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Latest Aylsham Festival News

SONY DSCThis year’s Aylsham Festival features an exciting and eclectic mix of events that should appeal to anyone with an interest in music, theatre, art, history or wildlife.  And for one local business owner, Peter Purdy, who is hoping to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition, it’s a chance to display an extraordinary collection of Roman artefacts, in advance of a possible major archaeological dig in the town.

The Festival’s them is Vivat Aylsham (long live Aylsham) and there are several opportunities to find out what the Romans did in Aylsham, with talks, displays and activities focused on the land around Woodgate Nursery, where evidence of a Roman settlement is prompting interest in a professional dig.

“Having spent the last forty years of my life  collecting pieces of Roman pottery from the garden and surrounding fields, and wondering where it all came from, it now appears that I am living right in the middle of a Roman settlement,” says Peter Purdy, owner of Woodgate Nursery.  “Geophysical surveys, carried out by Britannia Archaeology, indicate the possibility of a trackway, enclosures and kilns here.”

A major coup for festival organiser is The Hansells Conversation, when Mike Dilger, the BBC wildlife presenter, will be chatting to local natural history author Patrick Barkham at Aylsham’s Jubilee Family Centre, on Friday 22 May. They’ll be giving a fascinating insight into North Norfolk’s ecology.

Musical highlights include a quartet from the Britten Sinfonia, playing a programme including Purcell and Mozart in Aylsham Parish church, on May 26, while the main theatrical event of the week is ‘Wanderlust,’ from The Gramophones Theatre Company, in Aylsham Town Hall on 25 May.

Art is always a lively theme at the festival and this year sees the completion of an exciting project, Aylsham Afloat, in the Art in the Garden event.  Paper lanterns, created by the local townspeople, will be floated on the medieval fishponds in the grounds of Burgh House, on Saturday 23 May at 8pm.  It will make for a dramatic spectacle.  Meanwhile the Rotary Art Exhibition in Aylsham Town Hall has a WI Café on the Saturday and a Slow Food Café on Sunday, plus live music.

Other events include a Quickplay Chess Tournament, a Walk Through Time, a special preview of the new exhibition at Blickling Hall, and the Great Aylsham Quiz.

The accompanying photograph shows Sue Sharpe, Festival Director, with a friendly Roman Legion publicising the Festival in Aylsham market square.  “We aim to ‘do different’ with our festival – each year we have a new theme and I’m so pleased that we have been able to tie in with Peter’s wonderful Roman project.”

Full details of the events can be found on www.aylshamfestival.co.uk

More information:

Aylsham Festival: sue.sharpe@aylshamfestival.co.uk / 01263 733441

The Publicity Works: teaboy@publicityworks.biz / 01263 761000



“The ‘tache is all there is…”

Celebrating the triumphant return of Game of Thrones to the TV, the DSC06584Publicity Works’ Master of Video and Song, Callum, was moved to do a little facial cosplay and pay tribute to his favourite character, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. We hope you’ll agree that it’s a truly uncanny likeness, physically at least. Don’t worry, we’ll be keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn’t start a bloody chain of events that leads to war engulfing the country while an ancient evil begins to stir in the far north…

Fiona ran 26.2 miles for Mind

11133672_10206094435260494_8949800518488921948_nLast Sunday April 12th Fiona laced up her running shoes and completed the Brighton Marathon in 5 hours and 19 minutes. She was raising money for Mind, a charity that specialises in mental health issues.

“It was a very long way,” says Fiona. “At mile 20 the battery on my watch packed up so I had no idea how fast, or slow, I was going. It just became a question of  putting one foot in front of the other and passing all the people who had given up and were walking. The training paid off.”

It’s not too late to donate some money. Just click here.

eXpresso PLUS launches Barista Gold Blend Tower coffee machine

eXpresso PLUS launches Barista Gold Blend Tower coffee machine

Self-serve espresso menu, round the clock, offers high volumes and significant profit potential

eXpresso PLUS has launched a new self-serve coffee machine that combines one of the UK’s leading brands with top quality drinks at an RRP of as little as £1 to £1.50 per cup, offering big profit potential for operators.

The Barista Gold Blend Tower is a floor-standing machine that uses a mix of instant and roast ground coffees to produce a rich aroma and a full-bodied taste.  The machine offers an authentic espresso menu, including Americano, latte and cappuccino.

The simple control panel means that customers can quickly serve themselves – and even tailor the drink to their own tastes, for example by adding an extra shot of coffee.

Barista Gold Blend Tower from eXpresso PLUS“The branding is a huge customer attraction,” says Manish Shah, director of eXpresso PLUS.  “Nescafé Gold Blend is one of the most recognised names in coffee.  Add the superior quality of drinks produced and the low price point and you can see why it will be popular with consumers.  Meanwhile the low running costs and high profit potential, plus the ease of maintenance and cleaning, should make it a hit with operators.”

Leasing the machine costs from as little as £40 per week.  If a site sells 50 cups per day, at £1.50 per cup, eXpresso PLUS estimates the Barista Tower will generate £13,688 annual profit.

The Barista Gold Blend Tower is aimed at a wide range of hospitality businesses, from hospitals and healthcare sites to leisure centres, food halls, hotels and canteens. Being self-serve it can operate round the clock, for example in reception areas.   (more…)

Aylsham Ahoy! Join in ‘Dazzling’ arts project that will set town alight AND afloat…

Spectacular installation on medieval fish-ponds will be a highlight of Aylsham Festival – everyone can sponsor a lantern featuring their own home or office we are!

AYLSHAM AFLOAT_LANTERNS ON WATER MARCH 2015An inspirational art project in Aylsham is calling on local people to sponsor a lantern and get their property in the frame – or in the pond!  ‘Aylsham Afloat’ will culminate in an exhibition and a spectacular display of floating lanterns, featuring pictures of Aylsham properties drawn by local people, on the medieval fish ponds in the gardens of Burgh House, during this year’s Aylsham Wide Sky Festival (22nd – 26th May).

Organised jointly by Aylsham High School (AHS) and the Aylsham Festival, the project is supervised by local artist Jessica Perry.


“We are inviting people to get drawing and ‘Sponsor a Lantern’ for £3.00,” explains Jess.  “It’s open to all ages, with proceeds going to the Aylsham Festival.


“Aylsham Afloat is the chance for everyone to get involved in a community arts project that will be dramatic, extravagant and dazzling.”


In return for the £3.00, sponsors get an Aylsham Afloat kit, which includes the bag (or lantern) and full instructions.  It is available from a variety of outlets in Aylsham, including Aylsham Library, Coxfords Butchers, Bure Valley School and Woodgate Nursery.


“All you need to do is draw the front of your home on the paper bag provided and return it to Aylsham High School by the deadline of 10am, on Monday April 13th,” says Jess.  “Use felt tips, biros or crayons. Draw it from the bottom right up to the roof and, if you want, add drawings of the people who live in the house too.”


All the bags, along with others made by AHS students featuring Aylsham’s shops and businesses, will be waterproofed.  Once that’s done, they’ll be floated at night on the school’s swimming pool, with pictures and film footage being taken by local professional photographer Debby Besford, working with AHS students.


The photographs will be on exhibition in the Town Hall during the Aylsham Festival, and available for sale as cards and prints.


The lanterns will then be re-floated on Burgh House’s medieval fish ponds during the Aylsham Wide Sky Festival as part of the Art of the Garden event, when visitors will have the opportunity to take part in guided tours of the gardens.


“This is a really exciting arts project,” says Helen Homewood, Head of Art at AHS.  “We have already had a trial run, floating lanterns illustrated by students on the pool, and the results were brilliant.”


Sue Sharpe of the Aylsham Festival says, “What is really fantastic about this project is the way so many people and organisations are working together to make it happen.  It’s a true community event.  And as an art installation, it’s going to be amazing.”


The Art of the Garden walks take place at Burgh House, Burgh Road, Aylsham, on Saturday 23rd May and Monday 25th May.  Tickets are £2.50 with all proceeds to the festival.  For more information visit www.aylshamfestival.co.uk or call the festival box office on 01263 733441.   Numbers are strictly limited, so booking will be essential.

More information:

Aylsham Festival: sue.sharpe@aylshamfestival.co.uk / 07796 519987

Jessica Perry: jessica531@btinternet.com / 07502 368 715

The Publicity Works: teaboy@publicityworks.biz / 01263 761000



please contact Jessica Perry. It will not be open to the public, but you would be welcome to come to take pictures, film, etc.

It will take place on Tuesday April 14, from 7.30pm.



Aylsham Afloat has been devised as a collaboration across the Aylsham community, in support of the Aylsham Festival. Thanks and appreciation go to Jessica Perry (artist and project originator), Debby Besford (photographer), Helen Homewood (head of art at AHS), Sue Sharpe (Aylsham Festival), Richard and Maureen Burr (Burgh House garden hosts), The Publicity Works, Broadland District

Towering Espresso

eXpresso PLUS launches bespoke self-serve drinks Towers

eXpresso PLUS launches bespoke Beverage TowerseXpresso PLUS, the beverage systems and ingredients specialist, has launched a new bespoke package that allows operators to tailor the company’s self-serve, free standing drinks Towers to their precise requirements.

The key aspect of the service allows operators to create a beverage machine that represents their personal brand, matching its colours, decals and logos.  The machines are also supplied with a high impact video screen that can promote the operator’s messages.

However, it doesn’t stop there.  A variety of different Towers are available, offering a wide choice of configurations.  From the drinks menu and selection of syrups to the positioning of the cup dispenser and the choice of payment system, including coins, tokens or cards, there’s a whole range of options that allow operators to fine-tune the eXpresso PLUS Tower to their preferences. (more…)

Breaking news: marathon attempt is on

The Nelson Knee Knobbler 2014 - Beach - 0212Despite breaking her ankle in November, Fiona is back on track to run the Brighton Marathon on April 12th, 2015. It won’t be as fast or as pretty as she had hoped but she’s been cleared to have a go. At present training is still pretty limited and top distance is only four miles. But expect this to increase rapidly over the next three months culminating in the marathon itself.

Fiona is running in memory of her son Alan and is raising money for Mind. If you wish to donate please use this link – http://memoryspace.mind.org.uk/MyPage/Running-Brighton-for-Alan-and-Dan

Scotch Pie Aye

Scotch pieThanks to the wondrous folk at FEM who introduced me to a few Scottish specialities on a recent trip North of the Borders… The haggis neeps and tatties at the Eglinton Arms were excellent.
Next day I was persuaded to try my first Scotch Pie (Scotch is right, before you go all ‘yes’ on me) and it was another reet tasty wee treat. Next up: deep fried Mars bar. If I can take it.

Song for the weekend

When he’s not editing videos or writing unputdownable copy, office megastar Callum can often be found writing songs with his band. They recently regenerated, like James Bond or Doctor Who, morphing seamlessly from The Sharps to become Morganway. Recently they dropped their first song, which you can hear below, the storming rocker “My love ain’t gonna save you

Thursday 16th October saw Callum and bandmate Yve Mary B visit local radio station Future Radio for a live session which at some point in the future you may be able to listen to at this link. Until that time, why not slide into the weekend with this second new track.

Top bloke and great chef Alan Bird talks Skyballs

You may remember him from such restaurants as The Ivy, the Soho House group and most recently, his very own Bird of Smithfield, but renowned chef Alan Bird is also an ambassador for the male cancer awareness campaign. (more…)