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Drayton’s 12 Days of Christmas video hit

A Drayton estate agent’s inspired Christmas idea has helped promote local businesses – and given hundreds of people a good laugh.

Wil Barber, owner of William’s Way Estate Agent’s, has put together a 12 Days of Christmas video featuring a dozen local businesses.

Each firm uses their “day” to give their particular service a musical plug, while dressed in Christmas gear.

The finished song had more than 850 views on Youtube within a day of its release and had become a talking point in the village, according to Wil, who grew up in Drayton.

“We’re always looking for fun things to do to get the community involved,” said Wil. “I’m a local kid so I’ve got a lot more emotional attachment to the area. We were thinking ‘what can we do to help the community?’ I also wanted to do something to show the community that we are a community – and we knew that it would be hilarious!”

Wil said they had no trouble filling the 12 appearance slots. “In the end we were fighting people off and since its release people have been saying ‘why didn’t you ask me to be in it?’ Estate agents have a bad reputation for being pushy and salesy. I wanted to do something to show that we’re not like that.

“There have been loads of lovely comments on the community Facebook page. Now we’re thinking about next Christmas. We’ve had a joke about doing a Christmas calendar, featuring all the old blokes!”

To watch the video go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR7m-UXYPYk&feature=youtu.be

Pictured are a few stills from the video featuring Drayton businesses

Gresham’s Girls release new single

A year after releasing their first single, Gresham’s Girls have recorded a cover version of the Depeche Mode song, Enjoy the Silence, to help raise money for school charities.

In 2016, a group of school friends at Gresham’s School, Holt, recorded their first single, a soulful version of Sit Down by James’ raising £1,000 for the charity YoungMinds. Following the success of this release, the group decided to record another single for Christmas 2017.

This year Gresham’s Girls are Maria Butcher, Clementine Chapple, Iris Croft, Ella Fairbairn-Day, Amelia Fox, Rachel Heath, Sophy Kenyon, Jemima Porter, Molly Sankey and Romy Sipek.

Using the school’s state-of-the-art recording studio in the Britten Building, the girls recorded and produced the single with the help of music teachers Chris Cooper and Justin Myers.

Douglas Robb, headmaster, said: “Gresham’s Girls have produced an enchanting cover version of this song and I hope their efforts will be rewarded by raising lots of money for our school charities. I will watch with interest the progress of the single over the coming months.  It’s something for everyone’s Christmas list!”

The single is now available as a download from Bandcamp and iTunes and all proceeds will go to this year’s school charities, the Opalagilagi School, Kenya and I Afrika Boy’s Home in Nairobi.

To download a copy click on the following link: https://greshamsgirls.bandcamp.com/track/enjoy-the-silence

Gresham’s Girls recording the song in the recording studio at Gresham’s School.

 

Primary school plans for St Michael’s School, Aylsham, approved

St Michael’s School in Aylsham has had its plans to take pupils until the age of 11 approved.
The transition to admit pupils from four up to the age of 11 years, will start from September 1, 2018, to become an all-through primary school. The first year’s admission number will be 20 pupils in Year 3, with a reduced intake in reception. The nursery provision will remain unchanged.
Head Catherine McMahon said: “At last our dream of being an all-through primary school has become a reality. In September 2018 we will take in our first Year 3s and begin the transformation of this wonderful school. The future looks bright for both the school and for Aylsham parents and children who deserve real educational choice.”
The decision was made by the executive director of children’s services on December 12.
Catherine added: “We are simply delighted and would like to extend our huge thanks to all who helped make this possible.”
The aim is that the school will grow gradually to give everyone time to get used to the changes. The new class will initially be housed in a temporary classroom while a new classbase is built and modifications are made to the dining hall and kitchen.
A traffic strategy is being put in place to encourage people to park in the town car parks when dropping off and walking their children to the school.
Office manager Fiona Tibbitt said the school was redoubling its efforts to encourage parents to walk their children to school, and pointed out that at present, many people feel they have to drive because they are rushing between two schools. The school day will also be extended when a breakfast and tea club are established and this should relieve congestion at busy times.
The school is currently advertising for an experienced and Key Stage 2 teacher. It currently takes up to 108 pupils, which will go up to 140 over the next four years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pupils making laterns for Christmas

 

Sprowston man’s Christmas song and video

 

Christmas-mad musician John Fisher has fulfilled a dream of releasing a seasonal single, plus an all-singing, all-dancing video.

And Sprowston resident John, 44, has done it in style, recruiting dozens of family and friends to take part in the six-minute video, which is packed with tinsel and fun, and was shot all over Norwich.

His single, Fit For A King, is an upbeat, Christmas-pudding mixture of a tune, with echoes of Slade, Wizard, Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas, and John and Yoko’s Happy Christmas War Is Over. It includes a choir-style chorus.

The song was played on December 3 at Thorpe St Andrew’s River Green lights switch on, and John and his wife Karen hired Norwich’s Hollywood Cinema on December 6 to give all those involved a VIP preview of the single and video before they were officially released, on December 8.

John, who owns recording business Earth Studios, on Salhouse Road, Norwich, wrote the song last year. As a singer/songwriter he is signed to Ashwood Music and recorded it at Ashwood Recording Studios, Bowthorpe, with other musicians including former The Darkness’s Ed Graham on drums.

The video, shot by ex-BBC cameraman Richard Howes, of Insight Media, was made between November 2016 and February this year.

It follows the drunken route of a very tipsy Father Christmas (played by Bradley Buxton) around Norwich, ending in the St Mary Magdalene Church, on Silver Road, where everyone is gathered.

A gang of motorcyclists is seen passing River Green while the Tunnel of Light and Chapelfield Gardens also feature.

Among those Bad Santa meets on his way are two young men dressed as Mrs Claus – John’s drama student son Jack, 19, and his friend Josh Mace. John’s younger son, Connor, 16, plays a cyclist who runs into Santa. And friends Simon Pritchard and his wife Suzie appear in rock ‘n’ roll gear.

“I struck gold with the cast. Everyone dressed up to the nines with tinsel, lights, and Christmas jumpers,” said John. “I’m a big kid at Christmas. I’m very much family orientated. We have a big do on Boxing Day with family and friends. I love all the singing and party games.

“The single is quite hooky. I wanted it to be one of those end-of-the-night in the pub singalong songs. Hopefully that’s what I’ve captured. I’m really, really pleased with the result.”

  • The single is available on all media sites to buy as a download, or to stream on Spotify.
  • The video can be seen on Universal via Vivo, or Sony via Radial. Search for John Fisher, Fit For A King
  • John Fisher is pictured right, clinking mugs with fellow musician Rob Arneil

REVIEW: Wizard of Oz, Sheringham Little Theatre

It’s panto time at Sheringham Little Theatre and its a real cracker of a show oh yes it is!

The season opened with a matinee on Saturday, December 9. The audience in the packed theatre was whisked away by a tornado from Kansas to the Emerald City in the land of Oz and back again.

The opening sequence where Dorothy (Hana Stewart) and Toto her little dog are whisked away from the farm on the oncoming gathering tornado made a  spectacular scene.

It’s a fast-moving show with plenty of great audience participation throughout and the story was easy to follow for all the children in the audience.

Loraine Metcalfe was a deliciously wicked witch of the west and was boo’d every time she made an appearance. There was also Glinda the witch of the north (Shane Armstrong), who was good and kind to Dorothy. Three great favourites with the audience are the Scarecrow, Lion, and at the Tin Man. Scarecrow was funny and loveable, played with great talent by Harry Williams, his companions along the Yellow Brick Road, the romantic Tin Man (Kyle Fraser) and courageous Lion with a very long tail (Rik Warren), all had the audience enthralled as they went on their journey to find what they were all seeking.

It’s a truly fantastic show and has a lovely leading lady with a beautiful singing voice, great music and young dancers. It all goes to make the best start to the Christmas season. OH YES IT DOES.

“It’s magic,” said Finley, aged 10 years . “Really great,” added said Dylan aged seven. The best ever, say us and well done SLT,  you have done it again. Wonderful.

Kevin and Sandra Stone plus Finley and Dylan

Body found in search for North Walsham man

Police believe the body of the young man found this morning near North Walsham was that of missing 20-year-old Ian Tang.

The body was found in an area of woodland at Swafield at 11.15am by a small group who had joined around 200 members of the community, the Fire and Rescue Service and Lowland Rescue in the search at 10am this morning.

Ian went missing after leaving Club KA in North Walsham at 2.30am after spending the evening with friends. CCTV in the town shows him alone, walking towards the B1145. He was sighted later near the bypass and was last seen between 5.45 and 6am near the Pigney’s Wood/Swafield area by a passing motorist.

At a briefing at North Walsham police station this afternoon, Wes Hornigold, Chief Inspector for North Norfolk and Broadland, said they had yet to officially identify the body but were working closely and supporting the family while this was carried out.

And he praised the huge community effort which had aided the search. “It was absolutely fantastic to see such a real community effort, people really came out in force, giving up their time to help. It was a testament to the community spirit of North Walsham. I was overcome with the amount of people who came to North Walsham police station this morning.”

Members of the community had also been out the evening before searching in the dark.

He said Ian was obviously well-liked within the community and said: “Our thoughts are with the family at this time.”

He said a formal identification was expected today or tomorrow and the investigation would continue to piece together what happened, though Ian’s death was not being treated as suspicious at this time.

Police and volunteers had carried out door-to-door inquiries and posters had been put up in the town. An appeal had also gone out on Facebook asking for help in the search.

Ian worked at Rossis Leisure in North Walsham as well as attending college. Fitness classes at Rossis were this afternoon suspended out of respect to him. Operations manager Chris Carr said the staff were coming to terms with the tragedy. “Ian was a well-liked member of the team and many staff here were very close to him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” he said.

Chief Inspector Wes Hornigold

 

 

Staff do their bit for Christmas

Staff at North Norfolk’s largest social landlord have been embracing the true spirit of Christmas – by donating to a reverse Advent calendar to help less fortunate people enjoy the festive season.

Staff at Victory Housing Trust have each been donating 24 items of food, drink and festive treats to the Advent Calendar – which has seen several boxes of goodies delivered to the Cromer and District Foodbank for distribution to those facing a less than merry Christmas.

Collection organiser Kari Ashling, a tenancy management officer at the trust, delivered the boxes to the Foodbank in time for the items, which also include necessities such as toothbrushes, shampoo and nappies, to be included in the charity’s seasonal distribution.

“The reverse Advent calendar is such a good idea which encourages us to think about the real meaning of Christmas,” said Ms Ashling.  “Colleagues at Victory have really embraced the idea, and we are delighted to be able to donate so much to the Foodbank at the time of year when demand for what it does is at its peak.”

Last month the Foodbank, which has distributed more than 30 tonnes of food to people in crisis across north Norfolk over the past year, was the recipient of a £5,000 grant from the Victory Housing Community Fund to help support the cost of its two part-time project managers.

Further details of the work the Foodbank does, along with details of how to donate and to get help, can be found at www.cromerdistrict.foodbank.org.uk.

Kari Ashling of Victory Housing Trust presents the Christmas goodies to Cromer and district Foodbank joint project managers Tim Morton and Miranda Hall
PICTURE: Andy Newman

Cadets transform care home’s garden

Residents at a Cringleford care home are enjoying a transformed garden, thanks to the efforts of a group of police cadets.

Cavell Court, on Dragonfly Lane, now boasts newly-painted garden tables and chairs, an improved sensory space and plenty of handmade enclosures to attract local wildlife.  Panola pansies, begonias, bellis reds and dwarf conifers have also been planted, adding to the existing displays.

The cadets and their leaders joined residents as part of a community project which also aimed to encourage friendship between different generations.

Youngsters helped residents make fat balls for the birds and create colourful decorations such as pinwheels to brighten up the outside space.  A total of 40 handmade birdboxes have also been added to the garden, with all of the timber donated by a local Jewson’s branch.

Afterwards, the police cadets joined residents, their relatives and the Care UK team for a well-deserved buffet and firework display. Richard Lawson, home manager at Cavell Court, said: “We’re so grateful to the police cadets who helped spruce up our garden,  the project proved to be a real success and you could see from the residents’ faces just how much they enjoyed spending time with the cadets. “Intergenerational relationships have been proven to be beneficial to older people, and it was clear that the residents at Cavell Court really enjoyed the afternoon.

“The outdoors has many therapeutic benefits for older people, not least because it’s given them the opportunity to get back to nature, but it can also improve mood, concentration and relieve stress. We hope the garden will bring much joy to residents and visitors over the coming years.”

Cavell Court is an 80-bed care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care.

Picture: Lucy Taylor Photography