Spread The Love

Book your tickets for Silver Social's upcoming tour of The Little Love Cabaret, performing in Breckland villages 2nd - 6th July. 

"Somewhere between a sketch show, rom-com & glitter bomb! Join us for an all singing, all dancing afternoon of joy."

Tickets are only £5, payable on the door but can be reserved in advance (see below) 

Free local transport is also available to those without access to a car or public transport, please get in touch below for assistance. 

All performances 2pm - 3:30pm

Monday 2nd July at Ashill Community Centre

Tuesday 3rd July at Harling Old School Hall

Wednesday 4th July at Shipdham All Saints Church

Thursday 5th July at Mattishall Church Rooms

Friday 6th July at Necton Community Centre

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Ministry Bans Frivolous Biscuits

Audiences in Breckland have been delighted by the Ministry of Biscuits, a tongue in cheek musical comedy set in a 1984-esque world of repressed biscuits. Performed by The Foundry Group, the  show toured the district's libraries for a one off week of matinees in Watton, Dereham, Attleborough, Thetford and Swaffham. 

The hilarious script, catchy songs and array of costumes, captivated audiences into the story of Cecil Hobson, a junior biscuit designer who succumbs to moral corruption and dabbles in creating a decadent triple chocolate ginger nut cream surprise...


The Foundry Group performing  Ministry of Biscuits

The Foundry Group performing Ministry of Biscuits

Ministry of Biscuits is the first in a series of live performances happening across Breckland this summer as part of Silver Social. Up next is The Little Love Cabaret by Spiltmilk Dance, performing in villages 2nd - 6th July. Full details here

Successful First Phase of Workshops

Last week saw the culmination of the first five artist residencies in rural villages - Ashill, Necton, Shipdham, Mattishall and Harling - with fantastic exhibitions of work in both Ashill and Necton and a range of arts based activities happening in the other villages. 

Residents of Ashill loved seeing their Cyanotype prints exhibited in the Community Centre, with a brilliant turn out of visitors coming along to admire the residents' work and indulge in a slice of chocolate fudge cake or a scone with cream and jam!  Artist Vicki Johnson reiterated her thanks to the village archive for their wealth of local photographs, kick-starting the first workshop with great success. 

Necton village also had a great turn out for their exhibition at the Community Centre on Saturday, with many new faces coming to admire the work over a cup of tea and piece of artist Sarah Harley's apple cake. The range of work produced was great to see and the Necton spin off  sewing club is still going strong! 

Other activities happening across half term week included Glass House Dance's takeover of Harling's Old School Hall, culminating in a performance of their 'A Little Bit of Light' contemporary dance, using stories told to them by residents throughout the week. In Mattishall, Lisa Little's 'Drop in & Stitch' workshops, unearthed tales from the village and provided residents an opportunity to get to know each other a little better, chatting whilst therapeutically stitching memories and anecdotes onto tea towels. In Nearby Shipdham, poet and writer Martin Figura was busy entertaining the ladies and gents from the Shipdham Knitters, Shipdham History Group and Shipdham Manor Care Home, enjoying much frivolity and plenty of biscuits whilst working on his Shipdham oral history project. Proudly sporting his residency tank top, Martin's final appearance was at Saturday's Church Fair, where he and his wife Helen Ivory set up their poetry takeaway! 

In the New Year the Silver Social welcomes singer, Kate Dimbleby, who will be taking her 'Sing Your Song' workshops on a tour of the town's libraries, before stopping off in each of the villages. Look out soon for more details.

Ashill Exhibition

Ashill Exhibition

Necton Exhibition 

Necton Exhibition 

Glass House Dance 'A Little Bit of Light'

Glass House Dance 'A Little Bit of Light'

Martin Figura in Shipdham 

Martin Figura in Shipdham 

'Drop in & Stitch' at Mattishall

Mattishall's artist in residence Lisa Little has been holding a series of 'Drop in & Stitch' workshops at the Memorial Hall, with villagers sharing stories about Mattishall over a cup of tea and some sweet treats. Lisa has encouraged participants to jot down memories relating to village life in a note book, from which she has selected prominent stories to embroider onto tea towels. Some have chosen to do their own embroidery or have used fabric pens to put down their designs. 

As well as recalling skills that haven't been used for years, the sessions have allowed participants to engage over a shared topic - Mattishall - and learn much about each other in the process. The sessions continue this week at Mattishall Memorial Hall, drop in between 10:30 - 4pm and leave a lasting memory of the village in Lisa's journal. All events are free and everyone is welcome!

See what's happening next in our Upcoming Events

Mattishall residents with artist Lisa Little

Mattishall residents with artist Lisa Little

Exploring memories through stitch

Exploring memories through stitch

Getting creative with textiles

Getting creative with textiles

Memories of Mattishall 

Memories of Mattishall 

Bringing the Personal Touch to Cyanotype

Residents of Ashill loved artist Vicki Johnson's penultimate Cyanotype printing workshop yesterday, with many return visitors bringing their own photographs to incorporate into the artwork. 

Over the past few weeks villagers have been encouraged to share their own photos and memories of life in Ashill, as they have been sifting through images from the Village Archive.  Vicki was able to turn some of these photos into negatives which could then be incorporated to create personal prints that reflect individual experiences. Some shared pictures from village fetes gone by, others included themselves or their pets, including some real characters! 

With Vicki's final Cyanotype workshop on Wednesday 18th October, 11am - 4pm. all of the artworks created by residents will then be exhibited at the Community Centre on Saturday 21st October between 12 - 4pm.

Villagers are encouraged to come along and admire the creations, exploring Ashill past and present through this unique art form. All events are FREE to attend, so come along! 

For more details visit Upcoming Events


Sarah's Sewing Workshop Produces Spin Off

Necton's latest sewing workshop proved a hit with residents, who have enjoyed these relaxed sewing craft sessions so much that they have decided to continue their Friday morning meet up, after the residency has finished. 

The ladies in attendance have enjoyed sharing both their forgotten and newly learnt skills, under the guidance of specialist print and textile artist Sarah Harley - who holds her final mono print workshop tomorrow (Saturday 7th October, 10am - 12pm). The participants used recycled fabrics and felt to create their first festive decorations of the season, using Sarah's vintage sewing machine. All of the works created over the 4 different workshops will be exhibited at Necton Community Centre on Saturday 28th October (10am -12pm) where Sarah will also be sharing the first glimpse of her new comic, which documents her experiences of Necton and the locals that she has met throughout her residency.  

Read more about the Upcoming Artist Workshops


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The Art of Mono Printing with Sarah Harley in Necton

Autumn may have arrived in Necton but Sarah Harley's Silver Social artist residency continues inside the warm and welcoming Rural Community Centre, with today's offering of a free mono printing workshop for local residents.

Sarah demonstrated the simple process that involved rolling different coloured inks onto perspex plates, before laying over fabric textures with damp paper on top and putting them through a portable press. After removing the fabric a second sheet of paper can be used to create a ghost print, with some fantastic results that are often more interesting than the first set of prints! 

Sarah offered a selection of recycled fabrics, nets and ribbons to be cut up and used to create a range of textures when put through the press. One participant with an interest in architecture cut fabric into small hexagons to recreate the impression of a dry stone wall - it looked superb! The unpredictability of the prints leaves wide scope for experimentation and offers plenty of discussion between both the participants and the artist. 

Transforming ordinary fabrics into a piece of art is a running theme through Sarah's workshops, which continue next Friday 6th October (Sewing) and Saturday 7th October (Mono Printing). These free sessions are open to residents looking to explore something new and you may even feature in Sarah's final comic, which will be exhibited at the Community Centre on 28th October. 

For the latest details of events in your area visit our Upcoming Events

Mono Printing with Sarah Harley - Ghost Print

Mono Printing with Sarah Harley - Ghost Print

Ashill Welcomes Vicki Johnson for an Introduction to Cyanotype

Residents of Ashill have been enchanted by specialist printmaking artist Vicki Johnson, who has launched her residency at Ashill Community Centre with a workshop demonstrating traditional Cyanotype printing.

Vicki introduced this fascinating process which combines photography with collage, to create stunning blue prints - with instant results! The drop in session allowed residents to pop in throughout the afternoon to see what it was all about and if they had time, have a go at making their own print.

Vicki chatted over tea and old photos of the village from the Ashill Village History archive, which she had inverted and printed on sheets of acetate. This allowed participants to create collages centred on Ashill; featuring landmarks such as the village signs or the iconic ducks who inhabit the village green. Vicki had also collected small 3-D objects such as feathers and brambles from the playing field, to be incorporated into the work.

So what exactly is Cyanotype?

Cyanotype is a photography process that produces blue prints, thanks to the iron compound chemicals in the solution used.  Originally introduced in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, the process was advanced to reduce the exposure times and increase the density range, thanks to a more complicated and toxic recipe of chemicals.

The process:

Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate (green) are separately mixed with water before being blended together in equal parts. The paper or card is coated with the solution, before being dried in the dark. To create the print UV light is required, so objects or inverted photos printed on acetate are placed on a light box, before being exposed for 3 minutes and 20 seconds. To process the image it’s simply rinsed in water to wash away the chemicals, allowing you to see your blue print rapidly emerging from the water. The print is then dried and mounted on proud display!

Vicki’s next workshops takes place on Wednesday 4th October at Ashill Community Centre, so pop in and see what cyanotyping is all about. You can even bring your own photos or small objects (the flatter the better) for experimentation with this amazing process. All prints created by residents will be exhibited on Saturday 21st October, 12pm – 4pm at the Community Centre.

All events are part of the Silver Social artist residencies and are free to attend! Join us for the next event in Ashill or one of the other target villages (Necton, Mattishall, Harling and Shipdham), full details in our Upcoming events


Cyanotype prints produced by residents in Ashill

Cyanotype prints produced by residents in Ashill

Necton Welcomes Sarah Harley for the First Silver Social Artist Workshop

A fantastic start to the Silver Social Project, with the first of our artist workshops already underway. Held by specialist print and textiles artist Sarah Harley, she begins her residency at Necton Rural Community Centre with the first of two sewing based workshops (next one Friday 6th October 10am - 2pm), out of a total of four workshops (mono printing takes place Friday 29th September & Saturday 7th October, both 10am - 12pm).

Sarah welcomed both experienced and novice crafters as she demonstrated the use of her vintage Singer sewing machine, no electricity required! Over a cup of tea and a biscuit, she talked the group through how to create a bespoke phone or glasses case out of recycled wool jumpers, as well showing them examples of home made bunting and a range of different patch work techniques. With plenty of materials at hand, the group could get stuck in!

Through conversation and interaction with members of the group, Sarah will create a comic based on her experiences during the residency, which will be exhibited along with creations by members of the group from the four different workshops. The exhibition takes place at Necton Rural Community Centre on Saturday 28th October, 10am - 12pm - join us for coffee and cake!

All events are part of the Silver Social artist residencies and are free to attend! Join us for the next event in Necton or one of the other target villages (Ashill, Mattishall, Harling and Shipdham), full details on our Upcoming Events




Workshop participants show off their creations in Necton

Workshop participants show off their creations in Necton