Assembly House restaurant flying the flag to keep Colman's Mustard factory in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 10:46 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 26 October 2017
A Norwich business is flying the flag to support Colman's Mustard - a company which helped save it from demolition in the 1930s.
The Assembly House has backed the campaign to fight for the future of the Norwich factories which produce the condiment and Robinsons squash.
It comes after Britvic announced this month it was proposing to move the production of Robinsons juice from its Bracondale site in the city.
Unilever, which owns Colman’s Mustard, has since said it too could close its Norwich factory.
MORE: Colman’s Mustard factory in Norwich could shut after Britvic announces closure plans
Richard Hughes, chef director at the Assembly House, said: “We are huge supporters of Colman’s which is a firm which is very special to The Assembly House – without it, the House might not be here today.”
He said the Assembly House, on Theatre Street, uses 5kg of Colman’s Mustard powder each week.
“More than 50,000 of our cheese, Colman’s Mustard and chive scones are sold every year so we know that it’s a product that our customers absolutely love, too,” Mr Hughes added.
Customers who order one of the scones will now receive one bearing a flat which reads: “Flying the flag for Colman’s Mustard staying in Norwich!”
When Norwich High School for Girls moved out of The Assembly House in 1933, the Grade I-listed house was put on the market and a local building company showed an interest in developing the site.
Concerned the building could be lost to the people of Norwich, the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Trust and The Norwich Society stepped in to save the House from demolition.
Rooms were rented out in order to cover the mortgage – to Caleys, to the YMCA, to a bicycle company – but in 1938 a consortium headed by HJ Sexton, Sir George White and Major Alan Rees Colman, who had become a director at Colman’s in 1922 at the age of 21, stepped forward to give the building a helping hand.
Tragically, Colman – son of Russell James Colman who owned Colman’s - died in a flying accident while on active service in 1943 at the age of 42. His work towards safeguarding the Assembly House, however, meant the building was saved for the people of Norwich and Norfolk.
“Colman’s is Norwich just as The Assembly House is Norwich,” said Mr Hughes, “we would hate to see such an important part of our heritage leaving the city.”
• Sign our petition to keep Colman’s Mustard in Norwich by clicking here.