Tag Archives: The Forum

Join us if you dare, for a Halloween scare!



Halloween is one of the largest secular holidays celebrated in the U.S. Although officially celebrated on the 31st of October, most Americans are spellbound by the frightful festivities come October 1st–pumpkin patches begin to sprout in the parking lots of local grocery stores, spiderweb decorations begin to deck the hallways of homes and weekly television programs honor viewers with a Halloween special. This year the Memorial Library is also getting into the Halloween spirit so come trick or treating to the Memorial Library on Halloween and design your own pumpkin, listen to some spooky stories, and write your own ghostly poem.

For those looking for more frightful fun and folly in the city, here are some other ways to get involved in the bewitching season. Remember, it’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!

1. Enjoy Spooky City Halloween Fun at the Forum

In the run up to All Hallow’s Eve there’s plenty of half-term fun available for families at both The Forum and Millennium Library. Inside The Forum, children are invited to join free craft workshops and hear a traditional story teller tell spooky tales. Also watch our artist work wonders on some large pumpkins, grown here in Norwich by White House Farm. The Spooky City parade on All Hallow’s Eve is your chance to dress to impress – or to terrify! Enjoy the dancing, live music, street entertainers and the ghostly surprises lurking in the shop doorways! The parade starts at Norwich Castle at 6.30pm on Fri 31 Oct and makes its way to The Forum via Castle Green, Farmer’s Avenue, Timberhill, Red Lion Street, Gentleman’s Walk and Hey Hill. More information can be found on the website.

2. Take a Norwich Ghost Walk

The Norwich Ghost Walks take you to many famous places around the city noted for their strange events. Apart from experiencing first hand the amazing architectural elements and history of this fine city, you will be regaled with its more macabre side of tragic events & local stories. There is even a Halloween Special for those of the more brave-hearted nature. The Ghost Walks have been happening since 1998 and the Man in Black, the tour guide, is a true Norwich gem.  All tours start from the Adam and Eve Pub. See the website for more details. http://www.ghostwalksnorwich.co.uk/first.html

 3. Decorate a Pumpkin


Pumpkin carving or decorating is a staple part of the Halloween experience.The pumpkin, or Jack-O-Lantern—the name for a carved pumpkin—has become one of the more familiarized symbols of Halloween. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded as early as 1837. You can collect a pumpkin at your local shop or the Norwich Market and browse some of our craft books for some inspiration. Here’s one to get you started. You can reserve a copy on the online catalog here.


4. Eat, Drink & Be Scary with a Haunted Pub Crawl

Norwich boasts being one of the most haunted cities in England. Conveniently for the pint enthusiast, many of these spectral sightings have happened at many of the local pubs. Why not organize a pub crawl around the cities most famously haunted pubs. Here are a few to get you going:

  • The Adam & Eve Pub. Located on Bishopbridge, the Adam and Eve is dated at 1249, making it “probably” the oldest pub in Norwich. The pub has been known for its ghosts, since 1549. The main ghost,  nicknamed Sam, is thought to be Lord Sheffield. Sheffield died during Robert Ketts rebellion. Unaware of the ritual of surrender–of which Sheffield did–Ketts men fatally wounded Sheffield with a cleaver.  He was immediately taken to the A&E, or the Adam and Eve Pub, where he died.
  • The Maids Head Hotel. There have been numerous spooky sightings at the Maids Head Hotel, which has a history dating back to the 13th century. A woman dressed in grey, believed to be a former maid, has been seen roaming the hotel hallways followed by the smell of musty lavender, a scent often used to hide the smell of the plague or buried.
  • The Gardener’s Arms/ Murderer’s Pub. Dating back to 1696, the Murderer’s Pub, also known as the Gardener’s Arms, boasts two tales of murder.  Philip Cutter, the pub’s owner discovered that the pub earned its gruesome nick-name from a murder that was committed by an ex-cavalryman, Frank Miles, who killed his estranged wife, Mildred (Millie) in June 1895 upon seeing her enter the pub with another man. Frank was tried and convicted to hang for his crime. Contemporary newspaper articles from 1895 are available on the walls of the pub for further reading. Learn more by visiting the pub’s website. http://www.themurderers.co.uk/norwich-pub-history.html
  • Lollards Pit Pub. Located on Riverside and built between 1620 and 1670, the pub was the site of execution for heretics and other offenders during the 15th and 16th Centuries. The pub’s cellar was a holding cell to hold prisoners (recently discovered) before they were burned at the stake. The bodies were put into the pit, which is located in the garden. Screams have been heard in the pub and are thought to be of the prisoners, witches and heretics.

5. Treat Yourself to Some Horrifying Tales!

There’s nothing quite like reading a great scary story. From Edgar Allan Poe to Bret Easton Ellis, the Memorial and Millennium Library has a spectacular selection of America’s greatest horrifying tales. Beware however, for it is not all concentrated in the fiction section. Come and explore the bizarre, the unexplained and dare we say supernatural side of American literature, film, crime and history. Here are just a few to get you started, all of which can be found and reserved on our online catalog:


If the horror genre is not quite right for you, you can still get into the Halloween spirit by reading about the masterminds behind some of America’s most famous fright fest films and novels.







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Celebrating Black History Month 2014 at the Millennium Library

Three events and an exhibition for Black History Month 2014 – presented by the University of East Anglia Department of American Studies, the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library and the Millennium Library in Norwich. Come and join us !

Maya AngelouThe Life and Legacy of Maya Angelou – 9th October, Vernon Castle Room, Norwich Millennium Library (6:30-7:30pm)
This event will commemorate the life and work of the African American writer Maya Angelou, who sadly passed away in May of this year. This roundtable discussion will feature contributions from staff from the Department of American Studies at UEA who will discuss various aspects of Angelou’s career and reflect on what her writing means to them.

The Anti-Apartheid Movement in Britain: A Roundtable Discussion – 22nd October, Vernon Castle Room, Norwich Millennium Library (6-7:30pm)20 years after the first democratic elections in South Africa, academics and former activists will lead a general discussion reflecting on anti-apartheid activism in Britain. To coincide with the ‘Forward to Freedom’ exhibition based at the Millennium Library, this roundtable will provide a general overview of the anti-apartheid struggle as well as reflecting on the activities of local activists in Norfolk.

anti-apartheid event

Exhibition: Forward to Freedom: The History of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1959-1994 – Norwich Millennium Library (20th-31st October)
A pop-up exhibition telling the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and its campaigns to support the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. The AAM also campaigned for freedom for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola, and against South Africa’s attacks on its neighbours.

12 years a slave

Film and Black History: 12 Years a Slave and Belle – 29th October, Vernon Castle Room, Norwich Millennium Library (6:30-7:30pm)
A discussion of recent films that document black history and the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Lectures and postgraduates from UEA will examine how Hollywood has dealt with black history and discuss the ongoing political significance of films such as Belle and 12 Years A Slave in terms of how we remember and debate the issue of slavery today.

Contact the 2nd Air Division Library on 01603 774747 or email: 2admemorial.lib@norfolk.gov.uk to reserve your free place.

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Cinema Under the Stars and America’s Love Affair with the Drive-In

Cinema Under the Stars‘ When Richard M. Hollingstead Jr. first projected a movie onto a white bedsheet stretched between two trees at his home in Camden, New Jersey in 1933, little did he know that he was on the verge of creating an entirely new entertainment industry. With America just beginning its romance with the automobile, it is no surprise that the general public found this new form of movie going irresistible.’ —extract taken from Elizabeth McKeon and Linda Everett’s book (pictured above) Cinema Under the Stars: America’s Love Affair with the Drive-In Movie Theater, which can be found in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library. Click on the image to reserve your copy.

The Norwich Business Improvement District and the Forum are providing the people of Norwich a glimpse of this American love affair with the Drive-In or outside movie experience with their OpenAir Screen and Norwich Evenings Film Nights.

Showing every Thursday at 8pm from 12 June 2014 until 10 July 2014, classic retro films will be shown on the Open Air Screen outside The Forum. The series began last night with the showing of the American film Ghostbusters!

The film nights form part of Norwich BID’s Head Out, Not Home free summer entertainment programme and they are offering a long list of classic films as possibilities for screening–many of them quintessential American films like Grease, Singing in the Rain, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park and Breakfast at Tiffany’s many of which are based on either classic American novels or American Broadway shows!


If you want to get all the behind the scenes information about the film before or after the screenings, stop by your local American library on the way! We are located just inside the Forum and we offer an extended selection of books on American film, Broadway, Hollywood and the original novels in which the films are based. Here is a list of just a few that we have in stock for you to explore! Click on the image to reserve your copy today!


Broadway MusicalsBreakfast at Tiffanys




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Commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day & WWII with Local Events & Exhibits

January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day; it is the day that marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp.

Between 1941-1945, the Nazis attempted to systematically kill all of Europe’s Jews in a process now known as the Holocaust. By the end of the Holocaust roughly six million members of the Jewish community had been killed in ghettos, mass shootings and concentration camps. In addition to Jews, Nazi theories of racial supremacy, saw the persecution of Gypsies, Slavic and black people.

Though the day functions as a time for everyone to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust and during Nazi Persecution and honor those that survived, it is also a day which recognizes that racial genocide is not a practice of the past. January 27th allows us to think about the topic of racism more widely and the ways in which it has been practiced in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. You can learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust,  the charity which promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.

Anne Frank Exhibit at the Forum: Jan. 20-Feb 6.

Anne Frank Exhibit at the Forum: Jan 20 – Feb 6.

The Forum is commemorating this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day with an exhibit on Anne Frank and her family. The exhibit, which opened on January 20th and will remain open until February 6th, provides an insight into the life of Anne Frank and her sister Margot, as captured in a collection of poignant photographs taken by their father, Otto Frank.  Supporting activities will also take place in the Millennium Library and a number of city venues. Please see the link for more information on local events: http://www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/events/anne-frank-and-family

As a living memorial dedicated to the relationship forged between the American servicemen and the people of East Anglia during WWII, the 2nd Air Division Memorial is also hosting a series of events—mainly with school children—to help highlight the ways in which histories interweave and the lasting implications of these connections in the millennial century.

Last week commenced our series of school visits from surrounding primary schools. These groups were given a tour of the Memorial library, introduced to the more localized history of WWII here in Norfolk and given the opportunity to act as historians as they were presented with a series of primary sources and wartime memorabilia from our collection.

Many of the young students were keen to share the oral histories gathered from grandparents and great-grandparents about their experiences during the war.

The memorabilia presented the opportunity for us to discuss the wider ideologies spurring the war, particularly its attack on the Jewish community.This was achieved most pointedly with a discussion of our collection of dog tags from American servicemen. Dog tags were worn by servicemen for identification purposes. In the lower right-hand corner a letter standing for the individual’s religion is etched on the tag: P for Protestant; C for Catholic or H for Hebrew. Many Jewish Americans served in WWII and many opted to hide the fact that they were Jewish by inscribing a P on their dog tag instead.

If you would like to learn more about America’s connection to the Holocaust, Jewish Americans or WWII more broadly, the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library has an extensive collection of books that can certainly cater to research pursuits or general interests. Below are some of our most relevant titles but please feel free to search the library catalog for more specific interests.

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Filed under American History, Books, Current Events, Local Interest, Memorial Library, Public Events, World War 2