The news has been out for a little while now, but I’m still pleased to announce Samphire is back at Blickling! After many sad months without a visit to the estate I will finally return on my next trip to Norfolk and I am so excited, a trip to Norfolk without eating a Samphire pie is not a proper trip! We love to stock up and then enjoy a picnic in the walled garden, watching my son play in the walled garden. Happy days!
Samphire’s new location will be in the courtyard close to Blickling Hall’s bookshop. For my husband and I this couldn’t be a better location, we love the second hand bookstore and haven’t visited since Samphire left. Samphire will have a pop up stall every weekend and bank holiday from this coming Saturday, April 16th until the end of May. The stall should open at 11am – 5pm. I stress that this is a trial period so it is really important that all Samphire devotees make a trip during this time if not every week! I live in Essex but will make sure I visit at least once during this time and will ask my family to do the same. Please spread the word and share this blog post using the share button at the bottom of the post. If we want Samphire back at Blickling permanently then this is the way to show the National Trust, by turning up and supporting Samphire every weekend.
I asked Karen to write something to alongside my blog entry and I was very flattered what she sent me to publish. Here are Karen’s thoughts:
When we had to close our shops and leave Blickling Jeff and I were prepared to mope off home and leave it at that. We didn’t know if we would be able to carry on at the smallholding as the income from Blickling had been paying our mortgage for the past five years. It was a worrying time and we felt quite sorry for ourselves.
And then Victoria wrote this amazing blog. Not only was it a completely rational, well thought out piece asking some pertinent questions, it also made us realise we weren’t on our own. Gradually more and more people found out about it and added supportive comments and each one bolstered our flagging confidence. How lovely that all these people had taken the time to tell us how saddened they were by the loss of the shop and offer us their support. Not just customers, suppliers and staff members also added their comments making us feel that we were all in it together and that maybe, together, we could do something about it. One customer even started up a ‘Save Our Samphire’ facebook page which has over 260 members.
I confess that I didn’t hold out much hope of a change of mind but Victoria kept plugging away. She followed up emails from the NT, wading her way through endless corporate responses to reiterate her initial questions, asking that we be reinstated at Blickling.
All of this effort on our behalf finally sparked enough enthusiasm in me to put together an idea that I thought may be acceptable to Blickling. I sent off the proposal to set up a ‘pop up shop’ and after three weeks we were told they would consider it. We had a meeting to discuss a possible site and terms were agreed.
On 16 April we will return to Blickling for weekend and bank holidays, albeit in reduced form. Our little pop up will be situated by the second-hand bookshop and we will be stocking a lot of old favourites like our pork pies, sausages and of course tiffin ! It’s a trial for a few weeks but if it works out for both us and the NT then hopefully they will let us remain over the summer. If that happens we can start to bring in a few more things from other people.
Things have really turned around for us and we are delighted to be back at Blickling, we look forward to seeing some familiar faces and I’m sure they will be happy to see that Roberta and Katie are also coming back to help out when Jeff and I can’t make it.
It all started with this blog and Victoria’s determination to get the NT to reconsider. Thanks Vicky you’ve been a star ! x
Please use the button below to share this blog and inform others that Samphire is back. Remember this is a trial period and we need to show our support!