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.

Plan to introduce on-street parking meters scrapped

A controversial plan to introduce on-street parking meters to Cromer and Sheringham has been stopped in its tracks after the District Council urged a rethink.

Plans to bring in on-street parking had been suggested by Norfolk Parking Partnership, which is operated by Norfolk County Council.

A statement was sent to officers of the Norfolk Parking Partnership Joint Committee setting out NNDC’s concerns.

John Rest, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for assets said: “This is a great result. It’s been a huge worry to the people in our district and Norfolk Parking Partnership has made the right decision.

“As Cabinet member I invited ward members in to talk through the county’s proposals; at that meeting councillors were keen for all options to be explored to see if the costs of parking enforcement could be reduced or if parking could be enforced more locally.

“Our belief is that more time needs to be spent looking into the issue in far more detail and that if this approach had been adopted in the first place it would have given a full understanding of the options and opportunities.”

At the meeting councillors agreed to ask whether the Norfolk Parking Partnership Joint Committee had fully explored all the options for reducing the costs of parking enforcement before looking to raise additional funds from putting in parking meters.

Judy Oliver, Cabinet Member for Legal Services and ward member for Sheringham South added: “Any changes to the present car parking enforcement scheme must be carefully considered, evidence-based and rational. A scheme that does not meet those criteria would be vulnerable to challenge by way of judicial review. We are keen to establish a way forward that is reasonable, fair and effective and we will consider all options to achieve that result.”

Nigel Pearce, ward member for Suffield Park, Cromer, added: “I’m really pleased with the decision to drop the proposed on-street parking plans. If it had gone through it would have taken money out of the area without bringing any benefit to our two seaside towns.”

Awards for carers in Gill’s memory

Careres have paid tribute to a former employee with the first awards cermony in her name.

The Gill Chase Awards 2015 presentation was held at the Prince of Wales Stand Fakenham Racecourse, in memory of the carer who passed away suddenly last November from a pulmonary embolism.

Gill had worked for Extra Hands as a Home Care Assistant for 20 years, and was one of the first employees. She was an “exceptional carer”, always putting her others before herself.

The group said: “As an organisation we felt the commitment and loyalty shown could not go unrecognised, so decided to keep her memory alive by organising an annual award. Members of Gill’s family were invited to take part in the judging and attended the event.”

There were congratulations to all who received nominations and the shortlisted staff (pictured). The two finalists were Nina Stephen and Ian Meredith, with Nina pronouced overall winner.

extra hands 1 extran hands 2



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


Festive fun on the North Norfolk coast

There’s a chance to get in the festive mood this weekend (Dec 4-6) up on the North Norfolk coast.

Deepdale Christmas Market will be offering shoppers more than 100 stalls to pick up some original gifts in time for December 25.

There will be entertainment throughout the weekend, late-night shopping on the Friday until 8pm and food from the Deepdale café and street vendors. Most of the stalls are indoors or under marquees so are OK whatever the weather.

Deepdale Christmas Market, which includes Dalegate Market, will start at 2pm on Friday and will run 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. There is free entry and car parking.

See more at

deepdale xmas

Aylsham auctioneers have big plans for 2016

Aylsham auction house Keys has announced a massively expanded programme of sales for 2016 – reflecting increasing demand, especially from online bidders.

From January 2106, Keys Fine Art Auctioneers will hold fortnightly antiques and interiors sales throughout the year.  These sales will include ceramics, pictures, books, maps, ephemera, silver, jewellery, clocks and watches, toys and collectables and militaria.

The auctioneer will also hold three, three-day fine sales during the year, incorporating fine quality furniture, books, pictures, jewellery and antiques.  In addition, there will be two East Anglian Art Sales and a number of specialist auctions such as sporting and taxidermy and ornithology.

 At the same time, Keys has announced a major four-day Country House sale in April on behalf of Ron Fiske of Morningthorpe Manor in Norfolk.  This sale will take place in Keys’ Aylsham salerooms.

Keys director and general manager Kevin Lines said: “This represents a big change to the way that we do things at Keys but we have never been shy of adopting new ideas and adapting what we do to an ever-changing world.”

The 2016 sales diary is available from

keys logo

December 1 opening day for Aylsham Thai/English restaurant

Next Tuesday (December 1) sees the re-opening of an Aylsham restaurant with a fusion of English and Thai food on the menu.

The New Forge, which has previously been The Greens and The Forge, has been taken over by Tim and Koi Sizeland, who moved to Aylsham from a similar successful venture the Wheatacre White Lion, near Beccles.

Tim, who lived in the town previously for two years in 2000, said he was looking forward to welcoming customers back to the pub and restaurant and hoped the new menu would go down well.

“We wanted to combine the Thai cuisine with some traditional English food to appeal to everyone,” he said.

Tim and Koi have been working hard in the restaurant since they took on the freehold in September to get it ready for Tuesday’s opening. And he said they already had bookings lined up for that week, including one party which transferred their booking from the White Lion when they knew the couple were moving on.

“Our last pub was a very rural location with no passing trade so it will be interesting to see how things develop here with the town nearby and a busy road on our doorstep,” said Tim.

He is hoping that the couple’s reputation from their previous business will follow then to Aylsham, along with a few of their regulars.

Tim, who started his working life as a pig breeder, will be mostly seen managing the bar area, having worked for many years in holiday camps in that role. Koi is in charge of the kitchen, having left her job in the Inland Revenue in Thailand after she married Tim six years ago. She gained experience in Thai restaurants in Norwich before they took on the White Lion.

The couple are already becoming known in the area, having used local traders to help with the spruce-up and they are now looking to take on new bar and waiting staff.

Call Tim on 01263 734275 if you are interested.DSC_0495