This year’s Royal Norfolk Show was a celebration of everything that is great about the county and we were thrilled to be part of the show on its return after the COVID hiatus.
The Durrants stand was well attended on both days of the show and we were pleased to speak to hundreds of people about our wide range of services. Our Agricultural team were able to catch up with many familiar faces we work with in sales and lettings, estate management and auctions; our Building Consultancy team were on hand to field enquiries about our planning, architect and surveying services, and members of our Residential team were there to help with advice of buying and selling property.
The drinks party at the end of the first day was a great success and there was plenty to do for all the family on the stand – including our popular Jenga challenge!
It really was a feeling that life is getting back to normal again. We’re already pencilling in 28th and 29th June for next year’s Norfolk Show and can’t wait to return to the Norfolk Showground.
It’s been a fantastic week here in Southwold with the annual Southwold Arts Festival parading all the colours of the rainbow throughout the High Street. With an extensive programme of events to celebrate the arts, we couldn’t wait to join in on all the fun.
The festival kicked off with the popular Street Festival in the High Street. The theme this year was ‘rainbow’ and the festival invited local businesses to dress up, hold stalls and decorate shop windows. Our Southwold team couldn’t wait to get stuck in and we quickly decided on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ as our theme.
We had a lot of fun marching in the parade sporting our Wizard of Oz costumes. We also had a Holiday Cottages stall outside the office – handing out our latest holiday cottage brochures and letting guides. Young children were getting competitive at our target board and lucky dip!
We were thrilled to be awarded with ‘Best Window’ by the Arts Festival Committee which is testament to our Durrants team in Southwold coming together and working tirelessly on costumes and displays. A special thank you goes to Lorraine, our Holiday Cottages Manager, for all her late night sewing and decorating!
The following week Durrants Holiday Cottages sponsored the Ode to Joyce evening at the Southwold Arts Centre – a performance of songs and monologues of Joyce Grenfell. The Holiday Cottages team attended the event where we supplied an Adnams Hamper as a raffle prize for one lucky winner. It was great to see so many of our cottage owners and customers attending the event.
We can’t wait for what’s in store for the Southwold Arts Festival next year!
Durrants Charitable Foundation has presented a cheque for £1,000 to the Benjamin Foundation to help their ongoing support work in Thetford.
The Foundation, through it’s “Meet Up’ project at the Youth and Community Centre, plays a vital role in tackling local wellbeing issues, inequalities, mental health and social problems, supporting parents and families via a range of groups and activities.
They have an ongoing fundraising appeal to ensure local children, young people and families can continue to access the services which they have described as their “lifeline.”
The money donated by Durrants will be used to help fund much needed upgraded external lighting and foyer LED lighting.
We wish them every success and we would urge you to visit their website to find out more about how you can support Meet Up.
Southwold Jazz Club is hosting another great night of live music this month.
The club, which is sponsored by Durrants, is based at Southwold Arts Centre and on Saturday 28th May The Phil Veacock Trio will be appearing live.
Phil Veacock is a professional saxophonist best-known as the main arranger, musical director and tenor saxophonist of Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. He has also arranged and played brass on Paul Weller’s last four albums.
He’ll be joined on stage by organist Jim Watson who has worked with Sting and Katie Melua, and drummer George Double.
There is also more great live music in Southwold as part of the Southwold Arts Festival running from 25th June to 2nd July; including Clare Teal and her Trio, Polly Gibbons and the farewell tour of the Blues Band.
Durrants are delighted to continue to support Wymondham Rugby club, through our community charity foundation with the sponsorship of a pitch side board.
Dominic Parravani, Durrants Managing Director, is Joint Chair of Wymondham Rugby clubs Mini section and is passionate about supporting local sport for all.
He said: “We support lots of local clubs and organisations throughout Norfolk and Suffolk and are thrilled to be able to show our continued support to such a wonderful club as Wymondham Rugby Club.”
Durrants are thrilled to announce a final total of money raised as a result of last September’s annual charity Clay shoot at Red House Farm by kind permission of Philip Kidner. This year’s chosen charity was R.A.B.I (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent institution).
Dominic Parravani, Durrants Managing Director “Our annual Charity Clay shoot has become a firm fixture in our fund raising calendar, over the years we have been able to donate thousands of pounds for wonderful causes. We are very proud of our recent charity clay shoot, to which we have raised an outstanding amount of £1,053.94!”
The cheque was presented at Durrants Halesworth office by Richard Prentice, Durrants Head of Agriculture, to David Locke, Finance Director of RABI and Thelma Thorogood Suffolk Chair for RABI.
Mrs Thorogood said: “On behalf of Suffolk RABI, we would like to say thank you so very much indeed for choosing our Charity to donate this amazing sum. We really do appreciate receiving this money, which will go straight to our Beneficiaries”
The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), a national charity that provides support for local farming communities across England and Wales.
Durrants sponsored rugby shirts from Southwold Rugby Club, have found their way to India! The Jungle Crows Foundation is taking rugby to some of the poorest children in the world, most of whom would not normally have any chance to take part in any organised sporting activity.
For 10 years the charity has given street kids and orphans the chance to play and learn together in a safe and coach controlled environment. The foundation supports the children to go to school and then even college so they can get a good job. Shirts and equipment are sent over to help kit out enthusiastic players and as always
Durrants are delighted to be able to help and support.
The fantastic picture above was taken in Kolkata where the Jungle Crows are celebrating India’s republic day.
The latest in a series of local projects to see the rewards of funding from Durrants Charitable Foundation is Owlets Preschool in Ilketshall St Lawrence, who have recently completed the installation of an all-weather canopy.
The canopy was installed in October to enable children to enjoy time outdoors and remain protected from the elements. Fresh air has of course, always been important for children, but the pandemic and the need for social distancing and well-ventilated areas has made this essential.
On Wednesday 10th November our communications manager, Sally Owen went to meet the team at Owlets and see the results of Durrants’ contribution. “Durrants are delighted to support so many local projects that benefit the local community. On a drizzly day like today you can really see how the new canopy at Owlets will be important for both the children and staff here.”
The project was also supported by other generous donors including East Suffolk County Council, The Tudwick Foundation and Alpkit foundation.
“It’s so important for children to be able to enjoy time outdoors, but when the weather is inclement, or even if the sun is too hot, it’s vital to have some shelter to protect the youngsters.” commented Jo-Anne Aulsberry, Manager of Owlets. “We’re delighted with the canopy and are hugely grateful to all our supporters, including Durrants.”
Photo: Presentation of £750 donation from Durrants. Pictured left to right: Jo-Anne Aulsberry, manager of Owlets, Sally Owen, communications manager for Durrants and Sarah Jordan, chairperson for Owlets.
Durrants have continued support for the local community with the recent sponsorship and support of Wymondham Rugby clubs mini festival.
Durrants have a long history of supporting Norfolk and Suffolk rugby and were delighted to help with the recent two day festival. Durrants managing director Dominic Parravani, who is co-chair of Wymondham Mini said “ We were delighted to welcome over 500 children from 8 different local clubs to Barnard Fields for a wonderful weekend of Rugby. Using funds from our charity foundation were only too happy to support and sponsor the weekend”
Rugby brings together people from all walks of life and is a game that upholds sporting values, friendship and respect.
Southwold Millennium Foundation has installed two bee hives at the town’s Community Orchard in an exciting new project supported by Durrants.
The Foundation, which operates from the Millennium/Stella Peskett Hall provides vital funds for the local community via various initiatives including car parking at Millennium Meadow, and the running of Lighthouse Tours. The Community Orchard, which is in the meadow opposite the Hall, was established 2017, the produce of which is free for local residents.
Southwold Bees was initiated by trustee, Simon Tobin and chairman, Michael Ladd, who approached Durrants Estate Agency to request funding from their Charitable Foundation. Upon successfully receiving funds of £1,500 the Foundation has purchased two hives, two swarms of bees and all the necessary protective equipment.
“We’re really excited about the installation of the Southwold Bees hives.” said Simon Tobin. “As bees continue to decline in the UK it is important that we nurture them, and our Community Orchard is the perfect spot. We will be using this project to reach out to local schools to teach children about the importance of bees.”
Zuhal Tobin will be maintaining the hives having attended a course run by Waveney Beekeepers Group and is supported by their chairman, David Martin.
Dominic Parravani, Managing Director of Durrants commented about the project “We are delighted to support Southwold Bees. It’s a really interesting project from which local schools will benefit. Of course we’re looking forward to tasting the first batch of honey too!”
It is expected that Southwold Bees honey will be sold to raise further funds for Southwold Millennium Foundation.
Pictured (left to right); David Martin of Waveney Beekeepers Assoc; Michael Ladd; Dominic Parravani of Durrants; Zuhal Tobin; Simon Tobin.
The picturesque countryside of East Anglia has been the inspiration of many a great artist over the years with its abundance of wildlife, diversity of landscape and huge skies. This summer and autumn Durrants are doing their bit to celebrate some of Norfolk and Suffolk’s talented professional artists and bring it to the fore as lead sponsor of Harleston and Waveney Art Trail.
Harleston and Waveney Art Trail is a diverse and lively community of professional artists who live and work in the beautiful Waveney Valley. The collective put on their first ‘open studios’ trail in 2005 and due to its success have run one every year since, apart from 2020 due to the pandemic.
The 2021 Harleston and Waveney Art Trail will be accompanied by a group exhibition at The Old Harnessmakers Gallery in Harleston. The ‘Meet the Makers’ exhibition will showcase the work of the 11 participating artists and craft makers, acting as a hub for visitors to get a taste of the work on offer throughout the open studios. At the exhibition, audiences will get to see a selection of the artists’ work and can start planning their studio visits with help from gallery owner Lisa Henshall.
The studios will be open over the weekends of 19th and 20th June and 26th and 27th June while the gallery will host the exhibition between 27th May and 3rd July.
The event hopes to encourage visitors to explore the art and landscapes of Harleston and Waveney. Harleston and Waveney Art Trail chairman Malcolm Cudmore said: “I’m beyond delighted that Harleston and Waveney Art Trail is back in action in 2021. As a group, our principal purpose is to welcome visitors to our studios each year – the very thing (for completely understandable reasons) we’ve been unable to do for the last year.”
Dominic Parravani, Managing Director for Durrants is delighted to be supporting the Trail in 2021, having been associated with Harleston and Waveney Art Trail for over three years. “Events like these showcase our region and the talent within it beautifully. Communities are brought together by the Trail, and as an organisation with long established roots in Norfolk and Suffolk, being part of our local community is something we at Durrants are very proud of.”
The eleven artists participating in the Summer Art Trail are Carolyn Moulton, Sara Johnson, Barbara Bernard, Paul Zawadzki, Liz Taunt, Bobbie Watchorn, Rachel Wiles, Ingrid Duffy, Nell Close, Lisa Henshall, Kath Wallace. The artist’s studios are dotted around the valley, in and between Harleston, Wortwell, Homersfield, Denton, Earsham, Ditchingham, Bungay and Hedenham.
Later in the year, an Autumn Trail will take place, with every member of Harleston and Waveney Art Trail – around two dozen artists taking part. This trail will take place over the first three weekends of September – 4th/5th, 11th/12th and 18th/19th.
If you’d like more information about Harleston and Waveney Art Trail visit their website here.
INK has commissioned playwright, Martyn Wade to tell the dramatic and tragic story of Joe Kennedy Jnr, the elder brother of JFK, who as a young man seemed destined to become President of the United States – until, that is, the Second World War intervened.
No Ordinary Joe, No Ordinary Kennedy examines Joe’s complex character, and traces events which led Joe to volunteering for a top-secret and highly dangerous mission, in which he was required to fly a Liberator plane packed with explosives and bail out before it crossed the Channel. Tragically his plane exploded over Blythburgh, Suffolk killing him and his co-pilot, Lt. Wilford John Willy (Bud). This play is to honour them both and all those who flew and lost their lives during WW2.
Thanks to National Lottery Heritage Fund and a grant from Durrants Charitable Foundation, the project will also gather and record local WW2 stories which will be then be presented and stored at The Halesworth Museum and an exhibition displaying parts of the crashed plane curated for the first time from different sources.
“We’re delighted to support this project.” commented Dominic Parravani, Managing Director of Durrants. “It brings to life a fascinating wartime story that happened right on our doorstep, and the telling of that story will bring together the local community and provide fascinating insight for generations to come.”
Fiona Darrington of INK’s Community Project said, “We are thrilled, delighted and incredibly grateful to the Durrants Charitable Foundation for awarding INK funding for our heritage project – No Ordinary Joe, No Ordinary Kennedy. Your generous donation of £1,500 will make a significant contribution to our work and greatly benefit The Halesworth and Community Museum and the wider Suffolk community.”
Originally planned last year to tour Suffolk airfields No Ordinary Joe, No Ordinary Kennedy will now be performed as an audio drama and will be released from 8th April (the planned start date for INK Festival 2021) at www.inkfestival.org – an optional small donation will be suggested to help raise funds for INK and The Halesworth Museum.
Playing a part in the local community in which we do business is something very close to our hearts here at Durrants and we’re very proud to have some real local heroes in our team. Read on to find out more about just three of our team who play important roles in their community.
Paula Goldsmith, our Covid hero
Paula Goldsmith is one of our holiday cottages team members, dealing with customer queries and accounts. She has worked for Durrants since 2018 and is also a member of Southwold Town Council and a well-loved member of the local community. An already busy-bee but not happy to let an opportunity to help slip her by, Paula has recently been volunteering two days a week at Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon to assist the smooth operation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
“It’s a really varied role and I’m part of a lovely team. Each shift I could be doing anything from directing traffic and checking-in patients to reassuring people about the vaccination or making sure they’re comfortable and don’t have a ‘wobble’ after having the jab.”
We’re really proud of Paula and her fellow volunteers – keep up the good work!
Leah Smith, making new lives matter
As marketing manager for Durrants Holiday Cottages and a new first-time-mum in 2019, it would be fair to say that Leah has her hands full, but she has also found time to play a huge role for Baby Basics, a community based group who work with midwives, health visitors and other professionals to provide support to families who are unable to provide for their new arrival. Each family is gifted a moses basket full of baby essentials such as toiletries, newborn clothing, blankets, muslin cloths and other essential items.
“After becoming a first time Mum in 2019 I was stunned at how much you need to prepare for your new arrival, and it made me wonder how families in need across the country were able to obtain the basics, let alone higher priced essential items such as prams and car seats.
Part of my role within the organisation is to seek fundraising opportunities. In 2020 we sought a permanent ‘baby bank’ trolley in our local Tesco foodstore, set up regular donations from our local supermarkets and we also run an annual Christmas appeal where we ask members of the public to donate Christmas presents for the families we have supported throughout the year.”
Teresa Walsh, the festive spirit of Halesworth
Having worked for Durrants for 24 years, Teresa really is a part of the furniture – the team simply wouldn’t be the same without her. The same applies for the Christmas celebrations every year in Halesworth. For the last 6 years Teresa has been chair of Halesworth Events Management, or HEM for short, which is a group of volunteers who work tirelessly to organise and fund the Halesworth Christmas Lights.
“Christmas in Halesworth is so magical. Every November we celebrate with a parade including a band and Santa’s sleigh, followed by the big celebrity switch on. After that, there’s live music and dancing in the market place plus Santa’s Grotto at the church. Thousands of people come to the town to enjoy the festive celebrations. It’s an event that is enjoyed by not just the young but also the young at heart as many elderly residents look forward to attending this event every year.”
It’s a year-round job for Teresa, who together with her fellow volunteers, organises quizzes, fashion shows, and other fundraising activities, not to mention the risk assessments and licences that are required to pull such a tremendous event together.
We can’t thank our Durrants volunteers enough for their contribution to the community in which we do business. They really are shining stars. Thank you!
Leading Norfolk and Suffolk property and consultancy firm Durrants is delighted to announce new funding of £20,000 available for local charities and community projects. Grants of up to £2,000 are available and applications must be submitted by 31st March 2021.
George Durrant & Sons Limited provides a range of agency, professional and consultancy services across the residential, commercial and agricultural property sectors and has played its part in the community since it was established back in 1853. Over the years Durrants has supported many local events and community projects including the work of East Anglian Air Ambulance; YANA, a rural mental health charity and Clinks Care Farm near Beccles, which provides disadvantaged people the opportunities to work and learn a variety of agricultural roles including working with livestock, carpentry, market gardening and more.
The Durrants Charitable Foundation has been set up to formalise the company’s support for local community and charity projects and this year a fund of £20,000 is available with applications for grants of up to £2,000 being accepted until 31st March 2021.
Dominic Parravani, Managing Director for Durrants said, “Being an active part of the community in which we do business is very important to us, and in these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to show our support.
The Foundation aims to support projects in the areas of Beccles, Diss, Halesworth, Harleston and Southwold, where we have offices. Perhaps a local school needs devices for remote learning, a sports club needs new equipment, or a new community event needs financial support getting off the ground. These are all examples we would consider supporting through the Foundation.”
A recent beneficiary of Durrants funding is Baby Basics, a Lowestoft based organisation that works with midwives, health visitors and other professionals to provide moses baskets and starter kits to vulnerable families in Lowestoft and the surrounding area. Leah Smith, Durrants employee and volunteer for Baby Basics commented, “We are delighted to have received the support of Durrants. This will make such a big difference to many vulnerable families in the area.”
After last weekend’s exciting climax of the Autumn Nations Cup and the recent Government guidance that relaxes Covid restrictions on outdoor contact sports which will allow rugby to return to Southwold Common, we thought now was a good time to make a little announcement.
Having been a supporter of Southwold Rugby for several years, Durrants is proud to sponsor the Southwold Women’s XV. The deal was sealed several months ago but as with so many things this year, the pandemic put a stop to the game.
The buzz and excitement of rugby has been sorely missed in the town over recent months, but all being well we expect to see contact fixtures return to Southwold Common from 18th December. We wish the Southwold Women’s XV and all the other Club members the very best with their return to the game.
Durrants and MHA Larking Gowen are celebrating what would have been the first day of the Royal Norfolk Show next Wednesday 1st July by holding a virtual drinks reception between 4pm and 5pm.
Join us and guest speakers Cath Crowther, Regional Director of CLA East, and the Chief Executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, Greg Smith, for a discussion on rural issues.
This is an invitation only event and numbers are limited, if you are interested please click here to book your place.
We look forward to seeing you (virtually) next week.
Durrants are pleased to support Southwold Jazz Club again for a great night of music at Southwold Arts Centre on Friday 6th March at 7.30pm, where Jacqui Hicks and The Chris Ingham Trio will be performing. It’s sure to be an evening not to be missed!
Tickets are £16 and are on sale from the Southwold Arts Centre Box Office, on the door or by visiting the Ticketsource website.
The Southwold Jazz Club holds a concert every month featuring some of the UK’s finest musicians. Durrants are proud to support the club’s activities as part of our commitment to sponsor enterprising community groups, sports teams and events.