Man ordered to pay back £80,000 drug money

A man who supplied cannabis in North Walsham has been ordered to pay back £80,000 from the proceeds of his crimes.

Aiden Hyland, of Chapel Road, Paston, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on September 25, where he was sentenced to an 18-month community order and 150 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis at an earlier hearing.

Hyland, 25, was also ordered to pay £80,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard how Hyland was arrested on February 10, 2018, after officers executed a warrant at an address on Kings Arms Street in North Walsham and seized drug paraphernalia and cash.

A number of mobile phones were also found which contained various messages relating to the supply and sale of cannabis.

Sgt Toby Gosdon said: “I am pleased Hyland has been ordered to return the money he made through his criminality. This case demonstrates that crime does not pay, and officers will continue to ensure those engaged in illegal activity are stripped of the very thing that motivates them to commit their crimes.”

Woman fined £10,000 after covid protest in city centre

A woman involved in an illegal gathering in Norwich on Thursday has been given a £10,000 fixed penalty notice.

It follows a gathering on the Haymarket which started just after midday and involved more than 80 people protesting against the covid-19 prevention restrictions.

The 37-year-old, from the Norwich area, was arrested at the scene after refusing to provide her details to police. She was taken into custody at Wymondham and following enquiries later issued with the fixed penalty notice for contravening the ban on being involved in holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

In addition, a 25-year-old man from the Norwich area arrested at the scene on suspicion of common assault after allegedly coughing at a woman, has since been charged with the offence. He has been released on bail to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 23.

Three other people at the gathering were reported for the offence of organising or facilitating a gathering of more than 30 people, in breach of the Health Protection Regulations.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks, who has been leading the local police response to coronavirus, said: “As a police force, we fully appreciate how difficult the past six months have been for the county and I am pleased that the vast of majority of people have played and continue to play their part, following the guidance and legislation helping to protect Norfolk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“However, the infection rate is now rising rapidly across the country and while in Norfolk it is not increasing as significantly as other areas, we must carry on working together to keep everyone safe. Our focus will remain on our use of the 4Es – engaging, explaining, encouraging and then enforcing when required.

“The gathering yesterday was in breach of the Health Protection Regulations and we took action to disperse the group including making two arrests. We will all have a role to play in keeping our county safe going forward and we won’t hesitate to take action if needed.

“We police by consent and we need people and businesses to work with us on this. Our approach will remain the same: engaging with people first, explaining the guidance and law and encouraging people to do the right thing. However, we will not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce, we will do so to protect our communities.

“If members of the public are concerned that the law is being broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to us and we will consider the most appropriate response, targeting repeat and high-risk behaviour.  We all have a personal responsibility to reduce the spread of coronavirus and ensure that police enforcement is used only as a last resort.  Reports should be made through our online reporting wherever possible.”

Councillor announces split from his party

County councillor Ed Maxfield has resigned from the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, saying it broke his heart to do so.
He had already stood down as group leader because of disillusionment with his party’s “disastrous approach to Brexit and its 2019 General Election campaign”.
In an email to his party colleagues he said: “For a number of years, though, I have felt that the party has been shifting away from my values so that now it gives the impression that it is more concerned with appealing to the fringes of Twitter than listening to people who live in Trunch, Mundesley or Overstrand.”

His area includes Trunch, Antingham, Swafield, Knapton, Paston, Bacton, Mundesley, Gimingham, Trimingham, Sidestrand, Northrepps and Overstrand, and he added: “It breaks my heart to leave a party I have belonged to, and campaigned for, since I was 18.
“I know that around the country there are sensible, moderate Lib Dem councillors doing great work. The group on North Norfolk District Council, under the leadership of Sarah Butikofer, is making a real difference for the communities I represent. But when I received notification that my party membership was due for renewal, I knew I could not, in good conscience, stay as a party member.”
He added that he had asked to join the independent group on the council.

Christmas IS coming to the theatre

Norwich Theatre has announced a special season of festive shows for 2020, a Right Royal Christmas, which will see the Theatre Royal temporarily re-open to audiences during December.

The season will include three shows, Panto in a Pickle!, A Circus Carol and She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends, which will alternate.

After 19 years at the centre of Theatre Royal Christmases delighting family audiences, Norwich’s favourite pantomime Dame, Richard Gauntlett, will return once more and star in a brand new show for the whole family that captures lots of the traditional panto fun in a madcap adventure through six of your favourite stories, Panto in a Pickle.

Ricahrd Gauntlett is all set for Panto in a Pickle! Picture: Max Hilton.

Richard said: “The postponement of ‘Dick Whittington and his Cat’ this year was a huge disappointment for all involved and this opportunity to fill the ‘Panto-void’ with a new twist is an exciting and unexpected pleasure.  Be prepared for pantomime but not as we know it. And it does mean that I can do my Christmas shopping in Norwich!”

Following its sell-out success at Norwich Playhouse at Christmas 2019, Norwich Theatre’s critically acclaimed co-production with Lost in Translation Circus, A Circus Carol, will also be remounted specially for the Theatre Royal stage.

Lost in Translation Circus will be performing in A Christmas Carol. Picture: Max Hilton

Circus director Massimiliano Rossetti said: “The amazing opportunity to partner with Norwich Theatre to bring Interlude to life has been a great success. 

“The opportunity to perform in front of live audiences was a dream and I’m very honoured that we will have the opportunity to perform again – this time on the beautiful stage of the Theatre Royal with our co-production of ‘A Circus Carol’

“I’m very excited to be performing at Christmas, sharing smiles, amazement, joy and laughter with audiences during the festive season.”

Completing the season will be another new show from much-loved Norfolk comedian Karl Minns, with the return of one of his favourite Nimmo Twins comedy creations, She Go, alongside some other local characters.  She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends will be a festive look back at what a year 2020 has been here in our fair county of Norfolk.

Karl Minns favourite She Go will be looking back from under her Christmas tree. Picture: Max Hilton

Karl said: “Having performed at Interlude in the summer, I’m thrilled and privileged to have the chance to play in front of a Norfolk audience again. It’s even more exciting to be playing at the Theatre Royal.

“We’ve all missed being inside theatres and this is a huge honour and a big step forward in reclaiming our beloved spaces.  It’s been a tough year for everyone, so to end the year and go into Christmas with some joy and laughter is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Stephen Crocker, chief executive of Norwich Theatre, said: “Christmas is such a special and important time in the life of a theatre and I believe our audiences, for many of whom a festive trip to the theatre is a long-standing tradition, need a Christmas treat more than ever before this year.”

Whilst the full-scale re-opening of Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two will not be possible until social-distancing measures are further relaxed, this short season will be planned with current guidance in mind and both the shows and the covid-secure modifications to the Theatre Royal building have been made possible through grants and donations.

Tickets will go on sale from September 24.

Panto in a Pickle runs from December 16 to 24. Tickets are £10 to £13.50 or a family ticket is £50. 60 mins (no interval). Age 3+

A Circus Carol runs from December 16 to 23. Tickets are £10 to £17.50. Family ticket is £65. 70 mins (no interval). Age 10+

She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends runs from December 16 to 23 with tickets costing from £10 to £21.50. 80 minutes (no interval). Age 16+

Environmentally, my dear Watson!

A famous detective duo have helped a Norfolk nature study centre as it seeks to plot a post pandemic future.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson entertained a sell-out crowd of 200 people in the grounds of How Hill at the weekend in a fun show staged by the Pantaloons, who put a new slant on Sherlock’s classic cases including The Speckled Band.

Proceeds from the event, organised by its Friends group, will help the environmental study centre, which has lost its visiting schools, and its income, during lockdown – with none expected now until next year.

The Pantaloons’ Holmes (Edward Ferrow) and Watson (Christopher Smart) relax at How Hill’s front door after the successful fundraising show.

But the centre, at Ludham, which has been teaching youngsters about the countryside around them for 50 years, remains positive about its future, and is preparing to bounce back when educational work resumes in 2021.

Director Simon Partridge said: “We know our regular schools are keen to return as soon as it is safe to do so, and we have been making preparations for that happy day. A stay at How Hill has been a highlight of the schooldays of thousands of pupils over the years, and aim to make that true in the future too.”

The centre hosted its last pupils on March 18. It has put most of its previously 13-strong staff on furlough and a couple of roles have been made redundant.

Mr Partridge added: “People visiting our gardens have been very generous with £4000 worth of donations so far this summer, which tops last year’s figure for the whole season.

“We are using our downtime to carry out decoration and planned improvements in the house, and are assessing how we may need to change bedroom, toilet and kitchen areas for a post Covid future, which are likely to result in rising costs and therefore fees.

“But we are remaining positive – and working towards resuming school residential and day visits next year, along with our programme of adult events and our much-missed tea room.”

If you have enjoyed a trip to How Hill as a child or an adult and would like to donate towards its funds, please visit its JustGiving page by clicking here.

Weather disrupts summer shows

The wild weather over the last few days has meant a family event at the Summertime Social season at the Norfolk Showground has had to be cancelled.

Summertime Playdays, which includes a performance of Alice In Wonderland, was due to happen tomorrow (Thursday, August 27).

Co-promoter Andrew Bunn said: “We are heartbroken to let you know we have had to take the decision to cancel it due to severe weather and the high likelihood of continued high winds in the area.

“Conditions are not suitable to get the site and production ready, and the safety of attendees, performers and crew has to come first. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we will refund all tickets for it.”

The WAW Wrestling Experience, also scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed until Thursday, September 10. All tickets purchased for it will be redeemable for the new date. The experience will feature a live wrestling show featuring Britain’s first family of wrestling, the Knights, who are based in Norwich, and will be followed by a screening of the movie Fighting For My Family which is based on their life-story.

Good neighbours

They were there when their community needed them the most.

As the country was forced into lockdown by the coronavirus pandemic, the North Walsham Good Neighbours scheme swung into action to protect the most vulnerable in the area.

An amazing 100 new volunteers came forward to join forces with existing members of the group to offer their services to people in need throughout the community.

Members of the North Walsham Good Neighbours scheme.

The front page of this month’s Just North Walsham is dedicated to those who have volunteered for, and been helped by, Good Neighbours.

Hundreds of residents have had medicines and shopping delivered, received regular telephone calls and letters to ease loneliness, and also had a variety of jobs carried out around their homes and gardens.

Paul Robinson, chairman of North Walsham Good Neighbour scheme, said: “Everyone has pulled the stops out for one another.

“We’ve managed it pretty well largely thanks to the volunteers. They have been phenomenal. Many had said that they would like to become established volunteers even after the crisis has eased and that’s wonderful.”

Figures collated by the group show that by the end of April they had sent more than 175 letters and cards to care homes and people in isolation, and, more than 350 calls were to neighbours in June alone.

Cassie Kealey, one of the group’s coordinators, said: “The volunteers have been amazing. We’ll send an email out and five minutes later someone will respond to it. The volunteers are quick to react and help. We get so many thank you messages from people. It’s amazing. We will throw the volunteers a party eventually.”

A party was due to be held in September to mark the fifth birthday of Good Neighbours and while this has been postponed, the special occasion will be marked by the delivery afternoon tea party boxes to those who have been supported by the group during the crisis.
“We are going to take afternoon tea to the people we have helped to say have a nice afternoon tea on us,” added Cassie.

While much of the focus in recent weeks has been on helping people in their own homes, the group is also now assisting people as they get back out and about again.
Paul said this could include helping people negotiate their way around the town centre and understand the changes caused by social distancing regulations.
“A lot of people will be unsure and we can offer to explain how things are now working in the town,” added Paul.

Good Neighbours is also looking to help people develop their IT skills as more people turn to video calls to catch up with family and friends.
“We are exploring opportunities to support some of our neighbours who are not particularly IT savvy but want to know more about connecting with family and friends,” said Paul.

To find out more about the work of the North Walsham Good Neighbour Scheme, email or call 07468 109227.

Stately event to boost funds

A music event in a north Norfolk stately home, raising funds for Sheringham Little Theatre, will be one of the first live events to return to the county.

The theatre cannot yet host full-scale events in its auditorium, but as lockdown eases it is promoting a pioneering outdoor performance mixing music, words and poetry in the walled garden at Mannington Hall on Saturday, August 22.

The world-renowned London Mozart Players will play classical music inspired by the experiences and emotions of four young performers during lockdown – ranging from family and separation to countryside and reflection – as well as positive lockdown stories submitted by the public.

One of the young actors, Jodie Weller, from North Walsham, said: “This will be an amazing experience – particularly being one of the first live performances in north Norfolk after a period which has seen, and continues to see, artistic venues and professionals struggling.

“It is wonderful to be raising money for the Little Theatre, which has been a big part of our lives, and to be bringing a live audience some joy.”

Jodie Weller, Tilda Fassih and Katie Thompson. Photo: Sheringham Little Theatre.

She will be joined by Tilda Fassih, from Sheringham; Katie Thompson, from Knapton; and Charlie Randall, from Aylsham, who are all in their 20s and will be curating and compering the community focused event.

During lockdown they have also been entertaining residents of local care homes with online singalongs – and on the morning of the concert will perform live outside two of the homes, with members of the London Mozart Players.

The London Mozart Players will be performing in the show. Photo: London Mozart Players

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said the event came about through Orchestras Live seeking a community-focused event for the London Mozart Players in north Norfolk, and the Little Theatre’s need for an outdoor fundraiser while the auditorium remained closed for live performances.

People buying tickets will be supporting the Little Theatre and freelance artists as they recover from the financial challenges of the covid-19 crisis. They will also get the chance to choose the event encore – after viewing two potential pieces via an online link.

Due to social distancing guidelines, there will be a limited numbers of tickets available for the 6pm-7.15pm show, which will also be recorded and available online for those who cannot attend.

Areas will be allocated for groups of up to six people. Visitors are asked to bring a travel rug, fold-up seats, and umbrellas in case of rain. There will be no interval.

Tickets are £12 for the live concert, and £6 for the recorded version. Afternoon tea boxes for two, with sandwiches, savouries, scones and cakes, costing £10 can also be ordered in advance. Audience members are welcome to arrive from 4.30pm to enjoy their food in the gardens before settling down for the performance.

If government guidelines change, preventing a live show, the concert will go ahead and be recorded. A 50pc refund would be available on tickets purchased for the live event on the basis that everyone would be able to watch the “virtual” version to support those involved.

For tickets,