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Drayton martial arts pair are world champions

A martial arts instructor and a schoolboy from Drayton have returned from a world championship competition with a clutch of gold medals.

Wayne Baker and Callum Green earned the honours representing Great Britain at the World Martial Arts Games in Orlando, Florida.

Callum, 12, a pupil at Taverham High School, gained four world champion gold medals – in kumite, continuous sparring, team kumite and team points – and three bronze medals.

Wayne, master instructor of the South Eastern School of Martial Arts (SESMA), based in Drayton, competed in five categories and was successful in four, winning silver in Korean Forms, Team Forms, Team Kumite and becoming world champion in the Individual Kumite.

He narrowly missed being placed in Japanese Kata by 0.25 of a point. Callum began his martial arts career aged four at SESMA and, after a break, returned to the discipline as a student with the Black Belt Academy in Norwich.

More than 30 countries were invited to compete at the Orlando games which had to be condensed from three to two days because Hurricane Irma was expected.

Callum’s grandmother, Jackie Green, said competitors had to observe a 48-hour curfew, not leaving the hotel complex where the competition was held, in case Hurricane Irma caused problems.

It had been windy, with trees down and cars damaged, but Orlando had escaped comparatively lightly compared to some parts of  Florida, said Mrs Green.

Since his triumphant return from America, Wayne has competed in two further tournaments, the East of England Championships and the Peterborough Grand Prix Series, winning both the competitions in the Kata/Forms categories.

He will be representing Great Britain again in the European Championships next year in Schaan, Liechtenstein. He has also been asked by the British director of the World Martial Arts Games Commission to be a GB coach and train the British Kumite team.

 

One-off chance to cycle un-opened NDR

For one day only, cyclists are being invited to explore the westernmost sections of the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road before they are opened to traffic.

The new dual carriageway is nearing completion between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the Drayton Lane roundabout, and these stretches will be open to cyclists from 10am to 4pm on Sunday  October 29 as part of the Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival. These sections of road, and Drayton Lane to A140 Cromer Road, are expected to be opened to traffic in November, provided good progress is maintained on the major A1270/A140 junction.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “We are very pleased to give local people a chance to see the road before it’s open to general traffic, and to explore the new cycle-ways and links to Marriott’s Way and communities such as Horsford and Thorpe Marriott.

“This will be a one-off opportunity to ride on a traffic-free main carriageway, but maintaining and improving permanent cycle links is an essential part of the project. Once the whole NDR is finished, it will still be possible to use new and existing paths and quiet lanes to get from Fakenham Road to Postwick without setting foot or bicycle wheel on the road itself.”

Volunteers from main contractor Balfour Beatty, and from Norfolk County Council’s NDR and  ‘Pushing Ahead’  teams will be joined by others to provide supervision at key locations, including the Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road roundabouts, where cyclists will have to crossing live traffic.

John Birchall, NDR public liaison officer, said there had been many requests to run or cycle on the main carriageway before it opens to vehicles. “The 29th is primarily a family cycling event, and explorers will be able to decide for themselves how much of the three miles of dual carriageway or connected paths they ride. We are aiming to focus on runners when the last sections of the route, north of Postwick, are nearing completion next spring.”

Access on and off the NDR itself will be at the Fakenham Road, Fir Covert Road, Reepham Road and Drayton Lane roundabouts, but people coming from further afield will be able to park at the site compound off New Drayton Lane (NR10 3AN). Marriott’s Way also connects to the new cycle paths along the NDR, but is less suitable for road bikes. A leaflet and plan can be downloaded from the Pushing Ahead website.

 Photo: Pashley

 

Arrest over Marriott’s Way attempted kidnap
Detectives are questioning a man this morning in connection with the attempted kidnap of a woman in Norwich.

It follows an incident yesterday, Sunday October 8 between 5pm and 5.15pm, on Marriott’s Way, on a section of footpath next to Barker Street.

The victim, aged in her 20s, was walking towards the city centre near Halfords when she was approached from behind and grabbed.

Following a short struggle the victim managed to escape while the suspect fled the scene, running towards Drayton.

As a result of enquiries, a man in his 30s was arrested in connection with the incident at an address in Norwich shortly after 6pm.

The man remains in custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre where he will be questioned. The area where the incident happened has been sealed off while enquiries continued.

Girl with dogs approached in Taverham

Police are appealing for information following an attempted theft which took place in Taverham last week.

 On Wednesday  October 4 at approximately 3.30pm on Breck Farm Lane, Taverham, a young female was out walking her dogs after school when she was approached by two young males in dark hooded clothing. The males tried to take the dogs’ leads but the female managed to get away. The males then got into a vehicle and left the area.

 PC Andy Hudson, Taverham beat manager, said “Residents can be reassured that extra patrols of the area have taken place and we are also speaking to local dog walkers to make them aware and increase vigilance.

“I have been made aware that this incident and others are discussed on community Facebook pages. I would encourage anyone with information to report this directly to us so that we can investigate it appropriately”.

 If you were a witness to this incident or can provide any information please contact PC Hudson at Taverham Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Pictured: PC Andy Hudson


 

 

Boxing and chess supporting African schools

A sporting event combining cerebral prowess with boxing agility is being staged in Norwich to support an innovative Norfolk charity that uses technology to deliver education to remote African schools.

Chessboxing sees opponents slug it out and then sit down and swap chess moves in alternating rounds in a sport that truly brings brain and brawn together.

Four bouts are being staged at Norwich OPEN on Saturday, October 21, to raise funds for the Yellobric charity’s work in harnessing technology to deliver eBooks and e-Learning platforms to African schoolchildren.

Yellobric founder Gavin Paterson, who farms at Smallburgh, promised: “It will be much more than a sporting event; we have commentators explaining chess moves, there will be a bar, cabaret, DJ and food and there will be a great atmosphere on the night.”

Among the contestants is 25-year-old former UEA student Cameron Little. Now a geotechnical technician, which involves surveying land across East Anglia as a precursor to development, he has been chessboxing for a year and fights under the name of Hurt Locker.

“I think chessboxing coming to Norwich is great,” he said. “It represents the sport growing beyond the confines of London and into other parts of the UK. As I also used to live in Norwich, I am hopeful a few friends will come out and show support.”

Chessboxing has been described as “a wild mix-up of two of mankind’s oldest sporting obsessions” and sees the winner decided by checkmate or knock-out, whichever comes first.

Cameron’s opponent on the night is Matt Gershfield, aka Jock Talk, a British advertising executive based in Amsterdam. Local fighters from Norwich include Prince Titus Beya-Smiler, known to friends as Lambert and with a fight name of the Prince of Pawn. Lambert studied criminology at UEA and is now a key worker at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust working as a mental health specialist.

Cameron started playing chess when he was 10 but also did Tae Kwon Do for about four years. “I’m used to training hard, but I would consider myself more a chess player who boxes,” he added. “Putting the two sports together is the ultimate test of brawn and brain. Remaining sharp over the board gets more difficult after you’ve exhausted yourself on the boxing and taken hits to the head. Add the pressure – there are maybe 500 people watching you – and it is a real challenge.”

Yellobric was formed by Gavin after a visit to Africa and gained charitable status in November 2011. Over the past six years it has delivered e-Learning platforms to schools in Africa and provided more than 300,000 eBooks at a fraction of the cost of conventional novels and textbooks.

Doors open for the chessboxing event at the OPEN Norwich at 7pm on Saturday, October 21, with the first fight at 8pm. Tickets start at £15 (£12 – NUS). For more information and ticket details visit www.londonchessboxing.com or www.opennorwich.org.uk or call 01603 763111.

Can you sing for Big C this Christmas?

This November and December, Norfolk’s cancer charity, Big C, is calling for local community choirs and musical groups to raise money for the charity at their Christmas performances.

Clive Evans, director of income generation and communications for Big C, said: “Singing and playing music together is good for the soul and a wonderfully festive way to end the year. We would love to hear from anyone who belongs to a singing group, school or church choir, musical group or performing arts centre and is keen to join in with Big C’s Christmas Carols and raise money at their seasonal concerts for local people living with cancer. Every penny raised will go directly to help those affected by cancer in Norfolk and Waveney.”

Last year’s Big C Christmas Carols raised more than £10,000. Performances included Norwich High School for Girls Junior Choir, Simply Sing King’s Lynn Community Choir, Ellingham and Great Dunham schools, Wymondham College, and the children’s ILUVUKE band, as well as staff from the Institute of Food Research, Wymondham’s D’Capo, the Keswick Hall Choir, Big Heart and Soul Choir from Castle Acre and the Fakenham Town Band.

Big C was founded in 1980, when two young men from Norfolk found themselves with cancer and having to travel to London or Cambridge for treatment, often finding this journey harder than the treatment itself. They vowed the people of Norfolk and Waveney would have access to the best treatment and support in their local areas.

Today Big C funds ground-breaking cancer research at the Norwich Research Park and state of the art surgical and diagnostic equipment. The charity also has four drop-in support and information centres across Norfolk and Waveney that are used by thousands of people every year affected by cancer.

If you are interested in holding a Christmas Carol event for Big C, contact Claire Feek, fundraising administrator on 01603 964501 or Claire.feek@big-c.co.uk

www.big-c.co.uk

Chance for Norfolk artists to display with Banksy

Applications to take part in the Eastern region’s largest and liveliest contemporary art event are now open, and artists from Norfolk are invited to apply to exhibit their work alongside London galleries and internationally renowned artists like Banksy.

Founded and curated by practising artists Will Teather and Brian Korteling, Art Fair East showcases contemporary work from the UK and abroad. Acknowledged as one of the country’s leading fairs outside London, and now in its third year, Art Fair East features individual artists, galleries and dealers.

As successful artists themselves, the organisers are passionate about getting more people interested in original contemporary art and helping artists to make a living from their work.

Will and Brian are inviting artists, galleries and art dealers to apply to exhibit in this year’s fair which takes place at St. Andrews Hall, Norwich from  November 30 to  December 3. They want to hear from potential exhibitors wishing to display contemporary art including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video art, installation, performance and original limited edition prints. All artworks must be one-off or limited edition.

Will Teather said: “Art Fair East is now becoming well established as a high-quality art fair here in the East of England, in London and further afield. Because we select the exhibitors we can make sure there is a good variety of work that will appeal to different people and give an assurance of quality.”

The fair features an international range of exhibitors with dealers in traditional and contemporary fine art, modern art, urban and street art, photography and sculpture. The 2016 event featured the work of over 100 artists and attracted in excess of 3,500 visitors, many going home happy with a new piece of original artwork.

Artist James Kerwin, sold 22 of his prints and other exhibitors made major sales. A portrait of David Bowie by pop artist Nick Dillon sold for £7,500 to a private collector. It is also believed to be the first time that signed editions by Banksy and other world famous artists were available in the region.

Last year’s exhibitors included the Underdog Art Gallery from London Bridge. Director Sammy Forway said: “Art Fair East is a wonderful exhibition opportunity. The fair was a great way for us to create interest in our gallery and artists outside London, the organisers were very helpful, the whole event was very well put together enjoyed and we working with them. We made several substantial sales and have actually had visitors, and made sales at our gallery in London, from people who saw our stand at the Norwich event.

“We met a lot of talented artists at the fair and have worked with a couple of them on exhibitions since. All in all, the Fair is a great way to break into the world of art fairs for galleries or individual artists. That it is run by artists for artists is a big bonus!”

Will Teather and Brian Korteling will also both be exhibiting. Will still holds the sales record for the prestigious Other Art Fair in London. His spherical painting of Norwich’s Elm Hill Bookshop achieved the highest sale price ever recorded, becoming the first work to reach a five-figure sum in the fair’s history. Artists, dealers and galleries wishing to apply can find details and an appication form at www.artfaireast.com/apply-to-take-part

 

REVIEW: Dancing at Lughnasa, Maddermarket

Dancing at Lughnasa, a play by Brian Friel and performed by Norwich Players, had its opening night on Friday at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich.

The action takes place in Donegal, a remote corner of rural Eire, on a warm day in August 1936. It centres on the five Mundy sisters, the aunts and mother of seven-year-old Michael, in the house they all share near the small town of Ballybeg.

Life is very simple, the sisters live a hard but on the surface a satisfying life. The outside world is brought into their lives with a radio they nickname Marconi.

While Marconi’s battery lasts, the sisters enjoy music, dancing and the popular songs of the day. They are enthusiastic dancers and need little prompting to fling with joyous abandonment around the small kitchen. Then, two men come back into the quiet lives of the Mundy sisters – Father Jack, the priest who is their older brother and has been in Uganda for most of the lives of the sisters and, briefly, Gerry the father of Michael. Lughnasa is the name of the celebrations surrounding the bringing of the harvest home.

It has pagan roots mixed in with the rituals of the Catholic church, with which they conflict. The story of the action is strung together by the older Michael , Philip Rowe, who narrates from his memory of the time but as he also knows what the future held for all the characters its tinged with sadness and some regret. Altogether an unusual production which had us thinking about events long after the evening had ended. Well done Norwich Players a sensitive portrayal of an unusual drama.

Kevin and Sandra Stone