Friday, 3 May 2019

Country And Eastern

Not a misprint, this is nothing to do with Dolly Parton and C&W music. C&Eis a company based in Central Norwich - in the building which was formerly the Old Roller Skating Rink. The owners, Jeannie and Philip Millward travelled to India in the 1960s and fell in love with the art, designs and colours of the subcontinent. They bought back lots of artefacts - subsequent journeys taking them from Turkey as far as Java. They set up a Museum to display their treasures, but also began importing contemporary art and textiles to sell. They work carefully with suppliers and producers, helping to keep ancient crafts alive - and regularly travel to South Asia to select the merchandise personally. 
We had a fabulous time when we visited last week. Admission is free, and in the centre are all the museum display cabinets, and round the edge and in the upper galleries the merchandise is arranged beautifully. 
As an RE teacher, I appreciated seeing all the items from different faiths - as a needleworker, I found the colourful fabrics and intricate stitchery quite mind-blowing. Bob liked the artworks on the walls, and the woodwork and carvings. 
I saw a model tuk-tuk and thought of my friend Elizabeth who used to teach in Ootacamund. 
There were carved black figures from Nagaland, where Moluote is a Pastor [I've yet to meet him, but our church in Dorset has supported his work for many years - he trained in the UK and attended UCF] 
And Bless, I thought of you when I saw many Buddhist artefacts..
I cannot tell you all of it. It was utterly fascinating! These collages give a little flavour of our visit. I bought a couple of little printing blocks, of an elephant and a horse, and I'm going to try to use them to make some greetings cards. 
Here's the amazing wooden ceiling, just as it was 150 years ago, when the Victorians skated here. 
And downstairs in the middle of the room is this huge wooden construction. It is a wedding saddle. 
This would be placed on an elephant and the bride would travel to her new home, seated upon it. 
It is about 3 metres across - and under the seating platform and behind those curved panels are many cubbyholes and storage compartments. The bride would be able to transport all her property. This could be described as a hybrid vehicle - a cross between a 'bottom drawer' and an Uber. 
This was such an interesting place to look around. I hope we can go again. The SADACC Trust, the charity which maintains the collection is applying for accredited museum status. I hope they get it, as I think it will enable them to become more widely known. 
If you're looking for something to do in Norwich it's well worth a visit. 


  1. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit, Angela. Thanks for thinking of me! :)

  2. That sounds very interesting!!!x

  3. It sounds and look like a very interesting museum and shop! And amazing that it is built up by this two people.


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