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Norwich Heart, Heritage Economic & Regeneration Trust

Colman‘s Connections exhibition and events

Colman's Connections

Colman's Connections is our exciting community research project, which received £37,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and has helped the city's residents to become Colman's Detectives. The Colman's Connections project focuses on the history of Norwich's mustard workers during the First World War, revealing engaging real-life stories about the firm's employees and how their lives were changed by the conflict.

Find out more about the project.


Exhibition and events

Colman's Connections: The war years, 1914-1918
Monday 2nd – Friday 13th November (Monday – Saturday, 9am-5pm)
The Forum Norwich

An exhibition curated by the Colman's Detectives, a community research group, uncovering stories and real-life experiences of how the Carrow Works factory and its worker's lives were affected by the First World War.

Discover the mustard workers' roles on the front line, the impact of the war on women, families and workers on the home front, and the part Colman's played in the war effort, all unearthed by the Colman's Detectives, and Heritage Heroes from Lakenham School, during the Colman's Connections project.

See authentic medals and original items owned by soldiers and families on display, view a Roll of Honour commemorating mustard workers lost during the conflict, and discover 'Household Hints' collated from wartime copies of Carrow Works Magazine.

The Colman's Detectives have also produced the Colman's Connections booklet, on sale at Colman's Mustard Shop & Museum from 2nd November, and in all good retailers from 5th November. There will be a series of talks, workshops and family activities to accompany the exhibition.



Talks & Workshops:

All talks and workshops take place in the Vernon Castle Room, Norfolk Heritage Centre, 2nd floor, Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library.

Monday 2 November, 2–3pm
Norwich in the First World War
Talk by Neil Story

FREE but booking essential via

Norwich in the First World War is an exploration of the role and significance of the city, and its people during the years 1914-1918, with a special consideration to the profound impact of war and warfare on people on the home front.

Neil Storey is one of the foremost authorities on the military history of the county during the First and Second World Wars and is the author of Norfolk in the Great War and Norfolk Goes to War.

Thursday 5 November, 1.30 – 3.30pm
Discover your First World War ancestors
Workshop by Elizabeth Budd

CANCELLED - unfortunately this workshop has been cancelled due to illness.

Discover how to research your First World War ancestors in this workshop with archive specialist Elizabeth Budd, following a real family through records ranging from censuses to medals to service records.

Get hands-on with useful websites and examples of archives to build the story of these men and find out where to start your own investigations, no matter what your ancestor's service history. The session will last two hours and all participants will go away with a printed guide as well as, we hope, some new skills.


Thursday 5 November, 6 – 7pm
Women before, during and after WWI
Talk by Joy Evitt (Costume & Textile Association)

FREE but booking essential via

In the First World War women took on a wide variety of roles but the outcome of their wartime activities were very similar. They became more independent and developed a new attitude to the way they lived their lives and the clothes they wore. The days of excessive ornamentation, tight corsets and large amounts of fabric were over. The new woman could be seen in public on her own; she participated in sport, drove cars, travelled and worked in a wide variety of jobs.

This talk looks at how the clothes chosen were simpler and were easier to buy or make. The office girl could look as good as the debutante which meant that fashion had finally become more democratic!


Monday 9 November, 1.30 – 4.30pm and Thursday 12th November, 12.30 – 3.30pm
First World War Poetry
Workshop by poet Andy Bennett

£20 - booking essential via

From the early idealism of Rupert Brooke, through the trench-bound horror of Wilfred Owen, to the millions of wives, daughters, and mothers waiting anxiously at home for news, the upheaval of the First World War saw an outpouring of poetry rarely seen in the history of English letters.

Discover this fascinating and moving period of poetic history, and learn poetic skills and techniques to write your very own war sonnet – skills that are as relevant and valuable today as they were a century ago. Please note that the workshop consists of two afternoon sessions and you should be able to attend both.

Thursday 12 November, 6 – 7pm
Conscientious Objection in Norfolk
Talk by Orla Kennelly (Norfolk Record Office)

FREE but booking essential via

A glimpse of conscientious objection in Norfolk during the First World War. We will look at the records of HM Prison Norwich and discuss public attitude to imprisonment for Conscientious Objectors. Discover the letters of Walter Manthorpe, Norwich man, who served time in Norwich, Wormwood Scrubs, Dartmoor and Wakefield Prisons during the war for his pacifism.

Family Activities

Saturday 7 November, 10am – 4pm
Make a Remembrance Poppy
The Atrium

FREE drop-in event

During the First World War, war raged through Europe's heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise desolate battlefields. To remember all those who were lost, create a remembrance poppy to display somewhere special this year on Remembrance Day. Family activity for all aged 5+.

Sunday 8 November, 12pm and 2.30pm
Fire from the Skies, Guns from the Earth
Family storytelling by Liam Carroll
Express library / Children's Library

FREE drop-in event

An entertaining, informative and provocative story. We follow the fictional adventures of flying ace Biggles, a comic book hero who frequently volunteers for death defying missions, and the real-life anti-war poet Wilfred Owen, who has to slog his way through the mud on the frontline. Ideal for ages 7+.

Get the latest updates by following HEART on Facebook and Twitter, or search for #ColmansConnections on Twitter.

This project is kindly supported by: