including a visit to the City of Norwich

Written and photographed by Ken Amery, 22nd - 23rd November 2017
Norwich Castle
Norwich Cathedral
The Cathedral
The Cloisters
The Baptism Font - made from a vast from the chocolate factory

Thursford Christmas Spectacular

This year’s visit to Thursford was very nearly the trip that didn’t happen. Our group were all assembled at the appointed time but due to complete gridlock on the roads around the M40, where a serious accident had taken place our coach was well over an hour late. So it was about 10 am we finally left Maidenhead for our performance at 2pm. Even though our driver had spent most of his time stationery in traffic on his way to us he was legally compelled to take thirty minutes break at the services on the M1, so things were not looking very good. However, the combination of excellent driving and no further holdups meant that we reached Thursford with twelve minutes to spare!

During the rest of the year Thursford is home to one of the largest collection of steam engines, carousels and mechanical organs, but for the Christmas season it is transformed into an arena for one of the largest Christmas shows of its kind.
Now in its 41st season the show is called spectacular, because quite honestly it is! The grounds and the museum itself are transformed into a Christmas extravaganza. The three hour show is truly amazing with a cast of over 130 professional singers, dancer and musicians. There is something for everybody, with show stopper songs and dances, Christmas music and carols. It’s no wonder that over 130,000 people visit every year from all corners of the country. Unusually for this day and age the show is not afraid to convey the real message of Christmas, which is very refreshing. After the show we made our way to our destination for the night, the Wensum Valley Hotel, just outside Norwich where we had an excellent dinner.

The following morning after a very refreshing breakfast we travelled to the City of Norwich to spend the morning as we wished. There is a lot to see in Norwich. The castle is well worth a visit with views over the city. The cathedral received lots of visitors from the group. My particular favourite in the cathedral is the font made from a copper vat donated by the local chocolate factory when it closed. Visits were also made to the river. Lunch was taken in a variety of hostelries in town; the refectory in the cathedral seemed to be quite popular. There was also ample opportunity for some retail therapy in some of the many large department stores in the centre of town.

We left Norwich mid-afternoon and after an uneventful journey we arrived home at 7pm. The question on everybody’s lips, “Can we go come back next year?” Well, we shall see. Watch this space.

Ken Amery

Oliver Gooch