Norwich Cathedral’s jubilee flower festival celebrates Norfolk over the past 60 years

From Dad's Army to Norfolk wherries to Colman's Mustard, the essence of Norfolk over the past 60 years will be in full bloom at a special show at Norwich Cathedral marking the Queen's diamond jubilee. Thousands of flowers will fill the historic landmark over four days in June as the cathedral is decorated in more than 100 floral displays, each representing a different aspect of the county.

Among the sources of inspiration will be the Royal Anglians, Wing Commander Ken Wallis, Seahenge and Snettisham, and Norwich Market, and many other significant people, businesses, places and events that have played an important part in Norfolk since the Queen came to the throne in 1952.

There will be 10 displays in the Hostry looking back at royal visits to Norfolk and incorporating images from Archant Norfolk, publisher of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, and there will also be a display of copes and flowers representing the bishops and deans over the last six decades.

The event is being organised by the Norwich Cathedral Flower Guild committee, and about 25 flower clubs and individuals across the county are creating the displays.

Anne Colchester, from Buxton, and Trish Mayhew, from Salhouse, are the festival designers, and they have spent the past two years researching and drawing up the list of subjects to be celebrated in the show.

'It was very difficult choosing from the hundreds of subjects, but I think we've got a list that has something for everyone,' said Mrs Colchester.

'Norfolk is a fabulous county, the best in England, and it is definitely worth celebrating.

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'The flower festival aims to try and catch the flavour of Norfolk.'

Mrs Mayhew said: 'As visitors walk round the displays, which will be located throughout the cathedral, we want them to feel nostalgic and realise just how much has been going on in Norfolk in the past 60 years.'

She added: 'It is going to be something not to be missed because it is going to be spectacular.

'It is not just about the flowers, it is about the people, places, businesses and organisations in Norfolk. It is a composite of Norfolk life being put together in this beautiful building.

'We always feel it is a great honour to be working in the cathedral. It is just a wonderful place to be.'

About 200 flower arrangers are involved in creating the displays, and Mrs Mayhew and Mrs Colchester are looking forward to seeing what floral masterpieces are created for the different subjects.

'We can't wait to see what they've all done,' said Mrs Colchester.

'Although we know where they'll be displaying we have no idea what they'll all choose to do.'

Among some of the many other aspects of Norfolk being featured are: Pensthorpe nature reserve, the 1953 floods, Norwich Market, Priscilla Bacon Lodge, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, East Anglia's Children's Hospices, the farming scene and agricultural shows, the Broads Authority, naturalist Ted Ellis, businesses including Bernard Matthews, Jarrold and Colmans, museums including Norwich Castle and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, theatre venues including Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Puppet Theatre and Cromer Pier and the Pavillion Theatre, arts organisations including the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and artist Edward Seago.

All profits from the festival will go to Norwich Cathedral and Norfolk charities The Big C and Norfolk and Norwich Families' House.

• The Festival of Flowers will be at Norwich Cathedral from Friday, June 1 to Monday, June 4.

The opening times will be: June 1 from 10am until 6pm, June 2 from 10am until 5pm, June 3 from 12.30pm until 5.30pm, and June 4 from 10am until 3pm.

Entry is �7.50 per person and children under 14 are free. Tickets are available from the Norwich Cathedral shop and from the Tourist Information Centre at The Forum. For more information email flowerfestival@cathedral.org.uk

• On Saturday, June 2 there will be a Jacqui Dankworth concert in the cathedral at 7.30pm. Concert tickets cost �25 and �20 and are available from the cathedral shop and Prelude Records, in St Giles Street, Norwich.

• emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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