Cromer Hospital celebrates treating its millionth patient

Cromer hospital is delighted to be celebrating a big milestone this week by treating its 1,000,000th patient. This celebration coincides with the 150th anniversary of the hospital opening in 1867.

The newly developed Cromer Hospital opened its doors to the public in March 2012 replacing the 1930s founded hospital. The £15 million development was made possible by two generous legacies; Sagle Bernstein left £11.4 million and Phyllis Cox left £1.3 million.

Mark Smith, 58, from Trunch near North Walsham has been attending Cromer Hospital for just over two years to receive chemotherapy once a week and is the 1,000,000th patient. He said: “The care that I have received over the years has been so friendly and professional and everyone has always gone the extra mile in making sure that I am as relaxed as possible. They have made everything more manageable for my family and I and I can’t thank them enough.”

In addition to Mark’s chemotherapy appointments, he also receives weekly tele clinic support relating to his chemotherapy with Muriel Thoms staff.

Mark added: “Cromer hospital is such an important part of the north Norfolk community and it’s fantastic that it is celebrating 150 years of providing care.”

Anita Martins, Matron of Cromer Hospital said: “It’s been a fantastic few years in the new hospital and we’re absolutely delighted to be celebrating Mark as our 1,000,000 patient!

“We’ve got so many amazing services on offer at Cromer, and it’s important to celebrate how important they are for our patients.”

Services at the hospital include an ophthalmic operating theatre, a permanent renal dialysis unit plus diagnostic services including a permanent on-site mammography (breast screening) service, a DEXA scanner for osteoporosis diagnosis and an MRI scanner.

Iain Young, Cromer Hospital Operational Manager said: “Cromer Hospital is such a cherished facility in the local community and this year we are thrilled to be celebrating both the 1,000,000th patient in the newly developed hospital, and the 150th anniversary!”

To highlight the 150th anniversary, Cromer Hospital will be holding a fete on June 24th from 10am-3pm. The activities on offer will include games, stalls, musical entertainment and a raffle. There will also be face painting and outside games for younger visitors.

Iain added: “The fete will be held on the Cromer Hospital site and we’re really looking forward to the day! It will be a great time to celebrate the 150 years of the hospital and we’re hoping to have as many people as possible celebrate with us.”

Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive said: “Cromer hospital provides such a fantastic service to its patients and we are delighted to be celebrating the 150th anniversary and patient number 1,000,000 this year. I want to thank all those teams at Cromer who provide such professional and dedicated patient care.”

From left to right: Paul Blencowe, Mark Smith, Jill Smith,, Anita Martins (Matron at Cromer Hospital

Angels beat rivals Aylsham to take local pride

Last night in front of a huge crowd North Walsham ran out 3-1 winners against Aylsham.

The Angels were in control for most of the game with their pacey wingers causing problems to the Aylsham back four, once they got ahead Aylsham were always facing an uphill battle, one that became even harder after they received two red cards.

Angels chairman Alex Brady said, “What a win last night for North Walsham. From the first minute to the 90th, every single member of the management team and playing staff battled and fought to ensure the 3 points stayed at Greens Road, with the goals coming from Matty Downing (2) and Liam Clarke.

Credit has to go to Aylsham for bringing over 100 fans, and with the overall crowd in excess of 300 it was a brilliant occasion with lots of friendly banter between the two sets of fans.

A special mention has to go to the referee for controlling the game well in the tough conditions – and he certainly played his part in a very entertaining game.

With crowd numbers at record levels in 2017, it certainly serves as a reminder that football is alive and well within the town, and that improved facilities should continue to remain the aim for the club and the town”

It was in stark contrast to the Aylsham camp whose promotion push has slipped away in recent weeks, manager Martin Meek said, “We were all gutted and disappointed in the changing room after the game, we let ourselves and the fans down. But fair play to North Walsham who were the better team on the night.”


Review: Abigail’s Party at Norwich Theatre Royal

I went to the drinks party from hell last night – and I loved it!
I will never forget my parents’ laughter at Abigail’s Party. I have to admit I wasn’t even born when it was first aired on the television in 1977, but at some point in my teens I recall watching it and, not surprisingly, not really getting it. However, the obvious pleasure my parents took from it was enough to make me re-visit it in adulthood, when I finally got it!
So when I heard the play was coming to Norwich Theatre Royal, and with Amanda Abbington playing the vulgar Beverly no less, I was straight on the phone to my dad.
Abigail’s Party was devised and directed by Mike Leigh and opened at Hampstead Theatre in April 1977 before being recorded and aired by the BBC in November of the same year, bringing it to a huge audience. And if the sell-out first night at Norwich Theatre Royal is anything to go by, 40 years on its popularity is enduring.
A satire on the new middle class of the 1970s, the play sees housewife Beverly and her estate agent husband Laurence hosting a drinks party at their suburban Essex home for new neighbours, Angela and Tony. Also invited is fellow neighbour and divorcee Susan, whose 15-year-old daughter Abigail is having her first party a few doors away.
As Beverly plies her guests with alcohol, cigarettes and cheese and pineapple on sticks, the party starts to spiral out of control. The well-mannered Susan is forced to listen to speculations about what antics might be taking place at her daughter’s party, while also being tactlessly questioned over her failed marriage. Ang, as Beverly inevitably calls her, is in awe of her neighbour’s home – complete with fibre-optic light, shag-pile rug and pull-down drinks cabinet – and will do and say anything to impress her new friend.
Beverly, meanwhile, shamelessly flirts with the monosyllabic Tony while chastising her husband at every opportunity. As the nights wears on, Laurence gets increasingly angry at his wife’s inappropriate behaviour and lack of culture and ultimately loses his temper with disastrous consequences.
Amanda Abbington had a big challenge to step into the shoes (or should I say platforms) of Alison Steadman in the iconic role of Beverly, but she was amazing! I was sold on the performance from the moment she put Donna Summer on the turntable and lit her first cigarette!
There’s still time to be a guest at Beverly’s party. The play runs until April 1 at Norwich Theatre Royal. Call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit

The cast of Abigail’s Party.

Cringleford tenor Ben is in harmony with busker star Hayley

Singer Ben Lake has played God – but he is now teamed up with a street soprano in a divine duo.
The 38-year-old tenor from Cringleford has graced the stages of London’s West End, and sung at major sporting events and concerts around the world.
But for the past year he has also been working with Hayley Moss, whose vocal talents were spotted as she busked on the streets of Norwich and launched her on an amazing journey – singing in front of 27,000 people at Norwich City football matches, then on prime time TV at the London Palladium.
Ben’s link-up with 31-year-old Hayley from Woodbastwick came about through an agent and the pair hit it off immediately.
“We just clicked as a duo,” said Ben. “I have worked with lots of people but we struck up a realty good relationship – something really natural. We are in synch.”
Ben’s duetting with Hayley is just part of his mix of work – which ranges from concert and corporate gigs to singing telegrams and busking in the streets of Norwich.
He also has a range of cabaret acts singing music based on blues, Bond and Broadway – and even finds time to run a stage school, Bliss, based at Cringleford’s Willow Centre with partner Abi. The pair have lived in Cringleford for eight years, with children Lottie, six, who goes to Eaton primary and Ted, nine, who is home educated.
“I love the variety of it” said Ben who was also seen by millions of TV viewers in a series of the TV talent show The Voice.
“The busking with Hayley is great. We love the feedback, try out new songs, and get a lot of work from it too,” he explained. The pair are often found on Thursday and Friday near the Jarrold store.
Ben studied at Trinity College of Music in his native London and in 1999 immediately got a big break singing “On with the Motley” from Pagliacci on ITV prime time show My Kind of Music hosted by Michael Barrymore.
He was spotted by the producer of the international Spirit of the Dance show and whisked off to open a new show in Reno Nevada. Ben has also sung at sporting events in the United States and Europe including the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham.
His stage roles have included playing God in Jerry Springer the Opera, where he won a Best West End Newcomer of the Year award. Ben also spent a year playing Piangi in the Phantom of the Opera.
He and Hayley have recorded an album together, Duets, featuring , April 1 at 7.30pm. For tickets and more information contact the box office on 01263 822347, or
For more information about Ben visit
See his audition for The Voice – and Jessie J call his voice “amazing” – at

Ben Lake and Hayley Moss
PICTURE: Richard Batson

Aylsham man raises £1500 for local scout groups

A Boxing Day swim at Cromer has helped Norfolk Scouts with £1,500 raised by Aylsham Freemason Robin Rush.

The money raised was split equally between the 1st Buxton and Lamas Sea Scouts and the 46th Norwich Scout Group. Norwich Masonic Lodge Royal George Chapter also donated £500 to 46th Norwich.

Robin is 76 years old but still active, regularly cycling hundreds of miles locally and abroad each year. He has taken part in the Cromer Boxing Day Swim for more than 10 years, with the majority of the money raised by local Masonic Lodges and their members.

A keen Scout in his youth and a member of the Scout Lodge in Norfolk, Robin has supported Buxton Scouts for several years raising thousands of pounds. This year he decided to share the money with 46th Norwich, which is a group specifically for the disabled.

“Scout Lodge has been giving regular assistance and this year I wanted to give them my personal support”, said Robin. “There are so many youngsters with disabilities wanting to join in with activities, so this will be my charity focus in our tercentenary year”.

This year Freemasons are celebrating 300 years since the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England, with celebrations being held both locally and nationally.

Dean Butcher, Scout Leader of 46th Norwich said: “This is a great boost for our members and will go to help fund field trips and weekends away as each Scout must bring a carer.”

Graham Breeze, Group Scout Leader of Buxton Scouts said: “This donation will help us upgrade and expand our facilities to enable even more young people enjoy Scouting in and around the Buxton area”.

Peter Leggett of Royal George Chapter said: “The 46th Norwich Scouts were one of the charities nominated to share in the proceeds of our Benevolent Fund. Scouting has the same principles as Freemasonry and we are pleased to support their good work for disabled young people in Norfolk.”

Robin Rush (middle left) and Peter Leggett of Royal George Chapter
(middle right), presenting cheques to members of 1st Buxton Sea Scouts and 46th Norwich Scout Group.

North Walsham students enjoy gig by rising star

Singer-songwriter brings show with online safety message to school.

300 North Walsham school students enjoyed a concert by an up and coming singer-songwriter at the school’s Atrium.

Essex-born Tom Ryder performed a number of songs including his new single ‘Here We Go Again’, as well as sharing his own experiences of cyber bullying and exam pressures.

The 27-year-old described how the pressure to perform during his own schooldays led to bouts of insomnia, anxiety and depression.

He advised students to confide in parents teachers or friends if something was worrying them. “You need to talk to someone about it. If you keep it within yourself, it will just grow,” he said.

Tom also shared a number of tips and strategies about staying safe online and avoiding cyber bullying, which he defines as using the internet to make people feel uncomfortable or threatened. He called on victims of such bullying not to respond or believe in what was being said about them, and to feel confident in who they are.

“The internet and social media are great things; if I want to say something, I can get it out there,” he told the audience. “But as soon as you put something up, it is out there. So before you share, make sure it’s something that you’re happy for people to see.”

The performance is part of a schools tour being undertaken by Tom to assure young people that anything is possible and that they need to not only work hard but also enjoy their time at school, rather than fearing it and being worried about the outcome of exams.

He described NWHS’s Atrium auditorium as “the nicest room I’ve played in so far in schools.”

Tom Ryder performing at The Atrium at North Walsham High School

Arts North Norfolk charity to close

Arts North Norfolk is to close the charity, it was announced today.

A statement from the trustees of The Atrium North Norfolk Ltd (Arts North Norfolk issued today said: “On Wednesday, February 23, at an extraordinary general meeting the company members present voted unanimously to close the charity.

“It was with great sadness that we, the company directors (trustees), determined this to be our only viable and appropriate course of action given the financial and organisational uncertainty and outlook. The decision was taken in accordance with the procedures set out in our Articles of Association. It was not taken lightly and is binding.”
The move has come after a turbulent time for the charity following the resignation of CEO Joseph Ballard in September 2016.

The trustees said in the statement: “We have worked extremely hard to sustain the charity in difficult circumstances with increasingly limited financial and human resources. The enormity of the task has been overwhelming – both emotionally and practically – and the obstacles are now, in our considered opinion, insurmountable.”

There have been calls for the collective resignation of trustees. “Our response is that, with the charity in such financial crisis, we would have been (and would continue to be) in serious breach of our responsibilities to do so at any point since the AGM in December 2016, when we were (re)elected by a very solid majority,” the statement reported.

It went on: “We firmly believe that we have acted with complete integrity to perform our prescribed obligations as trustees and have remained utterly committed throughout to the fulfillment of ANN’s core charitable purposes. We have endeavoured to deliver on promises made; but we know that we have not always done so. To those people that we have let down, we extend our sincere apologies. We have, with the invaluable help of a few dedicated volunteers, tried our very best to maintain a programme of theatre and concerts at The Atrium.”

ANN has not held a Licence to Occupy The Atrium since January 2016 and thus has had no direct involvement in the management or hiring of the facilities since that time. As such, all booking enquiries should continue to be sent direct to

They thanked the school governors for their support and Suzie Sharpe, who manages bookings.
There are currently hopes to continue and develop the Atrium Cinema Club.

The closure of the charity could take up to six months. Once all our bills are paid, trustees will have to dispose of any remaining assets (cash and physical) in accordance with the Articles of Association i.e. to registered charities with the same or similar charitable objects.

“We are committed to finding the most efficient way to ensure that these assets remain for the continuation of The Atrium Cinema Club and for the development and delivery of arts and educational activities and events for the benefit of the communities of North Walsham and North Norfolk. The charity is closing but the work will live on,” said the statement.

Trustees chairman Katrina Cole said: “We have tried to continue with a very restricted and limited programme because that was all we had available in front of us. We have no money to programme for the future as there are no grants or other funds in place or applied for so we are in a completely untenable situation.”
The organisation had been waiting for the final payment of a grant from Arts Council England of around £7,000 which has already been spent on North Walsham Festival 2016.

Katrina added: “To find myself in a position where I am overseeing the closure of such a historically vibrant and achieving charity is an absolute tragedy but regrettably we are left with no choice. I am so sad and so very aggrieved that this should have come to being.”

It’s all green and gold for Barnwell Print

Just Regional printers Barnwells has been recognised for its exceptional environmental performance by being the first company to receive the Norfolk Carbon Charter at Gold level.

Barnwells of Aylsham, which has been printer for Just Regional since it launched its first magazine in 2008, is the oldest family-run printing company in the UK and consideration for the environment is central to their business from the management down.

In awarding them the highest level of the accreditation, the panel noted how a wide range of measures was behind the reduced footprint they’d achieved, ranging from a bio-mass boiler to energy efficient printing equipment.

They also highlighted the firm’s commitment to engaging with clients, notably through offering the county’s first carbon balanced printing service through the World Land Trust.

The Norfolk Carbon Charter was formally launched on March 7. Speaking at the launch, director Julian Barnwell described how his personal passion lay behind the measures they had taken.

“We are immensely proud to be the first company to achieve the Gold level of the Norfolk Carbon Charter. As a keen scuba diver I’ve seen first hand the impact of climate change to coral reefs and by achieving the gold award we feel this is a conscientious and positive step in making a contribution to safeguarding the environment for future generations. I would encourage all Norfolk businesses to champion the Norfolk charter as a standard for their business, not only is it the correct moral ambition, but it also has an economic benefit.”

The Norfolk Carbon Charter provides independently validated recognition for the work businesses are doing to reduce their energy consumption. This allows companies with genuine green credentials to share their achievements with their customers, staff and suppliers.

The award of the Gold level Charter is reserved for exemplar businesses, where environmental management is fully embedded in their operations and they can evidence significant measures adopted to reduce impacts. All Charter awards follow a fully independent onsite assessment of the business, which is then validated by an expert panel.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee congratulated the business on their achievements, and welcomed the Charter as a valuable support for local businesses, saying: “The Carbon Charter’s success has been founded in assisting businesses to celebrate their own good practice and innovation. The funding available through BEE Anglia opens up this valued endorsement to many more businesses in Norfolk. We know there is a lot of good practice out there and I look forward to awarding many more charter accreditation’s in Norfolk”

Currently assessment for the Carbon Charter is free to eligible businesses, with costs fully covered by the Business Energy Efficiency Anglia project. BEE Anglia is co-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Businesses interested in the Carbon Charter can find out more details at

Julian Barnwell and Martin Wilby