Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Celebration Slideshow!

Here's a slideshow of the bits of the event I managed to get to see....

Running order(roughly): Taiko Drummers, Eastern Straynotes, the Sheriff of Norwich Derek James and star wandering minstrel Rio Santana under the flyover with MC Helen all powered by Tom Foxe's fantastic Human Dynamo PA (a big thank you to all who cycled!); Musical Keys Children's Workshop at Aladdin's Cafe; Pearl in the Egg Medieval Duo perform at St Saviour's The Gate near the flyover; the community mural by Stickyfingerz under the flyover.

Monday, 11 October 2010

A Musical Review

Local musician, Heather Enid Wells, was one of the many visitors who ventured down to Magdalen Street two Saturdays ago for our debut celebration and it seems she had a thoroughly enjoyable time!

Heather writes: "I had a fantastic day out yesterday at the Magdalen Street Celebration, some great music on the various stages indoors and out, I bought and enjoyed some Mexican food from a stall in the Square, where there were lots of arts & crafts stalls, others for various organizations such as the Surrey Chapel, the Green Gym, the Drop-In Centre, and loads of other attractions ... there were thousands of people all enjoying the day. And the weather was perfect!

I went on the Magical History Tour, which was just amazing. I often walk up and down Magdalen Street, probably four or five times a week, yet we were shown so much that I'd never even noticed before, a great big studded oak door, all the Georgian buildings and who built them and who owned them, coats of arms and other markings and what they all meant, it was excellent!

The Gate Stage was in St Saviour's Church, where I spent a lot of time yesterday, saw virtuoso guitarist-songwriter Tom Conway there; a jazz band WSM-Trio who are normally a quartet but their bass couldn't make it; a brilliant guitar and cello duo James Frost and John Mudd played a beautiful set; and medieval duo Pearl in the Egg were just wonderful, Liz played lap-harp, rebec, various whistles and flutes, tambour and other percussion, Karen played the psaltery too, and both of them sang. They also looked great in their mediaeval dress. They play lots of prestigious gigs like Hampton Court Palace, but Liz also plays bass in the Pavilion Big Band, where I sometimes stand in for her. She also used to play with rock band Cortez, they were a good band, now sadly defunct.

Another good act, this time on the Flyover Stage, was Tom Foxe, he sang a hilarious song by Hayes Carll, "She Left Me for Jesus" ... He put it across very well. The Flyover Stage was great, as they had a bike hooked up to a generator to power all the amplification, and some other very good artistes. Then there were bands most of the afternoon and evening in the Blueberry.

I understand it is hoped to make the Magdalen Street Celebration an annual event ... Certainly a great day out for all ages and a lovely atmosphere. The live music on the Gate Stage was very varied in genre, but mostly of the acoustic-style variety, just gently amplified, and the church was packed most of the time with a very attentive audience. It was great that they were all listening, even the little children (and a dog!) were quiet and well behaved in there."

Thanks Heather - so glad you enjoyed!

Originally posted on Norfolk Freegle Cafe

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Celebration Survey

Phew! The first celebration is over and we are exhausted and happy! We hope everyone involved in the day, either with planning, organising or attending had an enjoyable experience. Do let us know what you thought about the event by taking the Magdalen Street Celebration Survey here. Your comments and answers will help us to plan future events so we look forward to hearing from you. Huge thanks!

Monday, 4 October 2010

What a day... Even the sun came out!

Click on the image to see a bigger version - top left to right: Sheriff Derek James on walkabout with star Magdalen Street minstrel Rio Santana; Taiko drummers shake the flyover foundations and wake up the street; lively kletzmer & jazz trio Eastern Straynotes with amplification powered by Tom Foxe's Human Dynamo PA and that's Green City Councillor for Mancroft ward Adrian Holmes pedalling away there; bottom left to right: another human dynamo and MSC organiser Stefi getting everyone in the party mood; enchanting medieval musical duo Pearl in The Egg at the lovely St Saviours "The Gate" venue; children's music workshop at Aladdin's Café with the wonderful Musical Keys based on nearby Silver Road.

And the glorious sunshine happened and the crowds came out to see the stalls and exhibitions and hear the music and take part in the workshops and history tours, and all the rest... well done again all that took part in the adventure and thanks to everyone that came along on Saturday and making it such a fantastic day!

I've uploaded just a small batch of photos here of some of the things I managed to capture on the day. If you've got photos of the day then please please send them (or links) to us here [click to email] with any credits and we'll put an archive together. There's some lovely photos published in today's EDP too and a great spread in the Evening News. There's an online version here - less pics sadly but the same text.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Event Programme!

Here it is, the whole lot of confirmed events and acts all in one place. Phew! What an incredible amount of stuff. Well done to everyone organising, it's going to be brilliant. Everybody pray for sunshine now...

Click on the image below for a full size view which you can also save or print out.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

In the Local Press - Again!

Stacia Briggs took up the Magdalen Street Celebration story in a great double page spread in the Eastern Daily Press...

"Magdalen Street - famous for rebels, royals and regrets - it was stormed by Robert Kett's army, visited by Queens Elizabeth I and II and subject to some of the least sympathetic town planning decisions ever made in Norwich.

Now the street is hoping to create its own history with a magnificent street festival on October 2, which will see the area transformed into a vibrant celebration of the most diverse neighbourhood in the city.

Visitors will be able to learn more about the incredible history of the area, sample the unique collection of shops, meet other residents and an array of activities including performances by local musicians and artists, workshops, art exhibitions and a fashion parade starring vintage and second hand clothes shops sourced on Magdalen Street itself."

(from the EDP2 article on 23 September 2010 - will post a link to full article when I can find one!)

Friday, 24 September 2010

New Poster!

New poster is up and about on the street with many of the confirmed events and acts on it. There's lots more stuff going on too including busking musicians also appearing at The Window Coffee Shop on Fye Bridge Street!

An up-to-date schedule of events will be posted up here on Wednesday 29th Sept so watch this space!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Historic Quarter is Most Vibrant in City

On October 2nd, Magdalen Street is celebrating its unique character in street festival style with performances, exhibitions, workshops, social events and unusual shopping opportunities.  

The goal of the day is to bring together neighbourhood residents with the street's many fans to highlight its role as the hub of creative, independently-owned, ethnically diverse and environmentally sustainable businesses.

Magdalen Street is one of the city's best-kept secrets. Although it's just a 5 minute walk from the Cathedral it is not as well known as the Norwich Lanes. It was home to Norwich's Strangers for more than five hundred years and it continues to attract people from all over the world. Magdalen St. was the subject of an innovative make-over in 1959 – work that was admired nationwide and copied by Councils keen to regenerate run-down areas – is now positioned to be a model of community-led development.

Organised by local residents and members of Transition Norwich, the event will bring together artists and artisans, musicians and performers, traders, residents and local groups.

There is plenty of opportunity for people to get involved. Help will be needed ahead of the event for:

· a cleanup of the flyover area to ready it for use as a performance area (Sat 26th Sept - see post below)

· liasing with the many street musicians and performers

· we need people who live locally to the street to be a 'human book’ and share with visitors about the history of the area

And on the day, you can help by:

· being a steward – helping people who may be lost or need help finding an activity

· decorating the street – putting up bunting, blowing up balloons!

· Help set up and cue local bands at the Flyover Stage

Helen Simpson-Slapp, one of the organisers said: “We are creating a street festival to bring the community together to have fun, but also we would like to see a long lasting effect. There's no reason why this festival should not continue and grow over the years, and help connect people in this area of the City”.

Rachel Lalchan joined the organising group after arriving in Norwich from South London where she had set up a Transition group: “ Having moved to a new city, I was keen to be involved in local community life and taking part in this group event enables me to do just that. It also means I get to know my local area really well and Magdalen Street is a wonderful place that seems to be continuously evolving”.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Lend a hand in the Big Cleanup

When: Sunday 26th September 1pm to 4pm

What: Reclaim the flyover - a neighborhood tidy up of the area under the flyover to prepare it for use as a performance area on the October 2nd Magdalen Street Celebration. Come meet your neighbors and members of the Green Gym and who are helping us!

Details: Work entails raking off the rubble, trimming the bushes, leveling the ground for a stage. We need as many hands on deck as possible. Bring gloves if you have them. We may also clean up the empty storefronts in Anglia Square that will be used as exhibition and workshop space for the Celebration.

Contact Lynn at or just turn up on the day - you're bound see us beavering away!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Volunteers Please!

Preparations are well under way but in order to make sure everyone has a great time we need volunteers on the day and leading up to the event. If you can help in any way then please contact, 07747 751656 for more details or just turn up to a meeting...

We have several meetings in September at Aladdins Café on Magdalen Street (opposite army careers office). You are welcome to come to any meetings to find out more... 8th September, 22nd September, 29th September 6.30-9pm

Could you help ...?
be a book in a human library - we need people who live locally to the street to a ‘book’ people can talk to you about what its like to live there (contact Oz Osbourne for more details 07812540684)
be a steward on the day - we need 20 stewards to be around in case anyone needs help or is lost
help to arrange musical events - we have a great line up of local bands playing under the flyover, someone needs to help organize them and cue them on
help with workshops - two helpers are needed to take money as people come into the workshops and write their names down
clean up empty shops - before the day the shops need to be cleaned up
clean up under the flyover - before the day the area under the flyover needs to be cleared
help to decorate the street - early on Saturday we need some people to put up bunting, blow up balloons and more...

Contact or 07747 751656 for more details or just turn up to a meeting!

Latest Happenings!

There will be a fuller report on this tomorrow (Friday 2nd Sept). For now, here's the draft 'press release' which hopefully gives you a flavour of what's going on (click on the image here and a bigger readable version should come up). There's is tons of stuff happening behind the scenes and loads of energy going into this from lots of folks from around the area - the buzz is getting quite intense although we realise there hasn't been enough publicity out there yet with all the traders, and we haven't got to speak to everyone about it in person, even though there were the best laid plans and intentions to do so, we simply didn't have enough people on the case but that seems to be changing! A new poster will be getting sorted this week also and hopefully be out there on the street next week.

There's also new meeting dates for anyone wanting to get involved in organising the big day - Wednesdays 8th, 22nd and 29th of September at Aladdins, the new café opposite the big Oxfam and Out of Time Records. See you there!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Green Lights and Funding Offers for Celebration

Another very lively and productive meeting yesterday evening at The Golden Star with local residents, traders, artists and business people updating on how exhibitions, workshops, a charity shop fashion show, a children's treasure hunt, live performances, craft stalls and various other happenings are shaping up, with lots of applications and inquiries coming in from around the area.

Appliation forms (click here) now available for anyone who wants to get involved with activities, suggest new ones or help out on the day. There's still time so please fill one in. As well as artists, traders, craftspeople and performers we'll need extra volunteer helpers on the day so please lend a hand if you can.

Fantastic news from Jane of the organising crew - she met up with Helen and Vicky from the City Council Events team and they arranged a site meeting on the spot and resolved all our main site issues.

Cue East have offered funding to train volunteers to document the event through film. We need to find the volunteers for this to happen so please email Stefi (click here) with any inquires for this.

A priority following this meeting is trying to engage with as many traders from the area as possible so we'll be organising a meeting as soon as we can to enable more traders to get actively involved and ask any questions.

And many thanks to The Golden Star pub for putting us up at such short notice after a mix up with bookings at The Blue House!

Next meeting: Wednesday 25th August, The Blue House, 19 Muspole Street, 6.30-9pm

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Getting the Word Out / Next Meeting Dates

Stefi dragged me out of my house to distribute posters and flyers today up and down Magdalen Street. On a Saturday. Dedication or what? We got to chat with various traders, shopkeepers and landlords. Sorry if we missed anyone on the rounds, we did end up running out of flyers and publicity in the end so we'll try and get a few more out there again soon to anyone we missed.

Thanks to everyone for enthusiastic support and sticking up those posters. Any feedback, questions, ideas etc. then please get in touch - email here. We're still on the lookout for more events ideas and people to get involved so please get in touch or come along to one of the public meetings if you're interested to find out more or contribute any help or ideas. See dates below...

So far we've got various traders, artists, performers, local residents and charity groups to get involved in setting up a variety of events for the day which will hopefully utilise some of the public spaces on the street and unused shops and spaces in Anglia Square and hopefully events in surrounding streets too.

We'll publish a list of what's planned so far here very soon. Meanwhile, there's another 2  meetings planned for any residents, traders, artists, local groups etc are very welcome to come along to...

Wednesday 11 August and Weds 25 August, 6.30 for 7pm start at The Blue House, 19 Muspole Street, NR3

The last meeting got really busy so please come early if you want to catch up with what's been happening so far, because we will need to get down to business at 7pm.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Magdalen Street Celebration

Welcome to the website for all things Magdalen Street (Norwich, England), which has been set up to keep you up to date with developments and news of the area and specifically progress of the Magdalen Street Celebration planned for 2 October 2010.

So far there's been two meetings of local folks - residents, councillors, traders and artists - to get planning underway for various events and activities to happen locally as part of the Magdalen Street Celebrations. The next meeting will take place on 21 July at 7pm, venue to be announced shortly.