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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.

Second baby for MP Chloe

Chloe Smith (pictured), MP for Norwich North, is expecting her second child in May next year.

Chloe, 36, and husband Sandy, 40, are looking forward to a brother or sister for toddler Alastair, now 2.

 Chloe, who is in her tenth year representing Norwich North, says:

 “We’re really excited and delighted. Alastair will love having a little brother or sister to play with. It’ll be hard work but a source of joy.”

 As with their first child, Chloe and Sandy hope to take six months each of shared parental leave. Chloe will make arrangements for her constituency work to be fully covered.

 

 

Just Regional celebrates first decade!

Yes that’s right, it was 10 years ago when the first issue of Just Aylsham first popped through letterboxes.

For those who don’t know the story, business owner Lee Todd was keen to see a local magazine full of local stories for his home town and so the idea of the hyperlocal Just name was established.

The Aylsham magazine was soon joined by one dedicated to North Walsham and the business then expanded along the coast, into other parts of Broadland and finally around the outskirts of Norwich.

Today, the Just magazines hits 50,000 dooormats in 10 areas, with free pick-ups in libraries, information centres and shops.

Just Regional serves 10 towns and city suburbs in Norfolk with four-weekly titles (three-weekly in Aylsham) and also covers all of those communities with Summer and Christmas special publications.

Built on a belief that hyperlocal news can be presented using high specification paper, quality journalism, excellent photography and professional sales, the business has grown from two part-time staff to 10 office staff and 120 distribution staff with their offices in Aylsham, a location central to all of the areas covered.

Lee said: “We’ve done an incredible job in Norfolk showing how hyperlocal can work, in a competitive marketplace, both for advertisers and readers.

“A lot of publishers have talked about hyperlocal for a long time – we have actually done it and made a success of the model.

“However we couldn’t have done it without our advertisers who have supported us right from day one. A big thank you to them and a happy anniversary to us!”

A big fan of the publications is BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad, who said: “Just Regional produce outstanding magazines run by wonderful people who love and champion their towns and villages. As the owner of a local business who has worked with Just Regional, these guys really get behind you and believe in you. Over the past decade they have woven themselves into the fabric of the communities they represent”.

The first issue of Just Aylsham from October 2008.

Warning after spate of vehicle break-ins

Police have warned Hellesdon drivers to make sure their vehicles are kept locked, even if parked on a driveway, after a spate of thefts overnight on Thursday October 4.

Cars were targeted in Wood View Road, Gowing Road and Kinsale Avenue. Bank cards stolen from one vehicle were later used in fraudulent transactions in Norwich.

Most the vehicles targeted had been left unlocked.

It is believed two suspects were involved. They are described as white males, wearing dark clothing and they had pushbikes with them.

Police are urging anyone who believes they’ve been a victim who hasn’t yet reported it to do so, and they are asking for people to check any CCTV covering the areas mentioned.

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101.

Macmillan event among Salvation Army dates

A Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event is taking place in the Mile Cross Salvation Army’s hall, on Vera Road, Hellesdon, on Friday September 28, from 10am-noon with all proceeds going to the cancer charity. The morning will include tea, coffee and homemade cakes.

The hall is also the venue for a number of other events over the coming months:

  • Fellowship evenings kicked off on September 3 and will be held on every subsequent first Monday of the month, from 7.30pm-9pm. Each month there will be a different speaker, followed by tea or coffee. On October 1 Hellesdon parish councillor, Shelagh Gurney will talk about her role.
  • Saturday November 10 will see an Old Tyme Music Hall afternoon, at 3pm. Artists from far and wide will be taking part including the choir from Mile Cross Primary School. Tickets cost £4 to include refreshments.

Happy birthday international aviation academy

More than 100 guests helped celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the International Aviation Academy, on the Norwich Airport industrial estate, a stone’s throw from the airport terminal in Hellesdon.

And academy chiefs want curious Hellesdon residents to know that the academy is open to the public during the week.

The birthday guest list included senior RAF officers, MPs, local councillors and members of the local aviation, education and business communities. Also taking part were more than 70 air cadets.

Keynote speakers included Norwich North MP Chloe Smith who has, since 2016, supported a seven-point aviation skills manifesto, developed by the Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP), which the partnership used to get the academy project off the ground.

The project was made possible by Norfolk County Council, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Norse Group, plus supporting partners Norwich City Council, Norwich International Airport, KLM UK Engineering, University of East Anglia, City College Norwich and WT Partnership.

Although the academy has been open for a year, and is already used by hundreds of students, many local people are still unaware of its existence – or the fact that it is open to the public.

Designed from the outset to inspire people into the world of aviation, the building is actually a World War Two aircraft hangar, which has been transformed into a revolutionary learning environment.

The atrium, with its giant TV screen, displays of aircraft engines, models and aviation art, along with the SkyLounge Café, is open to the public from Monday to Friday.

The cornerstone of the academy concept, and what makes it unique, is that practical and academic learning are based in the same place – the academy houses a complete, fully-functional, Boeing 737 airliner.

In the near future further partnerships with training providers and aviation businesses will see more aviation opportunities for students – not just in engineering.

The culmination of the anniversary event was the cutting of a cake made especially by the academy’s own Norse Catering SkyLounge team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,300 Norfolk drivers caught during speeding crackdown

More than 1,000 drivers were caught speeding during a week-long enforcement campaign in Norfolk earlier this month.

Officers from the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit and vans from the Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership were deployed across the county to carry out checks as part of a week-long European-wide campaign co-ordinated by TISPOL between Monday and Sunday August 6-12.

During the campaign a total of 1,300 drivers were caught speeding, 1176 of whom were caught by fixed or mobile camera sites, while 124 were caught by officers on patrol.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “Speeding is recognised as one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which leads to people being killed or serious injured in a collision along with drink driving, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.

“We target these and other types of offences all year round but these campaigns allow us to raise awareness among drivers and explain the consequences of speeding.

“Drivers should adjust their speed to suit the conditions on the road and be aware of hazards. The higher your speed, the less time you have to react. Think…could you stop in time if something unexpected happened in front of you?”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, who launched the #Impact campaign in a bid to educate young people about road safety, including the dangers of speeding on Norfolk’s roads, said: “Dangerous driving kills – whether through excessive speed, being drunk or on drugs, failing to wear a seatbelt, or not giving the road your full attention. There is simply no excuse for it.

“It is incredibly disappointing that, despite the warnings, some 1300 people were caught speeding in the county in the space of just one week. Such carelessness is simply unacceptable and just not worth the risk.”

Motorists caught speeding will be issued with a TOR (Traffic Offence Report) and face a fine, points on their licence or even court action. Some drivers can opt to take part in a speed awareness course.

Toy fair coming to Hellesdon

Lego, Star Wars, Transformers, Pokemon, comics and merchandise from popular TV, film and video-game franchises will be among items on sale in Hellesdon next month.

The Norwich Vintage and Modern Toy Fair is preparing for its 11th show and has found a home at Hellesdon Community Centre. The fair will be there on Sunday September 2 from 9.30am (various entry fees apply).