge, embarked on a buy local policy in the New Year, inspired by Operations Manager, Dan Hawkie.

The entire restaurant menu is now sourced from local suppliers including Tavern Tasty Meats North Walsham, Barsby Produce King’s Lynn and Howard’s fishmonger in Norwich. Wine from Winbirri Vineyard in the Norfolk Broads features, along with the signature Maids Head Ale brewed by Woodfordes at Woodbastwick, also in the Norfolk Broads. The kitchen brigade is led by Polish Head Chef Marcin Pomierny (28), with Sous Chef David Lovett (25).

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: “Winning Best Food & Drink Attraction at the Tourism Awards is a great encouragement for the team at the Maids Head. Our aim is to achieve a second AA Rosette for the restaurant and to continue developing the menu with a series of signature English dishes. We will be working closely with the Norfolk Food Festival in 2014, and our historic Maids Head bar will be part of the Norwich City of Ale celebrations in May.”

The Maids Head Hotel is situated close to Norwich Cathedral on the edge of what used to be the Saxon market place. The hotel claims to be the oldest in Britain based on the site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century, when the Norman Bishops built their first palace there.

For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see, t. 01603 209955.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Norwich Cathedral – Praying with Icons – The Work of the Walsingham Iconographers

St Seraphim's Trust is staging a groundbreaking exhibition, Praying with Icons –
The Work of the Walsingham Iconographers at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, from Thursday, December 5, 2013 to Wednesday, January 1, 2014, open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 4.30pm and Sunday, 12noon to 3pm. Entry is free.

Praying with Icons is the first exhibition of work of the late Fr. David (d 1993) and Leon Liddament (d. 2010) of the Brotherhood of St. Seraphim. For more than forty years the iconographers made Icons in the Orthodox Tradition, which can now be found not only in churches and private collections in the UK but also the world. The icons of early British saints, including local saints, were an important part of their work

Father David at work
The exhibition, featuring 30 icons, will set the artists’ work within the tradition of iconography and Orthodox liturgy and prayer. It will also feature archive film of Walsingham as a place of pilgrimage and the iconographers at work.

Leon Liddament at work
“We are delighted to have been invited to stage an exhibition of at The Hostry,” said Sylvia Batchelor, St Seraphim’s Trust, “and are very grateful to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral for giving us this very special opportunity. The exhibition will bring Fr. David and Leon Liddament’s work to a new audience and help raise the profile of the chapel and our plans for the future in Walsingham.”

Peter Doll, Canon Librarian, Norwich Cathedral said: “‘Norwich Cathedral is delighted to host this exhibition of icons in the Hostry. Eastern Orthodox communities are an important addition to the religious landscape of East Anglia, bringing valuable ancient traditions of prayer and spirituality. Orthodox icons have become significant features of many English churches, including the Cathedral.”

Special events 
Friday, December 6 at 7pm, ‘Praying with Icons’ a talk by Fr Stephen Stavrou. Fr. Stephen is an Anglican priest from an Orthodox background. He studied theology at St John’s College Cambridge and prepared for ordained ministry at Westcott House, while also doing a Masters at Peterhouse. His research focused on the use of liturgical arts in Worship, particularly Orthodox Christian Iconography.

Saturday, December 7 at 3.15pm, preview of ‘Living Prayer in Christianity’, a film by Richard Temple.

St Seraphim’s Trust (est. 2005) is based in the former Walsingham Railway Station, home to St Seraphim’s Orthodox Chapel since 1967. The chapel is located next to the coach park in Little Walsingham and is open daily.

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.

Find about more about St. Seraphim’s Trust, including its peaceful garden and railway heritage at, t. 01328 820610.

For more information about Norwich Cathedral see, t. 01603 218300, e.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

pocketi – Tourist Information on the move from Norwich based web consultancy

Norwich based web consultancy WSCreative has created pocketi, a new company to develop and market flexible iPhone and Android apps for tourist destinations. The app works without an internet connection, providing up to date tourist information on the move.

Pocketi and WSCreative director, Jeremy Storr worked with Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority (GYTA) to perfect the app, initially for iPhone. The app is also now available for Android devices:

Jeremy Storr explained: “Working with GYTA, we have created a fantastic solution for destinations wishing to provide apps for their visitors. While the development of an app was recognised to be a key addition to their online marketing mix, GYTA did not wish to significantly add to their workload. They needed a creative and practical solution that would work with their existing destination management system.”

“The beauty of the pocketi app is that it contains all the resort information, text, images and maps, meaning that no internet connection is required to use it while out and about. Updates are sent to the app when the visitor has a WiFi connection, ensuring the latest content is always available, but removing the potential for high usage charges or the battery draining.”

“We started developing a tourist based app solution before the advent of the iPhone and Android phones using windows mobile devices, however we stepped back from this, as we realised that the market needed to mature. But we have always wanted to develop our own product, giving us the opportunity to utilise our experience and skills, so for the past year we have focussed on developing pocketi.”

Ken Sims, Chair of GYTA Marketing Group said: “The group really wanted to develop a practical app that would guide people around the area, but which wouldn’t run away with people’s money as far as data charges were concerned, especially if WiFi wasn’t available, and which wouldn’t require huge amounts of staff time. Having considered several options, the pocketi app is a clear winner, for both the resort and the tourist. We are delighted with the product and looking forward to working with pocketi to develop it further.”

Jeremy Storr pocketi with Ken Sims Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority

WS Creative was founded in 2003 by Jeremy Storr and Paul Tedds. Originally focused on the development of websites for the promotion of hotels and holiday accommodation, the business has worked across the full range of tourism and leisure businesses, providing online marketing advice, developing websites and bespoke software. Clients have included Norwich City Football Club, Norfolk Tourist Attractions’ Association, Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, Norwich HEART (Heritage and Regeneration Trust), Broads Edge Marina and The Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth.

For more information about pocketi see, or call Jeremy Storr, t. 01603 340545,
m. 07747 012026, e.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Timeless at Fairhaven Garden – David Dane’s Eighth Biennial Norfolk Broads Exhibition

David Dane is staging his eighth biennial exhibition of oil paintings, inspired by the Broads, Timeless, at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads, from Saturday, November 23 to Sunday, December 1, open daily 10am to 4pm; free entry to the exhibition.

River Ghost by David Dane

Timeless features original oils and Giclée prints reflecting the timeless beauty of the Broads. Visitors will be able to meet David Dane, who will be at Fairhaven daily throughout the exhibition.

David Dane has been one of Broadland’s best known artists for more than 40 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, David took the Broads worldwide with a series of prints, published by Rosentiel’s in London. Jenny White writing about his work in Artists and Illustrators magazine said: “David Dane’s Norfolk is a land of mystery, poised between this world and the next.”

Louise Rout, manager Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “We are looking forward to David’s return to Fairhaven for the third time. I hope visitors to Timeless explore our garden, enjoy the tranquillity by the broad and reflect on David’s work.”

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction. The garden is open daily all year, 10am to 4pm during the winter (closed Christmas Day), entry: adult £6, senior citizen £5.50 and child £3.50 (under five free); 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.

Friday, 15 November 2013

10th Anniversary 50 Christmas Trees in a Church Dickleburgh South Norfolk December 1 to 8

This is a film of 50 Christmas Trees in a Church 2011

The 10th annual South Norfolk Christmas Tree extravaganza, 50 Christmas Trees in a Church, at All Saints Dickleburgh returns from Sunday, December 1 to Sunday, December 8, open daily 10am to 7pm (closes 4pm on December 8 for prize giving).

This year’s theme is The Nativity and the festival is supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care. Entry is adult £3.50, senior citizens and concessions £3, pre-booked groups £2.75, children under 16 free.

Stewart White from BBC Look East will officially open 50 Christmas Trees in a Church at 5pm on Saturday, November 30.

Event organiser Rev’d Norman Steer, who is retiring from the role after organising all 10 festivals so far said: “I love the Christmas Trees. It is a good week for me. The church expresses its love in a way that people can understand. I want visitors to be themselves and know that they are welcome and will be cared for during their visit. The best part is the smiles on the faces of all ages when they leave.”

Fourteen organisations who took part in the first festival in 2004 will be at Dickleburgh this year: Dickleburgh Primary School, Dickleburgh Good Companions. All Saints Church Dickleburgh, Dickleburgh Bell Ringers, Pulham Market Church, Pulham Brownies, Pulham St Mary Trailblazers, Pulhams Playgroup, St Mary’s Church & Daphne Buxton Memorial Fund Rushall, St Margaret’s Church Starston, Starston Pealers, St Andrew’s Church Thelveton, Harleston Primary School and Harleston Lions.

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). Group visits are very welcome.

Dickleburgh village is to the north of Diss, just off the A140; All Saints Dickleburgh postcode is IP21 4NQ. For group bookings and further information tel. 01379 854245,

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Acle Primary Schools' Group - Art Exhibition at Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads to November 17

Work by Fleggburgh Primary School
Primary schools in the Acle group are staging an art exhibition of work inspired by paintings by 19th French artists Georges-Pierre Seurat and Henri Rousseau and the 20th century Spanish artist Joan Miró, in the tearoom at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, until Sunday, November 17. The exhibition is open every day from 10am to 4pm.

Schools involved are Acle Primary School, Fairhaven Primary School, Fleggburgh Primary School, Freethorpe Primary School, Lingwood Primary School and Reedham Primary School.

In recent years the schools have embarked on series of joint curriculum projects, including poetry inspired by Olympic values and a poetry and writing exhibition. Rachel Quick-Gunning, Head Teacher at Freethorpe, whose background is in art history, suggested an art project for the autumn term using three paintings that each school could explore, then produce work to be brought together in an exhibition. 

Mrs Quick-Gunning explained: “I have always enjoyed exploring art and the history of art with children, using images as a way to understand history and give students an outlet for exploring their own ideas. I led two teacher training sessions to help teachers develop the project in their schools and chose paintings to suit different age groups and the setting of the exhibition.”

“Seurat's La Grande Jatte, also known as Walk in the Park on a Sunday Afternoon, was chosen for younger pupils.  It is a picture full of people walking and playing in the park.  Children could explore the relationships between the people, and imagine themselves in the park. Tiger Surprised by Rousseau is set in a contrived jungle setting, which replicates the undergrowth and bushes and trees at Fairhaven. Children enjoyed exploring the texture of the foliage, hidden animals and also real and imagined animals.”

“The final image, Harlequin's Carnival by Joan Miró, was chosen for older students, although some of the schools worked on this image with younger pupils. The painting allowed children to consider surreal images and surrealism, as well as links to maths and art.”

Mrs Quick-Gunning concluded: “Louise Rout, Fairhaven manager's kind offer to host the exhibition has allowed us to show our work to a wider audience and hopefully enhance the enjoyment of visitors to Fairhaven. I am most grateful to schools, staff and of course the children, who I hope have enjoyed exploring the paintings, the lives of the artists and also creating some wonderful art.”

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, t.01603 270449, The garden is open every day (closed Christmas Day), 10am to 4pm in winter and 10am to 5pm from March to the end of October.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Big Lottery Fund Joy for Norfolk Deaf Association

Celebrating at NDA HQ: Aliona Laker CEO NDA, Clayton Anderson, Tracy Mabbitt, Pam Spicer, John Marcus and Tony Innes Chairman NDA.

Trustees, staff and volunteers at Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA) are celebrating a £284,991 grant from the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities programme.

The grant secures the future of the charity’s vital Hearing Support Service (HSS) for the next three years and includes the purchase of a new minibus for the Listen Here! mobile clinic, which visits towns and villages and sheltered housing throughout Norfolk. The HSS celebrated its 20th anniversary in April.

Thirty-six trained volunteers fulfilled 10,100 HSS appointments in 2012/13, up from 7162 in 2011/12. The volunteers help people affected by hearing loss, advising them on the use, cleaning and maintenance of hearing aids.  Home visits are offered for those with limited mobility, and there are 39 static clinics and 28 mobile clinics provided by the Listen Here! Bus. The mobile clinic also visits 25 sheltered housing complexes.

Aliona Laker, Chief Executive of the Norfolk Deaf Association said: “The grant from the Big Lottery Fund is wonderful news for our staff and volunteers and the people we support in the community. The funding means that we can look forward with confidence for the next three years, recruit and train more volunteers, maintain our programme of static and mobile clinics and quickly respond to the increasing demand for home visits. Our work plays a vital role in overcoming feelings of isolation for people in Norfolk with hearing loss. Knowing that someone can help you with the operation and maintenance of your hearing aid can really help improve your day to day quality of life.”

“If you think you would be interested in becoming a volunteer please contact us at the NDA office” added Tony Innes, Chairman of the NDA, “We will offer you training, a supervised introduction to the work we do and then regular training updates so you can maintain professional standards. Our volunteers find it very enjoyable and fulfilling.”

Dr John FitzGerald, Head of Audiology, Norfolk & Norwich NHS University Hospital said: “This is really great news for hearing aid users across Norfolk. The Listen Here! Bus, static clinics and home visits provide a vital link for many of our patients who struggle to get to the hospital for help with hearing aid maintenance. Knowing that the NDA will continue to provide this outstanding local service into the future will be of great re-assurance to these patients.”

Diana Gee, HSS volunteer said: “I went deaf in my twenties and am now in my seventies. I moved to Norfolk 20 years ago and the help I received from the HSS made a big difference. I have been a volunteer for 16 years now. The support from NDA means a great deal to people and gives them confidence. Volunteers normally operate generally within a five-mile radius from home. I enjoy meeting clients and have between two and four appointments a week.”

The HSS is NDA’s largest service and is supported by the Norfolk & Norwich NHS University Hospital, which provides supplies and training. The service also receives some funding from North Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups as well as a number of Grant Making Trusts and individual donations.

Static Clinics include Blakeney, Coltishall, Fakenham, Gorleston, Holt, Ludham, Sheringham and Wells-next-the-Sea.

Mobile Clinics include Acle, Aylsham, Bunwell, Dereham, Diss, Harleston, Hingham, Hoveton, North Walsham, Reepham, Stalham, Swaffham, Taverham, Thetford, Watton and Wymondham.

NDA also runs an Assistive Listening Devices advice and support clinic on Thursday mornings between 10am and 1pm at the new NDA headquarters, 120 Thorpe Road, Norwich NR1 1RT.  This is ideal for anyone thinking of buying equipment to enhance hearing. A wide variety of equipment is on display including induction loops, wireless listeners, flashing and vibrating doorbells, vibrating alarm clocks, smoke alarms, telephone amplifiers and mobile phones.

For more information about HSS clinics or home visits or volunteering contact Pam Spicer, Hearing Support Service Co-ordinator on 01603 404440, email or visit the website at

Norfolk Deaf Association was founded in 1898, originally as a benevolent society. The charity aims to improve the lives of young people and adults with all degrees of hearing loss through information, support, awareness and communication. The key services are Hearing Support Service, Befriending Service, Tinnitus Support Group, Deaf Awareness Training and Hard of Hearing Club.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Autumn Colours Tour at Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads - Sunday, November 17

Enjoy the spectacular autumn colours at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads, with its mature oak and beech trees, on this guided walk with Head Gardener Ian Guest on Sunday, November 17 at 11am.

Garden entry is £6 adult; £5.50 conc, £3.50 child, under 5’s free, dogs 25p (to cover poop scoop); no additional charge for the guided walk.

There is also a Christmas Fayre on November 17 from 11am to 3pm (free entry) with Christmas cakes, jewellery, decorations, woodcrafts and more.

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.