Aylsham Street Party – Everything you need to know

This Sunday the town will gather once again for a street party in the market place. Here is everything you need to know:

THEME: The theme this year is ‘floral’. Dress to impress!

ROAD CLOSURES: The Market Place, Red Lion Street and Penfold Street will be closed to all traffic.

PARKING: Do not leave your car parked overnight in the market place as organisers will be setting up early. Please walk into town if possible as parking will obviously be limited.

ARRIVAL: Arrival is from 12pm for those who have booked a table. Please do not arrive any earlier. You will be greeted by a scout or cadet who will show you to your reserved table. Tables and chairs will be provided but you will need to provide your own table cloth.

ENTERTAINMENT: There are three acts planned – Gershwin Gang, Hayley Moyses and Agent Orange.

FOOD AND DRINK: It is expected that most people will take their own picnic. However, Coxfords will be having a barbecue and various shops will be open.

The day is expected to finish around 5pm. It is hoped that people will take their rubbish with them and bin bags will be provided.

Have fun and if you take any pictures you’re proud of please send them to no later than 5pm on Tuesday June 13.

Blickling unveils new family-friendly multi-use trail

The National Trust has opened a new all-weather, multi-use trail at Blickling that will give families the opportunity to get active and discover the wider parkland and abundant wildlife that calls it home.

Officially opening on Friday 9 June, the route at Blickling offers a new 4-mile safe off-road path through the beautiful historic park and farmland. The new trail follows existing paths for all but 800m, with a new stretch completing a circular loop that avoids roads. The all-weather surface also means more people can explore the estate whatever the season.

Stuart Banks, Countryside Manager at Blickling, said: “With more families visiting Blickling, it’s important for us to provide a safe place for them to enjoy the wider estate. Cycling is an activity that the whole family can enjoy together and this provides an easy, safe route to get them started.

“It’s a traffic-free environment, and has an all-weather surface that’s suitable for pushchairs and buggies too, so we hope families with younger children will now find it easier to explore the wider estate. It’s also suitable for adapted wheelchair users and we hope to have a mobility scooter available to hire in the coming months.”

The park is Grade II* listed, which meant that very careful consideration had to be given to the material used for the trail’s surface.

National Trust Project Manager, Katherine Mortlock, said: “Carrstone is a local stone that weathers quickly and gives a suitable surface for cyclists, walkers, runners and adapted wheelchair users. The conservation benefits of the path are already being felt and were one of the prime considerations of the project.”

The new trail has enabled Blickling’s countryside team to improve and repair many areas, which had previously been muddy or pot-holed from heavy use, making the park more accessible even in the wettest weather. There was also noticeably less damage during Blickling’s recent bluebell season, with visitors keeping to the well-marked path, protecting these native wildflowers.

The National Trust would like to thank our members, supporters, donors and visitors, without whom projects like this would not be possible. And with the trail starting and finishing at the Muddy Boots Café in the main car park, there’s lots of opportunity for a well-earned treat too.

PICTURE: Antonia Gray

Police deal with ‘anti social’ Aylsham youngsters

Nine young people in Aylsham have been positively dealt with by Beat Manager PC Shepherd with the assistance of response colleagues and the Broadland Operational Partnership Team (OPT).

ASB intervention letters have been sent out to the youths involved who were found inside different derelict properties, including the former St Michaels Hospital site on Cawston Road. Damage was caused by starting fires at these locations during April and May.

PCSO Tracey Frost, of Broadland OPT, commented “We would advise parents to have an awareness of where their children are and what they are doing at all times.

Entering these sites is inherently dangerous as the structures are generally unsafe and parts of the buildings could collapse at any time. There is also a risk from asbestos.

These types of incidents and behaviour show a lack of respect for others and greatly affect the quality of life of people living within the community”.

Driver clocked at 100mph by Aylsham speed sign

A driver was clocked at 100mph on Henry Page Road earlier in the year, according to statistics collected by Aylsham’s moveable speed sign.

Aylsham Town Council bought the SAM 2 speed awareness system last summer to raise awareness of speed limits around Aylsham.

The unit is positioned on various roads around town for up to four weeks gathering data and warning drivers if they need to slow down, before it is moved to another spot.

The data includes maximum speeds measured, the volume of traffic, average speed and the percentage of drivers breaking the speed limit.

Some of the most notable statistics are:

  • A staggering 100mph registered on Henry Page Road towards the A140 on February 10 at 4.55pm. The limit is 40mph.
  • Another speeder was registered at 80mph in the other direction on Henry Page Road on January 27 at 1.25am.
  • Someone driving at 55mph in the 20mph limit on Millgate at the bottom of Gas House Hill at noon on April 9. At this same location, Sunday was the worst day in terms of the percentage of drivers going over the limit at nearly 56%.
  • A speed of 75mph recorded on October 26 at 1.50pm in the 30mph limit on Norwich Road, travelling towards town.

The sign has recently been on the Blickling Road going out of town so there will be another set of data produced for that location.

The data collected from the units by the town council is reviewed and passed to local police.

Clerk Sue Lake said: “The town council is recording all the information gathered and forwarding it to the police who can identify any issues and immediately address persistent regular offenders if any are identified. This is only one aspect of speed awareness and the council is still keen to re-establish speedwatch in the town but require the public to volunteer.”

That data can be viewed on the town council website at

The speed sensors that have been moving to various location around the town.


Search is on for young dancer to star in family show

The search is on for a local performer to join the cast of a laugh-a-minute family show featuring characters created by David Walliams.

The producers of Gangsta Granny, which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal on July 13-15, are looking for someone to play the role of Diane in the show opposite the professional cast.

The successful performer will have a short solo dance in the middle of the show as well as being part of the finale routine. They must be 16 years old in August this year but be able to play a character who is 11-12 years old.

The successful dancer will get a video link to learn the routine. They will not need to rehearse with the cast but will need to commit to each performance of the show in Norwich.

To apply for the role, just email and the production team will get back with more information.

Alison Fitzjohn, of Birmingham Stage Company which is producing the show, said: “It is a fun role to play. It will also be great for an up-and-coming dancer to have a show like this on their CV. Gangsta Granny is creating a buzz around the country and audiences are loving the chance to see this favourite book brought to life.”

The show itself tells the story of Ben who usually spends Friday evening with Granny eating cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake. But his weekly visit gets much exciting when Granny reveals a secret which sees the pair of them embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

To book, log onto or call the box office on 01603 630000


Aylsham beer festival back this weekend

It will soon be time to raise a glass to the 12th Aylsham Round Table beer festival.

The event which seems to go from strength to strength will open its doors at 6pm this Friday (12th May).

A total of 35 ales and 15 ciders will be on offer this year and as always it will be held at County, also known as the Youth Club on Cawston Road.

Opening times are:
Friday 12th – 6pm – 11pm
Saturday 13th – 11am-11pm
Sunday 14th – 11am – 3pm.

Bronze £10 includes 2 pints
Silver £15 includes 4 pints
Gold £20 includes 6 pints

Food will be available all weekend and there will be live music on the Friday and Saturday.

REVIEW: Running Wild is ‘a feast for eyes, ears and emotions’

The Children’s Touring Partnership took to the stage in Norwich last night with Running Wild, an adaption by Samuel Adamson of the Michael Morpurgo book of the same name.
This was a feast for the eyes, ears and emotions. Laughter, sadness and at times fear are felt through the scary rainforest adventure of of nine-year-old Lilly. The story has a serious message of both animal conservation and relationships and love, between humans and animals – elephant Oona, who is puppeteered by four people,  orangutans, a tiger, a crocodile and rainforest birds.
The audience is totally immersed into the sights and sounds of the Indonesian rainforest. The clever set design and lighting along with the sound effects add to the experience. The physical theatre skills of all the puppeteers was pure genius. You literally watch them breathe life into the puppets… they actually come to life before your eyes. I became so invested that I no longer saw the puppeteers.

The movements, motion and animal sounds are created by the cast and you just know that they must have spent hours watching and researching real animals in order to recreate and mimic.

A special mention must go to 12-year-old Annika Whiston, who played the lead role of Lilly and rarely left the stage. She portrayed the role beautifully and with great maturity. Every emotion and relationship she had I felt, bringing me to tears, more than once, much to my own daughter’s horror.

Morpurgo was inspired to write this modern-day Jungle Book by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, and enjoying an elephant ride on the beach when the Boxing Day tsunami hit.  The elephant ran inland and saved her life. When the author read of Amber’s story, he said it was “the one bit of hope amid the destruction”.

The production will be working during the tour to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

There has been great take up by schools with a number of performances throughout the day times but it is most definitely not just for children.
There are still tickets available, if you have not seen it then I urge you to make the time. I promise you will not be disappointed. It will make you laugh and possible cry but most of all it will make you think.

A must-see piece of theatre.


Running Wild is on until April 29. Wed, Fri and Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm, Thur 11am. Tickets £7-£21.  BOX OFFICE 01603 630000.








Pictures: Dan Tsantilis

Nominate your food hero before June 5

It’s time to get those entries in for this year’s Norfolk Hero Food & Drink Awards at the Aylsham Show on August bank holiday Monday.

The deadline for entries into the eleventh annual competition which is sponsored by Lovewell Blake is June 5, so get scribbling or typing – it’s easy to enter either in writing or online and the promotional rewards for businesses are very real.

There are five main categories, which are listed below:
• Best Specialist Food or Drink Producer, sponsored by Barclays.
• Best Use of Norfolk Produce on Menu, sponsored by Gressingham Foods.
• Best Food or Drink Supplier/Retailer, sponsored by Dewing Grain.
• Best New Food or Drink Venture, sponsored by For Farmers.
• Individual Food or Drink Hero

The category judging will take place during the week commencing 19th June and the championship judging will take place during July, with the overall winner announced at the Aylsham Show on 28th August.

The individual Food or Drink Hero winner will also be announced at this time.

Chair of the Competition, Jacinth Rogers, said: “Over the years, the Aylsham Show food heroes awards have gained an excellent reputation for identifying and rewarding some of the very best food and drink producers, suppliers and linked businesses in the county.

“We have an amazing array of food and drink in this county and it is an incredibly important part of the county’s economy and employment provision. We love celebrating that array and would encourage as many entries as possible to these fabulous awards.”

Ellie Savory from Norfolk Quail, who last year won both the Best Food or Drink Supplier/Retailer and the Overall Championship, said: “It was a real honour to receive this level of recognition from the Aylsham Show team and to appear on the day itself to hear we had also won the Championship.

“Local promotion and awareness is of course very important to a business such as ours, so I would certainly recommend the competition.”

Last year’s winners were Scrummy Pig based at Wroxham Barns in Hoveton, Rocky Bottoms seafood café at West Runton, GF White butchers in Aylsham, Truly Local farm shop in Stalham, Norfolk Quail of Great Ryburgh and Catherine Temple, from Mrs Temple’s Cheeses.

Mike Fish of Scrummy Pig said: “It was a real coup for us to win as such a young business and it definitely helped spread the word around the county that we were here.

“We have just been featured on the front of a new publication The Norfolk Cook Book – so we must be doing something right!”

You can nominate online at and clicking on Show Competitions, where you can view a brochure, printable nomination form and online nomination form.