Book sale profits go to Food Bank

Volunteers at Aylsham Food Bank received an early Christmas present at St Michael’s church when a cheque for £277 was handed over from proceeds of the sale of a local recipe book.

The 24-page, fully illustrated book, Canny Cooking, was produced by members of Slow Food Aylsham who created the recipes based on the contents of the average food bank parcel and aimed specifically at food bank users and those on a tight budget.

More than 500 copies have already been distributed free to food bank users across north Norfolk from Hunstanton to Great Yarmouth – and even Rutland. And since publication in October, the book has attracted interest from food banks in London, Bristol and Birmingham.

The book is also helpful to anyone with little cookery skills looking to knock up a cheap and healthy meal.  The ingredients are simple and mainly non-perishable canned or dried foods.

It is also available to non-food bank users at £5 – all profits go to Aylsham Food Bank.

Tim Morton, Project Manager at Cromer and District Foodbank, who manage the Aylsham depot, said: “We are very grateful for Slow Food’s support. We are very busy at present, but in November we were up nearly 20 per cent in people fed across the district. All centres are reporting an increase.  Across the district we are up 37 per cent in people fed last year.”

Patrick Prekopp, chair of Slow Food Aylsham, said that since publication in October, the book has attracted interest from food banks in London, Bristol and Birmingham.

“We’re delighted at the response from the Food Banks and that the book is being so well received by users,” he said.

“The donation was our first instalment, and we hope to continue to raise funds for the Food Bank from sales of the book.”

To buy a copy of the book, please email or shop at Hodson & Co Deli,  23 Red Lion Street, Aylsham.

Colin Graham, lead volunteer of Aylsham Food Bank based at St Michael’s church, accepts the cheque from Patrick Prekopp, with volunteer Pam Smith and Tim Morton.

Temporary mortuary brought into use

The temporary mortuary at the former RAF Coltishall base, at Scottow, is being used for the first time since April.
Originally set up during the first lockdown, the facility was not needed then but is now being used as part of what have been called “business continuity plans”.
Dr Richard Goodwin, of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “Our priority is to always ensure that the deceased are treated with respect and dignity, and therefore we work with our partners to ensure every year we can use additional mortuary space, if needed.”
The mortuary has been called in to use partly to help with seasonal pressures and partly to allow the installation of new equipment at the N&N mortuary, which is still in use.
The hospital publishes daily figures on covid-related deaths on its website.
Yesterday it announced the deaths of 13 patients who had tested positive between January 12 and 13.

Body found in hunt for missing man

A body of a man was found in Great Snoring, near Fakenham, this morning.

Police were called to Thursford Road shortly before 8.45am after a member of the public reported finding an elderly man unresponsive on the ground.

Emergency services attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

While formal identification is yet to take place, the family of Robert Taylor, a 93-year-old man who was reported missing from Little Snoring last night, have been informed.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner in due course.

Fines after police break up New Year’s Eve event

Twenty-four people have been fined after police shut down an illegal New Year’s Eve gathering in Ludham.

The fixed penalty notices were issued for breach of gathering and mixing desks and a generator were seized.

Police learned of the event shortly after 9.30pm after receiving reports of a rave on Hall Road in the village.

Officers discovered approximately 60 people at what appeared to be the early stages of an unlicensed music event being set up at around 9.45pm.

Roads were blocked to prevent access to the site and two people were also reported for possession of drugs.

Supt Terry Lordan said: “With so many people in Norfolk abiding by the Tier 4 regulations put in place to keep us all safe, it is very disappointing to then have a minority behave in this way. These events are not only illegal and, with the threat of coronavirus, extremely unsafe, they also cause unnecessary damage and disruption.

“Across Norfolk, the large majority of our residents spent a peaceful evening welcoming in the New Year, for which I am grateful. This small group of individuals who looked to attend this event however, learned that, where we can, we will prevent, disrupt or stop a rave or unlicensed musical event from taking place and we won’t hesitate to use covid enforcement action where we need to.”

Some Christmas Eve magic…

Christmas eve is the perfect time to settle down with a story – especially if the little ones are too excited to go to bed…

During the first lockdown, Just Regional reader Robert Smith kept us amused with his father’s tales about the bunnies who live near his Sprowston home.

And this Christmas he has recorded a special tail about the Bobtail family and how the magic of Christmas was revealed.

So grab a mince pie, cuddle up, and enjoy a festive bunny “tail”.

Click on this link and follow the instructions – the story lasts around 30 minutes.!AtJCub4Veq6il2-CxVQCGtcHjx5p

It’s not the end, say Friends of Holt Hall

The Friends of Holt Hall have expressed their disappointment in the decision to close and sell centre, which has been enjoyed for more than 70 years but say the fight to save it is far from over.

At its meeting on December 7, Norfolk County Council Cabinet made the decision FOHH had been dreading, ceasing its activities with immediate effect and putting the hall and its 75 acres of outdoor space and woodland up for sale.

But the group, which has campaigned to keep Holt Hall open, says it is not the end of the road and is looking into the possibility that the hall could become an Asset of Community Value when it does go on the market.

Trustee and treasurer Nic Hopkins said: “To say we are disappointed is an understatement, but this is not the time to list these emotions. It is time to explain why we think it is not the end.”

Holt Hall is to be closed and sold, but campaigners hope they might be able to buy it and continue its activities.

In a statement, FOHH says it is cheered by the supportive letters and the number of people signing its petition at – 5,800 have signed so far and are still signing after the council’s decision.

“It is a massive demonstration to show people see the public interest in Saving Holt Hall,” said Nic. “This is not just sentimentality. It is about values. You never know, events might even lead to a change of policy in the administration at County Hall, and public opinion may prove to be a powerful influence on county councillors.”

In October, the council announced it was no longer able to afford the facility, saying it would rather enable outdoor learning than provide it. And this month it was decided to close it completely.

Fearing the worst, the Friends have applied to North Norfolk District Council to have it made an asset of community value, meaning that they could bid for it themselves.

Greg Peck, cabinet member for property, urged them to “honestly appraise their business case and to really consider the viability of operating the site as an outdoor education facility” and Nic said the Friends would be heeding this advice.

“We shall take his advice and further develop a robust business plan, but we are going to do this in consultation with the individuals and organisations who have expressed interest already in partnership ways to take forward an alternative future for Outdoor Learning at Holt Hall.

“We are doing our homework, researching and talking, listening and planning, with possible partners, other Outdoor Learning centres of expertise, users and private individuals and, we hope, Norfolk County Council.”

The decision on the ACV should be made in January and the Friends are hopeful of a positive outcome.

Santa Claus is still coming to town…

Aylsham Rotary is still planning to bring Santa’s sleigh to the town, but some of the dates have changed from those initially advertised.

Changes have been made due to the latest requirements and Aylsham Rotary has asked people to visit its website at and social media channels for regular updates.

The plan is for Santa to tour the streets of the town but he will not be able to stop due to safety reasons.

As well as his tour around the town, Santa is due at Market Place from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday, December 12 and Saturday, December 19.

He’s also scheduled to appear at the town’s Tesco from 1pm to 4pm on the same dates.