The newly established Redwell Brewery in Trowse Millgate joined forces with local businesses Culture Shift, Harbercue BBQ Smokehouse and the Wood Kitchen to hold a neighbourhood party called ‘Longitude’ in the brewery building and grounds, giving proceeds for beer and food sales to Sistema in Norwich, a community-based music programme which works with children in some of the most deprived areas of the city, giving them the opportunity to play music.
As well as the businesses, the event was supported by local musicians and bands and DJ Rad Dad (aka Heavy Tempo) Rob Wilkes of Creative Giant, who also lives in Trowse Millgate who all gave time to entertain over 500 guests – neighbours, friends and customers – who turned out on a Sunday to have a nice time whilst raising money for a good cause. The weather was kind as rain had been forecast but it stayed away while bands played from 2pm-11pm, from folk by Frogs Crossing and Riversedge, singer songwriters Teddy Quick and Milly Hirst, harpist Xenia Horne and bands Sargasso Trio, Stromm, Box of Light, Chains and Rabo de Foguete and finally, club musician Nathan Fake who all gave their time and talent for free to support a good cause.
Redwell Brewery, which recently hit the news when they battled it out with drinks giant Red Bull over their name, settled into their new brewery premises in March this year and have quickly gained a reputation and following for its craft beer, Norwich-designed branding and personal approach to brewing and selling beer.
Harbercue is also rapidly carving a niche for the most authentic BBQ food for miles around – not a dodgy beefburger in sight but proper slow-cooked pulled pork and brisket in a barbecued smoky flavoured bun which has proved popular at lots of events around Norfolk – and they have a regular spot at the Playhouse Bar.
Joining them, the Wood Kitchen run by George Clarke serving wood-fired pizza cooked in a quirky Citroen H Van equipped with a wood oven which means mobile high-quality pizza – you can often find him at the Eaton Cottage in Unthank Road.
Completing the street food theme, Marion Catlin of Culture Shift, also a resident of Trowse Millgate and a close neighbour of Redwell Brewery, set up an Indian Street Food stall for the day serving curry, dal and tea and cakes helped by friends and family.
All of the businesses had agreed to give their entire proceeds to support Sistema and the grand total was £1920. A quick appeal on Facebook to make it up to £2000 resulted in a donation of £81 from photographer Pete Huggins to take it £1 over the target.
Other local businesses such as printers BD&H, who printed banners and posters also joined in, and Ben Burgess, May Gurney and the Fire Service were invited and came along.
As well as raising money for Sistema, several neighbours said that it was a great community event –with comments such as :
‘A great event and it's good to have such accommodating neighbours in Redwell, as well as rather nice refreshments’.
‘The atmosphere was great, the people lovely, the food excellent, the music super, and it was also good to meet neighbours we knew, and to make some new friends!’
Marion Catlin, cultural organiser and designer, who organised the mini-festival/party said ‘ Our family and friends ran smaller version, Longitude 1, in our front yard two years ago, but with Redwell just over our back garden fence, we suggested using their land for a joint party as there is more space. Once we got talking it seemed silly not to raise some money for charity out of it and so we chose Sistema in Norwich to benefit. It was very hard work but it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves – we really need something to stimulate this friendly neighbourhood and pull it together as there is no social space here and there’s a real mix of residential homes and businesses’.
Benjamin Thompson, general manager for Redwell Brewery said ‘When Marion approached us, we were immediately keen to join in. We are new here and saw this as an opportunity to meet our neighbours – we want to be an asset to the community if we can. And we were proud to be able to donate our takings for the day to such a good cause.’
Marcus Patteson, director of NORCA (Norfolk & Norwich Community Arts) who runs the Sistema-style programme in Norwich said ‘ We were really pleasantly surprised when we heard about Longitude and totally thrilled when we realised how much it had raised – it is fantastic to have such support from the community and the children will benefit.’
About Culture Shift
Run by Marion Catlin, Culture Shift is part of The Shift Norwich which comprises Culture Shift (cultural development). Design Shift (design for culture and heritage) and Shift Publishing (design, production and marketing for self-publishers), based in Trowse Millgate and specialising in the culture of Norwich.
Culture Shift sends out regular email updates about cultural events and information in Norwich that are often not heard about through other channels of information, and includes occasional blog posts and reviews. Marion is also an experienced designer and creative project manager with many connections in the cultural landscape of Norwich and the region, specialising in cultural planning, audience development and cultural tourism. Marion is currently co-directing Norwich Fringe Festival.
www.theshiftnorwich.org.uk www.norwichfringefestival.co.uk. Telephone 07946 261651 for info and photos
About Redwell Brewery
Redwell Brewery opened in March this year and started brewing in April and is located in a building next to Trowse Railway Bridge. It is a craft brewery, and head brewer David Jones is something of a legend in Sweden where he perfected the craft of brewing characteristic and flavoursome beer before being employed by Redwell to develop their distinctive Czech-style beers. Directors Patrick Fisher and Amy Hancock, Benjamin Thompson and Michael Baxter also work for the brewery which is located next to Trowse Railway Bridge in a building that was until recently occupied by Graham Dacre’s Open Road project.
Redwell also owns and runs Norwich Tap House and several other pubs in the city.
Craft beer is technically a keg beer but with some of the natural characteristics of a real ale such as flavour and types of beer, and is brewed in small batches by hand by a craft brewer. Redwell’s beer is brewed in the Czech tradition and is very flavourful. Redwell have 5 types of beer which are all selling well Norwich and London
For interviews and info please contact Benjamin Thompson email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Sistema in Norwich
Sistema in Norwich is a transformative programme for young people with music at its heart. It is intensive and immersive, working best when the children are playing together every day. It has been devised, and is run, by Norfolk and Norwich Community Arts, which has a long history of working with communities to change people’s lives through engagement in the arts. The programme is focussed on recognised areas of deprivation and takes forward many years of experience of working with communities and young people to create an independent and sustainable, Sistema-inspired programme, linking the work closely with Venezuela’s world-renowned El Sistema programme and other Sistema-based projects across the UK and the world.
Sistema in Norwich operates across Norfolk with its core activity in the Larkman and Catton Grove areas of Norwich, based in and supported by the local primary schools. It currently involves around 140 children across two orchestras. It predominantly works with strings and percussion, with the inclusion of wind and brass being piloted this year. It also recently started piloting work in Great Yarmouth Primary Academy.
Sistema in Norwich is actively fund-raising to enable NORCA to sustain, extend and develop the programme Locally, the project is building on its partnership with the Norfolk Music Hub, Music in Norwich Forum and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, as well as engaging a number of other key individuals and organisations as part of the steering group. Nationally, Sistema in Norwich is talking with Britten Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, In Harmony Sistema England and Sistema Europe, and is making links across the country.