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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

 

Hares trail heads for North Norfolk

North Norfolk will play host to two of the Moongazer Hares planned for a countywide trail next year in aid of the charity Break.

The decision to support the charity was made at a meeting of North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet.

Break is 50 in 2018. Following the successful GoGoGorillas in 2013 and GoGoDragons in 2015, the charity has devised a new sculpture trail for 2018.

In addition to a Norwich trail of Hare sculptures called GoGoHares, Break is for the first time establishing a countywide Moongazer Trail. Sponsors are being sought for the event, which will start on June 24 and run until September 8.

NNDC has agreed to sponsor two hares and set aside £15,000 to cover the project.

It is believed the most suitable locations for the NNDC Moongazer Hares are likely to be Holt Country Park and Bacton Woods.

Nigel Dixon, NNDC cabinet member for economic development and tourism, said: “The advantages are multiple – generating funds for a charity which has long and historic links with North Norfolk, attracting large numbers of visitors to the locations where the hares are sited and benefiting local businesses.”

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project for the whole county from a cultural point of view, appealing to families and people of all ages. “We would love to see a hotspot of several hares created in North Norfolk, with ‘our’ two being just part of a greater number in the district.”

There will be an app for each trail and a map available to download. There will be a reward for completing the entire trail – each plinth will have a 4-digit code to collect. All of the city trail hares will have their ears pointing upwards, whereas all of the county trail hares will be looking up to the sky – or gazing up at the moon – with their ears flat against their backs.

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

 

Go behind scenes at the Auden, Holt, this weekend

The Auden Theatre at Gresham’s School in Holt is hosting an Invitation Day on Saturday, September 23, to give people a look behind the scenes.

Members of the public are invited to explore the venue and discover what goes on backstage, meet some of the theatre team and learn just what it takes to put on a great show. The event is free.

The team will be giving a guided tour of the theatre, including the dressing rooms which have played host to an array of local, national and international performers including Lesley Garrett, CBE and the late Sir John Hurt. There will also be complimentary refreshments.

The Auden Theatre hosts a diverse range of events and performances from rock concerts to pantomime and is open to the public all year round.  View the full programme at www.audentheatre.co.uk

The foyer will be open from 11am and theatre tours start at 11.30am and 2pm. Email wmetcalfe@greshams.com with a preferred tour time or telephone 01263 713444.

Support for women through that ‘tricky period’

Homeless women and females on low incomes will benefit from a new service set up to provide free sanitary products at Norwich’s main libraries.

The Tricky Period project involves the libraries taking donations of products and handing them out to people who cannot afford them, with no questions asked about proof of eligibility.

Staff at Tuckswood, Earlham, West Earlham, Mile Cross, Plumstead Road, St Williams Way and The Millennium libraries have been taking in donations of tampons, sanitary towels and carrier bags for the last few weeks ready to start the scheme on Thursday, September 28.

Community librarian Caroline Varney-Bowers is behind the project. She said: “I became aware of a project called The Homeless Period where homeless women struggle to afford these items and did some further research about period poverty. I found this is also an issue for young women from low income families and sometimes leads to girls missing school during their period.

“Library staff have been hugely supportive of starting up this service and we have already had some donations.”

Order forms will be available in Norwich Libraries at the staff desk (at The Millennium Library this will be the ground floor joining desk). Customers can tick the products they require and hand in their form at the desk and receive the items they need.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “It’s fantastic that our library staff have set up this service which will help vulnerable women and girls in Norwich. As well as the problem of affordability, this could potentially improve women’s health, as there are risks associated with not changing sanitary products regularly. The Tricky Period may also help to reduce period related truancy from school or time off work. I would encourage library users to support the project by making donations of supplies.”

Norwich foodbank is supporting the project as they are acutely aware that many who access their services find it very difficult to ask for these items.

Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service works closely with the council’s Public Health team on the Healthy Libraries project to improve awareness, information and support around health and wellbeing to people living in Norfolk.

This also includes supporting and promoting public health campaigns around issues including dementia awareness and reducing childhood obesity. Libraries work with local and national organisations to host events which encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing.
The service is available during library opening hours.

Just Regional is keen to support this initiative and we have offered to our offices as a point for anyone who would like to donate sanitary products. Just drop your donations off to our HQ in Penfold Street, Aylsham, NR11 6ET and we will make sure they get to the libraries in Norwich.

Editor Gay Webster said: “This is something which most women take for granted, that they have access to sanitary pads and tampons. It’s only right that all women have that choice and we are happy to be part of this worthwhile scheme.”

Final call for Norfolk beach lovers to join coastal clean up

The UK’s leading marine charity, says it hopes more people than ever before in Norfolk will take part in the Great British Beach Clean from September 15-18.

The event around the county’s coastline will help ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is running at least 11 beach cleans and surveys around Norfolk and so far just over 70 volunteers have signed up.

The charity says it’s really helpful if people register their interest online before the event to ensure organisers have enough kit to go round! You can register right up until the very last minute www.mcsuk.org/waitrose, and of course you can just turn up on the day.

This year, the Great British Beach Clean in England is being sponsored by Waitrose who are supporting MCS’ year round beach clean programme.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme. Volunteers who get involved in Norfolk will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer, says volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and the data they collect is vital: “Last year an amazing 133 volunteers took part in the Great British Beach Clean on Norfolk’s beaches. We’d love to see even more people heading to the county’s beaches and helping clean up at the events that have been organised at:
Brancaster
Heacham: North of Jubilee Bridge
Titchwell Marsh
Cley Beach / Blakeney Point
Great Yarmouth Central
Holkham
Sheringham West
Old Hunstanton Beach
Cley Beach
Mundesley
New Hunstanton

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean; 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view. Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

To get involved in the Great British Beach Clean 2015 in Norfolk and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK visit www.mcsuk.org/waitrose You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Norfolk police get 21st-century technology

Police officers across Norfolk and Suffolk are set to be equipped with Samsung tablets and Nokia phones, saving them precious time when dealing with incidents and meaning they can spend more time in the public eye.

Over the next three months 1,500 uniformed officers will be issued with the devices, the latest in 21st-century technology. The tablets will enable officers to work remotely, update crime systems, review live incidents, update victims and liaise with partner agencies while out and about. Tasks that would normally mean officers travelling back to the station to access a computer can now be done immediately. Thanks to newly-developed applications, officers will also be able to take statements and submit a number of other forms via the devices, a move that will help reduce the amount of paperwork required at the end of each shift. The rollout is alongside the distribution of body-worn video cameras for officers which started in May this year.

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have budgeted £1.2m to equip the officers but it is expected that efficiencies brought about by their use will save money in the long-term. Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, project lead for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said: “Following a three-month trial last year, it was clear that the devices offered officers what they needed – quick access to accurate information without the need to travel back to the station. “We will continue to take advantage of new technologies to aid crime investigation and I’m sure the people of Norfolk/Suffolk will notice a benefit as our officers embrace the new ways of working. “This is very much an ‘invest-to-save’ project – and I expect that the resource commitment we have made will bring us cost benefits in the long-term.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “This is a crucial investment for Norfolk Constabulary. These devices will free up officers’ time, enabling them to direct more attention to their operational roles. For the force as a whole, it means that resources will be more readily available and police visibility will be increased.

“For our police to be as efficient and effective as possible, it’s vital they have the right tools. To tackle the crime affecting our communities in the 21st century, we need to make the best use of the 21st century technology available to us.”

Pictured from left: Sgt Tom Mann, PC Keith Bristo (Norfolk Police Federation), PCC Lorne Green, and Chief Supt Mike Fawcett.