Jasmine(8) Bourn from Norwich with her canary creation she made during Norwich Cathedrals Ghent Festival. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Youngsters learn about the origins of Norwich City FC’s nickname - the Canaries

Sunday, November 25, 2012
4.49 PM

Youngsters were able to make paper canaries and learn about the origins of Norwich City FC’s nickname, at a free two-day festival at Norwich cathedral.

Many of the “Strangers” – Dutch and Flemish Protestants who arrived in the city in the 16th and 17th centuries – brought their pet canaries with them, which they bred, and they were responsible for the nickname of Norwich City Football Club, the Canaries.

By the early 18th century canary breeding had become a popular hobby for people in Norwich. Nesting boxes could be found in many bedrooms in the city, and people made money selling canaries in London.

The “Strangers” also introduced advanced techniques in textile working, and their history was celebrated at Norwich cathedral’s Ghent Festival this weekend where children could join in workshops learning skills they brought to the city. Activities on offer also included wool weaving, tissue paper stained glass window making and making paper flowers.

Visitors also learned about printing which was introduced to Norwich by Anthony de Solempne, who arrived from the Netherlands in 1597. He printed one of the earliest edition of the Psalms in 1598.

Laura Crossley, the cathedral’s family learning co-ordinator, said: “A lot of people stayed for a long time, taking part in the activities, and we probably got just as many adult visitors as children.”