Children’s Norfolk Day theatre workshop to shine a light on the traditional dumpling

PUBLISHED: 09:31 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:31 19 July 2018

Eve Stebbing with her son Edwin will be holding a Norfolk Day event at the York Tavern for children Picture: Nick Butcher

Eve Stebbing with her son Edwin will be holding a Norfolk Day event at the York Tavern for children Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

It was a popular food in centuries gone by but has fallen out of fashion in recent years.

Norfolk Day LogoNorfolk Day Logo

But a Norfolk actress is on a mission to bring it back onto our plates by combining food-based theatre fun to children.

The humble savoury Norfolk dumpling - also known as the 20-minute swimmer because of how it was cooked in boiling water - is traditionally made of yeast.

To kick-off her new countywide project, Eve Stebbing, 43, from College Road in Norwich, is running a free dumpling project for young children on Norfolk Day - Friday, July 27.

It is the first year of Norfolk Day, which is encouraging communities, businesses and charities to celebrate what is great about the county.

So far more than 200 events are planned.

Ms Stebbing, founder of Spin-Off Theatre, will hold dumpling-related games, a dumpling decorating competition, storytelling and face painting for youngsters aged 0-5 at the York Tavern garden on Leicester Street, Norwich, from 2-4pm.

The children can also sample some chocolate or fruit dumplings.

Ms Stebbing, who has two boys aged two and four, said: “The dumpling probably came along with the Dutch Strangers in the 16th century and we learned how to make them from those people. The dumpling is very special to this area. Not everywhere in the country has one. I think it will come back into fashion.”

The the word dumpling was born in Norfolk at the beginning of the 17th century, where the dialect borrowed the low German word for lump.

Bakers across the county made versions of the dumpling and were said to be so light that Cromer fishermen could use them to keep up their nets.

The initial purpose of a dumpling was to fill stomachs cheaply and distract attention from a probable shortage of meat.

“Norfolk Day is a great idea. I love the Norfolk culture,” Ms Stebbing.

Her not-for-profit theatre company which started 15 years ago combines storytelling, Norfolk culture and food traditions as part of children’s workshops.

An accompanying adult can take part in the Norfolk Day dumpling afternoon.


■Let us know your Norfolk Day event by emailing

Norfolk Day online shop

An online shop has been launched selling Norfolk Day marketing material which event organisers can display on the day.

The shop is selling a four-pack of flags, four-pack of A3 posters and 20 balloons at £4, while 5m of bunting is £8.

Celebration packs containing all of the above are available for £18.

Norfolk Day takes place on Friday, July 27, and is intended as a day of fun in which individuals, community groups and businesses are encouraged to get involved by hosting or participating in events.

The initiative was launched by the EDP and Norwich Evening News in partnership with BBC Radio Norfolk and has the backing of business and community organisations who are planning events for the day.

Details of events will be revealed in the newspaper, online and via social media.

To order Norfolk Day materials visit to buy celebratory items.

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