Monday, 30 January 2017

Raveningham Gardens Snowdrop Season Norfolk

Raveningham Gardens in Norfolk opens for the 2017 snowdrop season from Wednesday, February 1 to Tuesday, February 28 (closed all Saturdays). See drifts of snowdrops in the main garden from 11am to 4pm (dusk if earlier). Proceeds from Sundays, February 12 and February 19 go to Priscilla Bacon Lodge Hospice in Norwich.

Richard Hobbs, one of the gardening experts on BBC Radio Norfolk's Garden Party and Raveningham’s garden consultant, will lead snowdrop tours in the garden on Sunday, February 12 at 11.30am and 2pm and will talk about the different varieties planted by Priscilla Bacon. Tours start from the tearoom courtyard and are included in the garden entry charge.

Garden entry is adult £5, concessions £4.50 and children under 16 free. The tearoom will be open serving soup, light refreshments, home made cakes and drinks.

Raveningham Hall is the home of Sir Nicholas and Lady Bacon. It was Sir Nicholas’ mother, Priscilla Bacon, who added snowdrops to the garden.

The 18th century Walled Kitchen Garden with its large glasshouses will be open and visitors will also be able to enjoy views across the new lake established at the turn of the Millennium and the contemporary sculpture in the gardens.

Raveningham Gardens (NR14 6NS) is 10 miles south east of Norwich, signposted off the A146 at Hales, then B1136, t. 01508 548480,

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Cecil Gowing Infant School Marie Curie Daffodil Bulb Planting at Maids Head Hotel

Evie Victoria, Jamie and Emily
Twelve children, aged four to seven, from Cecil Gowing Infant School in Norwich, planted 24 daffodil bulbs at the Maids Head Hotel on Tuesday, January 17 to help raise money for Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal. The children also decorated pots and then planted their own daffodil bulb to take home.

The Maids Head is inviting people to sponsor a daffodil bulb for £15, with the money going to Marie Curie. To aid identification each child also added name sticks next to their bulbs.

The person who sponsors the first daffodil to bloom will win an evening for two in the hotel’s Wine Press restaurant, enjoying the new seven-course Inspiration Menu. There will also be a prize for the child who planted the daffodil.

Marie Curie in Norfolk is the Maids Head’s charity for 2017. To sponsor a daffodil bulb, t. 01603 272008 or email

Jemima and Seth
Eloise Moore, teacher at Cecil Gowing Infant School said: “All the children take part in outdoor learning once a week in mixed age groups, either at the school or out in the community. We were really pleased to return to the Maids Head, after working with the hotel on our wedding event last year. The children learn about different charities, so this has been an excellent opportunity to introduce them to Marie Curie and also for them to visit a city hotel.”

Hugo Stevenson, Community Fundraiser Marie Curie Norfolk said: “Marie Curie is delighted that the Maids Head has chosen to support us as their charity of the year in 2017. It was lovely that some of the children from Cecil Gowing Infant School were at the hotel today planting daffodils. It is very good that young children are involved in fundraising and learning that it is fun, as they are the fundraisers of the future. Together we can build a better community in Norfolk.”

Daisy with Linzi Rawson, Sales Manager Maids Head Hotel
Linzi Rawson, Sales Manager, Maids Head Hotel said: “We really enjoyed welcoming back the children and teachers from Cecil Gowing Infant School, as they helped us launch our fundraising year. We will be keeping a close eye on the daffodil bulbs as they grow in the planters in our courtyard. There will be several events in aid of Marie Curie during the course of 2017 and individual members of staff will also be organising their own fundraising projects.”

For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see and Marie Curie see .

Monday, 16 January 2017

Sandra Derry Art Exhibition at Fairhaven Garden Norfolk Broads

Great Trees by Sandra Derry
Sandra Derry presents her first solo exhibition at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, in the Norfolk Broads, from Tuesday 31 January to Sunday, 5 February, 2017, open 10am to 4pm, with free entry to the exhibition. Sandra is a Norfolk artist who paints rural scenes. She will be in residence throughout the exhibition run and will be working on new paintings.

Tractors, old and new, are painted in watercolour and acrylic from pictures taken while driving around the countryside. Trees are captured in their natural state and show their form and changing colours throughout the year. Some of her work features Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Her cards and prints will be available at the exhibition, along with her first children’s story book Curly Sheep’s Bad Hair Day.

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.  Garden entry is adults £6.50, concessions £5.90 and children £3.75 (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 (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.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Norwich Cathedral Hostry – David Holgate Retrospective – Exuberance is Beauty

Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, Norfolk Contemporary Craft Society and Norwich Twenty Group are combining to stage an exhibition at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, from January 21 to February 26, celebrating the life of David Holgate. David, who died in 2014, was an active member of all three arts organisations. The Hostry is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm and Sunday 12noon to 3pm.

The title of the show, Exuberance is Beauty, is taken from one of David’s exquisite pieces of letter carving. David was a man for whom the term polymath could have been invented. An accomplished musician, sculptor, calligrapher, and an innovative teacher, his life and work seemed to be united in a brave and inexhaustible search for meaning and beauty in everything he did. 

David Holgate - photograph Keith Roberts
He is probably best known for the statues of Mother Julian and St Benedict on the west front of Norwich Cathedral, but this remarkable man’s work is spread throughout the Cathedral, the rest of the county and beyond. Numerous churches, cemeteries and buildings feature his letter carving. He was also a skilled artist and several pieces of his work will be displayed in the exhibition, along with his letter carving, sculpture and working drawings. David’s double bass will also be on show, as well as a collection of photographs and other memorabilia from his musical life.

St Benedict - sculpture David Holgate - photograph Julia Cameron
The exhibition pamphlet features a trail round Norwich Cathedral to help visitors discover the 25 examples of David’s work in the Cathedral, along with a memorial inscription to David, created by his apprentice and assistant, Philippa Fawcett.

Norwich Cathedral - works by David Holgate
In conjunction with Exuberance is Beauty, the David Holgate retrospective exhibition at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, two apprentices from the Guild of St Stephen & St George will be demonstrating work in their portable lodge, based in the Cloisters, from Monday, February 6 to Saturday, February 11. The apprentices will be carving bosses from 9.30am to 4pm daily. For more information about The Guild of St Stephen & St George see .

From 1955, David was apprenticed for five years to David Kindersley, followed by two years as his assistant. David loved jazz and left stone carving to pursue a career as a professional musician, playing his double bass with numerous bands, including a support band for the Beach Boys. David eventually set up a workshop in Norfolk in the 1970s. 

Katy Gandon, David Holgate’s daughter commented: “Norwich - a fine city, and for thousands of years has been made finer by those who have lived and worked here, giving their time and energy to the upkeep and preservation of its historical beauty.  David Holgate was one of these. A man who, although not actually born in the city, adopted it as his home and devoted his life to the historical buildings and churches of the city and the surrounding villages. “

“It is for this reason that it is important that David's work has been documented and presented in this retrospective, showcasing what a significant contributor he was to the preservation and future of this beautiful county.”

“As well as working on commissions, David taught for many years in local art colleges, worked with several, (now very accomplished) apprentices, as well as keeping up a successful musical career as a bass player. There isn't a pub or live music venue in the county that hasn't experienced the David Holgate 'bass wiggle' at some point over the years!”

“This retrospective is a celebration of an extremely talented man, who always had time to share his enthusiasm for the all arts with people from all walks of life, and has literally and metaphorically left his mark on this city and county. His exuberance was, and is beautiful.”

Philippa Fawcett, David Holgate’s last apprentice added: “I am very lucky to have worked with David on and off for ten years, first as apprentice and then as his assistant. He was a very gifted and inspirational teacher, a brilliant communicator and very good company. He was a great talker and there were a lot of very extended coffee breaks. Life in the workshop is now extremely quiet and I still miss him greatly, though sometimes I still hear his voice in my ear commenting on the job in hand.”

David Holgate at work
Gary Breeze, who worked with David from 1988-92 said: “David Holgate gave my life both purpose and direction at that time when I really needed it. In fact, as I’ve got older and my time with him drifts into the distant past, I think that teaching was really his greatest talent. It’s easy to think, when you look at his very idiosyncratic lettering, that he must have had strong opinions about the shape of letterforms. But the fact is that his shapes are deeply informed by the process of using a brush built upon a rigorous understanding of proportion, principles which are both flexible and infinitely adaptable.”

Derek Rae, a Norwich Twenty Group colleague added: “David was the Group’s Chairman from 2008 – 2009. Ever inventive, he initiated our licentiate scheme whereby four graduates from, what is now, the Norwich University of the Arts are invited to become members of the Group and to show their work at meetings and exhibitions at no cost to them. This scheme has given graduates an opportunity to access the outside art world sooner than they might otherwise been able to. It has also given existing members the opportunity to understand younger artists approach to their work.”

“Another inspiration of his was an exhibition entitled Voicing Visions in which 46 Norwich Twenty Group artists were paired with poets. As David himself put it, ‘It was a surprise to some members to find that the first two meetings of 2009 were invaded by poets who were invited to visit member’s studios, view their work and be inspired to write a poem or two’. The artwork and resultant poems were exhibited together and the queue to get into the private view at St Margaret’s church spread out into St Benedict’s.”     

John Barnard, a Norfolk Contemporary Crafts Society colleague, remembers David Holgate: “David introduced me to many things: early computers, which fascinated him with what they could do, jazz bass playing, lettering and artwork, which started with pencil from his Kindersley days, then pen, until he became convinced that this medium was constricting his creativity and found brushwork lettering from the Romans. He reminisced about the four lives he had crammed into one. He ruthlessly pursued his current ideas of perfection. His carving  on Norwich Cathedral and St Giles church, whimsical animals on headstones, florid, wreathing flowers from his florid, wreathing imagination!  We are filling the Hostry with memories of our very own Renaissance man – a lifetime of magnificent work.”

Norwich Cathedral, t. 01603 218300. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden - January Art Exhibitions

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in the Norfolk Broads is hosting a series of three art exhibitions in January. South Walsham Art Club kicks off the programme from 10 to 15 January. Following the Art Club are Ann Feavers and Roger Burnay, from 17 to 22 January and Elizabeth Reed, from 24 to 29 January. The exhibitions are open from 10am to 4pm and entry is free.

South Walsham Art Club
South Walsham Art Club 
Tuesday 10 to Sunday 15 January
The Way We See It! – an exhibition of paintings by members of the art class that meets weekly in St Lawrence's, South Walsham, led by Nicky Arrowsmith-Brown, featuring an excellent collection of subjects and painting styles.

Eagle Owl - Roger Burnay
Ann Feavers and Roger Burnay 
Tuesday 17 to Sunday 22 January
Ann will be showing her range of Victorian painting on glass pictures and explaining how they are produced. She will also exhibit a small selection of her abstract work. Roger, an animal and wildlife painter, working in oils, pastels and coloured pencils will be demonstrating his work. He will also have prints and cards for sale.

Cornflowers - Elizabeth Reed

Elizabeth Reed
Tuesday 24 to Sunday 29 January
Elizabeth is proud to present her third solo exhibition at Fairhaven. As a keen gardener and country lover she will be displaying original paintings depicting landscapes and floral subjects, together with prints, cards and craft items. Visitors to the gallery will be welcomed by Elizabeth and will be able to see some new work in progress.

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.  Garden entry is adults £6.50, concessions £5.90 and children £3.75 (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 (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.