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ABC Taxi’s overdue moment of silence for Norwich’s Year of the Dinosaurs

A meteor wiped out the dinosaurs and, only a short 65 million years later, their visit to Norwich was cut short by their second apocalypse. These guys just can’t catch a break!

Doesn’t ring a bell? No one blames you. We’ve all been a bit preoccupied.

Dippy: this is your life | Natural History Museum
Dino super-star Dippy the Diplodocus

This is Dippy. Dippy first woke up from a 150million year old slumber by a group of Wyoming Railroad workers back in 1898. He became an overnight sensation when the newspapers crowned him the most colossal animal ever on earth. That’s because he’s a sauropod: The group of long-necked giants that roamed the earth during the Jurassic period of the Mesozoic era.

Dippy’s home used to be London’s Natural History Museum where he’d grace the steps of the magnificent Hintze Hall. That is until 2017, when he decided to see more of the world. His tour took him to Glasgow, Newcastle, Ulster, Cardiff. Dippy was making his way all over the country. However, his journey was cut short before his final stop: Norwich Cathedral.

Summer 2020 was supposed to harken the arrival of the spectacular sauropod. Sadly, something came up. And Dippy wasn’t the only prehistoric visitor who didn’t get to experience our fine city. GoGo Discover’s much loved statues were set to make a return this time with a lurid trail of T-Rexes all over the city. GoGo Discover are responsible for the yearly statue trails that appear in the summer months. You’ll remember the bunnies, gorillas and dragons of previous years. These statues have raised over a million pounds for the charity Break which provides support for vulnerable children, young adults and families. Break does this by offering a pathway of support services that provide help and care to the people who need it.

Also part of the grand reception were a plethora of dinosaur themed activities planned by the Cathedral in partnership with the Natural History Museum including a prehistoric art competition in a programme the Cathedral is calling the Summer of Dinosaur Fun.

Luckily, there’s always 2021.

The year of the dinosaurs can wait no longer. Instead of waiting until the summer for a season of amazing dinosaur activities, Dippy’s time on display at the Cathedral will take place January to March. As for the T-Rex statues, they’ll be placed around the city around July. Could this be a blessing in disguise? Instead of a summer, we’re being treated to almost a whole year of dinosaur amusements.

Or, perhaps, the dinosaurs never left us at all. The British Trust for ornithology has reported that, since the beginning of April, 7,000 people had signed up to take part in its Garden Birdwatch. As they’ve previously had 11,000 users, that’s an increase of over 60%. With regular exercise and walks having been a must this year, we’ve all had a bit more time to spends some time amongst the birds. You might have heard that birds are relatives of dinosaurs but that’s not quite true. Birds are dinosaurs – and the sight and sound of them have been getting many of us through lockdown.

Blue and Gray Bird on Brown Tree Branch
A fearsome predator

So the pressure of lockdown has left these planned events frozen in time (wish there was some way to link this back to dinosaurs). But hey, 2020 is almost over and the dinosaurs will be coming out to play. That is, if you haven’t already taken the time to spot the many dinosaurs around us already.

If you’re in the mood for a mesozoic road-trip, ABC Taxis has got you covered. Thanks to our eco-friendly fleet of 150 hybrid vehicles, we’re going easy on the fossil fuels. So whether you’re booking through Facebook Messenger or the ABC Taxis app, we’re you’re eco-friendly ride to all the activities planned in the (new!) Year of the Dinosaurs 2021. See you there!

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10 Best Family Days Out In Norfolk

Norfolk is a fantastic holiday destination with its stunning coastline and rural landscape.  You’re never too far away from a sandy beach or an amazing historical attraction or monument.  Norfolk also hosts a wonderful range of activities and destinations that will keep the kids entertained and engaged.  We’ve put together a list of some great family days out suitable for smaller children up to teenagers, all of which should entertain them and leave them tired out until the next day.  Find out about the best attractions, theme parks and places to go with the kids in our top list of 10 great days out that the whole family can enjoy in Norfolk.

Bewilderwood, Wroxham

Bewilderwood, Horning Road, Hoveton

This woodland adventure is an award-winning attraction based on the book series ‘ A Boggle at BeWILDerwood’. Set in the heart of a gorgeous forest this amazing day out brings parents and children together for a magical adventure of treehouses, wobbly wires, slippery slopes and much more.

Cruise along the river in a Bewildwerboat or even attend one of the special daily fancy dress parties or puppet shows.  Having just reopened their wonky wooden gates, pre-booking is essential and additional safety measures are in place and there is plenty of information on their website explaining the current procedures. Boat rides, arts & crafts, storytelling and parking is included in the ticket price, and unfortunately, face painting is not offered at the park in the current climate and at the time of writing this article soft play facilities are still not open.  Facilities include WCs, baby changing, parking, gift shop, picnic areas, food outlets, wheelchair access around the park.  Prices range between £9.50 and £18.50. Visit their awesome website for further details.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade

Roarr Dinosaur Adventure, Weston Park, Lenwade

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure is set in a stunning 85-acre woodland park and features life-size models of real dinosaurs plus loads of cute animals and play areas to keep the kids entertained. Featuring climbing nets, ball pools and high ropes, and a soft play area for the younger kids this family day out is suitable for children of all ages but please note that at the time of this article soft-play areas are still not allowed to be open.  In recent years a new dedicated party room has been introduced and is a great dino-themed destination for birthdays.   The party package includes a buffet-style meal, party bags and a personal visit from Dippy the Dino himself. Ticket prices start at £13.95 and children under 90cm tall are able to visit the park for free.  Please visit the website for more information.

ABC Taxis are proud to have a partnership with Roarr Dinosaur Adventure and are now offering a discounted flat fare of just £15 one way for a 3 seater car, from St.Stephens Street or Castle Meadow direct to the park. A 6 seater mini-bus will cost £22.50*.

*Prices and offer available at the time of this article

Pirates Island Adventure Golf, Blofield

Pirates Island Adventure Golf, Yarmouth Road, Norwich

This awesome adventure combines pirates and crazy golf to create a swashbuckling day out that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  Navigate your way through treacherous crocodile-infested waters, exploding cannons and join Captain Alert Ross and his crew to hunt for hidden treasure.  Pre-booking is essential in order to monitor the number of people on the course and please expect added safety precautions and social distancing measures to be in place, in accordance with the government guidelines.  Please visit the website for more details.

The whole park is wheelchair and pushchair accessible and prices range from £2 to £6. 

High Altitude, Norwich

High Altitude, Whiffler Road, Norwich,

This one is sure to tire the kids out. High Altitude trampoline park offers a surface of 80 interlinked wall to wall trampolines to jump, fly and flip around.  The centre offers freestyle sessions for anyone over 6 years old and special sessions for under 10’s and for toddlers.

There is also a soft play area for the very young tots (which at the time of this article is not open) and Slam Dunk Lanes and a Dodge Ball Court for the extra sporty types. When you’re hungry you can grab a bite from the cafe and watch the kids play safely from the viewing gallery.  High Altitude is a great all-weather activity which kids of all ages can enjoy.  See their website for prices and further information.

Miniature Worlds, Wroxham 

Miniature Worlds, Horning Rd Wroxham

Wroxham Miniature Worlds are the UK’s largest indoor modelling attraction playing host to some of the worlds biggest model railway displays.  Stretching over 10,000 square feet this attraction is made up of different zones including slot car displays, an entire LegoTM city, a vintage penny arcade and model boat displays.  Get a taste for piloting a plane in the interactive flight simulator or drive a locomotive in the train simulator. With an on-site cafe and toy shop model shop and some railway layouts you can operate yourself, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.  Please head over to their website for opening times and prices. 

Pettitts Animal Adventure Park, Reedham

Pettitts Animal Adventure Park, Church Rd, Reedham

Looking after and learning about animals at a young age nurtures a caring and loving nature in people, and what child doesn’t enjoy the chance to see meerkats, pigs, chipmunks and monkeys up close.  Set within the stunning backdrop of the Norfolk Broads, animal fans of all ages will love feeding and petting the creatures and there is also the opportunity to visit the reptile house and feed the fish.  The park features several awesome rides and is a great all-weather destination as it features some awesome indoor play facilities too.  Prices range from £4 – £22 per person depending on the package. Please visit the site for price information

Namco Funscape, Bowthorpe

Namco Funscape, Barnard Road, Norwich

For a fun time bowling, enjoying great food, drinks and arcade games Namco Funscape is the perfect destination.  Offering tailored parties for both children and teens the kids are sure to have a fantastic time.  When booking a party package you’ll receive a party pack through the post including invitations and a special sticker for the birthday girl/boy.  Whether it’s an adrenaline head to head on the latest racing game or challenging family to an air hockey tournament, Namco Funscape has something for everyone to enjoy and is a perfect rainy day activity. Open from the 1st August please check the website for more details.

Norfolk Snowsports Club, Trowse

Norfolk Snowsports Club, Trowse, Norwich

Open to seasoned professionals looking to ski or snowboard openly to total novices and those who just want to be flung down the slope on a tube.  Norfolk Snowsports Club caters for all skill levels and provides a membership program and one off open practice sessions.  Featuring a variety of terrains such as the Fun Park, Mogus and Waves, all equipment is included in the hourly rate and trained supervisors are always on hand to ensure you are using the right boots and skis/board for your requirements.  Sessions are currently limited to 20 people so advanced booking is advised.  Please see the website for more information.

Eaton Park 

Eaton Park, Norwich

Set in a large picturesque heritage park close to Norwich, Eaton Park is a great place to visit with the family.  For birthday parties and small gatherings (in the current climate) Eaton Park Crazy Golf offers 18 fun-filled holes to enjoy, or for something more tranquil why not opt for taking an RC boat out onto the boating lake.  With plenty to do including a children’s playground, picnic spots and sporting activities Eaton Park makes for a great sunny day out for the whole family.

Wroxham Barns

Wroxham Barns, Hoveton, Norwich

For those who love arts and crafts and nature, Wroxham Barns will not disappoint. Having recently merged their Junior Farm and Funpark attractions into one offering the doors are once again open for families to come and enjoy anything from Jumping Pillows, Water Wars, and Go-Karts to getting up close and personal with Ant and Dec the resident Alpacas or feeding the greedy goats.  With loads of great activities including egg collecting, train rides and the Pirate Ship theme park ride Wroxham Barns is a guaranteed winner for a fantastic family outing.

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International Women’s Day 2020 In Norwich

International Women’s Day, which is celebrated every year on the 8th of March, is taking place this coming Sunday! You may already know that this holiday is about celebrating the achievements of women around the world, but why do we do this? And how?

In this week’s blog, we’ll tell you about the origins of the upcoming holiday, including how it started and why it is important. We have also put together some ideas for things to do if you feel like getting involved in the Women’s Day celebrations in Norwich this weekend!

The Origins of Women’s Day: A Timeline

So where did this holiday come from, and why? Maybe you have only started hearing about it more recently, but International Women’s Day (IWD) has been around for well over a century! 

28 February, 1909: National Woman’s Day is held in New York City, organised by the Socialist Party of America. Women lobby for fair working conditions and the right to vote (suffrage), which they won’t achieve until August 1920.

Women lobby for fair working conditions and the right to vote (suffrage)

1909 – 1910: Many activists are inspired by the idea, and attendees at the Second International (an organisation of socialist and labour parties) agree to adopt the holiday, finding it a good strategy to promote equal rights and suffrage for women. 

19 March, 1911: International Women’s Day is first celebrated in Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. In Austra-Hungary alone, more than 300 demonstrations take place to fight gender discrimination and secure women’s rights to study, work, and vote. Over one million women and men attend the rallies across the world. In the USA, it takes place in February. 

February 1913: Russian women observe their first International Women’s Day on the last Saturday of the month. 

8 March 1914: International Women’s Day is held in Germany and England, where women continue to fight for the right to vote. 

In Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of the Russian Empire, women textile workers demonstrate across the city,

8 March 1917: In Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of the Russian Empire, women textile workers demonstrate across the city, marking the beginning of the February Revolution, the first of two revolutions that eventually ended dynastic rule in Russia and brought about the USSR. The Soviets officially adopted the holiday when they came to power, although it was a working day until 1965, when it was declared a national non-working day.

After this series of events, Women’s Day was mainly celebrated by communist countries and movements. This includes commemoration in China starting in 1922, with an official holiday and half-day off for women proclaimed in 1949 after the founding of the People’s Republic. A women’s march was also led by communist leaders in Madrid in 1936, on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. 

Circa 1967: Second-wave feminists adopt the day as one of activism, and over the next decades women’s groups, leftists, and labor organisations continue to cooperate to call for equal pay, equal economic opportunity, equal legal rights, reproductive rights, subsidized child care, and the prevention of violence against women. 

Stamps issued in Germany (DDR) 1975, MiNr Zusammendruck 2019-2021

1975: The United Nations celebrates International Women’s Year, and names the decade to follow (‘76 to ‘85) the United Nations Decade for Women. As a result of the international focus on women’s rights in this year, a number of women-centred institutions were established, including the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). These continue to lead in promoting women’s human rights worldwide. 

1996: the UN begins adopting an annual theme for International Women’s Day. The first one was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”. 

21st Century: As corporations begin to sponsor and promote IWD events and feel-good messages, especially in the West, social reforms fade into the background, and many organisations (including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, among others) initiate campaigns to raise awareness of the disproportional hardships women continue to face globally.

IWD Around The World

Women’s Day is an official holiday in 27 countries, from Afghanistan to Zambia. It is also widely observed in many countries where it is not a public holiday, such as Cameroon, Romania, and Chile. The context and celebrations of the holiday vary significantly from one country to another. 

In some countries, such as Russia, the day has lost its political context over time and is now simply a day to honour women and feminine beauty. Men often give women little gifts and flowers on this day. In countries like Bulgaria and Romania, the day is also observed as an equivalent of Mother’s Day, where children traditionally give small gifts to their mothers and grandmothers. In Italy, on the other hand, men traditionally give women yellow mimosas on Women’s Day. 

International Women’s Day started as part of socialist and feminist political movements in the West in the early 1900s, but it is now truly international, with many cultures, countries, and people celebrating it in many different ways. 

Whether the origins of the holiday are significant to you, you think the holiday is a nice opportunity to appreciate the women in your life, or this is just like any other weekend to you, why not get out of the house and celebrate? Here are a handful of events taking place in Norwich over the weekend for International Women’s Day. 

Events In Norwich This Weekend

A Feast of True Stories: In Praise Of Great Women at the Bicycle Shop

The Bicycle Shop on St Benedict Street teams up with Norwich Arts Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory for another edition of A Feast of True Stories. For Women’s Day, they’re arranging a three-course meal, welcome drink, and table service accompanied by talks surrounding the great achievements of ordinary women. Doors open at 18:30 and the event begins at 19:00. You can check out the full menu and book your place here!

Women’s Day at the Buddhist Centre

The Norwich Buddhist Centre at 14 Bank Street is celebrating IWD with a Women’s Dharma Workshop. The aim is to ‘reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination’ by women. The day will include metta meditation, stories of courageous dharma practitioners, and a shared lunch. The event is open to all, and payment is by donation. 

Walking Women (first Tuesday of every month)

This one is not directly related to International Women’s Day, but it’s a monthly activity organised by women, for women. On the first day of every month, women meet for an approximately 1.5 hour walk through the spectacular Holkham Estate. If you love sociable walks, find out more here and join them sometime!

Whether or not you’re celebrating International Women’s Day, we hope our brief history lesson was informative, and we wish you a wonderful weekend! 

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