A shop and museum which started as a temporary display now celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and its place as one of Norwich’s favourite visitor attractions.
Opened in 1973 in Bridewell Alley to commemorate the 150th anniversary of J&J Colman’s, The Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum was intended to be open for one year but it was so successful and popular it continued. It was moved to its current premises in the historic Royal Arcade in 1999, where it is based in a careful replica of Victorian trade premises, and 10 years later was taken over by the Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART). Today it is one of Norwich’s most cherished tourist attractions, popular with locals and visitors alike, and is now celebrating 40 years of telling the Colman’s story with a series of special events throughout the year.
A 40th anniversary exhibition (Monday 29th April to Saturday 1st June 2013) details the story of J&J Colman’s, their forward thinking decision to create the Mustard Shop, and the history of the shop. The displays tell of the people who made it happen, of the development of the shop over the last 40 years, and plans for the future. On show will be many historic items, such as wartime mustard tins, Victorian and Art Deco mustard pots, and unique memorabilia donated to the shop by members of the public and former employees of both Colman’s and the Mustard Shop & Museum – including a commemorative bust of the first Shop Manager, Ben Cook, and a framed picture of Jeremiah James Colman, kindly donated by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.
Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum 40th Anniversary special screening
Fusion, The Forum, Norwich, NR2 1TF
29th April – 4th May 2103
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
A special 40th anniversary screening in the Fusion gallery at The Forum, featuring archive material, images of the history of the shop and film interviews with those involved.
As well as the exhibition, there will also be special events, competitions and promotions to celebrate. If you have culinary flair and a way with ingredients, then enter the 40thAnniversary Recipe Competition (6th May to 1st June). Get creative and devise an original recipe that incorporates one of the Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum exclusive mustards, and win a hamper of Colman’s products. Or why not test your knowledge of Norwich’s famous attraction in the Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum Mustard Quiz (1st August –30th September) – can you answer 40 questions for 40 years – on the Mustard Shop, museum, Colman’s Mustard and the 1970s? Entry forms for the recipe competition and quiz will be available to download at www.mustardshopnorwich.co.uk or to collect from the shop from the competition start dates.
Go back to the 70s with the Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum 1970’s Weekend on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August! See the staff in retro outfits, enjoy some classic 70s nibbles and take advantage of 1970s prices on exclusive mustard powder!
If you’d like to discover more about the history of Colman’s Mustard, how the company started, what life was like for the factory workers and the stories behind the Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum, then come along to a special talk and tasting held on ‘Mustard Mondays’ at the Mustard Shop (Monday 13th May, 17th June, 8th July, 5th August, 2nd September and 14th October, 6pm-7.30pm). Tickets cost £2, but entry price is redeemable on the night.
Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum will also be holding special anniversary free gift days – every Friday from 16th August for 12 weeks there will be exclusive product giveaways when you spend over £5 – you could receive a free exclusive wholegrain mustard, mustard powder, scone mix or even a mustard chocolate bar!
Nick Cook, Manager of the Mustard Shop said: “It’s fantastic that something which started as a temporary celebration of mustard is now still going strong 40 years later and has become a well-known and popular symbol of our local heritage. We’re excited about sharing the history of the shop in our special anniversary exhibition, with some incredible exhibits to show, thanks to the generosity of former employees and members of the public, and look forward to developing Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum further.”
David Hill, Chair of HEART Mercers Ltd. said: “In 2009 HEART’s Board and Chief Executive believed that saving the Mustard Shop and Museum was important for three reasons. First, it would maintain a globally recognised, iconic brand within the city, secondly, it would sustain one of the few surviving links with the area’s rich and diverse industrial heritage and thirdly it would keep alive a well-established local tourist destination. Four years on, I am sure this was the right decision, especially as the business has flourished in a such a difficult economic environment.”
Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum in the Royal Arcade, Norwich, is free to visit and is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sundays from July to December (11am to 4pm) and on Bank Holidays (11am to 4pm). The shop stocks an extensive range of powder and prepared mustards, including a number of specialities made exclusively for the shop. There is also a wide selection of mustard pots, spoons, tea towels and Colman’s memorabilia. It also contains many items on loan from the archives, covering all aspects of the history and production of Colman’s mustard.
About Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum
Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum was opened in 1973 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Colman’s, with premises on Bridewell Alley. It moved to the historic art nouveau Royal Arcade in 1999, where it has been based ever since in a careful replica of Victorian trade premises.
The shop stocks an extensive range of powder and prepared mustards, including a number of specialities made exclusively for the shop. In addition, there are a wide selection of mustard pots and spoons, together with tea towels – not to mention a broad range of Colman’s memorabilia. It also contains many items on loan from the archives, covering all aspects of the history and production of Colman’s mustard.
About Norwich HEART
Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) is a private, charitable trust set up to act as an umbrella organisation for all of the heritage on offer in Norwich. We strategically plan, regenerate, manage and promote Norwich’s heritage and act as a best practice model internationally for developing heritage as a social and economic regeneration vehicle. HEART receives support from bodies including the University of East Anglia and Norwich City Council and has received project funding from a variety of sources including European Union, HM Treasury, the East of England Development Agency and Norfolk County Council. HEART took over Colman’s Mustard Shop & Museum in August 2009, from previous owners Unilever UK & Ireland.
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