Author Archives: Just Regional

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

Make personal safety number one at Sundown Festival 2017

As some of the music industry’s biggest chart acts head to the Sundown Festival at the Norfolk Showground this weekend, police are calling on revellers to make their own personal safety number one.

Around 40,000 people are expected to visit the festival and police are encouraging people to have a great time and to feel reassured that police patrols will be in place as a precautionary measure.

Festival goers are being urged to make sure they keep their personal belongings safe and to also behave responsibly.

Chief Inspector Nathan Clark said: “We have taken the practical and precautionary decision to provide patrols outside the Norfolk Showground. Whilst Norfolk is a safe county, this additional policing is about providing a visible reassurance to the public and being ready to respond.

“Security guidance will be issued by the event organisers and I would encourage the public to adhere to this advice and be aware that you may be subject to searches. Please arrive with plenty of time to allow for extra checks to take place and to ensure you get access to the venue before the event begins.

“My advice to those camping is to only bring items that are essential and think about security of valuable items, particularly mobile phones.

“This is a fantastic event and we want everyone to have an enjoyable time; however, do remain vigilant and if you have any concerns, please approach one of our officers or event stewards who will be happy to help.

“Also, if you want the most up to date and factual information, please follow our twitter (@NorfolkPolice) and Facebook (/norfolkpolice) pages.”

As well as festival-goers protecting themselves from thieves, they are also being reminded to be sensible when it comes to drinking alcohol and warned about the dangers of taking illegal substances.

Chief Insp Clark added: “We would advise anyone drinking alcohol at the festival to be sensible, know your limits and to stay with friends. Officers will also be monitoring alcohol sales to ensure there is no underage drinking. Anyone found to be drinking alcohol underage could be asked to leave the event.

“I would also like to remind festival-goers about the legislation around psychoactive substances. It is an offence to supply them or to have them in your possession with the intent to supply. In addition, the organisers of Sundown have prohibited these substances. People will be searched on entry to the site and anyone found in possession of illegal drugs or psychoactive substances will be ejected from the festival and may face police action.”

Other safety tips for festival goers include:

* Stick with friends and don’t walk alone in darkness
* If you travel by car make sure no valuables are left inside and that it’s properly locked and secure.
* Plan you weekend ahead and know how you are getting to and from the event

A video, encouraging festival-goers to keep switched-on to their surroundings is on Norfolk Constabulary’s YouTube page. You can see it at

BeachLife kids’ activity week set to return to Sheringham

Final preparations are underway for this year’s BeachLife activity week on Sheringham’s cliff top and beach later this month. Bumper crowds are expected, and there is no charge to join in the fun.

BeachLife is a joint venture by the churches in Sheringham, aimed at engaging with local youngsters, as well as holidaymakers, and this will be its sixth summer. It will run from Tuesday August 29 to Friday September 01. The event is open to all ages up to 17.

Daily activities will start with the “Beach Special” at 10.30am every day except Friday, where all ages come together at the cliff-top marquee on The Leas for music, games, drama and fun, and to introduce the day’s theme, which this year is Streetwise. The children and young people then split into age-groups for their “Going Deeper” sessions to explore that day’s theme in more depth before breaking for lunch. On the Friday, the morning starts at 10.30am with the Going Deeper sessions.

The afternoons and evenings comprise of beach games and sports, giant inflatables including the Demolition Ball, a family picnic, junk modelling, the tide fight, a “Sheropoly” challenge around the town, and swimming at “The Splash”.

“This has become one of the major events in the town’s calendar” said Peter Skivington, one of the organisers. “Not only does this provide an opportunity for the churches to engage with local youngsters, but we provide a great week for visitors as well. We already have people asking when next year’s BeachLife is so that they can plan their holidays to Sheringham”.

Anyone wishing to join in the fun can just come along and register on the morning, from 10.15am.

Visit for more information about the event, and contact details.


Ex-Aylsham Football Club skipper saves life of man in Run Norwich 10K race

Former Aylsham Football Club captain and paramedic Dale Gedge was back at work today after he and others saved the life of a competitor who suffered a cardiac arrest in yesterday’s Run Norwich 10K road race.

Dale, 34, sprang over the barriers and raced to help after seeing a man collapse a few metres from him on Theatre Street, close to the finish line.

“As soon as he hit the ground it was quite obvious it was not just exhaustion but something more serious,” said Dale, who grew up in Aylsham, attended Aylsham High School and who has been a paramedic for 10 years.

“When I got to him he wasn’t breathing, had no pulse and was unconscious. My training kicked in. At that point Jacob, one of the event medics, came to see what he could do to help too. We started CPR. I got the defibrillator pads on the man – I assume Jacob had brought the defibrillator – and delivered a shock.

“Then an armed response vehicle police officer arrived with a medi pack. I secured the patient’s airways while the police officer handed me everything when I requested it.

“After a bit more CPR, he started breathing again – it’s just incredible, amazing, when that happens. We had only shocked him once. I’ve been to hundreds of cardiac arrests in my time as a paramedic and it usually takes several minutes to get to the place where it’s happened.

“But on this occasion the patient was receiving CPR within about 30 seconds and the defibrillator arrived about a minute after he collapsed. That meant the odds went from being massively against him to being in his favour.”

The victim, Tim Warner, 53, from Dereham, had then regained consciousness and began talking. By the time he was carried into the ambulance he had even managed to wave at the concerned crowds, according to Dale.

Mr Warner is understood to be recovering in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

“I don’t normally see a cardiac arrest happen – we arrive there later – so it was all a bit surreal for me,” Dale added.

News of the drama had spread widely today and Dale said he had received some “lovely messages” via social media.

He stressed that he was one of several people who had helped Mr Warner and added that the CPR skills he had used could, and should, be learned by everyone.

“They’re not paramedic skills,” he said. “Anyone can learn CPR and be ready to help in a situation like that.”

He was also keen for communities to make sure there are defibrillators near at hand. “If a defib had been 10 minutes away, there could have been a very different outcome,” he said.

He praised Aylsham Football Club for having its own defibrillator at the club. Dale was club captain but hung up his boots two months ago after a long playing career in Aylsham.

“I’ll just be playing socially in future,” he said, “and going along to support the boys.”

Heritage open days in Broadland

There is something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s Heritage Open Days in Broadland, including an exciting mix of living heritage.

As part of England’s biggest heritage festival, which takes place from September 7-10, people will have the chance to visit a folk fair in Aylsham, find out about family history in Acle and even explore the Hindu Temple in Tunstall.

Visitors can enjoy 13 events across Broadland, eight of which are on offer for the first time this year.

Cllr Karen Vincent, Broadland District Council’s Member Champion for Heritage, said: “Heritage Open Days provides a great opportunity for people both in the area and further afield to explore some of the district’s hidden gems.
“There really is something for everyone this year – from a vintage cycle rally along Marriott’s Way to the Victorian rectory Hautbois House, home to the GirlGuiding activity centre.”

Girlguiding Norfolk is also opening the doors of its Archive Resource Centre in Hautbois for the first time this year. The brand new, purpose-built centre houses treasures from the organisation, such as old uniforms, which people can look at over tea and homemade cakes.

Gain first-hand experience of Indian culture and an introduction to the country’s street food at the Hindu Temple in Tunstall. There will also be stalls with clothing, artefacts and henna, as well as dance performances for visitors.

Pre-book tours of the former RAF Coltishall and Thorpe Lodge, home of several prominent Norfolk families including the Harveys and now the offices of Broadland District Council, are also available.

For more information about Heritage Open Days in Broadland, visit

• Hautbois House, which will be open to the public as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.

• Take a tour of Thorpe Lodge, once home to wealthy local families including the Harveys.