In the latest in our series finding out a little bit more about what it is like running a local independent business in Norfolk we caught up with the team behind The Hemporium Shops, one of our newest business members.
What is the History of The Hemporium Shops?
We opened our first Hemporium in Hunstanton in August 2019 followed by the second in Wells next the Sea in the first easing of the pandemic lockdown in June 2020. The third was in Holt in August 2020 with the fourth in September 2020 in Norwich just before the November lockdown. Finally shop number 5 was due to open on 5th November in Burnham Market but stalled due to the November lockdown being imposed but then opened briefly in the December prior to Tier 4 imposition for Xmas and then the January 5th 2021 lockdown! So the next stage of easing in April could see all 5 shops open for the first time ever!
The Maids Head Hotel in Tombland, Norwich, one of the oldest hotels in the UK, will emerge from lockdown on Saturday, July 4. It is believed that this is the first time that the hotel has been closed since it started trading as the Murtel Fish Inn during the 13th century.
Christine Malcolm, General Manager said: “We are all looking forward to welcoming guests to the hotel after this three month closure. It will also be very good to see our staff return from furlough. They have been keeping their spirits up with a whole range of activities from a baking competition, to a Zoom lunch and a virtual run between the Maids Head and our sister hotels, The Gonville in Cambridge and The Ship at Brancaster.
We recently delivered a lockdown gift of Norfolk strawberries, clotted cream and chilled rose wine to our 90 staff who live across the county, from Norwich to Wymondham, Reepham and Gorleston. This resulted in some great feedback, Dawn said: 'Lovely surpirise today, thank you Christine and the team, miss you all...' ”
Norwich City footballer Tom Trybull and his wife Anna have donated £5,000 to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), plus a bag of clothes as the charity gears up to reopen five of its shops.
The money comes from sales of children’s book The Story of Tommy T. Tommy T is a pigeon trying to make his name in football. The story is written by Anna, based on the exploits of her husband and encourages young people to follow their dreams.
It will go towards EACH’s fundraising appeal set up at the start of lockdown to address a forecasted income gap of £1.8m over 12 weeks, caused by the cancellation and postponement of fundraising events, and the closure of the charity’s 43 shops.
Following the government announcement that non-essential shops can reopen from Monday (15 June), EACH has decided to open five of its outlets in Norfolk, in a phased reopening plan the good cause hopes will eventually restore the pre-lockdown success of its high street portfolio.
Breckland Council’s work to support vulnerable residents through the coronavirus pandemic has been boosted by a donation from Norwich City Football Club and Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.
There are more than 3,600 people in the district who the NHS consider to be ‘extremely vulnerable’ and the council is supporting them by making welfare calls and, where needed, distributing medicines and food parcels.
The club and its foundation recently boosted the local effort by donating 120 parcels to the council, containing essential non-perishable food items such as tinned goods and dried foods. The boxes also included hand sanitiser, toilet roll, sweet treats, a NCFC gift and a note from celebrity chef and Canaries shareholder Delia Smith.
The support is part of the club and foundation’s Canaries COVID-19 Community Support Project which has seen £200k donated by the football club’s players, staff and directors, to help the county respond to covid-19.
Local charity, The Benjamin Foundation, has announced its annual Sleep Out fundraising events with Norwich City and Ipswich Town Football Clubs hosting this year’s events.
Taking place on Thursday 19th November, the Norwich Sleep Out will be held at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road with the Ipswich Sleep Out taking place at Ipswich Town Football Club on Portman Road on 5th November.
The annual Sleep Out fundraising events support The Benjamin Foundation’s work in Norfolk and Suffolk to prevent youth homelessness by inviting people to spend one night sleeping outside so others don’t have to. Money raised through sponsorship helps their work to tackle the homelessness problem locally by providing a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25 every night. The Benjamin Foundation also gives them the skills they need so they can go on to forge independent lives.
The Maids Head Hotel in Tombland, Norwich, has purchased an elegant Edwardian style Frolic 31 electric launch and, following a winter refit, the boat will take to the River Wensum in Norwich, when it will be officially named The Murtle Fish.
The boat will be driven by a Maids Head skipper, assisted by a steward, and can take 12 passengers. The Murtle Fish will be available to hire from the spring for afternoon tea afloat, wedding photography and receptions, business away days, drinks receptions and guided river tours.
A two-hour trip will depart from the Quayside next to Fye Bridge and will head to Whitlingham before returning to the city centre. The Murtle Fish will also be used to transport guests to the Maids Head's box at Norwich City FC.
The Maids Head Hotel in Tombland, Norwich has revealed a new contemporary look for its AA 2 rosette Wine Press Restaurant, which is located in the former courtyard of the 15th century inn that first took the name Maids Head.
The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Vaughan Thomas and the Sheriff of Norwich, Dr Marian Prinsley visited the hotel on Thursday, November 14 to officially reopen the restaurant following its £60,000 makeover.
Interior Designer, Nicola Lovell, working closely with General Manager, Christine Malcolm, has created a colourful and exciting restaurant with new tables, chairs, banquettes, pictures and decoration, which complement the ancient courtyard of the hotel.
The Wine Press refurbishment is the latest project at the Maids Head, which has seen £3.5 million invested by the hotel’s owners, the Chaplin family, over the last six years across all public areas and guest bedrooms.
A new pilot wayfinding scheme has launched in the city centre comprising of 12 newly designed and branded City of Stories totems.
Delivered by Norwich Business Improvement District in partnership with Norwich City Council the pre-existing infrastructure has been redesigned to fit a new image for the city centre.
The 12 newly designed directional totems are located across the city centre, from outside St Peter Mancroft and The Assembly House, to Dragon Hall on King street.
Each totem is colour co-ordinated to match city centre districts and features directional content, immediate location information, 3D buildings and icons, accessible fonts and designs, as well as heritage information on the surrounding district.
Norwich is already home to eight eye catching large-scale street murals and now the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) has unveiled its latest urban artworks.
Working in partnership with Norwich Market, 12 market stalls have been transformed into vibrant street art for residents, visitors and market vendors to enjoy.
This collaborative project engaged with five community groups including Notre Dame School, Free School Norwich, The Norwich School, Open Youth Trust and Norwich Theatre Royal to help transform the market. Ideas were brought to life by seven artists (Kieran Harper, Amy Fellows, Lucie Knight, Emma Hulett, Katie Nice & Maisie Moffat, Ralph McCarthy and Joey LaMeche) who ran workshops with each of the groups to understand their artistic briefs.
The Maids Head Hotel in Tombland, Norwich, is the new permanent home for The Norwich Panorama, created by John Moray-Smith in the mid 1940s for Morgans Brewery.
The Norwich Society acquired the Panorama in 2016 to both save and restore the panel. The magnificent 2.5 metre by 1.5 metre panel is now on display next to the entrance to the Maids Head's Wine Press Restaurant.
The three-dimensional panel depicts the view of Norwich from St James Hill. It was commissioned by Morgans Brewery for the Cock Inn on King Street. Following the Inn’s closure in the mid 1970s, the panel was moved to Caistor Hall Hotel, where at some point after 2010 it was damaged and placed into storage. The Norwich Society bought the panel in 2016, and with the support of the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, the John Jarrold Trust and the Norwich Heritage Fund, paid for its restoration.