Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Tour of Norwich Cathedral with The Dean

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

In a county known throughout Europe for its medieval churches, the pale and magnificent Norwich Cathedral, dominating the Norwich skyline, has been a focal point for the region since it was built nearly 1,000 years ago.

Norwich Cathedral boasts several superlatives. It is one of the finest complete Romanesque buildings in Europe. It has the second highest spire in England - only Salisbury is higher and it has the second largest monastic cloisters in England. The 1,106 roof bosses throughout The Cathedral, are unparalleled in Christendom in their range, quantity and theological comprehensiveness. The detail and humour (see picture of ram above) never fail to amaze.

The great height of the Cathedral has been an important reference point throughout the Guestwick campaign, at 315 feet (96 meters) the top of the spire is considerably shorter than each of the six turbines would be at 394 foot (120 meters).

We have been given a very special opportunity; The Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Graham Smith has kindly agreed to offer as a promise The Dean's tour of Norwich Cathedral and environs (lasting about an hour) where he will personally guide a couple around the normally private areas of the Cathedral complex. This will be a fascinating way to see, or re-visit this wonderful building and it is a great privilege for us to be offered such a wonderful promise.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

Okay the picture does not reflect the superior quality of work involved in this promise - but it was not to be resisted!

It is also not a picture of the very kind promiser. Though he would look particularly fetching in that hat.

The promise is a full valet/carwash. This will include internal hoovering of carpets and upholstery and cleaning of the inside windows. Outside, car will be rinsed with a pressure washer to loosen dirt, washed with shampoo and leathered dry including doorcills and usually hidden bits at bottom of doors. If there are squashed insects on the front, they will be carefully shifted too. Although, sadly, not necessarily revived.

The cleansing of your vehicle to its former pristine condition will take place at the promiser's lovely home in Guestwick.

You have the option of leaving your car to pick up later (the job will take approximately two hours) or staying around the village. If you like, the promiser will settle you down comfortably with tea or coffee and the papers whilst he toils and buffs. Or, the healthy option, you could perhaps go for a walk in the fine and peaceful countryside around Guestwick.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Brian Harris - signed photographs

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

Andrew Marr calls him “The Great Brian Harris”, he is one of the best and most respected photographers working in the UK. It is said by those who know that you can recognise a Brian Harris photograph from 10ft. He worked as a Staff Photographer on The Times until he was appointed Chief Photographer of The Independent when it launched in 1986 and, working with photographers such as Jeremy Nicholl, he created The Independent’s unique reputation for the highest quality of photojournalism.

Brian has received many awards for his work, including the prestigious "What the Papers Say" Photographer of the Year Award. He has had solo exhibitions, notably at the Barbican Arts Centre and the Photofusion gallery in London and contributed work to collective exhibitions, most recently at the Hayward Gallery on London's South Bank.

His passion is photography - he is never without a camera, be it the latest digital confection, his well-worn Leica or a cheap disposable. The important factor is what the image says, not how it was created.

His website is very well worth a look (run your mouse over the green bars at the side to navigate).

Brian has very kindly offered us two stunning signed prints to auction. The prints are 15inch on A3 paper High Quality ink jet prints and for conservation purposes should be displayed out of sunlight and behind UV absorbant glass.

Promise 19. The Reedcutter (click photo to enlarge)

Eric Edwards became a marshman in 1967. He's now the last of his kind. He now works for the Broads Authority, managing their marshes at How Hill, cutting reed and sedge, which will be used by local thatchers or used to make panels.

Promise 20. Southwold Pier (click photo to enlarge)
This is a great time of change in the history of this landmark. After years of storm damage and neglect, the pier, which was originally built in 1900, has been completely rebuilt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Commission a piece of Norfolk music

Professional musician, Andrew Lowe-Watson’s unique and wonderful promise for the auction is to compose a short piece of music. The piece will be inspired by the Norfolk landscape and the title can be suggested by the lucky winner.

The piece will be about 3 to 5 minutes long and composed for any solo instrument; piano, pan-pipes, accordion – the choice is yours. You will receive an autographed score and a CD of your piece, recorded using the software that he works with professionally.

As a Trinity College Cambridge undergraduate, Andrew won the University Chamber Choir's Composition Prize for settings of Manley Hopkins, one of which, The Windhover, was sung on the Backs in May Week to an audience of three thousand. Andrew‘s career has included being a concert pianist and musical director. Most recently, he has concentrated solely on composition and his music is performed internationally.

Andrew has written church music, chamber works, part-songs, a suite of Nature Pieces for solo piano, and orchestral works, as well as incidental music for stage and screen. His compositions have been broadcast and in June 2004 his opera was given its world premiere in a concert performance at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadlers Wells, London.

Andrew lives in Norfolk and so, as part of the national celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar, he has written two orchestral works about Nelson.
Hooratio! was commissioned using funding from the National Lottery by North Walsham, the town in Norfolk where Nelson went to school and was premiered in the town.
The overture Trafalgar (1805) has been recorded by the Moscow International Symphony Orchestra conducted by Konstantin Krimetz. Its world premiere takes place in Norwich, as the opening concert of the Norwich Philharmonic Society's 2005-6 season at St. Andrew's Hall on November 5th.

This is another lot that could make a fantastic and truly memorable gift

Monday, October 24, 2005

Guided tour of the House of Commons

Keith Simpson MP, for Guestwick and Mid Norfolk has very kindly offered a promise of a visit to the House of Commons, followed by tea or coffee.

It is fascinating at whatever age to see the inside of such an iconic building and hear about the workings of parliament from an insider; having been taken around as a small child, my visit made a lasting impression.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Signed Prints - Jeremy Nicholl

Behind the scenes, we are receiving a lot of valuable support from a number of international professional photographers. The landscape around here is held in high regard and has motivated a great deal of protective feeling.

Several of them are very generously donating some of the best known photographs that they have in their professional portfolios. They will be auctioned as signed prints. Over the next few weeks I'll add them to the list.

We'll start with Jeremy Nicholl. Jeremy works in the former USSR as one of the most highly regarded photojournalists but he has made his UK base in this patch of North Norfolk.

Born in Northern Ireland, Jeremy began his career in London, rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the UK's leading news photographers. In 1986 he was invited to join a proposed new national newspaper, the Independent, becoming a core member of an award winning editorial team.

In 1989 he left the paper to concentrate on longer term documentary photography, and since 1991 has specialised in reportage from across Russia and the Former Soviet Union, while taking time out to work on assignment photography and personal projects elsewhere. Jeremy's work has appeared in a wide range of publications around the world and been shown at numerous international festivals and exhibitions. You can see more of his work by clicking here.

The Photographs:

The two photographs for auction are from his series on Sandunovskaya Banya, Russia's most famous public bath-house. The series won an award in the Daily Life category of the World Press Photo contest, and both Best Story of the Year and Best News Story of the Year at Interfoto, Russia's leading contest for professional photographers.

The prints will be approximately A3 size.

After years of neglect Sandunovskaya Banya, Russia's most famous public bath-house, has been restored to its former splendour. Located close to the Kremlin, the 100 year old baths used to be popular with Communist Party cadres. Today they are a favourite meeting place for Moscow's nouveau riche.

Photograph 1
The ultimate in luxury is a private room with its own parilka [steam-room], only affordable by Sandunovskaya's wealthiest clients. A group of ex-paratroopers involved in Russia's lucrative banking and security business celebrate a birthday in style with wives and girlfriends.

Photograph 2

This group of women meet every Monday morning for a bathing session which they complete with an extensive lunch.

On a personal note, I am thrilled and grateful that we have been offered two such fantastic images. A photojournalist works on a different level to other photographers, and the difference is the presence in the image of the "story". Obviously, we are now embarking on a whole new territory that throws my own previous snaps on the blog into an embarrassing cocked hat - but hey, I can live with the humiliation!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Foxley Wood

The wonderful Foxley Wood is just over two miles from the proposed turbine site.

It forms part of a green corridor of ancient woodland. Swanton Novers Great Wood (which is English Nature managed, an SSSI and National Nature Reserve), Hindolveston Wood (which adjoins the turbine site - See entry for 20th August) Sennowe Park and Foxley Wood. There are copses and stands of trees between the ancient woods, making the turbine site part of an important avian route between these habitats - espcially for raptors and juveniles looking for new territories.

Foxley Wood is the largest remaining block of ancient woodland in Norfolk. Owned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, it was awarded National Nature Reserve status in May 2002.

This prestigious award put the wood in the top tier of nature reserves nationally. It is thought to be about 6,000 years old and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust purchased Foxley Wood in 1988 and began the long, slow process of revitalising the wood by reintroducing the techniques which local people used to manage it in times past.

In the spring the wood has magnificent flowers, including yellow primroses, violets and the early purple orchid. It is also home to many species of butterfly and birds.

Unlike Hindolveston and Swanton Novers Woods, which are private (which has significant wildlife advantages), Foxley is open to the public and a well used and valued amenity.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Framed Print - Shirley Carnt

In preparation for the Exotic Evening of Eastern Promises, three of our more fabulous local inhabitants were at Indianna at Kelling, trying on eastern apparel and generally drawing a crowd. The well-known artist Shirley Carnt happened to be there and one thing led to another and she very generously and spontaneously offered a signed, framed, print as a promise for the auction.

She has painted and exhibited one-man shows worldwide, from Switzerland to New York, London, Paris and Brussels, to name but a few.

Although Shirley has traveled the world she is a passionate Norfolk woman. She lives and works from her Studio at Kelling Hall and also in her studio cottage on the edge of the marsh at Thornham where uninterrupted views of the sea and marsh and the ever changing sky give inspiration. Click here for Shirley's website .

The signed and framed print is shown above (although it doesn't really do it justice) and is called After The Storm - Thornham. It is a wonderfully appropriate promise as its strength is a representative symbol of the thing we are fighting for - the unique Norfolk skies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It can be done! Well, we know that...

Good news from our friend in Wales. The developer planning to build on Cardiff parkland click here has withdrawn their application as a result of a well organised local campaign. It was at the eleventh hour - the planning meeting would have been tomorrow.

Common sense can prevail!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

October night

The moon tonight is 97% full - and very lovely on such a clear still night. One of the (long list of!) priceless things about being in the depths of the countryside is the clear still nights with almost no light pollution and no background noise. Just the moon and the stars, the bats and the hoots of the owls.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Commission a short story

This promise simply has to be a red hot favourite! I'd suggest that it would be the most original and thrilling present for someone. Especially that someone who is normally just a little hard to buy for...

Dawn Lowe-Watson is an award winning writer. She has published three novels and her plays have frequently featured on Radio Four. The most recent, Fog and Shifting Pebbles, was broadcast on the 22nd August. Well known actors such as Geoffrey Palmer and Helena Bonham-Carter have starred in them.

The fantastic promise is a short story (up to 3,000 words) using the winner's name. It could be romantic, philosophic, spooky or exciting - it's your choice. Dawn would just need to know the name and date of birth, to help inspiration.

It would make a wonderful and very personal gift...

...but on the other hand no one would blame you if wou wanted to have it written about yourself!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Crow tree

Taken this evening. Also saw a barn owl hunting but the crows were much more cooperative about being photographed.