Author Archives: Just Regional

There’s a lorra lorra love for Cilla musical

Liverpool arrived in Norwich this week.

Following the much-acclaimed television series Cilla, starring Sheridan Smith, I did wonder how this stage show could be equally as good, condensed into just over two hours.

It is quite simple – this show concentrates only on the music and the key stages of Liverpool’s favourite daughter Cilla Black’s rise to stardom.

It all started with Cilla dancing in the now legendary Cavern Club before being invited on stage to sing with the Beatles prior to them becoming worldwide superstars. She performed in front of music mogul Brian Epstein (played by Andrew Lancel, formerly Coronation Street’s Frank Foster).

Epstein encourages Priscilla White to become Cilla Black and, after finding her a ballad to sing – Anyone Who Had A Heart, Cilla became the number one British female pop star in her twenties.

By her side through every part of her adult life was Bobby Willis, played by Carl Au. The role of Bobby in this production is just as important as Cilla herself and Au plays it admirably.

Kara Lily Hayworth plays the lead role with huge shoes to fill, not just Cilla’s but, of course, Sheridan Smith’s. And fill them she does.

This show takes you on a journey and, despite knowing the story, you still find yourself rooting for Cilla as her life takes its twists and turns. The show is full of colour, laughter and heart-wrenching moments as the production takes your through many well-known and lesser-known Cilla favourites.

Although this is a musical, it also has real substance and it is refreshing to see a virtually unknown making us believe that she really is Cilla with her carbon copy voice and accent.

You don’t have to be a Cilla fan to enjoy the show, the audience varied in age from those who can remember her heyday in the 1960s to those today that saw the feel-good television series and wanted to see it live.

There is a string of hits from the era and not just Cilla’s. So, if you are a fan of the sounds of the 60s, then this show is for you.

It has been nearly three years since Cilla left us but her legacy truly lives on with this stage production and we are certainly lucky to have it in Norwich.

Cilla runs until Saturday April 21st and has a mixture of matinees and evening performances. Tickets are available here: or by calling the box office 01603 630000.

Lee Todd

Traffic fears over extra car boot sales

Fears over traffic problems and safety have been raised after the town’s car boot sale was granted permission to open on a second day.

The sales, on Burgh Road, near the junction with the A140, are already held on Saturdays but will now be held on Mondays also – and residents and town councillors are concerned that it will lead to problems with traffic, parking and general safety.

But the organiser said he believed the fears are unfounded and that it would be nowhere near as busy as the Saturday events.

The application had been turned down by Broadland District Council but has now been approved after an appeal. Sales will be held on Mondays from the end of April.

Residents have taken to social media to vent their concerns and a statement from Aylsham Town Council said that members had looked at the application in detail and still believed it should have been refused.

The boot sale site is near to the high school and, as vendors could set up from 7am, the council feared that they could be arriving around the same time as children were being dropped off at school. There were also worries over commuters on the main and busy road between Cromer and Norwich.

“Although a car boot sale is held on this site on a Saturday, the pressure on the roads at the weekend is not as great nor is there the same level of time urgency for arrival at work,” said town clerk Sue Lake.

The petrol station and drive-through coffee shop is also accessed by the same junction via the new roundabout and Sue added: “This application was made prior to their opening and, again, we do not have full details of the impact on traffic flow these will have.”

Parking for the sales had previously caused problems and the new application says there is parking for more than 600 cars, which has raised fears of roads being blocked and residents being inconvenienced.

But organiser Dave Penrose, who has run the sales for many years, believes that the Monday sales will attract fewer people than the Saturday events and will not cause the problems people are predicting.

“There will be no more traffic than for the Aylsham sale,” he said. “And it won’t be as busy as Saturday.”

He said previous parking problems had now been curtailed thanks to better signs around the site.

The Highways Authority had said that peak times for the car boot sale would be from 11am when buyers arrive, but the town council says this is “naïve”.

“Buyers arrive far earlier than this to try and obtain bargains. Also the larger traffic, ie the sellers in vans, will be arriving and leaving at peak time which will coincide with both the start and finish of the school day.

“The Town Council have looked at this application in detail and still retain the view that the application should be refused. The main reason is related to the highway issues,” said Sue.

Beer and gin on the menu this month!

It’s that time again, when Aylsham Round Table is well under way with planning for its next annual charity beer festival.

Last year, the event raised more than £6,000 for local good causes and proved to be one of the best ever, attracting visitors from all over north Norfolk and the county.

Now organisers are hoping to beat that amount with this year’s event, which includes a new attraction . . . gin.

Tabler James Marks said: “Along with the 35 ales and 15 ciders we are also introducing some fantastic gins.

“We had feedback from the public last year asking us for a gin theme at the festival. So, we will be introducing our new gin palace, sponsored by Just Regional, which will stock more than 20 different varieties.”

The Round Table is again asking for local businesses to support the festival and help it become an even greater success.

“This is our 13th year and If you feel you would like to be involved in sponsoring a barrel please contact us through the website,” said James.

The festival opens on Friday, April 27, at 6pm, with the last beer being served on the afternoon of Sunday, April 29.

Find out more at

Food heroes to launch in market place

The search for the crème de la crème among Norfolk’s food and farming industry will begin at a new launch event in Aylsham town centre on Saturday 7th April.

Organisers of The Aylsham Agricultural Show Association’s 12th annual Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards ask the public for nominations for the premier individuals and businesses in four categories (last year’s winners in brackets):

The Overall Championship Sponsors are Lovewell Blake – Accounts, Business Advisers and Financial Planners, and the Association is very grateful for their continued support. They will be represented by Chris Solt, who, with Michael Baker (winner of the 2017 Individual Food or Drink Hero award), will judge the overall winner of the four Categories below.

1. Best specialist food or drink supplier, sponsored by Barclays. The supplier may only sell products using ingredients mainly grown or farmed by them (Yare Valley Oils, Surlingham).

2. Best use of Norfolk produce on menu, sponsored by Gressingham Foods. The owner, chef and staff need to demonstrate the use of, and enthusiasm for, Norfolk produce (The Duck Inn, Stanhoe and winners of the Overall Championship).

3. Best food or drink retailer, sponsored by Dewing Grain. The retailer needs to promote and sell a large range of Norfolk produce (Nortons Dairy, Frettenham).

4. Best new food or drink venture, sponsored by Spire Solicitors. This new venture must have started trading in 2016/2017. The owner needs to demonstrate the future potential of the business, and the use or promotion of Norfolk produce (Vanvino, Wymondham).

As usual, the Individual Food or Drink Hero – who will be chosen by Aylsham Show president for 2018, Michael Gamble – will be presented with the President’s Tankard at this summer’s Aylsham Show.

And the winner of the Overall Championship, who will receive the Ken Dye Memorial Salver, will also be revealed at the action-packed show, which takes place at the Blickling Estate on bank holiday Monday, August 27.

In one of several new departures this year, the 2017 category award winners will judge, along with the sponsors, the 2018 victors.

And in another “first”, the awards will be launched at Aylsham Farmers’ Market, in the town’s Market Place, on Saturday April 7, from 9am-1pm.

Forms and help will be available for visitors wanting to make nominations and last year’s winners will be showcasing their products – with plenty of free tastings on offer.

Alex Haswell has taken over from Jacinth Rogers as head steward for the awards. A former chartered surveyor who loves the countryside, Alex, from Lammas, near Coltishall, now works as a fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Norfolk and Suffolk.

She said: “We believe it is important to recognise the hard work that many individuals and businesses invest and are delighted that the 2017 winners will be judging this year’s categories with the sponsors, to acknowledge their contribution.”

The Duck Inn Stanhoe,
Overall Championship
Winners and Category
Winner for Best Use of
Norfolk Produce on Menu.
Presented with the Ken
Dye Memorial Salver.

Residents urged to be vigilant after spate of burglaries

Police in North Norfolk and Broadland are urging residents to be vigilant after a spate of burglaries across the area recently.

18 burglaries have been reported since 31 January 2018 with properties being targeted in Wells, Holt, Little Barningham, Morston, Little Snoring, Sheringham, Ludham, Stalham, Potter Heigham, Foulsham, Aylsham, Acle, Halvergate and Woodbastwick.

Chief Inspector Wes Hornigold said: “We are investigating a number of burglaries which have taken place across the districts during the past two months and I am appealing for anyone with information to contact police.

“In some of these cases the premises have been left insecure, therefore I would urge residents to take some time to review their home security and take some simple steps to prevent them from becoming victims of crime. Many thieves are opportunistic, so please ensure your doors and windows are locked at all times – and if you go out, leave a light or radio on to give the impression someone is home.

“Also, if you are going away for the night, please ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property and consider using timers on lights.”

“If you see any suspicious activity in your area, please contact police on 101, paying particular attention to any unfamiliar vehicles and registration numbers; however; please call 999 if you believe a crime is in progress.”
Further home security advice includes:

• Remove window keys and keep them in a safe place. However, everyone should know where the keys are kept so they can escape in an emergency
• Fit five lever mortise deadlocks to all external doors to BS3621
• Fit multi-locking systems to patio doors or install mortise security bolts with removable keys at the top and bottom of both doors
• Considering fitting a letterbox cage or restrictor which prevents burglars from putting their hands or gadgets through the letter box and trying the latches from the inside.
• Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, burglars know all the usual hiding places
• Never leave your house or car keys in or near a door or window

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.