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Wroxham Barns celebrate 25th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:05 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 13 July 2010

A visitor attraction created through an "act of blind faith" 25 years ago toasted its milestone anniversary at the weekend.

Wroxham Barns opened on May 21 1983 as a crafts centre created out of a range of redundant farm buildings.

A visitor attraction created through an “act of blind faith” 25 years ago toasted its milestone anniversary at the weekend.

Wroxham Barns opened on May 21 1983 as a crafts centre created out of a range of redundant farm buildings.

At a celebration gathering co-founder Ian Russell said it was basically the same now but “more polished and sophisticated” and added attractions such as the fun fair and junior farm.

It could proudly look back on progress resulting from the creativity and professionalism of its craftsmen, dedication of its staff, and support of its customers and suppliers, he told invited guests.

The founding of the venture was “a huge risk” taken by him as a “green as green” 25-year-old who had “blind faith that we would never fail.”

It was now well on its way to achieving “something very special” as an outstanding place to shop and eat, with a “high level of quality, customer service and style.”

Mr Russell's mother Jo Ansell, who was among family members who loaned him £20,000 to help buy the barns, and boatbuilder Jack Chippendale, one of the initial craftsmen, jointly unveiled an anniversary plaque made by on-site potter Tricia Francis.

Other major events in the 25th anniversary year include a patchwork and quilting weekend in aid of a breast cancer charity on June 13-15 and a LeGrice rose festival on June 21/22.

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