Final week for competition entries from budding writers

By: Innes Enslin

There is just one week left for children and young people across Norfolk to submit their entries into Norfolk County Council’s creative writing competition for 5-13 year olds.

Write On Norfolk – a competition aimed at boosting summer learning and honing children’s writing skills has already received more than 120 entries since it opened on the 5 June, and now with just a week to go Norfolk County Council is encouraging even more children to get their entries in before it’s too late.  The Write On Norfolk competition is open to children and young people who are aged between five and 13 years old. Budding writers are asked to submit a piece of original creative writing before 31 August.

For the second year Jarrold of Norwich is backing the competition and will be donating Jarrold book tokens as prizes. In addition to these vouchers there will be a prize of an Amazon Fire tablet up for grabs for the gold winners.  Plus those writers who are enrolled in the Children’s University, their entries will earn credits towards their degree.

Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council, who is one of the final judges for the competition said: “Helping Norfolk’s children achieve their full potential by giving them every opportunity to develop vital skills like reading and writing is a key priority for the county council which is why I’m so pleased that we are running this competition again.

“Last year I enjoyed reading some wonderful stories and poems from young people across Norfolk, and I hope that this year we get even more children taking part.

“As a Mum myself, I know just how important it is to keep up those skills during the long weeks of the summer holidays, but this competition is designed to be a fun way of doing it so I hope that parents, grandparents and carers will give them as much encouragement as possible to enter.”

BBC Radio Norfolk’s breakfast presenter, Nick Conrad, who will also judge the entries added: “Children can be wonderfully creative. Anything that marries up improving English skills, promoting literature and encouraging our next generation to get inspired, I support. I look forward to reading the stories and adventures conjured up by the minds of Norfolk’s school children.”

The only rules for the competition are that the writing must be a maximum of 500 words (roughly one side of A4 paper), and it must contain a link to Norfolk. The entry can be a short story, poem, script or even song lyrics and must be submitted online via the Norfolk County Council website – Full details about the competition, including how to enter, and terms and conditions can be found by visiting the Council website.

Dizzie the dog is hot stuff for Christmas fair

Dizzie, a five-year old black Labrador who lives in Lammas, will be the star of this year’s Christmas fair in the village, having achieved national fame.

He is pictured on a new range of Christmas textiles and gifts from the quality kitchenware company Aga Cookshop, wearing a festive jumper.

The exclusive range is available while stocks last and includes apron, double oven glove, chef’s pad, pot grab and tea towel, plus boxed sets.

Dizzie at Christmas will be on sale at the annual Christmas fair at Lammas Village Hall on Sunday (December  6), 2-4pm.

Dizzie’s owner Jak Rayner is a stalwart supporter of the fair. The textiles designer was commissioned by Aga to come up with the range. She said: “I’m so proud of Dizzie – he is a really lovely black lab and was only too pleased to model for the pictures.”

Other attractions at this year’s fair include wreaths and table decorations, home-made produce, crafts, raffle, tombola and the usual Lammas “wheezes” designed to amuse and make a small profit. Parking is in Lammas churchyard.

web Dizzie Christmas

Join them for a festive sing-along

The OPEN Youth Trust and Norwich Cathedral Choir will be bringing back the old tradition of the Barclays Bank Annual Community Carol Concert.

Norwich Cathedral Choir will be performing at Open, Bank Plain, from 1pm on Thursday (Dec 3) for about 40 minutes.

Local businesses and passers-by are invited to drop in any time between 11am and 5pm for refreshments and mince pies (provided by The Feed).

The event is free to attend and there will be a selection of Christmas gifts on sale and a chance to see around the venue. Donations from the event will be split 50-50 between the Norwich Cathedral Choir and the OPEN Youth Trust charities.

Ann Tattam, Conference & Event Manager said “We wanted to re-establish something many people in Norwich fondly remember.  The event brings the people of Norwich and the local business community together for a festive sing-along.”

The event has been sponsorship by Fosters solicitors.

Norwich Cathedral Male Choir


All dressed up to raise £17,000 for youth chairty

A black tie dinner held at the OPEN Venue on Bank Plain in Norwich on November 11 raised more than £17,000 for the OPEN Youth Trust.

Guests were stirred by speeches and performances from young people whom the charity has helped make a positive difference to their lives.

During the evening the audience also saw videos of support from Olympic medal winning boxer Anthony Ogogo and Norwich City’s Declan Rudd.

Chief Executive John Gordon-Saker said: “Whilst raising additional funds is always important, our priority was to reach out to the broader business community and create on-going partnerships, sponsorship and wider use of our conference and event facilities so that we can significantly increase the range of activities we can offer young people and achieve the best for them and their families.”

Russ Dacre, chair of trustees for OPEN, said: “We felt the evening was a fitting celebration of 10 years of the OPEN Youth Trust. The young people’s performances, however, for me really made the evening.”

Young people performers

A hairy few months for Ben

Beards might be the “in” thing at the moment but it’s not fashion that inspired Ben Carpenter to grow his.
He started letting his ginger facial hair sprout back in January to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
“Towards the end of last year I had let my stubble grow slightly longer than usual, so whilst in the pub (all great ideas happen down the pub don’t they) one of my mates (Steve) came up with the dare to grow it for a year and me being me and three pints down stupidly agreed.
“A week or so later word was going round and more people were interested so a charity was mentioned and that soon made £200 so there was no turning back then,” said Ben.
Now, as many men around the country are in the throes of Movember, Ben is in full-on beardy mode, ready for a charity shave in the New Year.
Ben, who lives in Overstrand is growing is hoping to raise £1,000 plus for the cause. He is currently just shy of his target.
Proud girlfriend Loren Allen said: “His friends and family are extremely proud of him and we all appreciate how important the charity is. Now he just needs a boost to keep him positive and raise some more money in his last few weeks.”
Ben has had to endure sarcastic remarks and looks from strangers and daily explanations as to why his beard is so long.
“ZZ Top is the most popular,” he said, but added: “It’s been quite amazing how many people think its great. I’ve had lot of comments from strangers, mostly men.”
The shave will be held in Sheringham on New Year’s Eve at the Crown Inn at midnight.Ben’s band The Naked Lights will be playing and donation buckets are at the ready. A £1 voluntary donation will be the entry fee on the night.
And Ben can’t wait. “It’s awful, it really is. One to three months is the itchy stage then that goes and is replaced with having to blow dry it otherwise my clothes get soaked. I have to be careful when I zip up my jacket and then there’s food and drink problems. Arrragghhh. Get it off. Also Loren detests it!”
If you would like to give Ben a boost see

ben c


Treat for Scalextric fans as club opens doors

Fans of the classic model Scalextric have a treat in store next month.
Presto Park model racing club is holding an open day on Sunday, December 6, at its HQ at located at Unit 1, Pound Farm, The Street, Hevingham.
The day will give youngsters and adults the chance to drive on the 100 foot track to experience a rapidly expanding and inexpensive sport.
Since 1962, when Presto Park was first founded in Norwich, the club has never opened its doors to the public for an open day. Members now come from all over the Broads area and beyond.
The event runs 10am-3pm. Organiser Mike Harvey said: “Presto Park members will be pleased to welcome adults and youngsters 10 years and over to this event.
“All youngsters must be accompanied by an adult at all times when visiting the circuit. I will be on hand to answer any questions as will be my members.”
He said unlike X Box and computer games, racing was a sociable hobby, so interpersonal skills, especially for youngsters, were greatly improved by taking part.
“Technical and engineering skills are also improved as we encourage everyone to work on their own cars but if they mess it up there is always help and spare parts at hand to get you out of trouble,” he added.
The club is open to anyone 12 years and over. Racing is on a 97 foot, permanent, four-lane braided and routed track which is fully landscaped. The races are run every Wednesday night from 7.30-10pm.
Anyone wishing to join the club on the day will be offered a training session at a date to suit them, which includes preparing the cars for race meetings, how to drive fast but stay in the slot, and improving marshalling skills. There will also be a £5 discount on membership given to everyone who joins on the day itself.
See more at

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REVIEW: Puttin’ on the Ritz

Puttin’ On The Ritz

Review by Ellen Smith


Are you a fan of Hollywood’s Golden Age? Then the brand new production of Puttin’ on the Ritz is definitely for you.

Puttin’ On The Ritz, was an absolutely fabulous musical filled with glitz, glamour and opulence! It showcased songs from musicians such as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter so always had the audience tapping their feet and singing along.

The dance chorus were extremely energetic and animated, and always made each scene lively and entertaining. And, if you are a fan of Strictly Come Dancing then this is definitely a show for you. Strictly stars Kristina Rihanoff, Robin Windsor, Katya Virshilas and Jared Murillo were absolutely phenomenal and added just little bit more to the musical. The finishing position of every dance was breathtaking and always received a roaring round of applause from the audience.

If, like me, you just love to look at the beautiful, sparkly dresses then you will be truly amazed.

The show skips between 1899 to 1948 and some could have found this a little confusing. However, the narration before every scene was performed enabled the audience to understand which year we were being taken back to each time. Every dance number was beautifully choreographed and always performed wi th an animated and happy face.

As well as the fabulous dances, there was also a singing chorus. Each and every one of their voices were marvellous and always blew the audience away. The songs sung were very well known, and some might say difficult to perform they hit each and every note with ease.

Puttin’ On The Ritz was in all a wonderful show, full of colour, glitter and fun for all the family. This is one musical extravaganza that should not be missed.

Puttin On The Ritz production shot2

Have you got talent? Then sign up for Coast

Young people are being encouraged to show off their talents for a festival along the North Norfolk coast.

Coast arts festival is widening its net to encourage people to sign up for North Norfolk’s Got Talent which will run in town and village venues over September, leading up to a grand final in October.

The festival takes place in North Norfolk over October 23-31, the school half term holiday, and aims to incorporate a wide range of art forms including dance, theatre, film, music and photography.

Secretary Barry Meadows said North Norfolk’s Got Talent had primarily been organised to appeal to young people but it was open to anyone to take part.

“Coast was launched six years ago and this year we wanted to something a bit different,” he said.

Heats will be taking place are taking place on September 4 at Coronation Hall in Mundesley, September 11 at Davenport’s Magic Kingdom in North Walsham, September 18 at Merchant’s Place in Cromer and September 25 at Holt Community Centre.

A fifth audition date will be realised later. There will then be two semi-finals taking place on October 16 at Davenport’s and October 22 at the Lighthouse in Sheringham, followed by the grand final on Cromer pier on October 30.

During the festival week there will also be art and storytelling workshops at venues along the coast and a photography competition with the theme of Littoral Living, the highs and lows. Littoral means of or relating to the shore of a lake, sea, or ocean.

For the people who like literature, the festival has announced that the well-known author Lynne Truss will be doing a talk on the pier on the Wednesday evening of festival week.

To sign up for the talent show go to For details of the festival see