Wednesday, 16 December 2015

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


Head to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham in the Norfolk Broads for a guided walk in the garden on Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, 2015 and New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1, 2016, both starting at 11am.

Garden admission, which includes the guided walks, is adults £6.20, concessions £5.70 and children £3.65 (under 5 free). The walks last 1½ hours and a complimentary mince pie and glass of mulled wine will be on offer in the tearoom at the end.

Highlights include the massive 950-year old King Oak and other ancient oak and beech trees and the views across South Walsham Inner Broad. 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, open 10am to 4pm during the winter (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.

Maids Head Hotel Norwich Wins English Hotel Loo of The Year Award 2015

Mandy Ames Head Housekeeper and Erwin Mullari Housekeeping Assistant with the Loo of the Year Awards
The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich has won best English hotel loo, in the Loo of the Year Awards 2015.

In addition to winning the National Award for Hotels in England, the Maids Head’s toilets received top Platinum grading and a special Attendant of the Year Award for cleanliness.

The Loo of the Year Awards have been identifying the best in Britain since 1987, and are recognised as standard setters for all those who provide ‘away from home’ facilities for staff, customers and visitors.

Over the last year the Maids Head has invested £140,000 in fully refurbishing all public toilets at the historic hotel, including the addition of an accessible toilet near the Wine Press Restaurant and new gents’ toilets close to the Minstrel Suite, the hotel’s man function room. The completed refurbishment reflects the heritage of the hotel with a contemporary twist.

The Maids Head received an unannounced visit from a Loo of the Year Awards inspector and was assessed against 100 judging criteria including signage, décor, fixtures and fittings and overall standards of cleanliness and management.

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: “We are very proud of our refurbished toilets. It is fantastic to have received this endorsement of their quality, with a national English Loo of the Year Award. I am particularly pleased for our hard working housekeeping team, led by Mandy Ames and specifically Erwin Mullari, who has overall responsibility for keeping the toilets looking at their best.”

The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich claims to be the oldest hotel in Britain, based on the hotel’s site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century.

Now privately owned by the Chaplin family, who also run The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, the Maids Head has 84 bedrooms and caters for a wide range of corporate events in its historic meeting and reception rooms. An ongoing programme of refurbishment and renovation has included the installation of a hi-tech capillary heating and cooling system in the oldest part of the hotel – a first for Norfolk.

Private ownership has also meant a return to a policy of local purchasing for food and drink. Visitors to the bar and restaurant can sample Maids Head Ale from Woodfordes and Winbirri wines from Surlingham.

Norwich historian Walter Rye, who also owned the Maids Head from 1889 to 1895 considered it to be: “the oldest Norman site in the city after the Castle”.

Historian Rev. Francis Blomfield explained that the hotel was built on the site of a house owned by the early Norman bishops. It was this house that became a guest house for visitors to the Cathedral. This eventually became the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, the predecessor of The Maids Head. The tavern is first mentioned in Norwich records in 1287. John Paston recommended the Maids Head as good place to stable a horse in a letter dated 2nd November 1472, confirming the change of name.  

For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk, t. 01603 209955.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Greater Yarmouth 2016 Tourism Launch




The Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area Ltd (GYTABIA) launched its 2016 campaign on Tuesday 8 December at the Hollywood Cinema to an audience of over 200 local tourism and business professionals.

The centrepiece of the launch was the première screening of 15 new films, including a special extended version of the new TV advert, all to be shown online in 2016. These new films, produced by Norfolk based Ember Films for internet use, are aimed at the growing audience of online viewers who use YouTube as a search engine and the trend of watching ‘on demand’ online, both of which are increasing as traditional media loses viewers to the internet. 

The themed films look at different aspects of Greater Yarmouth, highlighting all sorts of things that visitors can do, from shopping to exploring heritage, from enjoying indoor or outdoor attractions to discovering what’s open in winter for holidays out of season, as well as taking a more in-depth look at some of the stories behind tourism. 

Pictured at the Hollywood Cinema, Alan Carr Chief Executive, Karen Youngs, Project Manager, Cllr Barry Coleman Vice-Chairman, Kirsty Burn Marketing Manager, David Marsh interim Chairman, GYTABIA.
David Marsh, Interim GYTABIA Chairman said: “We want to inspire a new generation of visitors through a medium that is current, relevant and accessible and create an online social buzz by focussing on the key strengths of our destination and on the lives of some of the people who make our destination great.”

The launch was also an opportunity to reveal the 2016 Holiday and Short Break brochure and to announce some of the projects that the BID will be able to support in 2016 and beyond.

Cllr Barry Coleman, GYTABIA Vice Chairman said: “Business leaders from all over the borough from east to west, from Winterton-on-Sea to Hopton-on-Sea have recognised that the BID is an amazing opportunity to galvanise communities and groups of traders to work together towards a common goal: to increase customer numbers, customer satisfaction and customer spend.”  

“Of the 40 or so ideas submitted, the BID will be supporting a range of projects including an Eating Out Week, a National School’s Sailing Regatta in Gorleston and Hopton’s 10th Anniversary Fete and Carnival.  There will also be continued support for the Wheels Festival, Great Yarmouth Arts Festival,  the Film Festival,  Martham Scarecrow Festival,  UK Beach Volleyball in Gorleston, the summer fireworks in Great Yarmouth and Hemsby, Gorleston’s annual Christmas Switch-On and for the popular Maritime Festival.”

The BID Board has also allocated funding to assess the feasibility of staging an Air Show in Great Yarmouth in 2017.  

David Marsh said: “This is a probably our most ambitious and challenging project so far and we will need every day of the 18-month lead in time to make sure everything is in place.”

“The BID is also about helping create a good first and lasting impression so we are pleased to be able to support floral projects in Hemsby and Filby as well as developing new trails around Winterton-on-Sea.  Working with the Community Trust the BID is also supporting the ‘Station Hosts,’ a team of meeters and greeters who provide information to visitors arriving and departing through Great Yarmouth railway station.”

All priority projects identified at the November board meeting are being worked up now for final approval in January.

Cllr Coleman who is also GYBC’s portfolio holder for tourism said: “Tourism is a key sector in the borough’s economy; some £130 million, or 24.5% of the annual tourism spend, is contributed by tourism businesses spending with other businesses.  We look forward to continuing to work with partners across the borough to make a real difference over the next few years.”



Tuesday, 8 December 2015

50 Christmas Trees in a Church, Dickleburgh, Norfolk – The Winners

The 12th annual 50 Christmas Trees in a Church at All Saints Dickleburgh, South Norfolk, drew to a close on Sunday, December 6, with the prize-giving for the 23 most popular trees voted by visitors to the festival.

Ladies Tractor Road Run (for Cancer Research UK’s breast cancer appeal) was the winner in the adult category for their tree decorated with tiny pink bras. Susan Whymark Funeral Service came second with an amazing ‘dress’ tree and Culrose Residential Care Home were third with their gingerbread themed tree.

Annie Chapman - Ladies Tractor Road Run 
1st Dickleburgh Rainbows, who combined with Harleston District Girl Guiding, won the children’s category with their fabulous plastic bottle tree, displaying Christmas messages of hope. Harleston CE VA Primary School came second with their Hands of Hope tree and Burston Community Primary School was third with their gingerbread house tree.

Dickleburgh Rainbows and Harleston Girl Guiding tree
The Nick Arnull Plate, for the most innovative tree, was shared by Susan Whymark Funeral Service and 1st Dickleburgh Rainbows with Harleston District Girl Guiding.

The Christmas Tree festival has raised £2,000 for EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices) and a donation will also be made to Norfolk & Norwich Hospital Oncology Department, with residual funds being retained by the Benefice of Dickleburgh and the Pulhams.

Rowena Roskelly, one of the festival’s organisers, said: “We have had an excellent week. I would particularly like to thank all the volunteers who helped set up the church and look after visitors throughout the Christmas Tree festival. Thanks also go the local organisations and businesses who contributed such a superb collection of decorated trees; many congratulations to all the winners. This has been the last 50 Christmas Trees in a Church at Dickleburgh, although some of the volunteers are thinking about running something different in the church during Advent 2016.”

For more information about 50 Christmas Trees in a Church, including the full list of winners, see www.50christmastrees.com.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Maids Head Hotel Norwich Celebrates Completion of £1.3 million Refurbishment

The Lord Mayor of Norwich decalres the bathrooms project completed 

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Brenda Arthur visited the Maids Head Hotel  in Norwich on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, to mark the completion of  £1.3 million of refurbishment projects at the historic hotel, carried out over the last 12 months.

Projects Completed
  • Forty bathrooms in the newest wing in the hotel have been fully renovated. Each bathroom or shower features a large-scale photograph of historic Norwich, supplied by local photographers, who entered a competition run last year in partnership with Eastern Daily Press, Evening News and iwitness24.co.uk. 
  • An environmentally friendly capillary heating system has been installed in the oldest part of the hotel, which dates from the 15th century. The capillary heating system, a first for a hotel in Norfolk, is driven by heat pumps located on the hotel roof. It will keep the bedrooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer and will reduce the heating bill by a third. 
  • The public lounges have had a complete contemporary makeover with new furniture and decoration. 
  • Guests have the latest iRiS guest services paper free app in their bedrooms. The iPad based system, another first for a hotel in Norfolk, gives guests the opportunity to reserve a table in the restaurant and order their meal, order drinks at the bar, book taxis, check airport departure boards, browse the internet, get the latest information on events and culture in Norwich and days out in Norfolk and much more.  The app will also soon include the environmental control switch for bedrooms with the capillary heating system.
  • The public toilets have all been fully refurbished, including the addition of a new accessible toilet near the restaurant and new gents near the Minstrel Suite (the main function room).
Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: “We were delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor to the hotel to mark the completion of our current refurbishment work at the hotel. We are very proud of the Maids Head’s long history, serving the people of Norwich and Norfolk and visitors to the city for at least eight centuries. We have carried out a range of sympathetic renovation projects to ensure that the historic building meets the expectations of 21st century visitors and operates in a much more environmentally friendly way.”

The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich claims to be the oldest hotel in Britain, based on the hotel’s site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century.

Now privately owned by the Chaplin family, who also run The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, the Maids Head has 84 bedrooms and caters for a wide range of corporate events and special functions in its historic meeting and reception rooms.

Private ownership has meant a return to a policy of local purchasing for food and drink. Visitors to the bar and restaurant can sample Maids Head Ale from Woodfordes and Winbirri wines from Surlingham.

Norwich historian Walter Rye, who also owned the Maids Head from 1889 to 1895 considered it to be: “the oldest Norman site in the city after the Castle”.

Eighteenth century historian Rev. Francis Blomfield explained that the hotel was built on the site of a house owned by the early Norman bishops. It was this house that became a guest house for visitors to the Cathedral. This eventually became the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, the predecessor of The Maids Head. The tavern is first mentioned in Norwich records in 1287. John Paston recommended the Maids Head as good place to stable a horse in a letter dated 2nd November 1472, confirming the change of name.

For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk, t. 01603 209955.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Dickleburgh Church Norfolk 12th Annual Christmas Tree Extravaganza


The 12th annual South Norfolk Christmas Tree extravaganza, 50 Christmas Trees in a Church, is set to take place at All Saints Dickleburgh from Sunday, November 29 to Sunday, December 6, open 10am to 7pm daily (closes 4pm on 6 December).

There is also an opening ceremony at 5pm on Saturday, November 28 and the prize-giving ceremony is at 5pm on Sunday, December 6 in the church.

The festival is in aid of EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices), Norfolk & Norwich Hospital Oncology Department and the Benefice of Dickleburgh and the Pulhams. Entrance is free, but there is a £1 charge for a voting slip. Donations are most welcome.

This year’s theme is ‘Christmas Hope’; 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 side, as each organisation that enters has the chance to be declared best adult or children’s tree as a result of the visitors’ vote. There is also a special award for the most innovative tree.

Event organiser Rev’d James Roskelly said: “We are really looking forward to seeing the church full of Christmas Trees again, celebrating this year’s theme, ‘Christmas Hope’. Our event is an excellent way to begin the Christmas season and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the festival to enjoy the glorious trees, but also to take time for peaceful reflection.”

Morning coffee, light lunches and teas are served every day until 5pm throughout the festival in Dickleburgh Church Rooms (next to the church).

Dickleburgh village is to the north of Diss, just off the A140. For more information t. 01379 676256, www.50christmastrees.com.



Thanksgiving Service at Wymondham Abbey Marks Completion of The Abbey Experience

Pictured in the new St Benedict's area left to right: Sybil Martin, Church Warden, The Rev'd Canon Christopher Davies, Vicar and Chair of The Abbey Project Steering Group,  The Rt. Rev’d Dr Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford,  Brian Randall Church Warden, Bernard Douglass Church Warden and Mike Halls Vice Chair The Abbey Project Steering Group.

The Rt. Rev’d Dr Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford, conducted a special Service of Thanksgiving at Wymondham Abbey, Norfolk, on Sunday, November 15 to mark the completion of The Abbey Experience, the biggest change to the church since Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The £2.75 million project, supported by a £1.75 million grant for the Heritage Lottery Fund, grants from charitable trusts and local fundraising has greatly improved public access in the building and aims to strengthen links with the local community.

Over the last 18 months two extensions have been added to the east end of the church featuring much needed new facilities, including an activity area for school visits, meeting rooms, space to display items from the Abbey’s archive, colourful interpretation about the Abbey’s story, toilets and a servery. The great West Doors, closed for 50 years, have been re-opened to enable the processional route to be used on special occasions and the South Aisle, once hidden by a large partition, has been restored.

The procession at the start of the service
Speaking to the packed congregation, the Bishop of Thetford said: “This is a moment to celebrate together the completion of The Abbey Development project, the first major change to the building for 500 years. This is a restoration of something that was lost at the Reformation; the restoration of the fabric of the former priory, so that Benedictine hospitality and welcome can be foremost. This building is for all who will visit. This is a gift not for you (the congregation) to enjoy, but a vehicle for others to encounter the love of God that inspired this building to be built and its restoration.”

Wymondham Abbey was founded as a Benedictine Priory in 1107 by William d’Aubigny, Chief Butler to King Henry I and was a dependency of the Benedictine Monastery of St Albans. From the start the church was divided between the monks’ and the townspeople’s areas. This was the cause of regular disputes. The priory was closed in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and was gradually demolished, but the parish church survived.

Wymondham Abbey, NR18 0PH, is open daily 10am to 4pm, t. 01953 607062, www.wymondhamabbey.com.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Discover Doggerland at The Cut Halesworth



Discover Doggerland, the drowned world under the North Sea, at The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk on Saturday, November 7, 10am to 3.30pm. The event organised by Waveney & Blyth Arts features science, myth, art and stories and a presentation from ‘Mr Doggerland’, Professor Vincent Gaffney, ‘Not drowning but waving – Doggerland past, present and future.’

Tickets cost £15 (£10 for Waveney & Blyth Arts Members) from 0845 673 2123 or www.newcut.org. The event is supported by Touching the Tide and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The notion of being an island race is a significant part of our cultural identity, but only 8,000 years ago our ancestors could walk to The Netherlands. What is now the North Sea was a vast low-lying plain, which contained settled populations, until they were forced out by the rising sea.  

Melinda Appleby, project co-ordinator explains: “The Discover Doggerland day could not be more timely. It takes place just a few weeks after a multi-million pound research project into the area was announced. Research scientists from several universities are collaborating using 4D technology to explore the landforms under the North Sea and gain an understanding of how the land was colonised and used by Mesolithic people.”

“Professor Vincent Gaffney has kindly agreed to come down from Bradford to explain his research and give an insight into Doggerland. We are very lucky that he can find the time to join us, as he has also been involved in the recent discoveries at super-Stonehenge.”

Covehithe Treescape - Jeremy Webb
Tim Holt-Wilson will talk about Doggerland, a mythic geography, exploring links between environmental history and the imagination and, in a collaboration between arts and science, the day will also include work by eight artists who were challenged to explore and respond to the concept of this drowned world. The artists are Maggie Campbell, maker/sculptor, Sian Croose voice artist, Debra Hyatt filmmaker, Jayne Ivimey visual artist, Samia Malik singer/painter, Paul Osborne ceramicist, Stephen Watts writer and Jeremy Webb photographer.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Fairhaven Garden’s Spooky Halloween Party – Saturday, October 31


Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, in the Norfolk Broads, invites you to the spookiest Halloween party around – the 16th annual Fairhaven Halloween woodland trail, on Saturday, October 31, from 6pm to 8pm.

Explore the creepy woodland trail where lost souls roam, delve down into the haunted hollow where the trees are alive with things unseen. There’s electrifying live music, cheerful children's entertainers and lots more. Dress code is diabolical. Don't miss the fireworks finale at 7.45pm.

Tickets cost, adults £8, and children (age 3-16)  £4 (ticket only event). Visitors can go round the trail as many times as they dare and should bring their own torch. Please note the event is not suitable for children under 3, pushchairs and dogs. To book t. 01603 270449.

Hot soup, hot dogs and snacks will be on sale in the tearoom.

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

The garden is open daily all year (closed Christmas Day) 10am to 5pm (closes 4pm in the winter), free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

16th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival Norfolk Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September 2015

The Götheborg
The 16th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival returns to South Quay on Saturday 5 September (10am to 6pm) and Sunday 6 September (10am to 5pm) to celebrate the town’s proud maritime past and important maritime future, with visiting ships including The Götheborg, the world’s largest wooden sailing ship and the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Lord Nelson. It’s the first time that The Götheborg from Sweden will be seen at a UK Maritime Festival.

There’s also a full programme of international shanty and folk music, street entertainment, arts, crafts and children’s activities and the first visit of the thrilling DJR Freestyle JetSki Display Team. The festival is organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) in association with Seajacks UK Ltd.

Festival activities and entertainment on South Quay are free; a donation of £1 per visitor towards festival costs is welcomed.

JST Lord Nelson
As well as The Götheborg and JST Lord Nelson, MTB102, the third last vessel to leave Dunkirk in 1940 will be on South Quay, along with steam drifter Lydia Eva, RASC Fast Launch Humber, RNLI Great Yarmouth & Gorleston’s Samarbeta lifeboat, HMC Protector (customs cutter) and MV Confidante (Gardline coastal survey vessel).

The DJR JetSki Display Team, which comprises British and European champions, performs some of the most advanced water based stunts ranging from 15ft high backflips, barrel rolls and 360 and 540 degree spins, to submarines and fountains in the river. Performance times on 5 September are 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm and 6 September are 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.30pm.

Scheepsfolk
Shanty and maritime music will be performed throughout the weekend at three different venues on South Quay and a fourth stage in Great Yarmouth Market Place. New visiting shanty groups and singers are Patrick & Miguel from France, Scheepsfolk from The Netherlands, 2 Anchors from Gloucester, Roaring Forties from Scunthorpe and Kimber’s Men and Monkey’s Fist both from Yorkshire. Returning performers are Suffolk’s John Ward & Mario Price and Capstan Full Strength. Wrentham Brass Band will be on South Quay to start Sunday morning with a maritime programme.

Addison's Uncle
There’s also a special concert with Norfolk folk band, Addison’s Uncle on The Götheborg’s sun deck, from 8pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 5 September. Tickets for the concert cost £10 and are on sale at www.maritime-festival.co.uk (eshop), Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre, Marine Parade, t. 01493 846346, or at the Maritime Festival during the day on September 5 and in the evening ‘on the door’. Fish and chips, beer and soft drinks will be on sale on the quayside.

Visitors will be able to go aboard The Götheborg, JST Lord Nelson, and the Lydia Eva, and meet Admiral Nelson and Mrs Hamilton, Horatio Herring, Lofty the Lighthouse and Mrs H. There will be military re-enactments from East Norfolk Militia, street theatre from Inner State, Punch and Judy shows with Professor Pulson and face painting and balloon modelling.

Find out about the Broads and local nature reserves, meet the RSPB and Norfolk Wildlife Trust, then watch Ernie Childs paint a maritime masterpiece before your eyes, see lace making, spinning and gansey knitting and maritime wood carving, also have a go at making a fisherman’s net.

The JST Lord Nelson will be moored at the south end of the festival. Visitors in wheelchairs are advised to use the Middle Gate or the South Gate to access the event as there is a 96m long cobbled area towards the North Gate which some wheelchair users may find challenging to navigate.

JST Lord Nelson will be operating restricted opening times of 10am to 11.30pm and 3pm to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 12noon on Sunday, so visitors are advised to arrive early to go aboard this ship.

The Götheborg will be moored near the main stage between middle gate and south gate. Daytime entrance fees are £5 for adults and £4 for children. Family tickets for up to 5 people will cost £20. Fast track tickets are on sale at www.maritime-festival.co.uk (eshop). Unfortunately disabled access is not available on The Götheborg.

Aileen Mobbs, Maritime Festival Chairman said: “It is a dream come true to have secured such a prestigious sailing ship as The Götheborg for Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, made possible by funding support from the new Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA). The Götheborg will be at the heart of a weekend of maritime celebration, with JST Nelson, other visiting ships, a busy international shanty singing programme and lots of demonstrations, hands-on activities and entertainment. We are enormously grateful to all our festival sponsors.”

The Maritime Festival sponsors are Seajacks UK Ltd, 3Sun Group, Bateman Groundworks, Birketts LLP, Bunn Fertiliser Ltd, ELM Contracts, e.on Climate & Renwables, HKB Wiltshire, Gardline, MDF Transport, Perenco, Persimmon Homes Anglia, Stevenson Smart and Wellington Construction. The festival is also supported by EastPort UK, Great Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

The Götheborg, which completed its maiden voyage in 2005-07, is a replica of the original Götheborg, which was built in 1738 at Terra Nova ship yard, in Stockholm, for the Swedish East India Company (Svenska Ostindiska Companiet), and was used for three lucrative voyages between Sweden and China.

The ship dramatically sank on 12 September 1745, in Gothenburg harbour, returning from her third China voyage. She ran aground on a notorious submerged rock, the Hunnebådan (known as the Knipla Börö in the 18th century), right in front of merchants and family members, waiting to welcome the crew and its cargo home.

In 1984 a number of exploratory dives to the shipwreck took place, and an ambitious dream was born to reconstruct The Götheborg to 100% scale, using traditional 18th century ship building skills, methods and materials, but complying with the very latest technological advances for navigation, cooking, heating and hygiene.

Nineteen years after the first dive, including the reconstruction of the original shipyard to carry out much of the work, the new Götheborg was launched in 2003, and finally set sail in October 2005 on a two-year expedition to China, commemorating the maiden voyage of the original Götheborg, www.soic.se/en.

Friday, 21 August 2015

JetSki Display Team at Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 5 and 6 September




The thrilling DJR Freestyle JetSki Display Team is making its Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival debut on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September.

The JetSki Display Team, which comprises British and European champions, performs some of the most advanced water based stunts ranging from 15ft high backflips, barrel rolls and 360 and 540 degree spins, to submarines and fountains in the river. The JetSki team will be on hand to talk about the engines, routines, and nature of the sport on South Quay when not on the water. Performance times on 5 September are 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm and 6 September are 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.30pm.

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on 5 September, 10am to 6pm and 6 September, 10am to 5pm, celebrates the town’s proud maritime past and important maritime future with visiting ships including The Götheborg, the world’s largest wooden sailing ship and the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Lord Nelson. It’s the first time that The Götheborg from Sweden will be seen at a UK Maritime Festival.

There’s also a full programme of international shanty and folk music, street entertainment, arts, crafts and children’s activities. Festival activities and entertainment on South Quay are free; a donation of £1 per visitor towards festival costs is welcomed.

The festival is organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) in association with Seajacks UK Ltd.

Aileen Mobbs, Maritime Festival Chairman said: “The DJR JetSki Display Team is a thrilling addition to the Maritime Festival. I am sure that their amazing stunts will be a firm favourite with the visitors to the Festival.”

The Maritime Festival sponsors are Seajacks UK Ltd, 3Sun Group, Bateman Groundworks, Birketts LLP, Bunn Fertiliser Ltd, ELM Contracts, e.on Climate & Renewables, HKB Wiltshire, Gardline, MDF Transport, Perenco, Persimmon Homes Anglia, Petrofac, Stevenson Smart and Wellington Construction. The festival is also supported by EastPort UK, Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.



Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Norfolk’s Addison’s Uncle Concert on The Götheborg – Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival

Addison's Uncle
Swedish Tall Ship The Götheborg, the world’s largest wooden sailing ship, which is making its UK Maritime Festival debut in Great Yarmouth, is hosting a concert with Norfolk folk band, Addison’s Uncle, on the evening of Saturday, September 5.

The concert, staged on The Götheborg’s sun deck, is from 8pm to 9.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and are on sale at Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre, Marine Parade, t. 01493 846346, or at the Maritime Festival during the day on September 5 and in the evening ‘on the door’. Fish and chips, beer and soft drinks will be on sale on the quayside.

Addison's Uncle is a 'stampy' English Folk band. Since finding out about becoming an uncle, singer-songwriter Philip Pearson has been writing his 21st century folk story, telling honest, personal stories of family, friends, childhood, home and his native Norfolk coastline. Last year the band released their homage to the Norfolk road network – ‘B1159’.

The band comprises Philip Pearson, guitar and vocals, Georgia Shackleton, fiddle and vocals, Aaren Bennett, guitar and vocals, Nic Zuppardi, mandolin, James Maas, ukulele, Joe Hartley, bass and Tom Hartley, drums.

Aileen Mobbs, Maritime Festival Chairman said: “Addison’s Uncle’s concert will round off day one of the Maritime Festival on a fantastic musical high. What better way to spend an evening than listen to Norfolk inspired folk music on board The Götheborg, the largest wooden sailing vessel in the world? It is going to be a truly memorable occasion.”

The Götheborg will be moored near the main stage between middle gate and south gate and will be open during the day throughout the festival on Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6.

Daytime entrance fees are £6.50 for adults and £5 for children. Discounted family tickets for 1 adult and 3 children or 2 adults and 2 children will cost £20. Unfortunately disabled access is not available on The Götheborg.

The Götheborg
The Götheborg, which completed its maiden voyage in 2005-07, is a replica of the original Götheborg, which was built in 1738 at Terra Nova ship yard, in Stockholm, for the Swedish East India Company (Svenska Ostindiska Companiet), and was used for three lucrative voyages between Sweden and China.

The ship dramatically sank on 12 September 1745, in Gothenburg harbour, returning from her third China voyage. She ran aground on a notorious submerged rock, the Hunnebådan (known as the Knipla Börö in the 18th century), right in front of merchants and family members, waiting to welcome the crew and its cargo home.

In 1984 a number of exploratory dives to the shipwreck took place, and an ambitious dream was born to reconstruct The Götheborg to 100% scale, using traditional 18th century ship building skills, methods and materials, but complying with the very latest technological advances for navigation, cooking, heating and hygiene.

Nineteen years after the first dive, including the reconstruction of the original shipyard to carry out much of the work, the new Götheborg was launched in 2003, and finally set sail in October 2005 on a two-year expedition to China, commemorating the maiden voyage of the original Götheborg.

The Maritime Festival sponsors are Seajacks UK Ltd, 3Sun Group, Bateman Groundworks, Birketts LLP, Bunn Fertiliser Ltd, ELM Contracts, e.on Climate & Renwables, HKB Wiltshire, Gardline, MDF Transport, Perenco, Persimmon Homes Anglia, Petrofac, Stevenson Smart and Wellington Construction. The festival is also supported by EastPort UK, Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

For more information about Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival see www.maritime-festival.co.uk.

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival Enjoy International Shanty and Folk Singers 5 and 6 September 2015


Patrick and Miguel from France, Scheepsfolk from The Netherlands, 2 Anchors from Gloucester, Roaring Forties from Scunthorpe and Kimber’s Men and Monkey’s Fist both from Yorkshire, join the roster of live music acts for the first time at the 16th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on Saturday 5 September (10am to 6pm) and Sunday 6 September (10am to 5pm) .

Scheepsfolk
Shanty and folk music is performed throughout the festival on three South Quay stages.  New for this year, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, as part of its Town Centre Initiative, is funding an additional festival stage and entertainment in the Market Place, to better link the town centre to South Quay, encouraging the movement of visitors in both directions, and to provide yet another reason for people to visit the festival and the town centre. Eight shanty groups will play on both days, between 11am and about 3.30pm, with Dusmagrik Young People's Theatre Company also performing on the Sunday.

Kimber's Men
The Maritime Festival also features visiting ships, notably The Swedish Ship Götheborg, the world’s largest wooden sailing ship and the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Lord Nelson, street entertainment, arts, crafts and children’s activities, all celebrating Great Yarmouth’s proud maritime past and maritime future.

The event, organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), takes place on South Quay; activities and entertainment are free (entry charge to go on The Götheborg). A donation of £1 per visitor towards Festival costs is welcomed.

The Shanty programme is managed by Great Yarmouth based Sue and John Griffiths who have been performing as shanty singers, The Mollyhawks, since the late 1990s.

Sue Griffiths said: “We have sung at every Maritime Festival and have organised the shanty singing programme since the second festival. We make sure that we have a mix of singers and musicians who are both good entertainers and experienced maritime and shanty singers. This is the second year that we have had more of an international flavour to the festival with singers from The Netherlands and France, as well others from the UK and local performers. There’s going to be some fantastic music on the four stages throughout the festival weekend.”  

Patrick and Miguel
Patrick Denain & Miguel Biard from France perform songs from the French shanty tradition. Scheepsfolk from The Netherlands, comprising four musicians, performs nautical songs from America and Europe on accordion, guitar, mandolin, banjo, accordion, washboard, kazoo, harmonica, cajon and bass.

Roaring Forties were founded in 1995, Monkey’s Fist in 2000, Kimber’s Men in 2001 and 2 Anchors have been on the UK shanty scene since 2009. All four groups sing powerful sea shanties and nautical songs from around the world.

John Ward
Suffolk based singer-songwriter John Ward returns for the second year joined by violinist Mario Price, with Lynne Ward on harmonies. They perform a mix of John’s original compositions and traditional songs, punctuated by Mario’s high-energy instrumentals.

Also at the festival are regulars Inner State and Capstan Full Strength. Wrentham Brass Band will also be there to start Sunday morning with a maritime programme.

For more information about Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival go to www.maritime-festival.co.uk.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Children's Day at Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads – Circus Bizerkus with the Foolhardy Folk


The annual summer Children’s Day at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, on Wednesday, August 26, from 11am to 3pm, features East Anglia’s favourite clowns the Foolhardy Folk and their new show Circus Bizerkus.

There are circus workshops from 11am to 1.45pm, followed by the Circus Bizerkus performance at 2pm. Children’s craft activities run from 11am to 3pm.

Circus Bizerkus: the circus is in town, but it’s just Cosmo, the ringmaster and Bert his trusty ring hand. The rest of the troupe is on the tour bus last heard of on the B9127 heading for Arbroath. With the show due to start, Cosmo decides that he will have to do it on his own. He can juggle, knows the magic tricks, and is handy on the diabolo. He even used to do the grand finale handstand on a chair in his younger days. However the enthusiastic Bert has other plans. Seeing his chance to perform, he persuades Cosmo to let him help and mayhem ensues.

ChiIdren’s Day is included in garden entry: adult £6.20, concessions £5.70, child £3.65 (under 5 free).

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 www.fairhavengarden.co.uk. The garden is open daily all year from 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), and on Wednesdays until 9pm to the end of August, free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat for trips on the broad from April to October (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.


Great Yarmouth Heritage Walks – Summer Holiday Special – Gorey Stories

Great Yarmouth - Marine Parade
Discover ‘Gorey Stories on a Wicked Walk’ on a special Summer Holiday Heritage Walk in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday, August 26. The walk starts at 2pm from the Fishermen’s Hospital Gates in the Market Place and lasts up to two hours.

Places must be booked in advance on 01493 846346, or at Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre, Marine Parade. Prices: £6.50 adults, £4 children (7-16), under 7 free, price includes refreshments in the Star Hotel.  Twenty maximum on the walk, so book early (10 minimum for guided walk to take place).

Great Yarmouth has had its fair share of tall stories and unpleasant goings-on. Hear tales of body snatchers, disasters, murders in the Rows and the visit of the Witch Finder General. The walk finishes with fascinating findings at the Star Hotel.

The regular programme of guided Heritage Walks continues with ‘On the Warpath: Piers and Bombs’, on Sunday, August 23. This walk covers the Victorian piers and the former jetty from which Nelson embarked for the Battle of Copenhagen, and also looks at the impact of the two World Wars with army billets, sea defences and digging for victory in the seafront flowerbeds.

The walk starts from in front of the Wellington Pier. Just turn up on the day and pay the guide: adults £3.75, children (7-16) £1.50 and under 7 free.  

For details of Great Yarmouth’s full programme of Heritage Walks see
www.heritage-walks.co.uk, or pick up a leaflet at Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads – New Hydrangea Path’s Summer Colour

 Mary Wright from East Harling, with dog Taffy and Christine Malone
from Stebbing in Essex enjoying the new Hydrangea Path.
The new Hydrangea Path created in the West Garden, earlier this year, to mark Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden’s 40th anniversary is at its colourful best.

“We developed the Hydrangea Path to add interest in the summer season. The multi-coloured hydrangeas add a new aspect to Fairhaven, at a time of year when the garden is very lush and green,” explained Louise Rout, Garden Manager. “Many wildflower species can also be seen, supporting our butterfly and dragonfly populations.”

Fairhaven Garden new Hydrangea Path
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 from 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), and on Wednesdays until 9pm to the end of August. Entry is entry: adult £6.20, concessions £5.70, child £3.65 (under 5 free), with free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat for trips on the broad from April to October (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.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

River Waveney Sculpture Trail Opens on Friday 14 August

Waveney and Blyth Arts’ River Waveney Sculpture Trail returns for the second year this summer to the River Waveney Trust near Bungay, opening on Friday, August 14.

The Sculpture Trail, which is supported by Essex & Suffolk Water’s Branch Out fund and is curated by Norfolk artist and curator, Sarah Cannell, will feature 40 new sculptures and installations from 32 artists that respond to the beauty of this stunning part of the River Waveney.

The River Waveney Sculpture Trail is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from August 14 to September 6 and August Bank Holiday Monday, 10am to 4pm. Entry is adult £4, under 18 free and £3 for members of Waveney & Blyth Arts and River Waveney Trust. Venue address – River Waveney Study Centre, Old Harleston Road, Earsham, Bungay NR35 2AF.

Sculptures and installations on the trail include:

Rachael Long’s exotic giraffes. Fascinated by the skeleton and musculature of animals and birds she transforms redundant machine parts into forms that convey the essence of living creatures to magical effect.


Inspired by the fabulous natural environment at the River Waveney Trust, Meryem Siemmond’s 'Swand' sculpture has travelled all the way from a quarry in Carrera, Italy, where it was created.



Meg Amsden’s - Part the branches – enter the alder glade, listen, look, sniff. Who lives here? Leaping, crawling, flying things and maybe a glimpse of the god Pan.



“Waveney and Blyth Arts are delighted to be collaborating with the River Waveney Trust again on this inspirational arts event kindly supported by Essex & Suffolk Water. The curator, Sarah Cannell, has selected artists whose work responds to the site in a creative and magical way. This year you can expect to find tiny masterpiece paintings hidden in a bird hide, a new breed of dragonfly created from twigs and leaves, abandoned umbrellas revived into striking sculptures, crocheted trees, paper boats and much more!” Nicky Stainton, Chairperson, Waveney & Blyth Arts.

Norfolk and Suffolk artists whose work will feature on the trail are: Meg Amsden, Nick Ball, Kelly Briggs, Clive, Sarah Cannell, Mike Challis, Rebecca Clifford, Malcolm Cudmore, Lorry Cudmore, Nicki Darrell, Kally Davison, Mike Dodd, Patrick Elder, Sophie Giller, Patrick Goodall, Joanna Guthrie, Pamela Harling-Challis, Mel Horwood, Jayne Ivimey, Davide Lakshmanasamy, Rachael Long, Caroline Mackenzie, Kathleen Madigan, Eric Marland, Liz McGowan, Nikkita Morgan, Simon Raven, James Rose, Meryem Siemmond, Bobbie Watchorn, Caroline Way and Terry Wright.

Thanks to Essex and Suffolk Water's grant, Waveney and Blyth Arts has been able to commission a guest artist to create a new work for the trail. Sound artist Mike Challis has created Soundhide trail, a structure incorporating a soundscape recorded on the site during the seasons and at different times of day and night and through different elements – air, water and wood.

The trail will also feature The Book Project exhibition in the café at River Waveney Trust’s Study Centre, comprising preliminary paintings, drawings, photographs and prints celebrating the River Waveney between Brockdish and Bungay, created by members of Harleston & Waveney Art Trail. A full-colour book of images and text will be published later this year.

Special Events
Dancing the Landscape, Saturday, August 22, 4pm to 6pm, cost £5 including entry to the trail. Community dance practitioner, Mel Horwood will lead participants through ways to connect with the Waveney landscape through movement responses. Adults only, no dance experience necessary. To book 07500 600176.

Curator’s Guided Walk, Thursday, August 27, 2pm to 4pm, cost £7 including tea and cake. Sarah Cannell’s tour will give an insight into the process of creating the trail and the artists’ work. To book email sarah.cannell1@gmail.com

Family Fun Day, Sunday, August 30, 10am to 4pm, cost £2 per child – a day of drop-in creative activities.

River Waveney Trust Café is open daily serving tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches.

For information about access on the site go to www.phototrails.org search under Norfolk for the River Waveney Trust.

Only trained assistance dogs are allowed on the trail.


Monday, 10 August 2015

Maids Head Norwich – Gift of 1945 Hotel Bill

A 70 year-old bill, in near perfect condition, for a one-week stay at the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, along with a tariff card, has been donated to the hotel and provides a remarkable insight into a visit to Norfolk in the immediate post-war period.

Mrs and Miss Dale stayed in the Maids Head’s room 58, from 16 to 23 October 1945 at 17 shillings (85p) a day, had breakfast every morning at 7 shillings (35p) for 2, lunch on four occasions at 8 shillings (40p) for two and dinner on six evenings at 10 shillings (50p) for two. Their total bill came to £14/6s/4d (£14.32p).

Patience and Esme Dale's Hotel Bill October 1945
Miss Dale (Esme) died recently aged 94. Her stepdaughter Dorothy Latham found the bill and the 1945 Maids Head tariff, while going through her papers.    

Dorothy Latham explained: “At the time of her stay, Esme was accompanied by her mother, Patience, who was very recently widowed. They were living in Newcastle upon Tyne.  Over the years, Esme moved house many times, so it is remarkable that the bill is in such good condition.”

Esme Dale in Land Army uniform (1942)
“Esme was in the Land Army during World War II and her last posting was in Norfolk. I have found several old small fuzzy photographs taken at a farm in Norfolk; on the back of one of them, she has written Carr Farm, Kerdiston. Esme was given permission to leave the Land Army in 1945 on compassionate grounds, in order to help her mother, when her father, Joseph, died suddenly. This was the cause of much regret for her, as she loved Norfolk and the Land Army.”

“Before the War, Esme and her parents toured the country in their car for holidays and Norfolk was one of the places they enjoyed. I am sure that, because of all the happy memories, this was why they came to the Maids Head after her father’s death.”

On the back of the tariff Esme Dale has noted the train times for their journey from Newcastle to Norwich, leaving at 8.10am and arriving at 2pm, changing at York and Ely. She added the address of George Smith & Son in Wroxham, so they must have been planning a trip on the Norfolk Broads and also worked out their budget for the week.

Maids Head Hotel tariff 1945
The bill gives a fascinating insight into the Maids Head in 1945. There is a motor garage ‘offering first-class open and closed motor cars for hire’ and there is a line on the bill for ‘servants’ board and apartments’. The tariff promotes ‘hot and cold running water in all bedroom’ and ‘central heating’.

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: “I am so pleased that Dorothy Latham contacted us. We are going to frame the bill and put it on public display. We are very keen to gather memories of the hotel, so we can build a fuller picture of life at the Maids Head over the centuries.”

 The Maids Head Hotel claims to be the oldest hotel in Britain, based on the hotel’s site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century. Norwich historian, Walter Rye, who also owned the Maids Head from 1889 to 1895 considered it to be: “the oldest Norman site in the city after the Castle”.

Eighteenth century historian Rev. Francis Blomfield explained that the hotel was built on the site of a house owned by the early Norman bishops. It was this house that became a guest house for visitors to the Cathedral. This eventually became the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, the predecessor of The Maids Head. The tavern is first mentioned in Norwich records in 1287. John Paston recommended the Maids Head as good place to stable a horse in a letter dated 2nd November 1472, confirming the change of name.

For more information about the Maids Head see www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk, t. 01603 209955.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Rare Snow Leopard Cubs Make Debut at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens Norfolk

Snow Leopard Cub Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens August 2015
Two rare snow leopard cubs, the first to be born at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens near Great Yarmouth, have made their handling debut.

The cubs born to mother Nima and father Mohan in June have been handled for the first time by Ian McNichol, Senior Veterinary Surgeon of Acle Anchorage Veterinary Hospital. They were sexed, vaccinated and health checked. Ian McNichol gave the cubs a clean bill of health and pronounced them to be both male. 

Snow leopards (Uncia uncia) are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered because of their low numbers in the wild and growing human pressure on their habitat, www.iucnredlist.org. They live in the mountains of 12 countries across Central Asia. Numbers are estimated at between 4,000 and 6,500, but as they are spread over such a huge area, contact opportunities for breeding are very poor. 

 Keepers Lisa Rainer and Sophie Simmons with the snow leopard cubs
Mother Nima was born in Belgium in 2012 and father Mohan was born in Zurich in 2013. The two snow leopards came to Thrigby Hall as part of an international breeding programme, co-ordinated by the studbook keeper, Leif Blomquist of Helsinki Zoo. 

Ken Sims and Scott Bird Directors, Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens said: “We are privileged to host these beautiful cats and to make a contribution to the conservation work of progressive zoos.” 

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




Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Great Yarmouth to stage new car festival September 12 and 13

The Bloodhound SSC Showcar - photo Stefan Margoram
A full-sized replica of a supersonic car designed to smash the world land speed record will be the highlight of a major new car festival at Great Yarmouth seafront in Norfolk UK, on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.

The GY Wheels Festival will give visitors to Marine Parade the chance to view scores of prestige and novelty cars, as well as try their hands at fun educational activities, from 10am to 5pm on both days. 

The star attraction will be the official full-sized replica of Bloodhound SSC, a British-built jet-and rocket-powered car, designed to go at 1,000mph, which will attempt to smash the world land speed record.

Jointly organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), with additional funding from Joyland and the American Diner, the free festival aims to further extend the tourism season and support the local economy.

Great Yarmouth is the only location in East Anglia, which the Bloodhound Roadshow will be visiting, before the team heads to Hakskeen Pan, South Africa in summer 2016, with the aim of first setting a new world record of 800mph and then looking to take it to 1,000mph.

The Bloodhound Roadshow will have a marquee on Anchor Plaza, featuring the official showcar, a test drive simulator, and a fun activity enabling young people to make and race compressed air-powered K’Nex cars. Also at Anchor Plaza will be displays of a dragster from Santa Pod Raceway.

Meanwhile, at Britannia Plaza, people will be able to see the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, the Inbetweeners car, Barbie’s car, a Hummer, limousines and the Bloodhound support vehicles. More vehicles will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Autobahn Stormers Club will be showing off their Lotus Carltons on Anchor Gardens, where young people will also be able to design their own rocket cars in blocks of Styrofoam as part of an educational workshop. 

These cars will be cut out in front of their eyes by a Bloodhound expert, will have a rocket motor attached and then be raced along a 30-metre track. The young person with the fastest car will win a VIP day pass to Joyland, plus a burger meal for four at the American Diner.

Also at the festival will be model vehicles from the Lowestoft Mechanical Engineering Exhibition (LOWMEX), plus an information stand from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEMNET).

Peter Harrison, the lead Bloodhound ambassador for the East of England, said: “Bloodhound SSC is not just about smashing the world record but also about inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, encouraging young people to choose to study science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Great Yarmouth, as a hugely popular family resort, is therefore the ideal location – and the GY Wheels Festival will ensure that even more people can enjoy the unique Bloodhound experience.”

Cllr Barry Coleman, the borough council’s deputy leader, whose portfolio includes tourism, said: “The borough council is delighted to be working with partners to stage this free festival, which aims to provide yet another reason to visit the borough later in the season and thereby support the local economy.

“The GY Wheels Festival is a great addition to our growing calendar of festivals. We know from other car festivals around the UK, and the popularity of shows like Top Gear, that cars have a very wide appeal."

“We already have a great line-up, with more vehicular attractions still to be announced, and it has been a major coup to secure the official replica of Bloodhound SSC – a name which everyone will hear a lot more of in the coming months.”

David Marsh, chairman of the GYTABIA, said: “This is a fantastic new festival which will continue to grow over the next five years of the BID, helping to bring extra people into the borough to support local businesses.”

Michael Cole, of Joyland and the American Diner, said: “I have been following this project for a number of years and am delighted that the Bloodhound SSC showcar is to be the star attraction at this year’s GY Wheels Festival next to Joyland."

“It will give everyone a unique opportunity to see this fantastic piece of British engineering and maybe inspire schoolchildren into an engineering career.”

Bloodhound SSC is a jet and rocket-powered car designed to reach 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph) and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. It has a slender body of approximately 13.4m length with two front wheels within the body and two rear wheels mounted externally within wheel fairings. It weighs 7.5 tonnes and the engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower - more than six times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together. The car is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front half being a carbon fibre monocoque like a racing car and the back half being a metallic framework and panels like an aircraft. For more information see www.bloodhoundssc.com

Friday, 10 July 2015

Martham Boats Stages Norfolk’s Only Stand-up Paddleboard Race – July 18


Martham Boats is staging the fifth Norfolk Broads Classic stand-up paddleboard (sup) race on Saturday, July 18. Norfolk’s only sup race, which will feature up to 70 competitors, will have an international element this year with American paddelboarders flying in to take part.

The event, which is supporting Hemsby Inshore Lifeboat, is sponsored by Waterways Holidays and features £800 of prize money, comprises two races. The main 15km race, which is part of the official UK SUP Clubs Series, starts at 2pm from How Hill Staithe, heads down the River Ant, joins the River Bure, then the River Thurne, before ending in Martham. The shorter 6.5km race starts at Thurne at 3.30pm and also ends at Martham.

Ian Curtis from Martham Boats explains: “Five years ago I was looking for something new to run alongside our boat business, experienced paddleboarding in Devon and was hooked. We became accredited as a paddleboarding school and organised our first race, which was from Wayford Bridge to Martham. The feedback we had after year one was that the race was a bit long and we have now settled on the 15km How Hill to Martham route. It’s the second year that we have been part of the official UK SUP Series.”

It costs £25 to take part in the long race and  £15 for the short race (booked before the day of the race). For more information contact Martham Boats, t. 01493 740249 and to register, go to www.marthamboats.com/paddle/norfolk-broads-classic.

Learn how to paddleboard at Martham Boats on a two-hour course costing £30 per person.

Spectators should head to Thurne, where they can watch the long race go past and also the start of the shorter race from the staithe. From Thurne the race route can be followed on foot on the Weaver's Way from Thurne to Repps, then by carefully crossing the A149 and joining a smaller path along to Martham Staithe.

For information about accommodation in the Borough of Great Yarmouth go to www.great-yarmouth.co.uk, or contact Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre t. 01493 846346.