Rock royalty, author and mayor unite to celebrate cat centre reopening

Rick Wakeman will reopen the cats adoption centre in Dereham. Picture: Lee Wilkinson

Rick Wakeman will reopen the cats adoption centre in Dereham. Picture: Lee Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

Rock legend Rick Wakeman will officially reopen Dereham's cat adoption centre after its £1.2m refurbishment.

Hilary Bushell with cat Tabatha. Pictures:

Hilary Bushell with cat Tabatha. Pictures: - Credit: Archant

The keyboard wizard, who has three rescue cats, will be fresh from the 50th anniversary world tour of Yes when he cuts the ribbon.

He will be joined by cat-focused author Mandy Morton, author of The No 2 Feline Detective Agency series, who will read an extract from her latest Hettie Bagshot book, Magical Mystery Paws, and Dereham's feline-friendly mayor, Hilary Bushell.

Visitors are invited to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1pm on Saturday, September 22.

There will then be behind the scenes tours of the centre on Hoe Road, Longham, to see feline residents in their new cat pens as well as the improved staff working areas. The previous cat pens had been on-site for 20 years.

Many Morton. Pictures:

Many Morton. Pictures: - Credit: Archant

Cats Protection's Dereham adoption centre has set the standard for cat-care excellence in Norfolk and can now home over 500 cats annually.

There is also improved accessibility to all areas and a greater variety of parking for cars and bicycles.

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After the tours there will be refreshments and a variety of stalls in the grounds.

A raffle will round off the afternoon and will give ticket-holders the chance to win a hamper of cat goodies as well as an exclusive Hettie Bagshot bundle featuring a signed hardback edition, which is not available in the UK, a Hettie and Tilly lanyard and mug, along with a signed copy of Magical Mystery Paws.

Norfolk dual adoption centres manager Lindsay Tempest said: 'We are thrilled that Rick, Mandy and Mayor Bushell can join us for our big day and can't wait to share our new and improved centre with our neighbours and cat-lovers from across Norfolk.

'Since work began on the centre in February the transformation has been remarkable – exceeding even our own expectations.'

The work at the adoption centre was funded from the charity's central reserves but day-to-day running costs must be met through donations.

For further information about the day, visit or call 01362 687 919.

Cat-lovers wishing to make a donation can visit