Review: Clare Teal at Snape Proms, 1st August 2017

Clare Teal and the Hollywood Orchestra

The music of Ella Fitzgerald, her contemporaries and those inspired by her, opened the 2017 Snape Proms with a swing. Clare Teal, award-winning vocalist and Radio 2 presenter, and the 17 piece Hollywood Orchestra, conducted by Guy Barker, were obviously delighted to be back at Snape Maltings.  With her warm, friendly and informal style it was easy to forget you were in a concert hall seating 800 and not in an atmospheric smoky jazz club, seating 30.


Two Ipswich's - 10,000 miles apart

The county town of Suffolk is, of course, Ipswich, which has a proud history of manufacturing, beautiful parks, a thriving riverside and a popular transport museum. In Australia there is another Ipswich, 26 miles from Brisbane, which also has a proud history of manufacturing, beautiful parks, a popular transport museum, etc. This much I learnt from a guidebook, but I assumed that the similarities probably ended there as Ipswich, Queensland, is much bigger than Ipswich, Suffolk, with a population of around 200,000.


Advice for a Festival Virgin

Music and mud. Is that really what you can expect when you attend a festival? Hundreds of thousands of music fans attend festivals every year and in Suffolk and Norfolk we have several we can be proud of. Forget Glastonbury and the V Festival, we have FolkEast at Glemham Hall near Woodbridge and Latitude at Henham Park, between Lowestoft and Southwold. On a smaller scale, we have the Holt Festival, Folk in a Field at West Acre, Norfolk and ThorpeFest at Thorpe Ness Country Club near Aldeburgh, plus many others.


Horses in Suffolk

For many of us the closest we will get to a horse or pony will be when we admire them cantering in the Grand Ring at the Royal Norfolk or the Suffolk Show, or when we have a day out and visit somewhere like the Suffolk Punch Trust or the Newmarket Stud. 

Anyone can admire the power, beauty and grace of a horse without understanding anything about the responsibilities of owning a horse, or the pleasure of riding one. Indeed, the prevailing opinion seems to be that it is a very expensive hobby, so you must be rich to have horses!


The cameras in the sky

Thousands were given as Christmas gifts in 2016, but the headlines are mainly negative about high flying cameras, mounted on drones. They seem to be  mainly about aircraft near-misses, accidents, loss of privacy and irresponsible “pilots”. However, there is rarely a television news report or newspaper article that isn’t illustrated with spectacular aerial pictures. Where once an expensive helicopter would be needed, now producers and editors can get stunning aerial images much cheaper, by using a drone camera.


Suffolk Sounds, violin makers

When we listen to the beautiful sound of a violin not many of us would give a thought to where the instrument was made. In a cottage surrounded by apple trees, at Thornham Magna, near Eye in Suffolk, married couple Sylvie and James Fawcett , have been making beautiful hand-crafted violins and violas (and even the occasional cello) for over thirty years.

James was a Suffolk-born viola player, before he decided to study at the Newark School of Violin Making,


Autumn and Winter Walks

Crunching through the fallen leaves, dressed in boots and scarves, the sun’s rays filtering through the branches of the trees, is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours. With so many lovely walks to choose from in Suffolk and Norfolk, Rachel Sloane decided to ask some experts for their suggestions…..

Visit Suffolk

“I have chosen the Gainsborough Trail Meadow Walk in Sudbury.


Baking Stars of Norfolk and Suffolk

Last year the final of the BBC TV series The Great British Bake Off was watched by 7.2 million people. Currently showing on BBC One, and in its seventh series, it is a programme that has inspired many men, women and children to put on aprons, stock up on flour, eggs, butter and icing sugar, and start creating cakes, gateaux and scones. So who are some of the “star bakers” in Suffolk and Norfolk, who also willingly share their expertise with novices and improvers? 



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