Spring Reunion, Norwich, 16 – 18 May 2014

Eighty five members and guests attended the 2014 reunion in Norwich, including visitors from Australia, Canada, France, The Netherlands, Germany and the USA. The reunion was held in the Maids Head Hotel, which provided four star accommodation in the city centre close to the Cathedral. The hotel is reputed to be the oldest in Britain, dating back to the 13 th Century; fortunately, there has been considerable modernisation since that time.

On Friday afternoon four separate groups were guided by Blue Badge Guides on a walking tour of the city. The tour took in many of the historic buildings, many dating back several hundred years. The Guides also provided insights into the history of Norwich visited and fought over by kings and noblemen. In medieval times, Norwich was second only to London with wealth generated from the wool trade.

On Saturday morning, most participants took the short coach trip to Wroxham where the party boarded the Belle of the Broads, a boat that provided plenty of space for all. Boating on the Broads is not a high speed adventure as all boats are restricted to less than 10 mph, but it did provide a peaceful way of seeing this large wetland area. The skipper of the Belle pointed out some of the most interesting features of the landscape and many birds, including a family of new born cygnets, countless ducks and ducklings and two families of the Great Crested Grebe that carry their chicks on their backs.

After lunch in Wroxham the group visited Blickling Estate, a magnificent National Trust property with the house dating from the 1600s. The gardens were in immaculate condition and the whole day was blessed with fine sunny weather.

There was a drinks reception followed by dinner in the hotel on both Friday and Saturday evenings, providing plenty of opportunity to meet with friends.

After dinner on Saturday, Dr. John Packman, the Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, outlined the strategies needed to combine conservation of this unique wetland with managing the area as one of Britain’s most popular tourist areas: all this in a framework of budgetary constraint.

On Sunday morning the 26 th AGM of the British Chapter was held, followed by lunch.

The reunion ended about 3.00 pm.

Leave a Reply