Colman's Mustard Shop celebrates 40 years

the Mustard Shop in Norwich .
Photo: Simon Finlay
For: EEN News
EDP pics © 2008
(01603) 772434

the Mustard Shop in Norwich . Photo: Simon Finlay Copy: For: EEN News EDP pics © 2008 (01603) 772434

Archant © 2008

A programme of celebrations kicks off tomorrow night to mark 40 years of telling one of Norwich's great success stories.

The Colman’s Mustard Shop and Museum was opened in 1973 as a temporary display to commemorate 150 years of J&J Colman’s, but proved so popular it has remained to this day.

A series of events, including film screenings, recipe competitions, free gift giveaways and even a time-travelling retro weekend have been planned for the shop’s 40th anniversary.

The celebrations get under way tomorrow night, when a special reception will be held at the shop complete with a bespoke mustard birthday pie from Brays Cottage and mustard and chocolate-flavoured treats from Macarons and More.

Drama group Feast Theatre will also perform an extract from The Canada Boys, which tells the true story of workers at the Colman’s factory in Norwich.

The shop will play host to an exhibition of items contributed by the public, including wartime mustard tins, Victorian and Art Deco mustard pots, a bust of Ben Cook, the first shop manager, and a framed picture of Jeremiah James Colman donated by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

Shop manager Nick Cook said that former Colman’s employees and members of the public had all played a valuable part in the programme of events.

“It’s fantastic that something which started as a temporary celebration of mustard is now still going strong 40 years later and has become a well-known and popular symbol of our local heritage,” he said.

“We’re excited about sharing the history of the shop in our special anniversary exhibition, with some incredible exhibits to show, thanks to the generosity of former employees and members of the public, and look forward to developing Colman’s Mustard Shop and Museum further.”

The Mustard Shop moved from its home in Bridewell Alley in 1999, to its current location in the Royal Arcade, and was taken over by Norwich HEART in 2009.

David Hill, Chair of HEART Mercers, said there were three reasons for the heritage group stepping in.

“First, it would maintain a globally-recognised, iconic brand within the city; secondly, it would sustain one of the few surviving links with the area’s rich and diverse industrial heritage; and thirdly it would keep alive a well-established local tourist destination.

“Four years on, I am sure this was the right decision.”

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