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New moves to end hotel saga

North Norfolk District Council aims to bring the Shannocks Hotel, in Sheringham, back into redevelopment to secure a positive future for the seafront property.

North Norfolk District Council has made a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of the property.

Interested parties will be served with relevant notices, and a period for objections will now be open for submission to the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government.

Objections to the CPO can be submitted to the secretary of state until February 19.

A copy of the order and of the accompanying map may be seen at all reasonable hours at Eastlaw, Council Offices, Holt Road, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9EN.

The former Shannocks Hotel

Chance to remember loved ones at Christmas

Those remembering loved ones at Christmas are invited to a Service of Remembrance at the Salvation Army Hall, Cremer Street, Sheringham, on Friday, December 6, at 11am.

Once again Blyth & Sons’ Decorations to Donations Christmas tree will be supported by Sheringham Salvation Army and everyone is welcome to place a decoration and/or a message on it in memory of a loved one.

For every decoration placed on the tree, Blyth & Sons Funeral Directors will donate £2 to the Salvation Army Toys and Tins Appeal, which supports families in need at Christmas.

The Salvation Army Hall is open most mornings for anyone who wants to pop in.

You can also visit during the Sunday service.

Wartime singalong turns into sentimental journey for Norfolk couple

A 1940s singalong at a seaside theatre had a romantic ending when a marriage proposal took place live on stage.

The surprise “encore” saw Richard Olive get down on one knee to pop the question to girlfriend Julie Andrews after the audience had left the Sheringham Little Theatre event held during the recent 1940s weekend.

She said ‘yes’, and after hugs and tears, the couple walked out into the bar to be greeted by a dozen friends, singing Cliff Richard’s Congratulations, before toasting the magic moment with glasses of bubbly.

Richard, 55, transport supervisor at Norwich School, and Julie, 52, a sales assistant at Morrisons in Beccles, live in Loddon but are big fans of the 40s weekend.

Richard explained: “I had been thinking about proposing for a few months, but when my friend Gareth Davies, who is a member of the Sheringham Shantymen, got us tickets for the singalong it seemed like an ideal opportunity.

“It was a secret. Julie didn’t know a thing. When the show ended the cast asked us two to stay in the theatre while everyone left. Julie was asking what was going on, but I pleaded ignorance.

 “I walked her down towards the front, with her favourite tune – Andy Williams’ Moon River – playing over the speakers. She wanted to turn out of the exit, but I took her on to the stage,  and got down on my knee.

“The only other people watching were the singalong cast, who were up in the technical box.

“After she said ‘yes’ we composed ourselves to join our friends in the bar. It was brilliant and the theatre was faultless in making it all happen for us,” added Richard, who is a former Cub Scout leader and Kemp’s Men morris dancer.

He and Julie, who have five adult children and two grandchildren between them, met through online dating, and had their first date on Southwold Pier  three years ago. They plan to marry next May.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “We were delighted to help Richard and Julie stage their special moment at the theatre. We love happy-ever-after endings!”

PICTURES: Jeanette Bolton Martin.

£15,000 for community projects

Community projects could benefit from up to a £5k investment as the Victory Housing Trust Community Fund opens for its latest round of funding.

The fund, which is offering £15k in total, is inviting bids for activities and initiatives which are making a difference in Victory’s area of operation, which is mainly in North Norfolk.
The funding can be used to meet different needs, such as for capital projects, venue hire, equipment, start-up expenses, and training across themes including health and wellbeing, community cohesion and tackling disadvantage. A key criteria is that all applications should involve or have the potential to involve residents of Victory Housing Trust.
The fund was launched in 2008 to make a difference to people’s lives and since then Victory has awarded more than £500,000 through 174 grants. In the most recent round of funding, in April 2019, £20,500 was awarded to six projects. This included £2,500 to Lighthouse Charity Trust to set up a Men’s Shed in Sheringham.
The deadline for applications is September 27 and all the bids will be assessed by a panel made up of Victory residents, supported by the Norfolk Community Foundation which administers the fund on Victory’s behalf.
Lisa Collen, interim managing director of Victory Housing Trust explained: “We are looking forward to offering this investment to some great causes in our area an,d if you have a community project which fits our criteria, please do make an application.”
Applications for grants can be made by any organisation or group established for charitable purposes, provided there is a formal structure which allows for monitoring of activity and feedback – official charitable status is not necessary.
Anyone wishing to find out more and apply can do so via the Norfolk Community Foundation website: https://www.norfolkfoundation.com/funding-support/grants/groups/victory-housing-trust-community-fund/

A fab night of music at Theatre Royal

I never got to see the Beatles perform live, possibly due to the fact that I wasn’t born until 1966.

My discovery of the Fab Four came much later when, as a 12-year-old, I found a stack of LPs and a portable record player belonging to my stepmum, a huge fan who also never got to see them live.

So last night’s performance Let It Be at the Theatre Royal was a right treat for us both.

The show looked back at the musical history of the “mop tops” through the recreation of signature performances such as the Royal Variety Show and Shea Stadium, interspersed with newsreel and adverts from the time. How we chuckled as the newly-married bride lit up with the voiceover slogan “time for a Capstan”.

The four performers were faultless musicians, swapping from guitar to piano and back. The joke back in the day was that Ringo Starr wasn’t the best drummer in the world, he wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles. You certainly couldn’t have said that about Ben Cullingworth as a believable Ringo. He was joined on stage by Richard Jordan as John (he passed the test with my stepmum, John was her favourite), John Brosnan as George and Emanuele Angeletti as Paul.

The first half was a tour through the Beatles’ back catalogue from early days to the Sgt Pepper years, the second half an imagined reunion for John’s 40th birthday taking in each band member’s solo material. This included a stunning version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps with the guitar solo masterfully played by ‘George’. George didn’t event play that on the original, it was Eric Clapton.

The audience ranged in age but had one thing in common, they knew the words to all the songs and were encouraged to sing along and get up, clap and dance.

A couple of crowd pleasers ended the concert – Let It Be and Hey Jude – before a standing ovation. A truly uplifting evening of music from one of the worlds best and biggest bands.

“Kill* for a ticket” – Patsy Webster (stepmum)

(*Don’t actually kill someone, obviously. The show runs until Saturday and tickets are still available. www.theatreroyal.co.uk)

Gay Webster

Pictures: Paul Coltas

Flying the (Blue) Flags for North Norfolk’s fabulous beaches

It’s official: North Norfolk continues to have some of the best beaches in the country.

The beaches in Cromer, East Runton, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Sheringham and West Runton have all been awarded prestigious Blue Flags for another year – and that means the 45-mile North Norfolk coastline is home to half of all the Blue Flag beaches in the east of England.

The awards are given out only to those beaches that have the highest quality of water, facilities, environmental education and management, with superb levels of cleanliness and safety. It means the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who visit North Norfolk’s beaches each year can be sure they are enjoying top-notch destinations.

North Norfolk is the only district in the county that has been awarded any Blue Flags this year.

As well as the Blue Flags, the beach at Wells, which is owned by the Holkham Estate but jointly managed by NNDC and the RNLI, has won a Seaside Award, which guarantees visitors a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal stretch.

Cllr Sarah Butikofer, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “This is fantastic news and highlights once again what fantastic beaches we have in North Norfolk.

“It is testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes all year round to keep our beaches in tip-top condition and guarantee their safety and cleanliness.”

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, which runs the Blue Flags scheme, said: “The success of the beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.

“When you enjoy a trip to a beach flying an international Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country.”

There is evidence that the awards attract more visitors, with the number of people visiting the district’s beaches rising from 100,000 a year to 400,000 since they started being awarded Blue Flags.

No Great British Prom at Blickling this summer

The Great British Prom will be taking a break this year with a view to returning to the Blickling Estate in 2020.

Lisa Ward of organisers Revival Productions said: “We have been running this type of concert for many years and experience shows us that sometimes it’s good to have a break, with a view to coming back with renewed vigour.

“The Great British weather worked against us last year, however, we know that this event has become a firm favourite in the Norfolk calendar and so we are planning to come back bigger and better in 2020!”

Jo Bosch, visitor experience nanager at Blickling said “Our summer concerts are something we look forward to all year and are a highlight of our annual programme. 

“Classic Ibiza promises to be even bigger and better this year and we really welcome the approach our partners at Revival Productions are taking in asking what their loyal supporters would like to see at the Great British Prom event at Blickling in 2020.”

Revival Productions are asking the Great British Prom audience what they’d like to see for 2020. The traditional proms event or perhaps something different? You can have your say by visiting the Great British Prom Facebook page and commenting there, or email info@revival-productions.co.uk with your thoughts.

Lisa added: “Tell us what you’d love to see! We have a year to plan something very special for our Norfolk audience.”

Classic Ibiza will be returning this year on Friday August 9. For full event details please visit www.classicibiza.co.uk or call 01283 841601.

 

Blickling Great British Prom 2017, Photo by Simon Finlay Photography.

Norfolk drink/drug driving results shock

Nearly 190 people were arrested during the Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Norfolk, with more people testing positive for drugs than alcohol.

Norfolk police have just released the results of the month-long campaign, launched on 1 December 2018, which targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs. A total of 189 drivers were arrested.

A break down of the results shows that 1,140 breath tests were carried out with 72 people providing positive readings, while 97 people failed drug tests out the 180 conducted.  In addition, nine people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 11 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

During the 2017 campaign, 947 tests were carried out with 81 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 172 drug tests conducted 56 drivers failed. In addition, six people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 12 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

This year again saw specific time slots at Norwich Magistrates’ Courts being reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively meant that offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the Roads Armed Policing Team (RAPT), said: “It’s disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, although it does appear to be a minority of motorists.

“A notable difference during this campaign is that there have been more drivers tested positive for drugs than alcohol. While this is a concern, drug driving is something we actively target all year round. It’s also a reflection of our increased ability to carry out roadside tests for cannabis and cocaine.

“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and therefore increasing the chances of being involved in a collision.”

 

A roadside drug-test device.