The Blickling Estate is to stage Broadland’s Party in the Park event to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Booking for the free event, on Saturday, June 4, opens soon and Broadland residents are being invited to attend and help celebrate the momentous occasion. “We are excited to bring together our communities in celebration of The Queen’s amazing reign and service to our country,” said Broadland District Council’s deputy leader Trudy Mancini-Boyle. “Blickling Hall provides the perfect setting for such an historic event, and we’re delighted to organise what promises to be an enjoyable outdoor event for all members of the family.” The event will start at 5pm and guests will be able to enjoy the live-streaming of the BBC’s coverage of the Party in the Palace on the big screen. There will be a range of food vendors and bars on site, and picnics available to purchase from the National Trust. Guests are also welcome to bring their own picnics and advised to bring their own chairs and blankets. The Council’s Tots2Teens crew will be there in the early evening providing crafts and activities for children aged five to 12 years old. The event is accessible for all and limited tickets will be available.
For more information visit www.southnorfolkandbroadland.gov.uk/jubilee and keep a close eye on Broadland District Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Aylsham Town Council is also hosting a range of Jubilee events and there will be a full round-up in the next edition of Just Aylsham. Also see the council’s website at www.aylsham-tc.gov.uk
Donation points have been set up locally to help
collect goods and money to help people in Ukraine and those who have fled the
Bakers and Larners, in Holt, Budgens and Budgens of Aylsham have all set up areas where donations can be left after being approached by Norfolk Support Ukraine UK.
Jess Read, of Bakers and
Larners, said: “We are collecting essential items such as first aid and
toiletries. We have been overwhelmed with the kind donations given by the local
community, and we have sent 12 cages full of goods since our collections
started on March 8.
“We also had a school minibus
full of donations dropped off by St Andrew’s school in Aylmerton.”
Volunteer Andy Homer has been clocking up the miles, filling a trailer twice a week and taking clothes, food and medical necessities from Holt to the group’s sorting hub in Norwich, and Jess said the enterprise would not have been possible without him.
So far more than 300 packs of nappies, more than 2,500 packs of paracetamol and more than 1,000 bandages have been gathered along with clothes, books, toys and other items. Jess said Holt’s donations have added up to 28,838 items in total and were still ongoing.
Some will go help those still in Ukraine and some to those settling here.
North Norfolk District Council is set to receive
£300,000 to fund additional Changing Places accessible toilets in the district,
including a second in Sheringham.
The funding will enable the
council to develop five new Changing Places facilities, providing further
support for those with accessibility requirements and making sure that even
more destinations can be enjoyed by everyone, without the worry of finding
The council already has two
Changing Places facilities, one at the North Norfolk Visitor Centre in Cromer
and the other in The Reef Leisure Centre in Sheringham.
Two more facilities are set to be constructed in Wells and Fakenham, with further plans to develop them at The Leas, Sheringham, and Vicarage Street in North Walsham.
Changing Places facilities
allow people with limited mobility, disabilities or specific care needs who
cannot use standard toilets to use a facility with advanced equipment,
including moveable hoists and changing benches.
Many visitors have to plan their trip around their accessibility requirements and these facilities allow visitors to have a day out they may not otherwise have been able to have.
Emma Spagnola, NNDC’s
accessibility champion, said: “Inclusive toilets like the wonderful Changing
Places facilities are an essential public service.
“They allow those with
accessibility requirements to enjoy destinations and days out without worry.
“I’m delighted we will see more
facilities in North Norfolk and all the opportunities they will bring for our
residents and visitors.”
The Changing Places facilities in Wells and Fakenham are expected to be completed by July and August, with the others to follow.
When Darren Ward saw what was happening in
Ukraine following the Russian invasion he knew he wanted to do something to
But initially he didn’t
envisage that he would be driving to Poland with more than three tonnes of aid
and replacing it with Ukrainian families fleeing the country to live somewhere
“We were on holiday and saw the
news that Russia had invaded,” he said. “We thought we had to do something to
help these kids and women. We couldn’t just sit and do nothing.”
An appeal was started around the area, with clothes, toys, medical items and toiletries and sanitary goods flooding in. Darren took a week off work at 24-7 Taxis and, together with his friend Adam, set off in a van and a minibus bound for Medyka, a town on the border between Poland and Ukraine where thousands of families have ended up.
“We got there and there were
all these people. Droves and droves of people,” said Darren. “An old guy and
his wife had walked 67 miles with just a handbag. He looked me straight in the
eye and asked if we could take them. We already had mums, kids, dogs… that was
the worst bit, the look on that guy’s face.”
The two men did manage to take
several families away and on to Krakow or to railway stations, where they made
sure they got safely on the train. He said they were also constantly reassuring
them that they were not like the people traffickers and other “shady” men with
vans he saw at the aid centre
“The kids were on their phones to their dads and we were telling them that they were safe, that they were OK,” said Darren. “It’s a real hot mess out there. They came out with nothing – one young mum and her kids came with just a Trunki and a rucksack.”
The following day they went
back to take more families from Medyka. “I hadn’t driven all that way just to
get two people out,” said Darren, who has accused the UK government of not doing
enough to get more of the displaced families back here or sending more aid
where it is needed.
“There’s so much space there – they
could easily land a helicopter with loads of aid.”
And with flights from Krakow to
Luton costing “about £12” he said more people could be helped if visas were
easier to get.
But in the meantime he plans to do more. He flew back, leaving Adam and the vehicles there to help others, but with diesel for the one-way trip alone costing £2,000, he is turning his attention to helping people when they arrive here.
“We have appealed for things
which they need when they arrive. They have left with nothing and need all
sorts of things. Anything unwanted can be sold to raise money to buy what is
He has not ruled out another
trip – this time with more people.
And to make this possible he is
hoping to get sponsorship from local businesses and hear from others who would
like to join him.
“I’d like to have two teams of a bloke and a woman, which is more reassuring,” he said. “You can’t see it or smell it or feel it here in Norfolk and we can’t keep turning on the news and doing nothing. These people were going to work, having a coffee, living their lives one day, and the next they had nothing. They are just like us. It could BE us.”
The Bure Valley Railway won a top honour at the
Heritage Railway Association Annual Awards last month for its work on
The railway was the winner of
the HRA Award for Environmental Innovation thanks to taking a leading role in
the development and trialling of e-coal – a project becoming increasingly
relevant with the end of UK coal supplies and European supplies restricted
following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Andrew Barnes, managing
director, said: “We are proud to be taking a leading role in the environmental
sustainability of steam railways and at the same time be recognised as one of
the top steam railways in the country.”
E-coal is made of waste biomass
from the olive oil production process, which is blended with coal dust – both
of which would otherwise go to landfill – giving a 42pc reduction in carbon
The trials, which are ongoing,
have the engagement and support of The Advanced Steam Traction Trust, the
Heritage Railway Association and Network Rail.
The railway was also runner-up
in the HRA Outstanding Visitor Attraction category.
At the other end of the line, at Aylsham station, The Whistlestop Café has reopened with a new menu of homemade cakes and a loyalty card for frequent travellers.
It will be open seven days a week, with special events also lined up.
Nothing makes you feel as welcome as a hug, and a group of people
in Sheringham who were concerned that host families and their Ukrainian
guests might feel isolated and need further support are offering lots of them –
Hugs in this case standing for Hosting Ukrainians Group Support .
Lots of north Norfolk people have registered to host refugees from Ukraine and Hugs will provide community support for families in Sheringham, Upper Sheringham, West Runton, Beeston Regis, Bodham, Weybourne and West Beckham.
“So many people want to help the Ukrainian refugees by
hosting and offering their homes as safe refuge. We felt that one thing we
could do was to help support the families who were hosting and also bring them
together and their guests to help them support each other,” said Liz Withington,
who is a town and North Norfolk District councillor.
“The people coming to Sheringham from Ukraine will have
experienced things way beyond anything we can imagine. I felt it was really
important that we helped the hosting families and their guests come together
and be able to support each other.”
Fellow councillor Colin Heinink added: “There are people in the
community who will be able to help those who have been offered sanctuary in our
community. This group is a way we can bring those people together to provide
the wider support that our families and refugees from Ukraine may need.”
The first meeting, to find people who want to help,
will be held on Thursday, April 21, at the Lighthouse Community Café at 7pm.
Ukrainian and Russian speakers who are willing to
help families with interpretation and form filling are particularly asked to
come along, as well as any TEFL teachers willing to provide support.
Social events will also be arranged as more families
arrive to help them make friends and settle in.
Having been put “on ice” for the last two years due to the
covid-19 pandemic, Cromer’s popular Folk on the Pier festival is now set fair
for the second weekend of May.
Since its last outing in 2019, festival
producer Scott Butler has managed to keep the majority of artists and bookings
on the programme and is delighted to be back with the final preparations for
its 22nd show.
A new team will be running the Fringe
events – Folk off the Pier – as a not for profit organisation, which will make
sure both arms of the festival get the best attention.
Renowned as “the Best Gig on the North
Sea”, Folk on the Pier attracts a mix of well-known and up-and-coming folk,
folk-rock and acoustic artists from across the UK.
This year’s line-up is once again a
who’s who of award winners including BAFTA Nominated TV Entertainer of the Year
Richard Digance and Wizz Jones, who picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award at
the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
The ever-evolving folk-rock band
TRADarrr will play music from their latest album, Strange News, and festival
patron Ashley Hutchings will present one of his latest special projects –
Other acts include the Gerry Colvin
Band, Feast of Fiddles, the Spikedrivers – collaborating with Fran McGillivray
and Mike Burke in a performance of their concept show Saints and Sinners –
Kevin Dempsey, Alan Reid, and the Urban Folk Quartet.
Newcomers Linda Watkins, Martin Harley,
and the Redhills will be joined by local acts Christina Alden and Alex
Patterson, the Shackleton Trio and Klezmerized.
Closing the festival on the Sunday evening is the band without whom there would probably not be a Folk on The Pier – Fairport Convention.
Little did they know when they invented
British folk-rock that it would become the inspiration for what has become a
very popular and enduring music festival.
There will be a Folk on the Pier warm
up event at the Belfry Centre, in Overstrand, on Friday, April 22, featuring
festival favourite, singer-songwriter Anthony John Clarke with local act Anto
Morra in support.
Visit www.folkonthepier.co.uk for more information on this and the festival itself.