I’ve just learned of the shocking and devastating news that the building which houses The Owl Sanctuary has been sold, apparently from under the feet of its current occupants who for the past two years have done such a magnificent job of running a fine DIY and community-spirited pub, which also houses the Norwich Soup Movement upstairs.
Everything seems to suggest at this stage that it will be the next victim of the dreaded gentrification that is so prevalent in these times. Please read The Owl Sanctuary’s statement on Facebook for further details.
The Owl has hosted so many gigs and has been an invaluable hub for community, a place run with a great ethos and attitude. This really will be a devastating loss to the city and is heartbreakingly sad for everyone who has worked so tirelessly and selflessly in making the Owl what it is.
The venue will close its doors for the last time on January 31st. Please do all you can to support it while we still have it. Make no mistake, this is a terrible, terrible loss to the Norwich music scene and community and a great many people. There was nowhere else in the city quite like it, in fact precious few in the country.
I feel in shock about this news and the manner in which it has happened, it all leaves a very bad taste. Not only would Norwich lose an excellent live music venue but a totally independently run DIY pub with a caring, sharing, inclusive and tolerant ethos … a pub that reaches out into its community and helps the vulnerable. That is rare and something to cherish, not demolish.
Those who have created The Owl Sanctuary have invested a lot of time, energy, and of course money into it. Please support it all you can in the remaining few weeks we have it to help those who now face a very uncertain future through no fault of their own.
Outline have kindly set up a crowdfunding appeal to raise fund for the Owl. Many thanks to Lizz for this. You can donate here:
The intention had been to raise £1000 by the end of January. Within hours it has already raised close to £4,000 demonstrating the good heart of Norwich and the close-knit musical community.
Norwich. You are amazing. You have raised nearly £4,000 in a single day for The Owl Sanctuary. Just mindblowing. Let’s keep it going. You’ve got til the end of Jan so if you want to hold out til you get paid then that’s cool. THANK YOU for demonstrating once again the loving community spirit that this city has in bucketloads xx https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/owlsanctuary
One ray of hope would be if it could get an ACV (Asset of Community Value) listing – which it certainly warrants. Nominations for this can be made via CAMRA here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1reLYZH6MxQNNiVCTPknCn9iw40YusQIeBiWBqAi1Np4/viewform
UPDATE – The CAMRA form has successfully led to The Owl Sanctuary being nominated for consideration as an Asset of Creative Value, with over 1800 forms sent in.
This is an incredible step, but we are not done yet.
We are currently drafting a letter to Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP – the constituency where The Owl Sanctuary resides – imploring him to take action and lend whatever help he can to this cause.
We would ask you put aside your political affiliations, whatever they may be, and to print a copy of this letter, sign it, and post it to the constituency office, the address of which is on the letter.
We are calling this the Letter delivered by Owl.
Many thanks to the hundreds of people who have shared, posted, liked and supported this page, which is less than a day old.
Spread the word. Show your Support. Give a Hoot.
Something which must be stressed, however, is that the furniture and coffee shop next door – Warings – have nothing to do with these unfortunate developments, they just happen to now share the same landlord.
Another update: A new Facebook page to centralise all the info re. saving the Owl: https://www.facebook.com/Give-A-Hoot-Save-The-Owl-Sanctuary-1669745373310625/
Yet another update: There is now a petition to Clive Lewis MP, although Clive is already onboard and aware, I personally think we should now all be turning attention to the Norwich City Councillors. (This has now been addressed and the petition re-worded)