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Dramatic video of marsh rescue

The dramatic moment a police drone found a man stuck in marshes after being reported missing from Brancaster beach has been released.

Peter Pugh, aged 75 and from Brancaster, had been walking with friends and family at approximately 5.10pm on Saturday,  June 16, when he became separated from them.

Norfolk police, assisted by HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells Inshore Lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service, began searches of the local area throughout the night and into Sunday, June 17.

At approximately 2.35pm the Norfolk Police drone, being piloted by Sergeant Danny Leach, spotted Peter stuck in very dense reed beds and marshland at Titchwell. Sgt Leach was then able to guide a team from HM Coastguard and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to him.

The team pulled Peter from a deep muddy creek before providing first aid until the Coastguard rescue helicopter arrived to winch him out.

Peter was then taken by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where he is being treated for hypothermia.

Sergeant Alex Bucher, who helped co-ordinate the search operation, said: “This is a great example of multi-agency working at its best and through our teamwork we were able to successfully locate Peter and return him back to his family on Father’s Day.

“There is no doubt that without the police drone we would not have been able to locate him in the time we did. The police drone allows us to search areas that are difficult to access and within close range where a helicopter may not be able to get.

“Approximately 50 people were directly involved with this search operation and it was through their dedication and hard work we were able to save this man’s life.”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “What a fantastic example of what can be achieved when our agencies work together and our police have the right tools for the job.

“Having pledged to give our officers the 21st century tools, including drones, that they need to keep our county safe, it’s incidents like this that demonstrate just how relevant that pledge was and continues to be.

“Now, almost a year since Norfolk Police launched its initial drone trial, this is yet another remarkable achievement. Well done to all involved.”

You can see the dramatic footage here  https://vimeo.com/275784037

 

Norfolk library events help loneliness misery

Research has shown that loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is associated with depression, high blood pressure and dementia, according to Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee.

Since Norfolk County Council launched its In Good Company campaign to tackle loneliness in the county, the library service has more than doubled the number of events it runs which are suitable for people who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation.

And from June 21-23 more than 20 council libraries will be hosting In Good Company events and activities as part of the national Great Get Together project.

It’s an approach which earlier this year drew the praise of Arts Council England which highlighted the way it was helping to build community cohesion and promote positive ways that people can connect with their neighbours – recognised nationally as the most important way of tackling loneliness and social isolation.

Jan Holden, head of libraries and information, said: “From afternoon teas, knit and natter and board games to colour me calm sessions and book groups, our regular programme of events encourages people to enjoy the company of others whilst taking part in a fun activity or simply chatting over a cuppa.

“For the Great Get Together weekend, we’ve incorporated some extra events into our programme, including Open Gardens at Blofield, Making Music Day at Aylsham, and a sing along and invitation to write a letter to an isolated person at Hunstanton.  We hope lots of people will come along and join – it’s a great way to connect with people and make new friends.”

The first Great Get Together took place last year.  It was the idea of the friends and family of murdered MP, Jo Cox, to mark the first anniversary of her death.  The event aims to bring friends, neighbours and communities together to celebrate everything they have in common.

Councillor Dewsbury added: “Loneliness is a major national issue and we know that it affects people of all ages.

“We are leading the way with our In Good Company campaign and recently announced £2.4m funding to tackle loneliness in the county.  Over the next three years we’ll be working with partner organisations to develop new and innovative ways of improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by loneliness and social isolation in our communities.

“It’s great to see our libraries taking part in the Great Get Together again this year and offering such a varied range of events and activities to help to ensure that no one needs to spend a lonely day in Norfolk if they don’t want to.”

For more information about how you can get involved with In Good Company, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany

For events and activities in Norfolk County Council’s libraries visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries

For more information about the Great Get Together visit www.greatgettogether.org


 

Gretel takes a new direction at Sheringham Little Theatre

Directing a drama is a tick on the “bucket list” of battling cancer patient Gretel Brice.
She is at the helm of a youth musical production of the classic story Little Women, an empowering tale of a strong mum fighting adversity to bring up her daughters.
And, with her own daughters Megan and Matilda in the cast at theatres in Sheringham and Great Yarmouth, the show is a poignant and inspirational one for the family, as well as other people with cancer.
Gretel, 49, has had a busy 30-year career in social services, mental and alternative health,and followed her passion for music and dance as a teacher.
But, while running her own complementary health business, a diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer in March last year, saw her become a patient rather than a healer.
Her treatment included losing many organs in a life-saving 10-hour operation plus four months of chemotherapy.
“It was tough. I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, and my whole body felt as if it was being poisoned but I was not prepared to lie in bed and suffer,” said Gretel, who lives near Happisburgh.
“I gardened my way through the impacts of chemo to push it through my system and alleviate the symptoms more quickly,” she explained.
As Gretel got stronger, friend Debbie Thompson, director of Sheringham Little Theatre, asked her to chaperone youngsters at the panto.
It led to Gretel choreographing a youth production of Bugsy Malone this spring, and now to direct Little Women from July 5-7. She also teaches dance and drama at St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, where the show will be staged on July 8.
“I was still in pain through Bugsy and have suffered some memory loss through the chemo – so remembering the dance steps meant extra work and lots of determination,” said Gretel.
“But dancing makes my soul dance, and the more I did it, the easier it became. It has been therapeutic – physically, mental and emotionally – and has rebuilt my confidence.”
Book tickets at www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com, 01263 822347.

PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON

REVIEW: Sister Act, Cromer Pavilion Theatre

What a show, what talent, fantastic costumes, lighting, seamless scene changes and superb choreography.

There are not enough words to describe this wonderful production of Sister Act by Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, which runs at Cromer Pavilion Theatre until June 2.

The opening gala night on May 26 was packed with an audience expecting the best of shows and they were rewarded with a dazzling display of talented actors and musicians.

The musical is set in Philadelphia USA in December 1978 and follows the fortunes of a nightclub singer, Deloris Van Cartier, after she witnesses her gangster boyfriend shooting one of his gang.

Deloris reports this to the police who then decide to keep their witness safe by hiding her in a convent. Deloris is played by Claire Reynolds Chandler who, with electric presence, is the raunchy, ambitious singer with a soft and vulnerable side.

Her entry into the convent and her shaking up of the nuns’ choir leads to some hilarious moments, not to mention some amazing choreography and singing.

The Mother superior, Amanda Howell, is very dignified trying to keep control of her order. Sister Mary Lazarus, Carol Beatty, and sister Mary Patrick, Selina White, are the mischievous  ringleaders of the nun’s revolution. Deloris’ love interest Eddy, Paul James, is a very sensitive cop. The most hilarious scene in the show is the song Lady in the Long Black Dress, performed by Joey, TJ and Pablo (Graham Woodrow, Neil Robertson and Robin Taylor), had the audience in tears of laughter.

The most surprising new talent that shone was Charlotte Drewell, who was Sister Mary Robert. She commanded the stage in her song and caught the heart of the show. Sister Act is a show not to be missed and you leave smiling. What more can be said.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

‘Learning to live again’ Tiff Youngs exclusive

Claire Mutimer and Suzy Coulson, of The Backstory podcast, with an exclusive interview with Tiffany Youngs, wife of international rugby star Tom, about her cancer diagnosis, treatment, terminal prognosis, shock remission and the impact it has had on her four-year-old daughter and family.

At the age of 28, Tiff Youngs appeared to have an amazing life – recently married to Tom Youngs, the England, Lions and Leicester Tigers rugby player, with a new baby girl Maisie and a lovely family home in Leicester.

However this was all about to be turned on its head when she found out in 2014 that she was suffering from Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The latest Backstory podcast, which went live today (May 22), tells the remarkable story of how Tiff dealt with three years of ill health and numerous different treatments, including a stem cell transplant, only to be told the devastating news in May 2017 that her cancer was terminal.

Tiff said she told her daughter: “I said you know mummy hasn’t been very well, unfortunately mummy has got to go to heaven….and she was like ‘Oh OK so I never see mummy again’.” She was, at one point, given between four weeks and a year to live.

In the interview, Tiff talks to Claire about her health and emotions, and the extraordinary turnaround which sees her now in remission from the disease. This conversation with her daughter was quite different. “I said you know mummy was ill and lost all her hair, mummy’s all better now and so mummy isn’t going to heaven any more….and you suddenly just saw a different person in her…just a spring in her step,” she said.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the development of lymophocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood, bone marrow and lymph glands. It affects the immune system and is often first diagnosed on finding swollen lymph nodes in your armpits or groin. Around 12,000 people are diagnosed with a type of lymphoma every year. Hodgkin Lymphoma refers to the specific lymphocytes which are affected.

Tiffany’s husband Tom plays for Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, is the current club captain and has received 28 England caps, as well as Lions success. Younger brother Ben also plays for Leicester and England. Ben opted to miss the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand following Tiff’s terminal prognosis in order to support Tiff and Tom. The brothers grew up in Aylsham. Youngs Park in the town is named after the family after they donated land for the park.

Tiff’s backstory podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Acast and other podcast directories.  Find out more at thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you would like more information then you can get in touch with Claire and Suzy on hello@thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or by calling 07990 582683/07595 335855.

Tiffany with husband Tom and daughter Maisie

Picture: Claire Mutimer

Forage and glamp along North Norfolk coast

Fancy a nice meal or two, enhanced with a spot of foraging along the North Norfolk coast?

From June 15-17 and September 14-16, glamping company Margins has teamed up with chef and forager Simon Hunter Marsh (a local Norfolk Food Hero) and his partner Kate Anderson, to offer an opportunity for people to learn about and cook from nature’s bountiful pantry.

Gin Wilson-North, from Margins, said: “Everything will be set up ready to welcome you when you arrive in our fully-equipped safari style tents plus all meals are included, although you do have to find and forage most of the ingredients.”

Guests will walk from their camp at Stiffkey, foraging along the coastline and countryside in that area, learning what they can and can’t eat, what the health benefits are, how to prepare and cook foraged finds and ultimately sit down together to enjoy meals of local produce enhanced by foraged culinary delights, which will undoubtedly include samphire.

To find out more including cost and what is included go to www.walkandglamp.co.uk

 

 

Applications open for Community Transport Fund

North Norfolk District Council’s Community Transport Fund is open for applications and the council will host workshop for organisations interested in applying.

The scheme is designed to support community transport schemes across the district that help vulnerable, disadvantaged and isolated residents of all ages access the services and facilities they need.

The types of project the fund is likely to support include Good Neighbours, Dial-a-Ride, MediRide, and work and study schemes.

Any voluntary organisation that currently provides or wishes to set up a community transport service in North Norfolk is encouraged to apply to the council for a grant.

Council leader John Lee said: “At a time when many authorities are cutting back on community projects, I’m absolutely delighted that because of the sound monetary policies of this council, we are able to provide these funds to assist some of our most vulnerable residents.”

A workshop for organisations interested in applying for a grant will be held at 10am on Thursday, June 7, at the council’s HQ in Holt Road, Cromer. The workshop will outline the application process and, after any grant is awarded, what is required in terms of monitoring, data collection, publicity and promotion.

Applications to the Community Transport Fund can be submitted at any time, and decisions on applications will be made in March, July and November. To be considered this July, applications need to be submitted by June 29.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk and search for “community transport fund”.

To discuss a potential application or to book a place on the workshop, call the Communities Team on 01263 516173 or 01263 516248.

Volunteers and users of North Norfolk Community Bus

REVIEW: Salt, presented by Norfolk theatre company fEAST,

It is a fine balancing act transferring the mood and characters from a book to the stage. We each have an individual appreciation of what is going on in the book but, on stage, we rely on the director and cast to visualise the story for us.

So the years spent by Robin McLoughlin adapting Jeremy Page’s atmospheric novel Salt for the stage were not wasted if the performances in Aylsham were anything to go by.

And the direction by Dawn Finnerty ably set up the mood of isolation in a turbulent north Norfolk landscape which shapes the lives of three generations of one family as they struggle for survival in the wetlands – that wilderness between the land and the sea.

The tragi-comic story is told through the eyes of their youngest member, Pip, played by Sam Thompson, who talks us through four decades of blood, smoke, mud, tears and fish.

The show begins in Morston, in 1944. Pip’s grandmother ‘Goose’ (Sally Blouet) rescues a German airman buried up to his neck in the marsh. Nine months later the German vanishes in a makeshift boat, leaving Goose with a new-born daughter, Lil.

Lil (Katie-anna Whiting) grows up from a strange child to the object of two brothers’ desire, and that’s when her life takes a tragic turn.

The brothers, played by Robin McLoughlin and Tom Girvin, fill the narrative gaps with humour as well as a deep sense of foreboding.

Blustering throughout the tale is Owen Evans as Bryn Pugh, a Falstaff character who acts as minder, friend and mentor to the family.

There are many “gaps in time” as we pass through the decades and some of these transition points are confusing like when the young lovers banish themselves to the Fens to escape the opprobrium of the community before their illegitimate baby is born.

But it is the beauty of the Norfolk dialect and mannerisms, which are effortlessly displayed here by the mostly home-grown cast, and the many references to local place names which give the production a powerful sense of place and time.

It would be hard to single out any one actor as each fulfilled their roles impeccably especially as they were up against some exacting minimalist props – mainly wooden crates and half a broken boat.

If anything is, then the star of the show is that bootiful, gloriously open, mystical but unforgiving patch of land where folk dew dif’runt.

Patrick Prekopp

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