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No Great British Prom at Blickling this summer

The Great British Prom will be taking a break this year with a view to returning to the Blickling Estate in 2020.

Lisa Ward of organisers Revival Productions said: “We have been running this type of concert for many years and experience shows us that sometimes it’s good to have a break, with a view to coming back with renewed vigour.

“The Great British weather worked against us last year, however, we know that this event has become a firm favourite in the Norfolk calendar and so we are planning to come back bigger and better in 2020!”

Jo Bosch, visitor experience nanager at Blickling said “Our summer concerts are something we look forward to all year and are a highlight of our annual programme. 

“Classic Ibiza promises to be even bigger and better this year and we really welcome the approach our partners at Revival Productions are taking in asking what their loyal supporters would like to see at the Great British Prom event at Blickling in 2020.”

Revival Productions are asking the Great British Prom audience what they’d like to see for 2020. The traditional proms event or perhaps something different? You can have your say by visiting the Great British Prom Facebook page and commenting there, or email info@revival-productions.co.uk with your thoughts.

Lisa added: “Tell us what you’d love to see! We have a year to plan something very special for our Norfolk audience.”

Classic Ibiza will be returning this year on Friday August 9. For full event details please visit www.classicibiza.co.uk or call 01283 841601.

 

Blickling Great British Prom 2017, Photo by Simon Finlay Photography.

Norfolk drink/drug driving results shock

Nearly 190 people were arrested during the Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Norfolk, with more people testing positive for drugs than alcohol.

Norfolk police have just released the results of the month-long campaign, launched on 1 December 2018, which targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs. A total of 189 drivers were arrested.

A break down of the results shows that 1,140 breath tests were carried out with 72 people providing positive readings, while 97 people failed drug tests out the 180 conducted.  In addition, nine people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 11 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

During the 2017 campaign, 947 tests were carried out with 81 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 172 drug tests conducted 56 drivers failed. In addition, six people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 12 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

This year again saw specific time slots at Norwich Magistrates’ Courts being reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively meant that offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the Roads Armed Policing Team (RAPT), said: “It’s disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, although it does appear to be a minority of motorists.

“A notable difference during this campaign is that there have been more drivers tested positive for drugs than alcohol. While this is a concern, drug driving is something we actively target all year round. It’s also a reflection of our increased ability to carry out roadside tests for cannabis and cocaine.

“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and therefore increasing the chances of being involved in a collision.”

 

A roadside drug-test device.

 

 

Aylsham and Holt Santander branches to close

The Aylsham and Holt branches of Santander are to close in the summer as the bank reshapes its branch network.

The two branches will be among 140 nationally to shut in response to changes in how customers are choosing to carry out their banking.

Aylsham’s Red Lion Street branch will close on July 4, and the Holt one on June 13.

Santander’s future branch network will be made up of a combination of larger branches offering improved community facilities to support local businesses and customers, and smaller branches using the latest technology to offer customers more convenient access to banking services.

Santander has consulted its trade unions on the proposed changes and will seek to find alternative roles for the 1,270 colleagues affected wherever possible. Santander expects to be able to redeploy around a third of those affected and will be closely supporting colleagues over the coming weeks as the consultation process continues.

Santander will also support customers of closing branches to find other ways to bank that best suit their needs, including individual help to find alternative branches and access digital, telephone and Post Office banking services.

Around 100 Santander branches will be refurbished over the next two years through an investment of £55m. Work to improve the North Walsham branch has already been carried out and the new-look branch was re-opened in November.

Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking, said: “The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels. As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches, and those where we have other branches in close proximity.”

The Aylsham branch of Santander

Extra funding for North Norfolk market towns

Funding for a wide range of projects designed to improve the economic vitality of North Norfolk’s four inland market towns has been approved.

A meeting of North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet agreed to a set of recommendations today which had been put forward by the Market Towns Initiative working group.

Each town was able to bid for £100,000 to spend on projects enabling them to take part in the development of their economic future. The money comes from a total pot of £400,000.

Around £130,000 remains in the Market Towns Initiative fund and a second round of applications will be opened to access this money, with the closing date for these applications being February 12.

The amount any one town can receive in total will remain at a maximum of £100,000 – so if a town received £50,000 in the first round, it would be able to bid for up to £50,000 in the second round.

Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council and chairman of the MTI working group, said: “I was delighted by the range of projects that were put forward and very pleased that cabinet ratified the recommendations of the working group this morning. All of our communities deserve our support.”

The nine successful applicants included:

The Holt Society – £7,210 to design and print a pamphlet and five notice boards to provide information on the Holt Owl Trail to residents and visitors.

Love Holt – £26,000 to implement a major marketing campaign for the town designed to increase visitors and trade.

Holt Town Council – £17,514 for projects including an accessible Yellow Brick Route, and a Holt park-and-ride scheme.

Regenerate North Walsham and North Walsham Town Council – £99,575 to implement three major improvement projects split between improving St Nicholas Court, the town centre and attracting more visitors to the town.

St Nicholas Court in North Walsham

Free Christmas parking dates in North Norfolk

Every town in North Norfolk has chosen two days of free parking over the festive period.

North Norfolk District Council has decided once again to waive the parking charges before Christmas. This year the free parking period will run on various dates between November 24 and December 23.

The decision supported North Norfolk’s businesses and traders by encouraging people to buy their Christmas gifts and supplies in their local towns. At a crucial time of year for the retail community, it was also a gesture of goodwill for the festive season in response to requests from businesses, said a spokesman.

Posters will be put up in all relevant car parks giving the information for the individual towns. On the days themselves, payment machines will be covered to make sure people understand they do not need to pay.

The free weekend car parking sessions will be:

•             North Walsham – November 24 and December 1

•             Cromer – December 1 and 8

•             Fakenham – December 15 and 22

•             Stalham – December 2 and 8

•             Wells – November 24 and December 8

•             Holt – December 16 and 23

•             Sheringham – December 1 and 8

 

 

Free parking for Remembrance Sunday

Parking in North Norfolk District Council car parks will be free on Remembrance Sunday (November 11) in response to local community wishes.

Posters will be put up in advance in all car parks to give notice of the event. The payment machines will be covered up on the day to make it clear to users that the car parks won’t require payment.

Parking charges in North Norfolk District Council car parks usually apply from 8am to 6pm.

A council spokesman said: “It’s important to North Norfolk District Council that we are able to make it easier for residents to be able to attend local remembrance services more easily, hence the decision to provide free parking on this date.”

 

REVIEW: Dangerous Corner, Sheringham Little Theatre

Sheringham Little Theatre had the first performance JB Priestley’s classic drama, Dangerous Corner last night.

The play is performed by members of the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, affectionately known as CSODS.

The action takes place in the drawing room of Freda and Robert Caplan’s country house. The other guests for the evening are Gordon and Betty Whitehouse, Olwen Peel, Charles Stanton and novelist Maud Mockridge. The men are all members of the same publishing firm with Olwen as an executive.

The drama opens with the women sitting listening to the end of a radio play which concludes with a gunshot and a woman’s scream. Maud expresses an interest in the group of friends, remarking how close-knit and cosy they all appear.

When the men enter the room a chance remark leads to a discussion about the suicide of Robert’s brother Martin. The group decides to tell the absolute truth about Martin and the different relationships they all had with him and each other, which turns out to be very revealing.

The drama builds up over the play with twists and turns. The actors give a riveting performance, superbly acted, which keeps the audience guessing as what the outcome will be. With clever scenery, beautiful costumes and talented actors this is an evening not to be missed. Dangerous Corner is on at the Little Theatre Sheringham until October 20.

See more at www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com.

The Cast : Robert Caplan Played by Paul James, Freda Caplan played by Philippa Baillie, Gordon Whitehouse played by David Duncombe, Betty Whitehouse played by Emma Wright, Charles Stanton played by Samuel Starsmore, Olwyn Peel played by Kerry Davis, Miss Mockridge played by Thelma Torr.

Kevin and Sandra Stone  (Just Regional Magazines)

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.