Author Archives: Just Regional

Still time to have say on housing proposals for Aylsham

Residents are being urged to have their say on proposals for thousands of new homes in the Greater Norwich area, which includes sites in Aylsham.

The sites are among hundreds being considered by local authorities, including Broadland District Council, as part of the emerging Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) which will cover the period up to 2036.

A series of roadshows is under way where members of the public can find out more and make their views known to help the authorities reach final decisions.

The public consultation period will last until 5pm on Thursday, March 15.

As well as new homes, the GNLP will also identify sites for jobs and infrastructure, setting out what’s going to be developed, where and how.

Sites for 83pc of roughly 42,900 homes needed for the period have already been identified, leaving a shortfall of about 7,200.

A Call for Sites was made in 2016 and 600 have been submitted for consideration.

Aylsham is identified as a main town in the JCS being the largest market town in Broadland, providing a focus for jobs, services and housing for the surrounding area.

There are currently four sites allocated for development in the town, with two sites for housing and community facilities – Bure Meadows and the Cawston Road development which includes the football club. Two other sites are allocated for employment uses.

Five additional sites have been put forward for consideration for future development through the GNLP.

They include land next to River Bure to the north-east of the town, for 300 homes, a neighbourhood centre to include community and retail uses, a primary school, public open spaces, play areas, a riverside country park and new footpath links. Because it is next to a current development, it is considered to be sympathetic to the character of the area.

Another proposal is for an undetermined number of homes on the south side of Burgh Road, a greenfield site slightly beyond the development boundary.

The third site is on Burgh Road, which would be likely to require some improvements, including the footway to the A140 and good walking and cycling links to town centre. There is also land north of Marriotts Way, where a site is proposed for 250 houses and public open space next to the built-up area to the west of the town.

The final plot is land at Norwich Road for 250 homes.

Depending on the amount of growth identified for Aylsham through the GNLP, there is a choice of sites with development potential, the report says.

However, waste water disposal issues have previously been identified as an issue to the growth at Aylsham because of its proximity to the Broads.

Recent work with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water in connection with planning permissions and allocations in Aylsham has shown that bespoke solutions for water management are suitable for the current amount of commitment, but growth could be limited.

Plans already submitted (number of homes in brackets) include land next to Woodgate Farm (110), land north of Sir William’s Lane (181), Aegel House, Burgh Road (22), The Old Mill, Dunkirk (6), Hungate Lodge, Hungate Street, (9).

The roadshow in Aylsham has already gone ahead but you can catch one at Wroxham Library on March 9 (2-8pm)

To find out more about the plan and contribute to the consultation or to register any preferences, visit the Greater Norwich Local Plan website:

“I beamed, I cried, and I laughed” Review of The Band

Any girl will remember growing up idolising their favourite boy band, and as a 90’s kid I was definitely up there with the fangirls for the likes of the most successful boyband of all time, Take That.

Award winning writer Tim Firth has created a story that goes through all the want and need to see and meet your favourite icons, featuring the Take That classics including Back for Good, Rule the World, Shine and Never Forget to name but a few.

The band performing the hits, Five to Five, were the winners of the BBC show Let it Shine which was a competition for find the perfect members of the band for this show.

Unfortunately, one of the boys was unable to perform so Harry Brown joined AJ, Curtis, Sario and Nick. The boys all did a great job and are very talented singers and dancers.

The story follows a group of teenage girls, that reunite 25 years later and make it their mission to finally fulfil their desires to see their favourite band. It was great that they were able to highlight how life can end up so differently to how you had planned it as a 16 year old. Proving that at the end of the day, a strong friendship really can pull through anything.

I knew this show was going to make me feel nostalgic and bring back all the feelings of an excitable teenager, and it did not disappoint. I beamed, I cried, and I laughed, as well as felt every word from the songs, just as I did back in the day.

The young girls were completely relatable and I could definitely pin point which one of those girls was me when I was that age. All performed brilliantly.

Big shout out to Andy Williams who played ‘Every Dave’, popping up in so many scenes with small but absolutely hilarious moments.

The final scene had everyone in the theatre up dancing and singing, no matter who they were, it was simply impossible to resist.

If you are lucky enough to get tickets to this popular show, do! It’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear singing a long to all the old but never forgotten songs you know and love.

The show is at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday 17th February – get your tickets here:

Amie Croxton
Just Regional

LtoR AJ Bentley, Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon, Yazdan Qafouri and Nick Carsberg in The Band. PICTURE: Matt Crockett

Group helps Hellesdon woman return to work after 27 years

A Hellesdon woman has landed her first job after a career break of 27 years, thanks to the help of a tailor-made employment programme.

Karen Dolby read about Broadland District Council’s Choices programme in the newspaper and wondered if it could help her get back into work.

Having stayed at home to raise her family for more than a quarter of a century, Karen felt she had nothing to offer a prospective employer.

But just weeks after finishing the Choices programme and one week after starting work experience, she got a permanent job with TLC Dinner Choices, which runs the cafes at the Sprowston Community Hub and the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich.

“I had no words – it was only a week after I had started work experience and I was being offered a job,” said Karen.

“I remembered being on the Choices programme and thinking ‘whatever will I do work-wise when this is finished?’ I didn’t think I had any skills to offer.”

The programme helped Karen identify her transferrable skills to build up her CV. She also completed courses in food hygiene and basic computer skills.

“I am really enjoying being back at work,” said Karen.

“It’s meant a lot – it’s given me my independence and now I am out at work everyone is helping out at home. My husband and children are really proud of me.”

Broadland District Council’s Choices programme aims to raise the aspirations of anyone who has been out of work for a long time, through improving CVs, English, maths and computer skills, as well as boosting confidence.

It offers a personal approach to getting people back into volunteering or work experience and give them the confidence to apply for jobs.

Cllr Stuart Clancy, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Broadland District Council, said: “We are pleased to support our residents into work at any point in their lives and offer a range of services to help this.

“Everyone is important and has something to offer and our Choices programme helps develop people’s talents. We are extremely proud of Karen and her achievements and wish her every success for the future.”
A new course is starting on February 20 at the council’s training centre, Carrowbreck House, in Hellesdon.
Anyone interested should contact Economic Development officer, Jane Bagley, on 01603 430449.

Karen Dolby, who has got her first job in 27 years.

Delight as good causes benefit from successful Aylsham Show

Dozens of charities and other good causes have been given a share of £32,000 courtesy of the Aylsham Show.

Cheques ranging from £3,000 to £250 were handed out to 46 organisations during a presentation evening at Aylsham Football Club, on Tuesday January 23.

Many of the recipients are involved with the annual August bank holiday Aylsham Show at Blickling Park, helping with jobs such as parking, manning the gates and running attractions.

Last year’s 71st show was blessed by sunshine and attracted some 18,000 visitors who enjoyed a packed programme which included the ever-popular livestock classes and an arena performance by the Red Devils’ Parachute Regiment.

Aylsham Show chairman Simon Evans said: “We are delighted to be able to give £32,000 to mostly local deserving charitable causes. This satisfies one of the objectives of the Aylsham Show, along with the promotion and education of agriculture to the public, and support for the Aylsham Recreation Ground which was donated to the town by the Goulder family, and which is where the show began.” Cheques were presented by chairman Simon Evans in the absence of 2017 president John Wootton.

• The full list of beneficiaries is: £3,000: North Walsham Rugby Club; £2,750: Reepham and District Rotary Club for its charities; £2,000: Bloodwise; £1,500: Rotary Club of Aylsham for its charities, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices; £1,250: Aylsham Flower Club for the Dementia Research Trust; £1,000: Aylsham Boxing Club, Busy Beavers Playgroup; £750: Fresh Start – new beginnings; £500: Aylsham St Giles Cricket Club, Aylsham Tennis Club, Aylsham Bowling Club, Aylsham Community Sports (Youngs Park), Aylsham Football Club, Aylsham Older People’s Association, 1st Aylsham Scout Group, 3rd Aylsham Guides, Aylsham and District Care Trust, Aylsham Community Gym, The Market Surgery in Aylsham, Aylsham Parish Church Repton 200 Project, St Michael’s Association of School Helpers, Aylsham Youth Club, the Nancy Oldfield Trust, 2nd Reepham Scout Group, North Walsham Young Farmers, Norfolk Federation Young Farmers’ Clubs, Sainsbury’s North Walsham for the Alzheimer’s Society, Fakenham Citizens Advice, Happisburgh Owl Trust, Together For Short Lives, The Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal, Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk, North Norfolk Diabetes UK Group, Nelson’s Journey, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Norwich Riding for the Disabled, Fishing for Schools, YANA, Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, Countryside Alliance Countryside Classroom; £250: Cruse Bereavement Care Norwich and Central Norfolk, Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, Marsham Parochial Church Council Upwards for Marsham, St Mary’s Church in Stody, Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

• Nelson’s Journey, which supports bereaved children and young people in Norfolk, will be putting its £500 donation towards more books about bereavement for its new library, at the charity’s Smiles House headquarters in Little Plumstead.
“Some of the books are for children and families to borrow as long as they’re needed and others are for professionals working with children who have been bereaved,” said charity spokesman Gena Moore. “This donation will go a long way to boosting what we’ve got with loads of new books.”

• Fresh Start – new beginnings will use its £750 cheque to help children affected by sexual abuse. “This is wonderful,” said charity founder Diana Porter. “It will go towards therapy work with children in Norfolk referred to us by professionals such as the police and GPs.” Fresh Start carries out an assessment in the victim’s home and prepares a treatment plan based on each child’s needs. The Ipswich-based charity, which has hubs in Norwich, Dereham, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, also helps siblings and the protective parent.

• North Walsham Rugby Club, whose supporters helped with parking at the Aylsham Show, is delighted with its £3,000 donation. Spokesman Paul Morse said it would be put towards the club’s work with schools and a £70,000 project to install a lift and extend the clubhouse, making it more accessible for people with disabilities.
• The Neatishead-based Nancy Oldfield Trust will be spending its £500 on replacing some of its adult waterproof trousers and buying new waterproofs for children, according to centre manager Stephen Bradnock. For the past 34 years the trust has been providing water-based activities such as canoeing and sailing for people with disabilities and disadvantaged people.

• Aylsham Community Sports the parent company for Youngs Park (the home of Aylsham FC) received a donation of £500 towards the box to house a defibrillator. “This means we are now finally able to have this vital piece of lifesaving equipment outside of our building for everyone to use including the new housing estate adjacent to Youngs Park” said club volunteer Lucy Baker.

Plans are well in hand for this year’s Aylsham Show, on Monday August 27, and organisers expect to announce a major new attraction shortly.

Crowds flocked to the Aylsham Show in 2017

Aylsham auction house announces investment after bumper year

East Anglia’s leading regional auction house has announced a programme of investment at its four acre Norfolk saleroom site to enable further expansion after the most successful year in its history.

Keys Fine Art Auctioneers, which was established in 1953 and is based in the Norfolk market town of Aylsham, is expanding its salerooms for the second time in three years, reflecting the auction house’s growing reputation in the region, nationally and internationally.

The firm says that embracing the opportunities presented by the internet is enabling it to compete with larger national auction houses.

The expansion plans, which will be completed in time for the 2018 auction calendar, include:
• moving the Fine Art auctions to a larger, refurbished saleroom
• creating a bespoke saleroom for the firm’s Antiques and Interiors sales, which will take place fortnightly from January 2018
• the Antiques and Interiors sales will now be on alternate weeks, separate from the popular and growing General Sales, which will be expanded and enhanced to take place fortnightly from January 2018
• the creation of a sizeable bespoke saleroom for the firm’s Books & Ephemera department, which is recognised as one of the leading centres of excellence in the UK
• building a new reception and administration area, to include a new valuation room, a consultation room, and a photographic studio
• further investment in technology to ensure that the firm remains at the cutting edge of online auctions

Kevin Lines, general manager and head of fine art at Keys, said, “The past two years have been the busiest we have ever had at Keys, and we are making this significant investment now to ensure that we have the capacity to continue meeting growing demand for our services.

“The Antique and Interiors sales which have been running alongside our General Sales have now grown to such an extent that we are creating a bespoke saleroom for them, and separating them from the General Sales. Bigger, bespoke salerooms for our Fine Art and Books & Ephemera departments reflect our growing stature in these areas.

“Our Fine Sales, Book & Ephemera Sales, Fine Art Sales and specialist sales have all seen considerable growth over the past two years, as we attract more vendors and buyers from within East Anglia and from further afield, encouraged by our embracing of the latest online auction technology.

“We are now winning sales from established national players, such as the Royal Society of Marine Artists Diploma Sale next year, which we won against competition from all of the major London houses.

“This investment programme will cement our position as the leading East Anglian auction house, as well as positioning Keys as a player on the national stage.”

Kevin Lines, general manager and head of fine art.

Munnings Portrait studies of Yvonne Adams, sold for £15,000.

Boy’s jaw broken in Eaton Park attack

A boy needed hospital treatment for a broken jaw, damage to his hearing and a cut head after he was attacked by a group of people in Eaton Park.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the assault which happened at approximately 9pm on Monday September 18 in Eaton Park, South Park Avenue.

The 14-year-old was approached by the group, some of whom were known to him.

He is now at home recovering from his injuries.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the assault.

Anyone with information should contact PC Emma Gray from Norwich CID on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you’re after a show that has everything, this is for you.

Norwich Theatre Royal hosts Willy Russell’s award-winning, long-running musical, Blood Brothers.

It follows the story of twin brothers, Eddie and Mickey, who were separated at birth during the 1960’s in Liverpool.

Their lives were at opposite ends of the spectrum, one being raised by a wealthy middle-class family ¬- and the other in a life of trouble and poverty. One of the brothers has an amazing life of luxury, while the other has very little to his name. Having grown up as friends but never known about each other, they find themselves realising the truth in a devastating twist of fate.

The cast remained the same throughout, playing the characters from 7 years old (or nearly 8 according to Mickey), right through to adulthood. Cleverly showing the vulnerability of being a carefree child, to the severity of having to deal with adult life.

Sean Jones (Mickey) and Mark Hutchinson (Eddie) played the roles of the boys, with all ages of the characters being executed in a realistic and moving way, showing a real contrast.

Lyn Paul played the twins mother, Mrs Johnstone, and had a real motherly presence throughout, not to mention her amazing vocal talents that suited this character perfectly.

Dean Chisnall narrated the show, with the most captivating vocals. Although he was subtle with his stage presence, he was always there to tell the story in a demanding way. A real star of the show for me.

The minimal set had everything it needed to set the scene and show contrast between the boy’s lives.

Blood Brothers was the first show I ever saw in London’s West End as a school girl and it has made a huge impact on me ever since, it gave me my love for musicals. Nearly 20 years later, I was hopeful that it would make as much of an impact on me now as it did back then, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The story of nature vs nurture develops in a wonderful yet heart breaking way. It will strike a chord with anyone, no matter what age or background, there is something for everyone to take away from this story.

If you’re after a show that has everything, this is for you. From laugh out loud moments, to touching scenes with tear jerking devastation. There is no other show like this. Not one person still in their seat as it came to an end, and I’m sure not a dry eye in the house.

Blood Brothers will be running at Norwich Theatre Royal from now until 23 September.

Tickets available here

Amie Croxton

New work on war memorial

Disappearing names of heroes from Aylsham’s war memorial are set to be reinstated.

Aylsham Town Council is seeking planning permission from Broadland District Council to refurbish the memorial, in the churchyard of St Michael’s parish church, in time for Remembrance Day, in November.

The project will see a deteriorating panel removed and replaced. It was installed over one of the original faces on the four-sided monument after the Second World War and bears the names of local men lost in the 1939-1945 conflict, and in the Korean War. Weathering has caused the lettering to become difficult to read.

Sue Lake, town council clerk, said stonemason Teucer Wilson, from Burgh-next-Aylsham, was “ready and waiting with chisel in hand” to incise the 287 letters needed to replace the names in a new granite panel, matching the other faces on the monument.

The town council also plans to give the memorial a general clean, repaint all the other inscriptions, from the First World War, repoint all round and replace badly-coloured filler.

Aylsham War Memorial. The weathered face of the panel added after the Second World War