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    The Forum Norwich

    Heritage Open Days – Norfolks 2018 festival programme is launched at historic Catton Park

    The Forum Norwich - 20 Jul 2018

    Heritage Open Days – Norfolk’s 2018 festival programme is launched at historic Catton Park

    Norfolk’s Heritage Open Days (HODs) festival programme was revealed on Friday when heritage champions, venues and festival organisers gathered to launch the 2018 brochure at the historic Catton Park on the outskirts of Norwich.

    Launching the brochure at Catton Park has special significance as it was the first commission of landscape gardener, Humphry Repton. This year marks the bicentenary of the death of Humphry Repton and venues across England will be celebrating his life and works.

    For the first time in HODs festival history, the much-loved annual event is to run for two weekends instead of one. Almost 300 events are programmed over eight days across Norfolk from Thursday 6 – Sunday 9 & Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 September.

    The festival brochure is now available at The Forum in Norwich, Tourist Information Centres, libraries and venues across the county and electronically via www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods. Many of the festival events are drop-in and visitors can just turn up on the day. For those venues with limited space, tickets must be pre-booked and bookings open on Monday 23 July at 9am. 

    Visitors can enjoy free tours, talks, walks, open days, exhibitions, performances and open gardens as part of the festival. Plenty of the usual favourites will be opening their doors along with lots of exciting new venues and events also on offer. Here’s a taster:

    • Catton Park is celebrating Humphry Repton with an open day to mark the bicentenary of the landscape gardener‘s death. The day will include multicultural activities, music, food, arts performance, bushcraft and a chance to paint the Repton landscape. This event is in partnership with the Gardens Trust as part of their HLF project ‘Sharing Repton’
    • A twilight tower tour at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich
    • Blickling Hall and Felbrigg Hall are opening their magnificent doors and gardens
    • Horsey Windpump is preparing its sails for turning for the first time in 75 years
    • Get digging, dress up like a Roman and go to Roman training school at Caistor Roman Town
    • If statues could talk, what stories would they tell? Go on the Norwich Talking Statues trail to hear stories from Norwich’s statues as they prepare to talk back
    • Visit a former Cold War atomic weapons bunker near Thetford and climb a 25ft watchtower
    • Dress to impress at the Wymondham Vintage Day and step back in time with live music, classic cars, games, marching Suffragettes, tug-of-war and more
    • Special themed events include:
      • Extraordinary Women - events across the county will mark the centenary of the 1918 Act that granted some women the right to vote
      • Weird Norfolk - a partnership with Archant celebrates the strange world of Norfolk’s weird and wonderful folklore with crafts, exhibitions and walks
      • Norfolk Remembers – 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War and a number of events will remember the contribution made by Norfolk people


    Cathy Eden, HODs Coordinator at The Forum, Norwich, said: “This year’s festival is a real celebration of Norfolk’s heritage and it was great to launch the brochure at one of our participating venues, the beautiful Catton Park. Heritage Open Days is a chance to explore indoor and outdoor spaces, celebrate local communities, meet new people, share stories and learn more about where we live and the places we visit. We can’t wait for September!”

    The brochure launch event was hosted by Catton Park Trust and Broadland District Council and included entertainment from the Wensum Valley Bellfolk Handbell Ringers.

    Cllr Karen Vincent, Broadland District Council’s Member Champion for Heritage, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the launch of this year’s Heritage Open Days in Broadland. Broadland District Council has supported Heritage Open Days for a number of years and we are pleased to be able to showcase the many interesting events taking place across the region. Hosting the launch at Catton Park is particularly special with it being the first commission of landscape designer, Humphry Repton, whose life and work we are celebrating in this bicentenary year #Repton200 festival.”

    Bradley Sabberton-Coe, Chairman of Catton Park Trust, said: “We are honoured to launch the Heritage Open Days from Catton Park, particularly in this bicentenary year of Humphry Repton.  As his first commission, Catton Park has significant heritage value.  Catton Park continues to be a popular open space enjoyed by residents and visitors of Old Catton.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming newcomers to the park in September.”

    The HODs programme in Norwich and across much of Norfolk is coordinated and promoted by The Forum with support from Norwich City Council and Norwich Tourist Information Centre. The programme is also delivered in partnership with Broadland District Council, Breckland Council, Thetford Town Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, South Norfolk Council, North Norfolk District Council, Visit North Norfolk and many local organisations and individuals.

    For further information on the national Heritage Open Days programme visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk. For local enquiries about HODs, please get in touch via hods@theforumnorwich.co.uk and visit www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods for updates and tickets.



    For further information please contact Richard Smith, Marketing Manager at The Forum via richard.smith@theforumnorwich.co.uk / 01603 727975 or Lindsey Roffe via lindsey.roffe@theforumnorwich.co.uk / 07808 771282

    Notes to editors

    About The Forum:

    • The Forum, in the centre of Norwich, is one of the UK’s most successful Millennium projects.
    • It’s a public building, open seven days a week, all year round (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
    • Everyone is welcome. Most of the public events, exhibitions and activities which take place at The Forum are free.
    • The Forum Trust is the independent, self-financing, charitable organisation which manages The Forum building.
    • It is responsible for The Forum’s continued development, growth and innovation.
    • The Trust works with many partners to ensure The Forum plays a valuable role in the community.
    • Details about the charitable ‘project purpose’ which under-pins The Forum are on the website 


    About Heritage Open Days:

    • Heritage Open Days is co-ordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and run locally by a large range of organisations (including civic societies, heritage organisations, and local councils, community champions and thousands of enthusiastic volunteers).
    • Heritage Open Days is England’s contribution to European Heritage Days, taking place across 50 countries. Other events in the UK are Doors Open Days in Scotland (www.doorsopendays.org.uk); Open Doors Days in Wales (http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/opendoors/?lang=en); European Heritage Days in Northern Ireland (www.ehsni.gov.uk); Open House London (www.open-city.org.uk).