Harleston celebrated at Saturday 11 March 2023. The Town Council worked with South Norfolk and Norfolk County Councils on the delivery of a £1m investment in the town centre. This has created a more pedestrian friendly environment ready for the future.
Two initiatives were launched on the same day: defining the entire parish as a Nature Recovery Area and publishing this Visit Harleston tourism website.
The celebration provided the opportunity for people to see and experience the new town design. The Market Place provides a wonderful public space and a focal point for our historic market town.
Attractive planters line the street and greater seating provide places for people to sit and relax and enjoy our beautiful historic market town.
Opening speeches were given by Cllr John Fuller, Leader of South Norfolk Council, Cllr Martin Wilby – Harleston representative on Norfolk County Council, Cllr Jeremy Savage – Harleston representative on South Norfolk Council, and Cllr Trevor Graham – Chairman of Redenhall with Harleston Town Council. Three councils working together.
Children from Archbishop Sancroft Primary Phase opened the entertainment with a collection of songs. Ending with an invitation across the nation, a chance for folks to meet.
Laughing and singing and music swinging. Dancing in the street. It was a great way to get everyone in to the mood.
Fight Club entertained us all with their fantastic performance and demonstrations with children (and adult) participation. Fight club is part of the Norwich Museum and Art Gallery.
We had local community stall holders: The Blossom Charity, The River Trust, The Ladies Circle with Harleston Tangent, SNDC Community Help Hub, Harleston Leisure Centre Team, Harleston Information Plus, Harleston’s Future, and Harleston Players
Singers Station 366 entertained us with their set followed by the fantastic Sam Norfolk to finish the day’s events.
Zeb and Lisa Prescott were our fabulous stilt walkers, their presence made the day more special with their colourful butterfly display and fire breathing.
Norwich Museum held a display of farming implements, with the opportunity for visitors to use a quern stone to grind their own corn to make bread.
There was also a display of old tea pots to remind us of more leisurely days. Maybe we can all slow down and enjoy a nice cup of tea in our new town.
Harleston Museum opened for the day and welcomed many visitors both old and new. The museum has its own collection of farming implements with a tricky ‘guess what they are’ question sheet.
The Historical Society presented a series of three free guided walks around the town.
The hair braiders from Sunshine artists, Peter & Hayley had a queue for their beautiful (and very quick) talent of hair wrapping.
Face painter Maddy (Maddies Magical Moments) and Sarah (Rooblido) did an amazing job with colourful and clever designs, what a talent they all are.
The weather was glorious, the atmosphere jovial and the town was vibrant.
The Celebration clearly showcased the beautiful buildings, wonderful shops and the friendly nature of the people of Harleston to the world.
Nature Recovery in Harleston launched with a presentation in the evening to some 100 guests.
Invited speakers discussed the importance of nature recovery and the important role that Harleston can play in providing a framework for other towns to follow.
Visit Harleston was officially launched to provide this tourism website for Harleston. This has been driven as an initiative of South Norfolk Council with towns across the area collaborating to offer a stronger marketing presence than by working in isolation.
The day was a wonderful demonstration of working together. Three Councils working together. Local groups and organisations working together. Shops and businesses working together. Local people working together. Team Harleston.