Monday, 30 June 2014

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden – Summer Music in the Glade July 2014 - Norfolk Broads

Taverham Brass Band returns to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads on Sunday July 6, to launch the garden’s weekly 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 £6.10, concessions £5.60 and child £3.60, under five free. There is no additional charge for summer music events.

Fairhaven Music in the Glade July programme – all events are from 2pm to 4pm.

Taverham Brass Band, Sunday, July 6, playing a mix of traditional and modern, classical and pop, show music and old favourites.

Any Swing Goes, Sunday, July 13, 2pm to 4pm, swing music from the 1940s & 50s featuring songs by Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Michael Bublé and classic sounds from the Glen Miller era.

Sutton Jazz Quartet, Sunday, July 20, 2pm to 4pm, jazz standards with a smooth swing feel featuring music from Glen Miller, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and George Shearing.

John Brown, Sunday 27 July, 2pm to 4pm, acoustic guitar.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, 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 and closes 4pm during the winter), also open Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August. Entry is £6.10 adult, £5.60 concessions and £3.60 child (under 5 free). Free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and boat trips (additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available.

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Wymondham Music Festival Fortnight Launch - Norfolk 21 June

Wymondham Music Festival Fortnight in Norfolk was launched in the sunshine at Wymondham Abbey this morning with Around the World through Music and Dance. 

A large audience enjoyed Sokoshumba's African sounds and Moxy Garbanzo's Balkan tunes along with Indian, Bollywood  and Flamenco dancing.

Moxy Garbanzo
 Dee Scholey, who organised the event on behalf of Wymondham Music Festival said: "We had a fantastic morning - the sun shone, we had a really good audience and were treated to some top class dance and music from around the World. It was a great way to launch Festival Fortnight."

For more information about Festival Fortnight, which runs until July 6 see, or call the Festival office t. 01953 333500.

Wymondham Abbey

Friday, 20 June 2014

Fairhaven Primary School ‘Fun’raising’ Day Raises £555 for Fairhaven Garden Boathouse Appeal - Norfolk Broads

Fairhaven Primary School's ‘Fun’raising’ Day on June 6 raised £555-34p for Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden's boathouse restoration appeal, enough to buy 317 brotch pins for the boathouse roof. The South Walsham school has also generously donated surplus books and DVDs from the day, which will be sold at Fairhaven Garden.

Louise Rout, Fairhaven Garden Manager was invited to Fairhaven Primary School’s assembly on Friday, June 20 to receive a cheque from the school’s students.

Louise Rout said: “I really value the support and enthusiasm of the staff and students at Fairhaven Primary School and would like to thank them for this fantastic donation. I was very impressed with the children’s commitment to our boathouse project, with their posters for the event encouraging students and their families to ‘come along and make a difference’. I’m looking to forward to welcoming the children when they visit the garden and see the progress on the boathouse next month.”

David Muff, teacher at Fairhaven Primary School, who co-ordinated the Fun’raising Day said: “The children came up with ideas for activities and also wanted to run the stalls, including books and DVDs, tombola, speed stacking, hook the duck and splat the teacher. We have a wonderful connection with Fairhaven Garden and wanted to show what a special place it is for us.”

Fairhaven launched a public appeal at the end of April to help save the 19th century thatched boathouse beside the garden’s private broad. Structural work on the boathouse and thatching will cost £35,000. The Fairhaven Garden Trust had raised £20,000 for the project, including a £4,000 donation from Geoffrey Watling Charity, but a further £15,000 was needed to complete the restoration of one of the last remaining traditional wet boathouses on the Broads.

Visitors and friends of the garden have been asked to sponsor a sheaf of local Ranworth reed at £7 a bundle, or a sheaf of sedge at £10 a bundle, or buy a hazel brotch pin at £1.75 for the project. So far £4,600 has been raised including a donation of £100 from the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, following the City of Ale festival.

“It has been brilliant”, added Louise Rout, “we have had donations from people who have never been to the garden, as well as visitors on holiday in Norfolk. All the bundles of sedge have been sponsored and donations from talks to local groups have gone to the appeal fund. We are also selling individual boathouse shaped chocolate cakes in the tearoom in aid of the project.”

“We would love to hear from anyone who would like to do a sponsored walk or run in aid of the boathouse fund, or stage a fundraising coffee morning or tea party. We would be very happy to come along to special events and talk about the garden and plans for the boathouse.”

 Donations to can be made online at or in person at Fairhaven Garden, School Road, South Walsham NR13 6DZ, t. 01603 270449,

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is open daily 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day and closes 4pm in the winter), also open Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August. Entry is adult £6.10, concessions £5.60 and child £3.60 (under 5 free).

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Very Rare Award - Ken Sims Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens Norfolk – Honorary Fellowship of Zoological Society of London

Ken Sims - photograph by Joe Blossom
Ken Sims, Director of Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Great Yarmouth, has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Zoological Society of London .

Only 25 Honorary Fellows have been made since the Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 by Sir Stamford Raffles. Honorary Fellows include HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1977), HM The Emperor Akihito of Japan (1991), Sir David Attenborough (1998) and Dr Desmond Morris (2013). The fellowship is awarded to…"those who are distinguished in zoology or who have promoted the aims of the society, a limited number to be admitted"…

Ken Sims said: “To receive the Honorary Fellowship of the Zoological Society of London is very special for me. In addition to running two of the world’s finest zoos, the Society is the world leader in its work for education, research and international conservation.”

“I am grateful that I have been allowed to help support the teams of dedicated professional staff in their effort to conserve and protect wildlife wherever it is endangered. The team effort at the Zoological Society of London has paid off in that both London Zoo and Whipsnade are enjoying very strong increases in attendance and revenue, in sharp contrast to the early 1990s, when the closure of London Zoo was a real possibility.”

Ken Sims first became involved with the Zoological Society of London in the 1960s, supplying animals when he was working as rubber planter in Malaya. After returning to the UK and opening Thrigby Hall Wildlife Garden in 1979, Ken became more closely involved serving on committees and working with London and Whipsnade Zoos through the British Zoos’ Federation. He became a Trustee of the Zoological Society of London in 1994, has been Vice President three times and also chaired the London Zoo Board and the Zoos’ Advisory Committee.  Ken is a former Chairman of the British Zoos’ Federation and has represented the federation on the committee of the European Association of Zoos.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens is at Filby near Great Yarmouth, t. 01493 369477. The Wildlife Gardens open every day at 10am.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Leon James - One in a Million Girl - in aid of Cancer Research UK

Norfolk singer, Leon James has re-recorded his late father Andy James' single, One in a Million Girl, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  Andy sadly died in March.

You can buy the single for 79p here on iTunes. Meanwhile enjoy the video. It's a great tribute to his father.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Pantaloons' History of Britain at Fairhaven Garden, Norfolk Broads

Mud, blood and stiff upper-lips! It's the history of Britain as you've never seen it before. Join the critically acclaimed The Pantaloons Theatre Company at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, on Saturday 5 July, for a breathless race through the centuries in this delightfully inventive open-air show. Harold I and William the Conqueror don't see eye to eye. Henry VIII decides five marriages isn't enough. Queen Victoria is most certainly not amused. This historically hysterical show is packed with songs, sketches and silliness and is suitable for all ages.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, School Road South Walsham,  NR13 6DZ, Saturday 5 July, 7pm to 9.30pm. Gates open at 6.30pm. Tickets: £9 adult and £5 child in advance. £12 adult and £8 child on the door (under 5 free). T. 01603 270449,

Friday, 13 June 2014

Wymondham Music Festival Fortnight, Norfolk, June 21 to July 6, 2014

Wymondham’s Music Festival Fortnight returns from Saturday, June 21 to Sunday, July 6, with more than 30 events, some organised by other groups, many of them free, in venues across this historic Norfolk market town.

Enjoy performances by national, regional and local musicians with everything from Schumann, Debussy, Beethoven and JS Bach to Americana, English folk, swing, jazz, flamenco, bluegrass, African, Balkan, Gypsy and Indian music and contemporary composers and singer-songwriters.

Moxy Garbanzo - Around the World through Music and Dance June 21

Festival Fortnight kicks off at 10am on June 21 with Around the World Through Music and Dance, a new free family event in Wymondham Abbey and churchyard. Enjoy Moxy Garbanzo playing Eastern European tunes and Sokoshumba performing colourful African music on mbira, hosho and djembe. There’ll be Bollywood and Indian classical dancing and Strictly Flamenco, along with Adrian Palka’s Sound Table.

Bella Tromba - Wymondham Abbey, June 21
Other Abbey events include the vibrant Bella Tromba – jazz, classical and early English music (June 21, £10 and £3 under 18); Joy and James Lisney (June 26, £10, under-18s £3), cello and piano featuring Schumann, Debussy and Beethoven; London Telemann Collegium (June 28, £10, under-18s £3), a new Baroque ensemble performing Telemann and Bach and The Goldman Ensemble (July 2, £10, under-18s £3) recreating their 2008 piano recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields, which they presented without their pianist who was stuck in traffic.  Enjoy an evening full of comedy, theatre and music from Bach to Joplin.

There’s also a programme of lunchtime recitals at the Abbey and a special performance by Matthew Schellhorn of Ian Wilson’s new piano masterpiece, ‘Stations’ (June 29), to celebrate the Abbey’s new icons of the Stations of the Cross.

And on July 3 at the Abbey, it’s ‘Of Night And Light And The Half Light’ with John Law piano and Iain Ballamy saxophone, exploring the ground hovering between classical and jazz using contemporary groove-based rhythms and contemplative music (£10, under-18s £3).

Dixie Mix - Midsummer Jazz Picnic, June 23
The annual Midsummer Jazz Picnic returns to Becketswell (June 23) with Simon Nelson’s Dixie Mix, fresh from supporting Rod Stewart’s UK tour and Is u Iz – Ali Huiellebecq, saxophone and Hugh Stanners, accordion.

Central Hall has a great line up beginning with Norwich newgrass string band Feral Mouth (June 24, £10, under 18 £3) performing their ‘raucous irresistible bluegrass with rock n roll flair’ – Louise Rodgers, Americana UK.  Then the world famous Pasadena Roof Orchestra is in town on June 27 (£15, under-18s £3, nearly sold out), followed by singer-songwriter Edwina Hayes (July 4, £10, under-18s £3), ‘the sweetest voice in England’.  Arhai and Musica Planina (July 5, £10, under-18s £3) complete the Central Hall series with a lively evening of Balkan folk music – a great Saturday night party.

Arhai - Central Hall Wymondham, July 5

Head to the Market Place for Brother Pit’s Acoustic Americana (June 28) and Klezmerized! playing lively danceable music with Middle Eastern, Gypsy and Balkan influences (July 5).

The annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic is at Kings Head Meadow on June 29, with gentle musical fun for the under-fives from Charlotte Arculus and Hayley Moyses. And Norwich favourites The He Hews wrap up Festival Fortnight with the Family Finale at the Baptist Church (July 6, £10, under 18 free), an afternoon of ‘sophisticated silliness’ from flapper to disco with a New Orleans twist.

The He Hews - Family Finale, July 6 
For full Festival Fortnight programme details, including concert timings and online ticket sales go to  Tickets are also on sale at Puff’s Toyshop Wymondham Market Place.  To contact the Festival Office t. 01953 333500.

Fairhaven Green Festival and the Broads Green Boat Show, Norfolk, 22 June 2014

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden’s Green Festival and Broads Green Boat and Tourism Show are combining on Sunday, June 22 to stage a packed day of entertainment and fun environmental activities on land and afloat on Sunday, June 22.

The Green Festival and Green Boat Show at Fairhaven Garden, South Walsham, supported by, runs from 10am to 5pm. Normal entry charges apply on the day: adult £6.10, concessions £5.60 and child £3.60 (under 5 free), with some additional charges for boating activities. The event is supporting the Love the Broads charity.

The He Hews
Entertainment features music from 9 out of 10 cats reduced, The He Hews and St Edmund's Youth Orchestra, along with The Pedant’s Revolt Morris Dancers, Greenkids storytelling folk and fairy tales, Stevie Spud’s circus skills workshop and children’s clay play.

Water based activities are on offer from Banks Boats, Rutland Pedalcraft, Nancy Oldfield Trust’s Falmouth Bass Boat, Free Spirit Canoe Tours, Hunter’s Fleet’s Rebel Reveller and Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Swallowtail. Houseboat Heather, The Broads Authority’s Charles Collier and Norfolk Canoes will also be present.

Nancy Oldfield Trust's Falmouth Bass Boat 
More than 30 land based activities and exhibitors include Broadland Soapbox, Broadland Cycle Hire, Burnt Fen Alpacas, Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, Home Grown Revolution, Jon Simpson (woodturning), Norfolk Hedge Baskets (basket maker), Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Park Road Nurseries (bird boxes), RSPB, Salhouse Broad with their smoothie bike, The English Shepherd’s Hut Co, Wattlefield Pottery and the Wind Energy Museum.

Louise Rout, Manager Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “We are really looking forward to the Green Festival and Green Boat Show. We have a busy programme of family entertainment, along with activities afloat and on dry land and a record number of exhibitors, promoting Norfolk businesses and charities with a ‘green’ focus.”

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden. Mobility scooters are available. Fairhaven offers accessible boat trips and Nancy Oldfield Trust will be providing sailing opportunities for visitors with disabilities on June 22. Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance.

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

Tall Ship Minerva Stars at 15th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, Norfolk UK, September 2014

Tall Ship Minerva
Dutch three-masted schooner, Tall Ship Minerva, will star at the 15th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, Norfolk, which takes place on South Quay on Saturday 6 September (10am to 6pm) and Sunday 7 September (10am to 5pm). The festival, organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, celebrates the town’s proud maritime past and maritime future with visiting ships, live shanty music, street entertainment, arts, crafts and children’s activities.

The Minerva will be offering five passenger sailing trips between Thursday 4 and Sunday 7 September.  Tickets can be purchased online here.

 Tickets can also be purchased at Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre t. 01493 332200.

Minerva Sailings
Thursday 4 September 1pm, ticket £33
Thursday 4 September 6pm, ticket £33
Friday 5 September 6pm, ticket £36
Saturday 6 September 6.30pm, ticket £39
Sunday 7 September 7pm, ticket £39
Sailing duration depends on the tide, but will last from 2½ to 3½ hours.

Tall Ship Minerva
The Minerva was built in 1935 in Germany as a steel sailing cargo vessel with an auxiliary engine. Her first name was Uwe Ursula and she and her four sister ships were among the last sailing cargo ships to be built.  Based at Hamburg she worked the coastal waters of North West Europe until the mid 1980s. Her masts were removed in the 1960s and a new more powerful engine installed to make her more competitive.

Rescued by a Dutch enthusiast in 1987, she was restored as a sailing vessel at the Minerva Shipyard in Amsterdam. She was the last ship to be converted at the yard and was renamed Minerva in its honour. The ship had another refit in 2010 and more recently, the main engine was overhauled for the 2014 season. The Minerva is based at Scheveningen.

Aileen Mobbs, Festival Chairman and GYTA Honorary President said: “We are very pleased to have secured Tall Ship Minerva as the ‘flagship’ for our 15th Maritime Festival. The three-masted Minerva will provide a superb opportunity for both local residents and visitors to Great Yarmouth to experience the thrill of a tall ship under sail.”

The GYTA (Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority) 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.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Greater Yarmouth businesses say ’Yes’ to a Tourism Business Improvement District (BID)

Great Yarmouth Summer Fireworks
Businesses and organisations in Greater Yarmouth have made their voices heard by voting in favour of taking more control over their future and setting up a Business Improvement District (BID). As the first Tourism BID in East Anglia, one of very few nationally and the largest area in the country covered by a BID, it will lead the way in making sure that the Greater Yarmouth area has bigger events, is better marketed, more effectively managed, attracts greater tourism investment and offers a higher level of customer service and satisfaction.

Ballot results released by the independent scrutineer, Electoral Reform Services, showed that 70% of all those who voted are in favour of the BID progressing. For the BID to be successful, a second trigger, ‘majority by rateable value,’ was also required and this was achieved with 90% of those who voted.

It is anticipated that the BID will start in Autumn 2014 for a five year term, financed through a  BID levy, the proceeds of which will be invested in the additional projects that businesses have identified and that are set out in the Business Plan.

Over the five years of the BID, more than £2m will be generated to be spent in the BID area.  The BID anticipates working with all elements of the tourism industry, including partners from the holiday park sector who are major contributors as well as supporting projects in Hemsby & Gorleston-on-Sea and working with any other groups that wish to further the growth of the tourism economy and jobs.

Members of the Greater Yarmouth BID Task Group celebrate success
David Marsh, Chair of the BID Task Group said: 'This positive decision by businesses throughout the borough is the cornerstone to securing the future of our successful and vibrant tourism industry.   After a generation of relying upon a minority of businesses to put their hands in their pockets to promote projects run by the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, this new initiative means that all those that benefit from the £535M per annum tourism industry in the borough of Great Yarmouth have the opportunity to help shape its future with a sustainable funding package.

“After several years of hard work, this is a great result for all involved and allows Greater Yarmouth to keep on improving and keeping pace with the competition. I would like to thank all those involved from businesses who formed the task group and gave their time and support freely, to the Local Authority who have taken an active and collaborative approach to the BID. Special mention must go to our Tourism team headed up by Alan Carr, and our hard working project manager Karen Youngs. We are also very grateful for the support and encouragement of Mo Aswat of The Mosaic Partnership, without whom we could never have reached nor attained our vision."

“Together, support from businesses will make a real difference to the resort’s future. The hard work begins now in delivering the new initiatives and the team aim to get started immediately with a view to formally launching in September.”