Photo galleries: Veteran Evening News reporter Neville Miller honoured for his contribution to the arts in Norfolk

The 2012 Norfolk Arts Awards as part of the Hostry Festival. Winner of the Lifetime Contribution to Local Arts Award, Neville Miller. Picture: Denise Bradley The 2012 Norfolk Arts Awards as part of the Hostry Festival. Winner of the Lifetime Contribution to Local Arts Award, Neville Miller. Picture: Denise Bradley

Saturday, October 27, 2012
9:42 PM

Veteran Evening News reporter and arts critic Neville Miller has been given a prestigious award for championing the arts in Norfolk.

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Neville, now 82 and who worked for the Evening News for a quarter of a century, won the Lifetime Contribution to the Local Arts Award at the inaugural Norfolk Arts Awards at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry on Friday.

He received the biggest cheer of the night when he went up to collect his award at the ceremony that kick-started the Hostry Festival which runs until November 4.

As well as his long and distinguished journalism career, Neville is also well known for acting in many of the city’s theatre groups and has performed at the Maddermarket Theatre and Sewell Barn Theatre for more than 30 years.

Stash Kirkbride, artistic director of the Hostry Festival, said: “Neville Miller has been a real force in local theatre for many years. For decades he has performed at theatres such as The Sewell Barn and The Maddermarket Theatre, as well as supported them as a volunteer. He worked for the former Eastern Counties Newspapers, now Archant, as a journalist and reviewer, writing articles that inspired young actors to go into the theatre as a profession.

“We could not think of a more respected and much-loved individual to receive the award this year.”

Neville said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, To have won this is quite tremendous. Thank you very much indeed.”

Neville, who lives in the Sprowston Road area of Norwich, joined the Evening News in 1970 and retired in 1995.

He wrote thousands of reviews, covering every aspect of the city’s arts scene as well as writing extensively on its history for the paper’s Whiffler page.

• For more on the Hostry Festival visit www.hostryfestival.org

• The Theatre Award

Sheringham Little Theatre won the Theatre Award for its professional summer repertory programme which is one of the last surviving summer repertory seasons in the country. Now in its 52nd year, it continues to attract packed houses and nearly 30,000 people attended events last year.

Debbie Thompson, from the theatre, said: “Wow! I am really, really excited and amazed. Thank you very much. I love this little theatre. It is a very special place.”

• The Fosters Solicitors Business and the Arts Award

The John Jarrold Trust was awarded the accolade for supporting arts organisations and groups across the county including Norwich Puppet Theatre, the Maddermarket Theatre, Broadland Youth Choir, The Garage, Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, The Cawston Band, Livewire, Shakespeare Schools Festival, Community Music East, and Broadland Music Festival.

Caroline Jarrold said: “I am absolutely delighted. It is very special to us because we do love the arts in Norfolk.”

• The Broadcast and Press Award

Norwich community station Future Radio scooped the award for its support of local music and DJs. Based in West Norwich, Future Radio is part of Future Projects and uses the tag line ‘The Community Alternative.’ It champions emerging music acts by running The Next Big Thing competition which in 2009 was won by Ed Sheeran.

Kate Roma, from Future Radio, said: “We are so much more than a radio station and it would not be possible without all the volunteers and all the radio guests and partners across Norwich. Thank you - we are delighted.”

• The Bernardine Coverley Nature Writing Competition was organised by the Book Hive shop, in Norwich, as a tribute to Ms Coverley, a traveller, writer and gardener, who lived in just over the border in Suffolk.

The prize was given to two writers – 26-year-old Ashley Ford, from Shipdham and Evening News feature writer Keiron Pim, who is 34 and lives in Norwich.

Henry Layte, from The Book Hive and who ran the competition, said: “Both the winning entries responded to the theme of the title - Night and Dark - in exactly a way I had hoped, but also made the idea totally unique to them.

“They are both deserving winners!”

• The Education and Community Award

Norwich artist Anita Staff won for her work with disadvantaged and hard to reach members of the community, using photography and film to help break down stigmas.

Her project Perception, an exhibition of photographs featuring sex workers, aims to challenge conventional opinions about the industry and give the participants a chance to portray themselves as they would like others to see them.

Anita said: “I accept this award on behalf of every single brave, incredible person I have ever worked with. Thank you.”

• The EDP People’s Choice Award

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival was truly the people’s choice after scooping the EDP award that was exclusively voted for by the public.

The annual arts extravaganza this year brought everything from dinosaurs to cutting edge art to a special show that was 100pc Norfolk to the county for the 16-day festival in May.

William Galinsky, the director of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, said the festival was thrilled to win.

He said: “It is really the audience’s award, the award is for all the artists who performed, for the funders, for our friends and patrons, and the festival team and the army of volunteers who make the festival possible.

“It is becoming such a big and popular festival - 85,000 people saw the festival this year, 16,000 children saw the Dinosaur Petting Zoo and nearly 10,000 people came out for the opening night show Invasion by Close Act.

“We are going from strength to strength, and it is great to be a part of Norwich and Norfolk.

“I am really grateful to everyone who voted for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival - and we have got some very exciting announcements coming up very, very soon about next year’s festival.”

• The Dance Award

Thursford Christmas Spectacular won for its large-scale dance performances that are one of the UK’s leading Christmas shows. Every year Thursford presents a festive feast of seasonal variety amidst century-old carousels and steam engines. John Cushing, Thursford producer and director, said the award was “a great honour.”

He said: “For the last 36 years we have employed thousands of dancers from all over the country, and I think this year we have the finest team ever so I would urge you all to visit this tiny little village in the middle of Norfolk and you will be surprised at what you see there.”

• The Hy Kurzner Arts Entrepreneur Award

The Bo Nanafana Social Club – run by Norwich-based Helen Stoneley and Tristan Roche and their team of DJs, comperes, dance tutors and venue dressers – was named the winner for its popular themed dance and cabaret club nights that have taken place since 2007 and showcase local performers and international acts.

Helen and Tristan were delighted with the award and paid tribute to the whole Bo Nanafana Social Club team and the Norfolk audience that they said were “amazing.”

• The Music Award

Aude Gotto, from Norwich, won for her work in establishing the King of Hearts, an arts and music venue in Fye Bridge Street, Norwich. The venue pioneered baroque music and contemporary work and helped launch young musician’s careers. It was forced to close in 2010 due to funding cuts but Aude continues to be involved in supporting musicians and live music events in Norfolk. King of Hearts trustee Howard Green accepted the award on behalf of Aude.

• The Visual Arts Award

Contemporary artist Chris Kendrick, from Norwich, won for his exceptional figurative oil paintings. He uses traditional glazing techniques to produce distinctive paintings, and his work is displayed throughout the region, London and beyond. He is exhibiting at The Assembly House until November 19 and at The Southwold Gallery in December.

• The Peter Barrow Bursary Award For Best Newcomer

Eighteen-year-old Charlie Skinner, who lives in Cromer, was awarded the bursary to help him follow his dream of going to drama school and becoming a professional actor.

Charlie has just completed his BTEC Performing Arts Diploma at City College Norwich and is a member of Norwich Young People’s Theatre with which he is soon to appear as Mr Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

His previous theatre credits include Bugsy Malone, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors and Songs for a New World.

Peter Barrow said: “We are so pleased to award this year’s bursary to Charlie Skinner.

“He’s a real talent of the future with multiple skills, acting, singing, dancing and even acrobatics. It’s fantastic to be able to help him on his way.”

Charlie said: “I am completely honoured by this award and feel proud to be part of the arts in Norfolk.”

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