Starbucks to open in Aylsham this weekend

The Aylsham Starbucks Drive Thru will be opening this Saturday, March 17.

To celebrate, the store will be handing vouchers for hot drinks to residents and businesses throughout the week. People will also be able to pick up vouchers on Saturday, when the team will be hosting a coffee tasting session. New for the spring menu are green tea lattes as well as the old favourites.

The store will be operated in partnership with Starbucks licensed partner, Euro Garages, and has meant 15 new part and full-time jobs for the town.

Mo Tayab, Starbucks brand manager at Euro Garages, said Starbucks had made a lot of investment in the site and was looking forward to meeting customers: “We are looking forward to welcoming them into our store,” he said.

He said there was a possibility the store would be able to take on more staff as it got busier and was planning fundraising for charity.

The store, on Burgh Road, will be open from 6am-8pm Monday to Friday, 7am-8pm Saturday and 8am-8pm Sunday. This Saturday, it will be open from 8am.

Broadland householders facing council tax rise


Councillors at Broadland District Council have agreed a 4.3pc council tax rise, the equivalent of an extra £4.99 per year for an average Band D property.

Earlier this month Norfolk County Council agreed a 5.99pc rise in its share of council tax and a 5.5pc budget increase has also been approved for policing in the county during 2018-2019.

Broadland also increased its share of the council tax last year, following a  seven-year freeze.

“No one wants to see a rise in council tax. However, it is important that we are able to help those most in need and continue to maintain high quality services,” said councillor Trudy Mancini-Boyle, Broadland’s portfolio holder for finance. “We have restricted our increase to £4.99 in order to achieve this, although I appreciate that residents will see a rise in other aspects of their bill.” 

The council will continue to look for other sources of income and, following the success of the Carrowbreck Meadow development, has recently secured help from central government for a new housing development in Great Plumstead through its company, Broadland Growth Ltd.

For the second year, residents will be receiving a Buy in Broadland discount voucher booklet with their council tax bills. Designed to support local business, the voucher booklet will provide residents with 96 different discounts and offers for Broadland businesses, giving them the chance to discover new places to enjoy and perhaps rediscover some old favourites.

The council tax rise will be included in bills for 2018/19 which residents will be receiving in the coming weeks.



West End stars put Aylsham dancers through paces

Two stars from the West End hit musical 42nd Street have given the cast of Aylsham High School’s own production a tap dancing masterclass.

Adam Denman and Becky Herszenhorn spent a whole afternoon with about 25 members of the cast, going through complex tap routines and giving their choreography some extra pizazz.

The show is pulling in massive audiences in London after opening in the West End in October. And by coincidence, Aylsham High School bought the rights to perform the show. The cast has been perfecting its tap dancing since September and youngsters managed to wow the two stars from the West End during the coaching session.

Adam said: “I didn’t expect this calibre of skill. They are absolutely fantastic.” Becky added: “We found out today some of them had never worn a pair off tap shoes before rehearsals. Hopefully we have been able to pass on some of then energy and excitement of the West End show.”

Adam and Becky spent three hours working with the students, making sure the split-econd timings were spot on and that Aylsham’s stars hadevery bit as much glitz as their professional counterparts in London. When the show opens in Aylsham there will be a cast of 40 plus a professional orchestra.

42nd Street is a musical about a musical, the cast of a show battling against the odds to put on a hit. It’s packed with famous numbers such as We’re in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway and, of course, the big hit number 42nd Street.

Director and Aylsham High drama teacher Hazel Martin said: “To have two stars from 42nd Street in the West End come all the way out to Aylsham to help us perfect our show has been a really amazing experience for all of us, our cast have been buzzing with excitement. Adam and Becky have been wonderful, they’ve really helped us raise our game to new heights.”

Producer Tanya Wiseman has worked tirelessly to get the sets built and arranged for Becky and Adam to come to Aylsham for the coaching session. She said: “I’m so immensely proud to see the students achieving those extra finishing touches and can’t wait for opening night.”

42nd Street at Aylsham High School runs from March 14-17. Tickets from the school or


Young talent takes on literary classic as musical

Norfolk’s young talented actors are maing up the cast in a new production for Norfolk Youth Music Theatre.
The musical of Jane Eyre is based on the famous romantic novel by Charlotte Brontë, the musical tells the story of orphan Jane from her unhappy childhood to falling in love with the master of Thornfield Hall, Edward Rochester, who employs her as governess to his ward.
Their union seems doomed, Jane flees, disaster strikes Edward – but there is a happy ending.
The lead role of Jane is played by former Aylsham High student Ellen Smith, who is currently studying drama, history and film at Paston College, as well as getting involved with Far East Theatre Company’s performances.
She has performed with the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre many times, including Rita O’Grady in Made in Dagenham, Cosette in Les Miserables and Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors. Ellen has also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival twice with NYMT and with Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society.
Ellen, 17, is currently in the process of auditioning for drama schools across the country. She said: “Acting is something I enjoy more than anything, and being a part of such a lovely, talented company makes the experience even more enjoyable. Jane Eyre is such a fantastic part to tackle, I will need to draw on all of my emotions when portraying this iconic character.”
Amy English, 17, is also a former Aylsham student, now studying drama and performing arts at Paston, where she is involved in the show Illyria. Doctor Who fan Amy said: “I am a huge fan of the show, but most of all I love acting, and hope to go to drama school and pursue a career in theatre.”
Current high school student Elizabeth (Libby) Lumb is playing Adele in Jane Eyre.
The 12-year-old has appeared in a few shows previously, such as The Sound of Music and The King and I at Aylsham High School, and was part of the choir in the touring West End production of Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat.
She said: “I love acting and want to continue as long as possible. I  also like walking my dog, Douglas, and having fun with my friends.”
Sophie Millington, 10, and Jeremiah Humphreys-Piercy, 16, are also starring.
Sophie, who plays the young Jane, is in Year 5 at Town Close School and loves acting, singing, dancing and Brownies.
“I play the violin with Norwich Suzuki Group and I also play the piano,” she said.  “As well as taking part in school productions, I have performed in Bill Kenwright’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, and have sung with Blake at Cromer Pier, Rebeca Newman at Norwich Playhouse, and Classical Reflection at Sheringham and Trimingham.
“My biggest interest is theatre and performing and my favourite sport is netball.”
Jeremiah plays magistrate Mr Eshton. He studied at CNS where he began to enjoy drama, playing John Hale in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Banquo in Macbeth.
He currently attends Paston Sixth Form College, where he is studying A-level drama and is appearing in the college’s production of Illyria this month. Jeremiah enjoys making films and YouTube videos in his spare time. He hopes to go to drama school and start an acting career

Music and lyrics for the production are by Paul Gordon, book and additional lyrics by John Caird. It is directed by Adrian Connell.
For tickets contact the Norwich Playhouse box office on 10603 598598 or visit

Still time to have say on housing proposals for Aylsham

Residents are being urged to have their say on proposals for thousands of new homes in the Greater Norwich area, which includes sites in Aylsham.

The sites are among hundreds being considered by local authorities, including Broadland District Council, as part of the emerging Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) which will cover the period up to 2036.

A series of roadshows is under way where members of the public can find out more and make their views known to help the authorities reach final decisions.

The public consultation period will last until 5pm on Thursday, March 15.

As well as new homes, the GNLP will also identify sites for jobs and infrastructure, setting out what’s going to be developed, where and how.

Sites for 83pc of roughly 42,900 homes needed for the period have already been identified, leaving a shortfall of about 7,200.

A Call for Sites was made in 2016 and 600 have been submitted for consideration.

Aylsham is identified as a main town in the JCS being the largest market town in Broadland, providing a focus for jobs, services and housing for the surrounding area.

There are currently four sites allocated for development in the town, with two sites for housing and community facilities – Bure Meadows and the Cawston Road development which includes the football club. Two other sites are allocated for employment uses.

Five additional sites have been put forward for consideration for future development through the GNLP.

They include land next to River Bure to the north-east of the town, for 300 homes, a neighbourhood centre to include community and retail uses, a primary school, public open spaces, play areas, a riverside country park and new footpath links. Because it is next to a current development, it is considered to be sympathetic to the character of the area.

Another proposal is for an undetermined number of homes on the south side of Burgh Road, a greenfield site slightly beyond the development boundary.

The third site is on Burgh Road, which would be likely to require some improvements, including the footway to the A140 and good walking and cycling links to town centre. There is also land north of Marriotts Way, where a site is proposed for 250 houses and public open space next to the built-up area to the west of the town.

The final plot is land at Norwich Road for 250 homes.

Depending on the amount of growth identified for Aylsham through the GNLP, there is a choice of sites with development potential, the report says.

However, waste water disposal issues have previously been identified as an issue to the growth at Aylsham because of its proximity to the Broads.

Recent work with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water in connection with planning permissions and allocations in Aylsham has shown that bespoke solutions for water management are suitable for the current amount of commitment, but growth could be limited.

Plans already submitted (number of homes in brackets) include land next to Woodgate Farm (110), land north of Sir William’s Lane (181), Aegel House, Burgh Road (22), The Old Mill, Dunkirk (6), Hungate Lodge, Hungate Street, (9).

The roadshow in Aylsham has already gone ahead but you can catch one at Wroxham Library on March 9 (2-8pm)

To find out more about the plan and contribute to the consultation or to register any preferences, visit the Greater Norwich Local Plan website:

Leah has Honduras in her sights

Former Aylsham High student Leah Colebrooke is busy fundraising for a gap year teaching project in Honduras.
She will going with Project Trust, which she heard about at a careers event at college.
She said: “A woman who had spent her gap year teaching underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic gave us a talk on just how much getting involved with Project Trust had changed her life, and the skills that she had gained from her 12 months abroad. From that moment, I was sure that Latin America was where I wanted to spend my year teaching the subject that I love –  music”
Leah said she had been unsure about university. “I knew I wanted to take a gap year to give myself time to think, but also knew I did not want to spend a year doing nothing.”
It took her a few months to pluck up the courage to apply, but once she did, everything started falling into place.
“The first step I took was taking a 13-hour journey up to the Isle of Coll, an island off the border of Scotland, a place I had never heard of before. An intense four-day trip consisted of various tasks and activities in which 28 of us were trying to prove that we had what it took to be selected for a placement abroad.”
Ten days after returning from what was her “extremely memorable trip”, she received an acceptance letter to Honduras.
Next came the most daunting part yet; beginning the fundraising.
“My first step was to set up a gofundme page. With £6,000 to raise, I knew it was not going to be an easy task. But with the help of many friends and family, I have made a promising start,” she said.
Her first big fundraising event is a coffee morning on the February 17 at Aylsham Parish Church.
Leah will also be providing much more information on the project and where the money that she raises will be going.
“Please come along if you are in the area, it would be great to have a good turnout and will make my fundraising journey all the more easier.”
She thanked the Liz Jones Memorial Fund for Young People , which has already donated a sum of money via the church toward her project.
See more at:

Delight as good causes benefit from successful Aylsham Show

Dozens of charities and other good causes have been given a share of £32,000 courtesy of the Aylsham Show.

Cheques ranging from £3,000 to £250 were handed out to 46 organisations during a presentation evening at Aylsham Football Club, on Tuesday January 23.

Many of the recipients are involved with the annual August bank holiday Aylsham Show at Blickling Park, helping with jobs such as parking, manning the gates and running attractions.

Last year’s 71st show was blessed by sunshine and attracted some 18,000 visitors who enjoyed a packed programme which included the ever-popular livestock classes and an arena performance by the Red Devils’ Parachute Regiment.

Aylsham Show chairman Simon Evans said: “We are delighted to be able to give £32,000 to mostly local deserving charitable causes. This satisfies one of the objectives of the Aylsham Show, along with the promotion and education of agriculture to the public, and support for the Aylsham Recreation Ground which was donated to the town by the Goulder family, and which is where the show began.” Cheques were presented by chairman Simon Evans in the absence of 2017 president John Wootton.

• The full list of beneficiaries is: £3,000: North Walsham Rugby Club; £2,750: Reepham and District Rotary Club for its charities; £2,000: Bloodwise; £1,500: Rotary Club of Aylsham for its charities, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices; £1,250: Aylsham Flower Club for the Dementia Research Trust; £1,000: Aylsham Boxing Club, Busy Beavers Playgroup; £750: Fresh Start – new beginnings; £500: Aylsham St Giles Cricket Club, Aylsham Tennis Club, Aylsham Bowling Club, Aylsham Community Sports (Youngs Park), Aylsham Football Club, Aylsham Older People’s Association, 1st Aylsham Scout Group, 3rd Aylsham Guides, Aylsham and District Care Trust, Aylsham Community Gym, The Market Surgery in Aylsham, Aylsham Parish Church Repton 200 Project, St Michael’s Association of School Helpers, Aylsham Youth Club, the Nancy Oldfield Trust, 2nd Reepham Scout Group, North Walsham Young Farmers, Norfolk Federation Young Farmers’ Clubs, Sainsbury’s North Walsham for the Alzheimer’s Society, Fakenham Citizens Advice, Happisburgh Owl Trust, Together For Short Lives, The Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal, Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk, North Norfolk Diabetes UK Group, Nelson’s Journey, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Norwich Riding for the Disabled, Fishing for Schools, YANA, Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, Countryside Alliance Countryside Classroom; £250: Cruse Bereavement Care Norwich and Central Norfolk, Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, Marsham Parochial Church Council Upwards for Marsham, St Mary’s Church in Stody, Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

• Nelson’s Journey, which supports bereaved children and young people in Norfolk, will be putting its £500 donation towards more books about bereavement for its new library, at the charity’s Smiles House headquarters in Little Plumstead.
“Some of the books are for children and families to borrow as long as they’re needed and others are for professionals working with children who have been bereaved,” said charity spokesman Gena Moore. “This donation will go a long way to boosting what we’ve got with loads of new books.”

• Fresh Start – new beginnings will use its £750 cheque to help children affected by sexual abuse. “This is wonderful,” said charity founder Diana Porter. “It will go towards therapy work with children in Norfolk referred to us by professionals such as the police and GPs.” Fresh Start carries out an assessment in the victim’s home and prepares a treatment plan based on each child’s needs. The Ipswich-based charity, which has hubs in Norwich, Dereham, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, also helps siblings and the protective parent.

• North Walsham Rugby Club, whose supporters helped with parking at the Aylsham Show, is delighted with its £3,000 donation. Spokesman Paul Morse said it would be put towards the club’s work with schools and a £70,000 project to install a lift and extend the clubhouse, making it more accessible for people with disabilities.
• The Neatishead-based Nancy Oldfield Trust will be spending its £500 on replacing some of its adult waterproof trousers and buying new waterproofs for children, according to centre manager Stephen Bradnock. For the past 34 years the trust has been providing water-based activities such as canoeing and sailing for people with disabilities and disadvantaged people.

• Aylsham Community Sports the parent company for Youngs Park (the home of Aylsham FC) received a donation of £500 towards the box to house a defibrillator. “This means we are now finally able to have this vital piece of lifesaving equipment outside of our building for everyone to use including the new housing estate adjacent to Youngs Park” said club volunteer Lucy Baker.

Plans are well in hand for this year’s Aylsham Show, on Monday August 27, and organisers expect to announce a major new attraction shortly.

Crowds flocked to the Aylsham Show in 2017