Search

Please sir, can I have some more? Could you help write a new song to reflect the history of Gressenhall’s workhouse?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 07:34 21 March 2017

Surely gruel will feature in the lyrics of a new song about Gressenhall workhouse? Rachel Duffield tried gruel as part of a workhouse diet for a week. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Surely gruel will feature in the lyrics of a new song about Gressenhall workhouse? Rachel Duffield tried gruel as part of a workhouse diet for a week. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

The most famous workhouse song has to be “Food, Glorious Food” sung by Oliver Twist and his fellow starving urchins in the musical adaptation of Dickens’ fictional tale of Victorian London.

School may not have been the best days of workhouse children's lives. Pictured in the Victorian classroom is Miriam Burroughs. Picture: Ian BurtSchool may not have been the best days of workhouse children's lives. Pictured in the Victorian classroom is Miriam Burroughs. Picture: Ian Burt

But do you think you could do better?

Rural life museum Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse is asking people to join in an exciting project to create and perform a brand new composition inspired by its rich history and stories of the impoverished inmates who lived there.

Museum staff have joined forces with 15-piece orchestra Sinfonia Viva, a virtuoso ensemble with a reputation for delivering original and creative musical experiences.

Musicians and other arts and drama professionals from Sinfonia Viva will be working with Gressenhall staff, the Writers Centre, a lyricist, a composer and local schools and groups to create the music and lyrics.

Picture: Ian BurtPicture: Ian Burt

Another important element is to form a community choir to join in with devising and performing the new work which will be called Together To The Workhouse Door.

Learning and engagement officer Rachel Duffield said: “We would love as many people as possible to join with us.

“You don’t have to be a brilliant singer or even read music - it’s just a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of something really different.”

Sinfonia Viva will bring a huge inflatable theatre to the courtyard at Gressenhall for the concert in June and it will be an outdoor performance similar to, but a bit smaller than, concerts at Blickling or Holkham Hall.

Scenes from Gressenhall during its days as a workhouseScenes from Gressenhall during its days as a workhouse

The maximum commitment from participants is eight dates across March, April and May, plus the performances on June 7 and 8.

Rehearsals and performances will all be held at Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse and those taking part do not have to attend all the rehearsals.

The concert follows on the heels of an original song written for Gressenhall by soulful harmony group Arcelia last year.

The first get-together for the new song is an inspiration evening on Wednesday, March 29 at Gressenhall for participants to learn the history and hear some stories and take part in music and writing sessions.

For more information and to sign up to the project email bookings administrator Ellie at gressenhall.museum@norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01362 869251.

3 comments

  • There is actually a bus to Gressenhall, the Number 21, although admittedly it is not the most frequent of services. Alternatively, why not ask the museum if they can accommodate you? Maybe they can pair up potentially interested singers with other volunteers.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    GressieGirl

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • I'd love to join in with this - what a pity Gressenhall is not accessible by public transport.... As for that Victorian classroom not being the best days of a workhouse child's life - better than being out in a field all day scaring crows at the age of 6, surely?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    galrita

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Don't do it. Getting a bit sick of the theme parking of the place where my g g grandfather died and several other relatives spent time and was still disliked by old people when i was a child. The latter was probably because of its role as an old people's home, but Norfolk museums service should strive for accuracy and not trivialise or as they are doing at the moment seek comparison with the modern welfare state. They should try harder on the farm too.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    FlintinChalk

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

0

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Commented

Latest from the EDP

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe