Author Archives: Just Regional

Major improvements to Bure Valley Path

A major £850,000 improvement project is taking place along the walking and cycling route that follows the Bure Valley Railway line from Aylsham to Hoveton.

Initial work, which includes the resurfacing and widening of paths, will be carried out at six points – at Aylsham Station, Burgh Road crossing, Buxton Station, Coltishall Station, Belaugh Road crossing and Wroxham Station.

Other work will make new habitats for wildlife, create railway heritage features and waymark new circular walks.

The project, which has begun and will run until the end of March, is being led by Norfolk County Council part of the EU-funded EXPERIENCE project to promote off-season tourism.

The council has allocated £587,789 of money from the fund, awarded before Brexit, to the Bure Valley Path and there is an additional contribution of £259,124 from the Greater Norwich Growth Board.

Lana Hempsall, Norfolk County Council Member Champion for Sustainable Transport, said: “These improvements will entice more visitors to The Broads and showcase the railway heritage of the Bure Valley Railway. 

“Developing new experiences draws in visitors all year round and extending choices for attractive nature walks or cycling can help avoid the overcrowding at some of the more popular tourism spots at busy times of the year.  This type of sustainable tourist offer, for both local people and visitors to our lovely county, will help to support Norfolk businesses and contribute to our ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral as an authority by 2030.”

Broadland District Council will work on the green infrastructure improvements and the authority’s portfolio holder for economic development, Jo Copplestone, said: “The pandemic has shown us how important it is for us all to spend time in the fresh air. This project will open up a new gateway to The Broads National Park and the improvements will deliver better entry and exit points for individuals that have access needs. There will be five circular path routes for people to enjoy, with directional signage and heritage information about the Bure Valley.”

INVESTMENT: Improvements will be made to the path running alongside the Bure Valley Railway.
PICTURE: Andy Stanfield

Thass suffun wuff seein

REVIEW
The Nimmo Twins
Norwich Playhouse

Twenty five years is a long time, hintut?
And that is precisely how long Norfolk’s beloved Nimmo Twins have been entertaining us.

Their current show – A Load of Old Squit – is a celebration of that milestone and mixes old favourites with some new work which will be shown in its full glory in August.

Councillors Vern Gurney and Ken Steggles keep us up to date with goings on “up See Hall” and single mum and cultural icon She-Goo fills us in on her latest activities (Destiny Aguilera is 18 – can you believe it?) as well as joining forces with Professor Newton Flotman for a phonetic guide on how to understand the “looguls”.

Karl Minns brings She-Goo to life…

That would have been handy for “incomers” if they hadn’t already been shown the door by Cyril and his heartfelt message to Londoners, who will need to set their sat-navs to comply.

Keen poet Anne makes a return with her haikus and sonnets and there’s a useful recap of a special sex guide for Norfolk men… Grab your copy of the Cromer Sutra and head for Cley to look for tourists, apparently.

As always, the main brunt of the jokes are Norfolk people ourselves, and Karl Minns and Owen Evans spare nobody their rapier wit.

And the good folk of Eaton and Cringleford have their turn in the genius observations in the old classic Newmarket Road Blues…

As always, local news stories and celebrities take a hit – Mike Liggins appears to be loving his ride on the snails – and Ipswich is in line for its usual battering.

A lot of it is undeniably near the knuckle, and often below the waist, but it is clever and very funny – so funny, in fact, that we lose Karl to laughter at one point where, he admits, he came across material he hadn’t actually seen before… And this honesty and warm rapport is precisely why we love him.

He admits to having had a hard two years during the pandemic, which makes this return even sweeter.

Owen tends to be the less flamboyant of the two, but his poignant lament to The Prince of Wales Road and flawless delivery prove two halves make the perfect comedy pair.

There are still tickets available for the current show, which is at Norwich Playhouse until January 23 and Holt? Who Goes There? will run from August 3 until August 21.

Miniature railway team is seeking new volunteers

The group which operates Eaton Park’s Miniature Railway is looking for new volunteers to help keep services on track for the future. After a busy Christmas period for the Norwich and District Society of Model Engineers, the focus has now turned to the future.

Spokesman Mark Rhodes said: “We are always looking to the long-term future of the railway in the park. We need new people to help operate and maintain the railway and take it into the future. 

“We are a “not for profit” society and any revenue raised is either donated to local charities, such as the East Anglian Air Ambulance, or is ploughed back into the railway. 

“We have no paid staff and no shareholders. We’re seeking members of all ages. The society is a broad church and encompasses many ages and many interests.

“If this could be you, or someone you know, get in touch with us via the website ndsme.org or speak to us when we are operating trains. Running trains really is great fun!”

Reflecting on the festive season, Mark added: “Pop-up trains ran at Eaton Park on Sundays during December and also on the bank holidays. These replaced traditional Santa Specials, but our trains  had Christmassy themes with the tunnel lit up. These were very popular with park visitors and we have had a very busy month.  The Tunnel of Lights has been a big pull factor.”

Mark added: “January is possibly the bleakest month in the park and we will consider what trains we may be able to run in the lead up to Spring half-term, another potentially busy period.


BUSY TIME: The miniature railway kept visitors entertained over the Christmas period. PHOTO: NDSME

Wildlife photos on show

Norfolk wildlife photographer Paul Richards will be showing his his fine-art nature images in a special exhibition this month.

Paul, who lives in West Runton, has been one of the finalists in three recent Bird Photographer of the Year competitions and had several entries shortlisted in this year’s Wild Art Photography competition.
After a career in countryside management Paul is now following his passion for wildlife through photography.

“I spent my youth and much of my working life watching and enjoying nature,” he said. “Now I am lucky enough to spend more of my spare time photographing nature on the doorstep and further afield as I often venture off to wilderness areas in my camper in search of adventure.”

He moved to Norfolk from Pembrokeshire eight years ago after meeting his partner, Lizzie – also a wildlife photographer – on one such adventure photographing barn owls.

“I enjoy all genres of photography but my specialism is in wildlife photography, getting close to my subjects through fieldcraft skills accumulated by years of watching and working with wildlife,” said Paul. “I particularly enjoy capturing simple aesthetic images of wild birds and animals.”
The exhibition will be at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Visitor Centre from January 19 until February 1.
It will be open from 10am until 4pm each day and Paul will be on hand to talk about the images and to give advice to any budding wildlife photographers.

He also offers one-to-one workshops to anyone wanting to improve their wildlife photography.
Some of Paul’s work is available to view at www.pronature.co.uk, and you can find his latest work on Facebook under Pronature Photography.

Police search for missing man

Police are appealing for information to help trace a 29-year-old man reported missing from Norwich.
Kyle Hatch was last seen leaving his home address off Marlpit Lane around lunchtime on Wednesday, January 5.

He is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall and slim, with short dark brown hair with a bald patch. When last seen Kyle was wearing a black coat, tan brown wellies and green trousers. He left with an e-scooter, a rucksack and a tent and was going in the direction of Marriott’s Way.

Kyle Hatch is missing and police are concerned for his welfare.

Kyle hasn’t been seen or heard from since and officers are concerned for his welfare.

Searches will continue today and police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen Kyle or knows of his current whereabouts. Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101 quoting incident number 313 of January 5.

Delivery boys and girls needed!

Since Just Regional was launched in 2008 we have given jobs to many children and adults to deliver our magazines.

Currently we have nearly 100 people delivering across Norwich and Norfolk. For many this is their first job.

We are now recruiting the next wave of news delivery people, some with immediate starts.

Children applying must be over the age of 13.

The areas where we currently need people are:

Holt, Sheringham, Aylsham, Cromer and Wroxham.

We are also looking for people to go on our waiting list for our other towns.

To apply for a delivery round, please call Kathryn on 01263 731520 (option 4) or email her at distribution@justregional.co.uk

A picture from 2009 when our delivery was unaffected by the bad weather. One of the children pictured later got an apprenticeship in the office at Just Regional.

Grants available to hospitality sector

Hospitality businesses in Broadland will soon be able to claim up to £1,000 for loss of revenue due to the effects of the Omicron variant of covid-19.

Organisations paying business rates will be able to apply to Broadland District Council for the grant if they believe that loss of group bookings in December 2021 will result in a loss of more than 20pc of their anticipated revenue.

Jo Copplestone, Broadland’s portfolio holder for economic development, said: “Our hospitality businesses should be thriving at this time of year, catering for office parties, Christmas drinks and get togethers with family and friends, but many are experiencing fewer bookings and cancellations because of the new variant. If your  businesses is affected then contact us, as you may be eligible for a grant.”

The funding is available to pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and wedding and other function venues generally open to the public.

There is also money available for other businesses that are being significantly impacted, including those of a similar nature to the above but not separately rated, those heavily dependent on foreign travel and those directly in the supply chain to the above catering businesses.

The funding comes from the government’s Additional Restrictions Support Grant which was allocated to Broadland.

More information about the grant and how to apply will be advertised on the council’s website over the coming days.

School no-shows spark social media debate

Parents have taken to social media to query why they cannot attend school Christmas productions around Aylsham, when the high school’s big musical show is still going ahead.

Among the events which are now being recorded instead of held in front of live audiences are those at the John of Gaunt and Bure Valley schools which are part of the high school cluster.

John of Gaunt head Clare Toplis told parents in a letter she “didn’t want to write” that Christmas performances and singalongs were being cancelled as the” risks of joining everyone together in a relatively small space” outweighs the benefits. So their aim was to film performances for parents to enjoy at home.

But the high school’s Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat production is still due to go ahead – albeit with extra Covid precautions on top of those already applying to cinemas and theatres.

They include asking ticket holders to show a Covid passport, double vaccination card or a lateral flow test from the previous 48 hours. Inside the school they will be required to sanitise hands on arrival and wear masks during the performance in a hall which will have windows open for extra ventilation.

The show opens on Monday December 20 and runs until the 23rd with performances at 2.30 and 7.30. 

The contrast saw people raising concerns on the Aylsham community notice board Facebook page.

Comments included:

“What I don’t understand is they are part of the cluster of schools which has seen nativity plays, carol concerts etc cancelled to parents. Seems to be one rule for one and one for another a bit like Boris and co. A five year old in a nativity is just as important to them and their parents and grandparents. Memories they can never get back.” -Keith Robinson

“My daughter is in the reception nativity play and was absolutely gutted that I cannot go see it. I cannot understand why the high school can go ahead. Yes they have worked hard but I have also watched my daughter learn her lines and sing all the songs she’s been learning and she was upset when I told her I couldn’t go and see it. Ok the other hand I am a nurse and I have witnessed what covid does to not just the elderly but healthy adults.”  – Jo Spratt

School cluster director of business and community strategy Jo Tuttle explained:  “The schools have been put in a position of having to make some very difficult decisions, looking at the size of their venues and the number of cases in their communities.

“The Christmas events come under education rules which are different to the high school’s show which follows theatre restrictions, such as insisting on mask wearing and test results, which makes it safer. And we have added in other measures such as cutting our normal 500 seats to 350.”

Aylsham High School