LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
Norden Farm Centre for the
Arts opened back in autumn
2000 on the site of an old dairy farm. The original Georgian farmhouse and Long Barn have been incorporated into the venue, alongside a state-of-the-art auditorium, art gallery and studio performance space.
We spoke to Alex Vander Borght, who joined the venue seven years ago and works in the marketing department. “I feel very fortunate to be working in the industry I feel passionately about,” she says. “At Norden Farm we know that the arts have the power to change lives. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts. This is reflected in our events line-up, which includes music, theatre, comedy, film, children’s events, classes and workshops.
“We pride ourselves in our education and outreach work within the Maidenhead community. Our schools programme Farm Out sees us work with all primary and secondary schools within the town, bringing eager young minds access to a host of creative workshops and events.
“The team also work hard to raise thousands of pounds each year towards special projects that aim to enrich the lives of the people in the area. These include annual events such as The Maidenhead Beach, our Spring Family Arts Festival, Lantern Parade in the town centre and the Community Kite Festival.”
So what can we expect to see in 2019 at Norden Farm? “Where do I start?” says Alex. “We’ve just launched our spring line-up, which includes our first Burns Night Ceilidh; top tributes to the likes of Amy Winehouse,
Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Frankie Valli; an evening with
Ann Widdecombe, and new shows from award-winning comedians including Adam Riches, Robin Ince and duo Flo & Joan. Our Spring Family Arts Festival has also got a fresh new name and look for 2019 – Quest Family Fest. Children and their grown-ups are invited to navigate their way through a host of creative adventures over the two-week holiday.” Wow, it sounds brilliant. We’ll see you there! You’ll find the usual popular stores on the High Street, including Marks & Spencer, Boots, Monsoon, Paperchase... but not to be missed is Wally’s; a traditional toy shop with a modern outlook that sells games, gifts, arts and crafts, dressing up and more. It really is a treasure trove of goodies.
Shop Manager Joyce Scroggie, who has worked here since it opened 10 years ago, and has loved every minute, says: “We cater for newborns to children ages 12 to 14. I love working here; it’s wonderful. I get to see the kids come in and how they grow up over the years, and they always come back to visit and buy gifts.
“Right now, our best-selling products are unicorns, slime and LOL dolls… but we’re always waiting for the next crave to hit. There’s an advert on TV and suddenly there’s a mad rush of people wanting to buy something and then we sell out!”
Situated on its very own island, Boulters Riverside Brasserie is one of Maidenhead’s best al fresco dining and drinking spots. Don’t miss the half-price fizz on a Thursday and two-for-one gins on a Friday and Saturday between 5pm and 7pm. boultersrestaurant.co.uk
ABOVE: Norden Farm offers a host of events