Family events to mark Armistice, Christmas shopping and saying farewell to a Strictly legend

Christmas crafts at Blackthorpe Barn. Photo: Tony Soper

Christmas crafts at Blackthorpe Barn. Photo: Tony Soper - Credit: Archant

Marking armistice takes many forms from exploring local history with the U Boat surrender to cutting a rug with a top rock’n’roll band. We also say farewell to local Strictly dancer Robin Windsor and Christmas shopping starts now...

Christmas crafts at Blackthorpe Barn. Photo: Tony Soper

Christmas crafts at Blackthorpe Barn. Photo: Tony Soper - Credit: Archant

What: Best of British Craft Weekends

Where: Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham estate, Bury St Edmunds

When: Weekend of Nov 10-11 and for six weekends after. 10am-5pm (Free after 4pm)

Cost: Adults £3, OAPs £2, Children/students free,

You may also want to watch:

Season tickets £10

You might be thinking ‘bah humbug, It’s only November’ but a visit to Blackthorpe Barns at Rougham just might get you into the celebratory festive mood.

Dads Army Radio Hour
Edinburgh Festival 2017
Photo Credit: The Other Richard

Dads Army Radio Hour Edinburgh Festival 2017 Photo Credit: The Other Richard - Credit: Richard Davenport, The Other Ric

Most Read

Found to the east of Bury St Edmunds and offering loads of parking, it really is the spirit of Christmas bundled up into one neat parcel.

The British Crafts event (renowned throughout East Anglia as one of the best) begins this weekend, continuing every weekend up until December 16. Entry is £3 for adults, £2 for concessions and free for children and student, with season tickets (allowing entry every weekend) is just £10.

Pitched as the ultimate craft experience, you’ll discover hundreds of 100% British-made items which could make the perfect gifts for your friends and family.

From a family perspective, children will gawp in awe at the giant Country Christmas Shop. Entry is free, and not one corner has been left untouched by the decorating fairies, who work their magic every season to transform the space into a winter wonderland of tinsel, baubles, fairy lights and gifts. Let the children or grandchildren pick out their own special ornament for your tree from the hundreds of varieties on display in the themed and colour-coordinated areas.

Bring rope and cable ties from November 23 to December 22, when some of the country’s finest Christmas trees will be on sale at the estate, alongside natural wreaths and decorations.

And don’t miss out on a bite from chef Ruth Bolton’s lovely pop-up café. For more information go to

JS and the Lockerbillies performing live. Picture: GUIDO MENCARI

JS and the Lockerbillies performing live. Picture: GUIDO MENCARI - Credit: Guido Mencari

What: Trial By Laughter

Where: New Wolsey Theatre

When: Until Nov 10

Cost: £10 to £33

Following critical acclaim for The Wipers Times, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have once again taken inspiration from real life events for their new play Trial by Laughter.

Robin Windsor Picture: STRICTLY THEATRE CO


William Hone, the forgotten hero of free speech, was a bookseller, publisher and satirist. In 1817, he stood trial for ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. The only crime he had committed was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy.

What: Dad’s Army Radio Hour

Where: Bury Theatre Royal

When: Nov 14-15

Cost: £10.50 to £26

Flawless will be at Ipswich Regent on November 10. Picture: PAUL HAMPARTSOUMIAN

Flawless will be at Ipswich Regent on November 10. Picture: PAUL HAMPARTSOUMIAN - Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian

Two actors play 25 characters in this brilliant staging of classic radio scripts based on favourite episodes from the original TV series. This hilarious recreation celebrates 50 years of Perry and Croft’s quintessential sitcom, which won the Best One-Liner accolade in a poll of comedians conducted by Gold with the immortal words “Don’t tell him, Pike”.

Double Fringe First Award winner David Benson (Think No Evil Of Us: My Life With Kenneth Williams and Boris: World King) and Jack Lane (Wisdom Of A Fool) present a selection of classic radio episodes featuring favourite lines, cherished characters and great feats of vocal impersonation.

What: Harwich Haven: Surrender & Sanctuary

Where: Various locations around Harwich and Shotley

When: From November 11 to December 3

Cost: Mostly free, some events £5

As the country prepares to mark the centenary of The Armistice on Sunday November 11, the people of Harwich will have one eye on those events a week later in 1918 when the deadly war beneath the waves came to an end and the German U-Boat fleet surfaced outside the Harwich Haven and prepared to surrender.

On the weekend of the November 17 & 18 Harwich Haven: Surrender and Sanctuary, a National Lottery-funded project, will mark the 100th anniversary of a momentous but almost forgotten episode at the end of World War One: the start of 168 German U-Boats surrendering on the Harwich coast, their crews shipped back to Germany and the vessels broken up.

The project team has put together a range of family events throughout the weekend, including: themed trains bringing passengers to Harwich with a submariner re-enactor; expert talks and theatre from Eastern Angles Theatre Company; a new exhibition of World War One art from the Imperial War Museum; history walks; a Lightbox trail around the town; archive film shows; plus a parade of flags to the completed stunning willow U-Boat for the commemoration on the November 18.

The event concludes on December 3 with Kindertransport Remembered. In train stations across Essex,

Suffolk and London platforms will come alive with actors recreating scenes of children and their companions on the 80th anniversary of their arrival in Dovercourt.

For detailed information about the events and to book visit or or contact

What: Rock n Roll Dance and Remembrance evening

Where: The Eye Community Centre

When: Saturday November 10

Cost: £10 in advance, £12 on the door

The day before Armistice/Remembrance Sunday you are invited to let your hair down and don your blue suede shoes and enjoy a rock’n’roll extravaganza featuring Suffolk sensations Josh Locke and the Lockerbillies. They will be journeying to Eye with the intent to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Doors open at 7pm and although 1940s and ‘50s dress is welcomed, it is not required.

The event is in partnership with The British Legion Poppy Appeal, The 490th Bomb Group Memorial Project, The Bank Arts Centre and The Eye Community Centre.

What: Felixstowe Musical Theatre presents A Disney Song Book

Where: Trimley Memorial Hall, Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe

When: November 16-17. 7.30pm and 2.30pm matinee on November 17.

Cost: £8.50

The show contains lots of those wonderful Disney songs we all know and enjoy. FMT might surprise you with a few numbers that are not so familiar but after watching the show these songs might well become a new favourite! The show, staged by a cast of adults and children, does include songs from Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Cinderella, Jungle Book, Moana, Frozen and The Little Mermaid. So whether you are young or old enjoy a sing-a-long and reaquaint yourself with these fabulous musical tunes. Who doesn’t like singing some of those classic numbers?

To obtain tickets please ring 01394 273274 or 07881 820923.

What: Robin Windsor – The All Fun Farewell Tour

Where: Beccles Public Hall and Ipswich Regent

When: Nov 21 (Beccles), Nov 22 (Ipswich)

Cost: From £27- £48 (VIP)

(At Ipswich booking fee of £3 is included in these prices)

Robin, who was part of the hit TV show Strictly Come Dancing for five years, and whose celebrity partners included Patsy Kensit, Anita Dobson, Lisa Riley, and Deborah Meaden, wanted to create a show that was not only action-packed and energetic to match his personality, but also a very personal account of his life, narrated by Robin himself.

Windsor’s Farewell Tour takes audiences on a journey from when he was a little boy first learning to dance, to his first successes in the dancing world and his time on Strictly, mentions of boyfriends and funny encounters, with a hint of sadness and emotion thrown in.

Robin is no stranger to touring, having been involved in many shows over the years including Burn the Floor, on Broadway and the West End, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Keep Dancing, and most recently Dance to the Music, with former Strictly professional Kristina Rihanoff.

Robin is supported by a cast of five other world class professional dancers, including Anya Garnis, who reached the semi-final of Strictly Come Dancing with Patrick Robinson in 2013.

Robin Windsor feels that now is the right time to concentrate on other things, “I have been offered an amazing opportunity to live and work in St Lucia, giving dance lessons on the beach…what could be better??!!”

What: Flawless present Chase the Dream: The Reboot

Where: Ipswich Regent

When: November 10

Cost: £25

If you’re looking for a spectacular dance show, this evening should fit the bill. This high-energy dance group rose to stardom via their appearance in Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago, and have since starred in hit movies Street Dance 3D 1 and 2. They also won the World Dance Championships twice. Their show follows 10 “Big Dreamers” on their journey, as they aim to climb aboard the Intergalactic Dream Ship and live their ultimate dance fantasy on board. The performance starts at 7.30pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter