WHAT ? WHERE ? WHEN ?
The Magdalen Street Celebration is a community-led extravaganza and the city’s liveliest street fair. We help local people to celebrate the creativity and diversity of the most diverse and eclectic neighborhood in the city, through art, music, dance and any which way they chose.
We aim to help develop a positive sense of place, foster links with each other and showcase the sustainability of a neighborhood made up of locally-owned businesses and vintage, second-hand and antique shops.
The Celebration takes place every year in early October. It is made up of local performers, artists, history buffs and enthusiastic children. What happens is determined by the proposals people make and the character of the day changes from year to year depending on who is involved.
The Magdalen Street Celebration is above all a community event celebrating the people who live, work and visit here. So get in touch and join in the Celebration !
The 2016 Programme will be announced shortly before the celebration, so keep your checking back to see what the day will hold. In the mean time have a look at photos of previous years in our Archive.
Click here to listen to a podcast about the 2014 Magdalen Street Celebration and information about the goals, ethos and achievements of the Celebration so far.
The Magdalen Street Celebration began in 2010 when local residents and artists Helen of Norwich and Karen Steadman decided to organise a creative community event for the Magdalen Street area. Initial meetings attracted a variety of local folk with creative and organisational skills including residents, artists, traders and local councillors.
The MSC is entirely run by volunteers, including an organising committee (with positions open to local residents, traders and regular visitors to the area on a yearly basis) and a team of general volunteers recruited here a month ahead of the event.
Committee positions are currently open for application in the roles of Marketing and Promotion, Admin and Head of Communications and Event Manager Assistant. Please see here for full roles description and how to apply.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
Magdalen Street was the most important thoroughfare in Norwich-over-the-water. Until the 1960s this was a completely self-contained medieval quarter, full of workshops and factories. For centuries much of the industry that made Norwich fabulously wealthy was concentrated in this area .
In medieval times, the Strangers and other migrants and refugees settled in Magdalen Street.
At the start of the twentieth century there were fifty food and drink shops in the street – now there are nine; and twenty pubs – today three. A saddler, a blacksmith, a basket-maker, a cabinet-maker and countless other trades kept Magdalen Street self-sufficient.
In 1959 a spectacular makeover of the street was admired and copied nationally, it won the first Civic Trust award for regeneration.
Today something extraordinary is happening. The street buzzes with renewed energy; new shops and businesses are springing up; artisans are making things in new workshops.
The most important part of this transition is the people – the local community, some of whose families have lived here for centuries, some of whom are are new arrivals, drawn to the vibrancy and diversity of the neighborhood, just as the Strangers did in Tudor times.
This often overlooked neighbourhood is overflowing with an amazing wealth of talent, skills, people and culture and despite attempts to conventionalise and homogenise, it remains Norwich's cultural melting pot and creative hub, in what would be an otherwise much duller city.