Genesis guitarist draws crowds to open day at North Walsham’s Atrium

North Walsham Atrium open day. Making pizza in the cookery lesson.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham Atrium open day. Making pizza in the cookery lesson.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A rock star and a leaning tower of pizzas were part of the varied mix on offer at The Atrium's first open day.

North Walsham Atrium open day. Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett who was signing books at the o

North Walsham Atrium open day. Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett who was signing books at the open day signs a guitar for charity fundraiser Barry Holden.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett drew fans to the North Walsham community arts building which was also offering a range of free taster activity sessions, coupled with a book fair, organised by the town's Showcase Gallery.

North Walsham music fan Barry Holden made the most of his visit and asked Mr Hackett to sign a guitar which will be auctioned as part of Mr Holden's annual Live Aid concert in the town, raising money for local charities.

Mr Hackett was at the event with his wife, Joanna Lehmann-Hackett, whose Fire in the Veins - Norfolk Rebels was among many local-interest books at the fair. Her mother lives in Burgh-next-Aylsham.

'We're spending more and more time in Norfolk because of Jo's family,' said Mr Hackett.


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'I love the feeling you get here, that you're in an oil painting and you're right in the middle of the landscape.'

He found time to pluck a banjolele with Nigel Digby, who runs the Ukes of Hazard ukelele band which had a stall at the open day.

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Other local authors signing books at the fair included writer and broadcaster Keith Skipper.

Have-a-go children and adults, ranging from two to 98, tried out a number of free open-day activities which included belly and ballroom dancing, photography and baby sensory play.

Parents and toddlers enjoyed a cookery session, making mini pizzas - and washing up afterwards. Their creations were later threaded together on wooden sticks to make a tower. There was also a screening of the 2014 film, Muppets Most Wanted.

'It's been lovely to see new members of the community, who haven't been here before, taking part in activities,' said Atrium director Joe Ballard.

'Everyone's been asking for regular activities. Knowing the community wants them to happen will help us plan for the future.'

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