Recent Events

The Pastons' Country at The Coast Exhibition

October 23rd to 26th 2010

The Pastons' Country book and exhibition were on display at the Cromer and Sheringham Arts Festival at the Garden Gallery, Garden Street, Cromer.

On the evening of the 23rd, the Gallery held a launch night with poetry readings from five of the Paston poets – Caroline Gilfillan, recent winner of the EDP-Jarrolds East Anglian Book Award for her poetry book, Yes (Hawthorn Press), Tim Lenton, Rob Knee, Adrian Ward and Dot Cobley.

The COAST exhibition ( ran from October 23 to 31 and featured art, film, sculpture trails and interactive workshops.

Easter Fayre

There was an Easter Fayre at St Margaret's Church, Paston, on Saturday and Sunday, the 2nd and 3rd of April, 2011. This was a craft fayre, with homemade chocolates, jewellery, stained glass ornaments, candles, bespoke miniature wooden cabinets (French polishing), silk flowers and homemade cards, as well as the PHS Souvenir Stall and delicious light refreshments. There was also an area for children to make necklaces, bracelets and Easter bonnets.

Bringing the Past to Life in Art and Poetry 2010

An opportunity to discover the world of the Paston Letters in the home of one of the Paston family – the magnificent Oxburgh Hall – was offered  on the weekend of September 4-5, 2010.

Oxburgh Hall is the home of descendants of the Paston family and provided an ideal place to experience many facets of the lives of some of the most important people in the history of Norfolk. The exhibition continued until September 15 and in beautiful weather got an enthusiastic response from both the public and from the National Trust, which owns the property.

Pastons on show in Norwich at Dragon Hall

The new poetry book

Part of the Dragon Hall exhibition

Jo Berry, PHS chairman, at the private view

The Pastons had an unusual opportuinity to go on show in Norwich for a week in November – with an exhibition open to the public all week, and  workshops and other events. It was put on jointly by the Paston Heritage Society and Dragon Hall, and opened with a private view on the Monday evening (14th), when the new poetry book, Another Country, was successfully launched.

St Peter Hungate hosts Paston day

An opportunity to experience Paston in Norwich was offered on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at St Peter Hungate Church, at the junction of Elm HIll and Princes Street. This was once the parish church of the Pastons, who had a house in Elm Hill, and Walter Paston was buried there. There are many other connections, both in the church and locally.

Mary and Nic research Pastons for creative response

Mary in King Street, viewing a beam said to have come originally from a Paston House in Princes Street

The Paston Heritage Society has just had a visit from Mary Paulson-Ellis, a writer based in Edinburgh who is part of a writers network  
organisation called 26. The group has recently gone into partnership with the Writers' Centre in Norwich and the UEA Creative Writing Programme to celebrate Norwich becoming England's first UNESCO City of Literature. 

Appropriately, 26 of the group's writers were paired with 26 UEA students and then matched with 26 literary figures from Norwich and Norfolk from the last 1000 years – the brief being to find out as much as possible and then write a creative piece in response. Mary's match is with the Paston Family and their letters.

Lost Property of the Pastons

Mary Paulson-Ellis, a writer who visited us earlier this year, has produced an innovative piece of writing based on the first Margaret Paston. She is a member of the 26 group, and the full piece can be seen on their Norwich project website.

It begins:

The Lost Property of the Pastons

Lost Property Office, Norwich: Regulations

Do not take anything from the office in case it becomes lost again
Do not add anything to the office in case it becomes misplaced
If you cannot find the item you are looking for, come back another time
Leave umbrellas at the entrance
Always wear gloves

Item, The Road to Yarmouth (1)…

It runs like a lizard’s tail up and down the coast, connecting my first home to my wedding bed. I trundle along it fresh-faced, in a cart, a gown of good worsted covering my skin. I am barely eighteen, but ready to bend [...]