Author Archives: Gay Webster

Plea for help with Hellesdon’s heritage

Fascinating nuggets of information about local life and industries a century ago are being unearthed by researchers with the Hellesdon Community History group – and they are appealing for readers’ help.

History group members are compiling a booklet about Hellesdon during and in the aftermath of the First World War and want as much information, and as many photographs, as possible.

Group spokesman Danny Buck said late in the First World War the Army had set up the Hellesdon Depot School of Ploughing, at Hellesdon Lodge, where returning soldiers could be trained in agricultural work, especially ploughing, as well as harrowing and general horse care.

After completing their training the men received a bonus of 10s (50p) and were sent out to work on Norfolk farms. The depot was also used as a hospital for sick horses working in the area of food production. Frustratingly, there are no known photographs of the depot.

And at the former Mann Egerton factory, on Reepham Road – where Anglian Home Improvements is today – aircraft were made to support the war effort, including some of the company’s own design, such as the Mann Eggerton Type B patrol bomber. History group member Keith Evans is investigating the possibility of a memorial to the factory.

“We want to know about every aspect of Hellesdon’s World War One heritage and the changes it made – for example women getting the vote,” said Danny. “We would also like to hear from local community groups about their history – for instance the Parish Room by St Mary’s Church was built in the early 1920s as a response to the First World War.”

The group hopes to produce the booklet in time for a second Hellesdon History Live day this summer, following the success of the inaugural event last July. Members have pencilled in Saturday June 29 for the event as it is close to the centenary, on June 28, of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War.

“We would love to hear from anyone who would like to get involved with the event – anything from helping with the organising, to presenting something on their community group,” Danny added.

Anyone with information for the booklet is asked to get in touch with the group by February 28 2019, either via its @HellesdonHistory Facebook page, or by dropping into its meetings which are held in Hellesdon Library on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 2pm-4pm.

Danny Buck.

Big plans for Sprowston’s community gardeners

A library garden and a Norfolk orchard are among plans those involved in Sprowston’s community greenhouses project are making for 2019.

Project co-ordinator Mike Ellard is due to meet staff at Sprowston Library at 4pm on January 7 to discuss plans for a sensory garden there and would welcome others to go along to offer support and ideas.

“This could be financially, or help in getting this under way,” said Mike. “Starting from a blank canvas is always quite daunting.”

Mike and other volunteers have started planting a local-varieties orchard outside the project’s base, the greenhouses behind Sprowston Community Hub, on Aslake Close.

“We are looking at planting well-known Norfolk varieties,” said Mike. “It will take a few years to get established. Perhaps we will start a trend at Christmas of eating biffing pie – a Victorian Norfolk tradition – instead of mince pies” (Biffing is a variety of Norfolk apple).

The busy volunteers spent a day selling prepared bulbs in Christmas tubs and pots at Tesco, on Blue Boar Lane, and almost sold out, raising £200.49.

Mike was delighted when a 25-strong team from Norwich-based GoodGym turned up and made short work of clearing one of the glasshouses. GoodGym members combine running with helping communities.

“They cleared all the old tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, and tomatillos which have been quickly replaced with flowers and some other fruit and vegetables. We have rhubarb for forcing, spring cabbage and strawberries have also been planted, as well as some dwarf kiwi fruit bushes,” Mike added.

  • For more information, or to get involved with the project, ring Mike on: 0795 2071 947.
  • Clare Lincoln, of Sprowston Youth Engagement Project, with a Christmas wreath made during a community garden project session.
  • Goodgym members in one of the greenhouses.

 

 

The project’s stall at Tesco’s.

Drayton among targets in burglary spree

Police are urging residents to be vigilant following a series of burglaries in the Broadland and north Norwich areas.

Ten incidents have been reported in Acle, Drayton, Norwich, Salhouse and Horstead since December 18 and in the majority of cases suspect(s) have forced entry by smashing windows or doors.

Local policing commander Chief Inspector Wes Hornigold said officers were investigating whether the incidents were linked and that some of the properties targeted had been holiday homes.

He said: “We would urge anyone living in these areas to be vigilant and take the necessary security measures such as ensuring doors and windows are locked. Residents can also help us by notifying police about any suspicious activity or behaviour they may witness. You know your communities better than anyone else so will be best placed to notice if something or someone is out of place.”

A watch and jewellery were stolen from a home in Old Market Close, Acle, on December 18 while overnight on Friday December 21 suspect(s) targeted a property in Orchard Bank, Drayton, stealing van keys before taking the vehicle.

Jewellery and watches were stolen from a property in Norwich Road, Horstead, between December 14 and 29.

An untidy search was carried out at a property in Blenheim Crescent, Norwich, targeted on Christmas Day, although it appears nothing was stolen.

Cash was stolen from a property in Thunder Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, between 1.30pm on Boxing Day and 9.50pm on  December 27.

Between  December 21 and 27 a property in Barn Piece Close,  Salhouse, was targeted by burglars who stole jewellery and watches while jewellery and a mobile phone were taken from a house in Woodside Road, Norwich, on December 30.

Attempted burglaries have also been reported in Ling Way, Coltishall, and The Street,  Brundall, between December 23 and 28.

Officers are urging homeowners to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.

Chance to take part in school’s mentoring scheme

Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.

North Walsham High School will launch the sixth year of its mentoring scheme in February. Mentors take on between five and 10 Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two-and-a-half year period, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.

Students who have taken part in the scheme have spoken about how the experience helped build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as guiding them in their choices for the future.  Mentors have also reported that taking part has been a rewarding experience, helping their own personal development, as well as ensuring that tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed to be useful employees.

“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Kate Lawn, who is co-ordinating the initiative. “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief. We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects. Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”

Employers and business people who are interested in taking part are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more.  The event takes place on January 22, 7am-8.30am.  Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on lawnk@nwhs.uk. The 2019 scheme will be launched at a “speed networking” event at the school on February 13.  Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.

One current mentor at NWHS is Gail Adams, owner of Holiday let company, Pack Holidays.  She says that being a mentor gives her a lot of inspiration for the future: “It is well worth your time spending a little while with young, developing and curious minds.  The students I mentor are a fabulous set of young adults who are mature, kind, intelligent and engaging.”

Don’t miss local firms’ Christmas video

It’s back by popular demand! Drayton estate agent’s William’s Way very special video take on the Twelve Days of Christmas has been released.

The fun frolic features William’s Way and 11 other businesses, mostly from Drayton, Taverham and Hellesdon, each filmed for a different day of Christmas, sounding their own firm’s particular trumpet in festive fashion.

“It’s a lot of fun, with out-takes on the end!” said Wil Barber, owner of William’s Way which launched the first video last year.

“We got just shy of 1,300 views last year and the community really enjoyed it,” said Wil. “Unlike many businesses which get very busy at this time of year, in our industry we’re quieter at Christmas so we were happy to facilitate this.

“Everyone was so excited and appreciative and couldn’t believe there was no charge for it! It’s just a fun way of helping give local businesses a bit of an extra boost.”

The only non-local business taking part this year is the online punditry site Talk Norwich City. “Everyone round here’s a Norwich City fan so it is kind of local!” said Wil.

Also among the featured businesses is HexCam drone photography and video, based in Drayton, which turned one of its drones into a Santa’s little helper for the video. The firm works with clients including the BBC and English Heritage.

To watch the 12 Days of Christmas Jingle, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xln0ycPFW74

 

 

 

 

Get involved with sensory garden project

Everyone is invited to a meeting at Sprowston Library on Monday January 7 at 4pm to talk about transforming a dull, bare piece of land outside the building (pictured) into a sensory garden.

The project will be carried out by the community, for the community.

With special consideration of how a garden can appeal to all senses, a sensory garden can be particularly enjoyed by those living with dementia or the visually impaired.

If you or your organisation would like to involved with the project in any way, just turn up for the meeting.  Contact claire.sharland@norfolk.gov.uk for more information.

  • Every Tuesday, from 10.30am-noon the library hosts a Just a Cuppa Coffee Morning. If you’re at a loose end and fancy some company, drop by for a chat over a cuppa and a biscuit.

 

Extra funding for North Norfolk market towns

Funding for a wide range of projects designed to improve the economic vitality of North Norfolk’s four inland market towns has been approved.

A meeting of North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet agreed to a set of recommendations today which had been put forward by the Market Towns Initiative working group.

Each town was able to bid for £100,000 to spend on projects enabling them to take part in the development of their economic future. The money comes from a total pot of £400,000.

Around £130,000 remains in the Market Towns Initiative fund and a second round of applications will be opened to access this money, with the closing date for these applications being February 12.

The amount any one town can receive in total will remain at a maximum of £100,000 – so if a town received £50,000 in the first round, it would be able to bid for up to £50,000 in the second round.

Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council and chairman of the MTI working group, said: “I was delighted by the range of projects that were put forward and very pleased that cabinet ratified the recommendations of the working group this morning. All of our communities deserve our support.”

The nine successful applicants included:

The Holt Society – £7,210 to design and print a pamphlet and five notice boards to provide information on the Holt Owl Trail to residents and visitors.

Love Holt – £26,000 to implement a major marketing campaign for the town designed to increase visitors and trade.

Holt Town Council – £17,514 for projects including an accessible Yellow Brick Route, and a Holt park-and-ride scheme.

Regenerate North Walsham and North Walsham Town Council – £99,575 to implement three major improvement projects split between improving St Nicholas Court, the town centre and attracting more visitors to the town.

St Nicholas Court in North Walsham

Why Cromer has ‘the magic’ for the BBC this Christmas

Cromer was in the TV spotlight this evening with the first airing of a short film made in the town focusing on togetherness this Christmas.

Written by BBC creatives Edward Usher and Xander Hart, the two-minute film aims to encourage families and friends to make the most of their time together during the holiday season.

Wonderland follows the story of a teenage boy who lives with his family in a small seaside town. The demands of everyday life mean that he and his mum don’t get to spend as much time together as they used to. But one day, with Christmas fast approaching, everything changes and they get to spend a unique afternoon together that they’ll never forget. The message is simple; when you do manage to get some time with the ones you love, be sure to cherish it.

The feeling was that Christmas is a time to slow down, pause life and spend time with family,” said Edward. “We wanted to see them take a moment and really cherish it.”

The team chose Cromer for filming as “it had the magic”. “We wanted it to be filmed at a traditional seaside town. The seaside is very much associated with the summer and holidays but we wanted to focus on the feel of these places for the people who live there all year round. We loved the timeless feel of Cromer.”

They decided on the town as a location through research. “We wanted a quintessentially seaside town with a pier. We went to see all of them and they were all amazing but when we saw Cromer it had the magic,” said Edward.

The 70-strong crew spent four days filming, staying at the Cliftonville and eating out locally. There were also local extras and crew involved. As well as the two-minute film, they created shorter vignettes to use between shows over the Christmas period celebrating the BBC’s “oneness”. The first showing of the two-minute film was tonight between Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Xander said: “We were amazed by the interest we created and how many people showed up to watch the filming. The locals were absolutely wonderful, everyone was so friendly. We are so grateful for that.”

The production has meant the pair have been thinking about Christmas since April when they started writing the script. Now they hope everybody in the town and local areas likes the end product.

Edward and Xander’s work can also be seen in a promotional trailer for the World Cup.

If you missed it you can see it here https://youtu.be/j3G0UCk3DFA