By Mark Shields
Friday, January 25, 2013
Memories and mementoes of Colman’s Mustard Shop are being sought for a people’s history of one of Norwich’s most treasured names.
Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) wants to hear from people with personal memories or connections to the shop as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, dating all the way back to its opening in February 1973.
They could be from people who visited the shop over the years, those who worked there, or those for whom the shop has a special personal resonance.
The memories, images and items collected will form part of an exhibition about the shop to be displayed later in the year, one of a series of events to mark the milestone.
Chris Wilson, of Norwich HEART, which took over the shop in 2009, said: “We’re looking for memories from people who have interacted with the shop over the years.
“People are very nostalgic for the shop and it’s somewhere that’s very close to their heart. We’d like to use that link as content for the exhibition.”
The materials could also ultimately make their way into the Colman’s museum.
“It could be almost anything,” said Mr Wilson. “From old mustard tins, limited edition items, people’s photographs of when the shop was in Bridewell Alley, or stories from former staff members.
“With all the stories of high streets suffering these days, we think it’s nice to show what a connection people have had with this shop over the years.”
Nick Cook, retail business manager at the Mustard Shop said: “Colman’s Mustard Shop is a well-known and popular symbol of our local heritage and has played a part in the city’s retail, heritage, and tourism landscape for a milestone 40 years.
“We are looking forward to delving into the shop’s history as part of the celebrations this year whilst looking ahead to an exciting and thriving future.”
The Mustard Shop was opened in Bridewell Alley in 1973 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the partnership between Jeremiah and James Colman on February 15, 1823, and to open to the public the archive kept on the company’s Carrow site.
The event was attended by TV cook and writer Fanny Cradock, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Norwich, and Sir Timothy Colman, the great-great-great grandson of James Colman, one of the two original partners, and was followed by a meal at the Old Mill at Stoke Holy Cross, where Colman’s mustard was first milled.
The shop had been intended to be open for just a year, but proved so successful that it remained open.
It moved to its current premises in the Royal Arcade in 1999 and was taken over by Norwich HEART 10 years later, after it was threatened with closure.
If you have any information about the shop over the years, contact Chris Wilson on 01603 305574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31.
See www.mustardshopnorwich.co.uk, call 01603 627889 or follow @themustardshop on Twitter.