Wednesday 21 September 2011

Life is suddenly all a Blur

It's countdown 10 days to the second annual Magdalen Street Celebration, after last year's phenomenal success. This year, Dave Rountree, drummer with Blur, is opening the day at the flyover stage at 10.15 on October 1st. Dave has readily embraced the event and understands its ethos of creativity, diversity, and sustainability.

Last Sunday, Dave, James Frost, and myself were guests on Future Radio's Platform programme. Sitting next to 2 great musicians I felt a little humbled, so I like to think I was there at least representing the sustainability aspect on this occasion!

People who promote annually recurring events always like to say that this year's is bigger and better than the last, but as the organising group has witnessed all the musicians, local groups, artists and performers come rolling in this year, it is hard not to resort to cliches.

There is so much on offer this year - have a look here and see for yourself.

But why are Transition Norwich involved in such an event, some ask? Transition work is surely about celebrating - Rob Hopkins says in his first book, transition is

...not so much a protest movement, more a party.

In the case of Magdalen Street there is more to it than this however. As the spine of the area north of the river in Norwich, it has a high proportion of social housing backing onto a street predominantly populated by local shops and businesses, with a plethora of courtyards and alleyways. 3 centuries ago when the Norwich market was located at Tombland just outside the cathedral entrance, Magdalen Street was the main trading area in Norwich.

As a whole, the City suffered with the demise of the clothe trade, but Magdalen Street has suffered further over the last 4 decades from lack of civic and business input. When it opened in 1959, Anglia Square was a magnet for planners all over the country to pore over and replicate. It is now about to be transformed again as part of the City's redevelopment area.

At the 2010 celebration many people remarked on the potential held in the space known as 'under the flyover'. Now that the completed St. Augustine's zone has been so well received locally, it would be great to see the same attention and zeal applied to the flyover area.

So on October 1st, let the celebration begin again........I'll be there wearing something suitably colourful, imbibing the atmosphere of the street and it's people, enjoying the huge range of what's on offer, then relaxing........until the planning begins for the 2012 event!

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