Out There Arts National centre for outdoor arts and circus

The Ice House - A Poem

By Jason Parr

A special poem.

A special poem commissioned by Out There Arts for the redevelopment of The Ice House - a historic Grade II listed building located on Great Yarmouth, Norfolk's historic quay. The Ice House redevelopment project seeks to develop the building into a national centre for outdoor arts and circus with plans to open in 2026. Supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Ice House project is produced and delivered by Out There Arts.

A photo of Jason Parr

“What was then.”

— Jason Parr

There she be, a way over Yare, A lone yellow Gault brick house stands there. 

1860 was it's birth, found it's place upon this earth 

Thick walled, buttress bound, a mighty thatch pressing ground.

this house to house ice, to travel twice 

From Norway to our town,, then forging fast, city bound.

When a cold winter called, a local ice was hauled, 

From boat to barrel, onto rail cor blast a right royal mail .

Crushed ice to hold Silver darlings in numbers great, destined for some folks wishful plate.

Up to the rafters 2000 tons stacked, up to 12 months stayed frozen packed.

The hustle and bustle of being moved by muscle.

My heart alive, did our town  thrive

This house in our borough was one of thirteen, a prosperous industry, boy was the taxman keen

A sign does read " the fabric of this building designed by R. Bird for the Juby brothers ltd to live up to their word.

Master thatcher Derek Roll when job was done, Chin up did stroll 

This 1980 restoration for a J.H. Bunn grain store station.

History forever unfolding, what cold secrets is this house holding?

The Ramblings of now.

Step right up, step right up step right in and feast your eyes on this amazing array of tumbling tat, stories stored under thatch, be careful with that match. A  circus soup, Ariel hoop, loop the loop, a dormant dancing troop, woop the woop. Fire show gone cold, lanterns laid lame, a past spark in some kids memory. Roll up, roll up stacking, racking, slacking mannequin legs aloft, along with gigantic laundry blooming. A riot for the eyes. All to see, what to say, come this way, come this way, there's a Crustacean donation station, woven flowers, tyre towers, A plastic fruit salute to a pink Flamingo, bamboo bingo, a mighty brush hides hidden Art, a Seahorse disagreement, willow woven, some trodden treasure troven, a circus explosion a retired motion looking for a lost show. Gathering dust, oil drum rust, a circus crust, a tat trapped beast. A monsoon of a hoard. All aboard, all aboard. A bottle of Gin, now where's the Ice, Tim.

What sort of future can we nurture.

Community hub

Art centre

Food share

workshop space

circus school

Tumbling tots

seasoned acts

culture swap

jumble sale

local produce

connecting kids and elders

Dance nights

Warm room

tea and talks

Sober events

residencies across the Arts

rehearsal space

recording studio


variety of performances

cafe coffee and cake


environmental consciousness

linking past and future

In the words of Sitting Bull "let's put our minds together and see what sort of life we can make for our children"

and maybe some ice sculptures

Film performance of the Poem by Jason Parr

The Ice House – A Poem by Jason Parr

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