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One-off chance to cycle un-opened NDR

For one day only, cyclists are being invited to explore the westernmost sections of the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road before they are opened to traffic.

The new dual carriageway is nearing completion between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the Drayton Lane roundabout, and these stretches will be open to cyclists from 10am to 4pm on Sunday  October 29 as part of the Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival. These sections of road, and Drayton Lane to A140 Cromer Road, are expected to be opened to traffic in November, provided good progress is maintained on the major A1270/A140 junction.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “We are very pleased to give local people a chance to see the road before it’s open to general traffic, and to explore the new cycle-ways and links to Marriott’s Way and communities such as Horsford and Thorpe Marriott.

“This will be a one-off opportunity to ride on a traffic-free main carriageway, but maintaining and improving permanent cycle links is an essential part of the project. Once the whole NDR is finished, it will still be possible to use new and existing paths and quiet lanes to get from Fakenham Road to Postwick without setting foot or bicycle wheel on the road itself.”

Volunteers from main contractor Balfour Beatty, and from Norfolk County Council’s NDR and  ‘Pushing Ahead’  teams will be joined by others to provide supervision at key locations, including the Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road roundabouts, where cyclists will have to crossing live traffic.

John Birchall, NDR public liaison officer, said there had been many requests to run or cycle on the main carriageway before it opens to vehicles. “The 29th is primarily a family cycling event, and explorers will be able to decide for themselves how much of the three miles of dual carriageway or connected paths they ride. We are aiming to focus on runners when the last sections of the route, north of Postwick, are nearing completion next spring.”

Access on and off the NDR itself will be at the Fakenham Road, Fir Covert Road, Reepham Road and Drayton Lane roundabouts, but people coming from further afield will be able to park at the site compound off New Drayton Lane (NR10 3AN). Marriott’s Way also connects to the new cycle paths along the NDR, but is less suitable for road bikes. A leaflet and plan can be downloaded from the Pushing Ahead website.

 Photo: Pashley

 

Hares trail heads for North Norfolk

North Norfolk will play host to two of the Moongazer Hares planned for a countywide trail next year in aid of the charity Break.

The decision to support the charity was made at a meeting of North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet.

Break is 50 in 2018. Following the successful GoGoGorillas in 2013 and GoGoDragons in 2015, the charity has devised a new sculpture trail for 2018.

In addition to a Norwich trail of Hare sculptures called GoGoHares, Break is for the first time establishing a countywide Moongazer Trail. Sponsors are being sought for the event, which will start on June 24 and run until September 8.

NNDC has agreed to sponsor two hares and set aside £15,000 to cover the project.

It is believed the most suitable locations for the NNDC Moongazer Hares are likely to be Holt Country Park and Bacton Woods.

Nigel Dixon, NNDC cabinet member for economic development and tourism, said: “The advantages are multiple – generating funds for a charity which has long and historic links with North Norfolk, attracting large numbers of visitors to the locations where the hares are sited and benefiting local businesses.”

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project for the whole county from a cultural point of view, appealing to families and people of all ages. “We would love to see a hotspot of several hares created in North Norfolk, with ‘our’ two being just part of a greater number in the district.”

There will be an app for each trail and a map available to download. There will be a reward for completing the entire trail – each plinth will have a 4-digit code to collect. All of the city trail hares will have their ears pointing upwards, whereas all of the county trail hares will be looking up to the sky – or gazing up at the moon – with their ears flat against their backs.

Small businesses encouraged to bid for concession pitches in North Norfolk

Start-up businesses and small traders are being given the chance to secure their own pitches across North Norfolk.

It follows a decision by North Norfolk District Council to increase the number of concession pitches across the area. It will increase consumer choice, benefit taxpayers and open up more opportunities for local businesses.

Judy Oliver, portfolio holder for asset commercialisation, said: “Our concession locations have always been popular and many businesses have come back year after year because of the opportunities the sites provide.

“Following a review of our portfolio, we have now identified some further possible sites for concessions. This will provide opportunities for more local businesses and a wider choice of facilities for locals and visitors, as well as providing further revenue for the council and the district.”

The sites are in places such as busy car parks and seaside promenades and the concessions typically include hot food and ice-cream vans, but NNDC is hoping to expand the offerings and will consider any business that wants to bid for a pitch.

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “Taking on a concession pitch can be a great way for start-up businesses to test the market and hone their skills before looking for bigger premises. The rents are more affordable than on fixed premises and running costs are lower.”

Two supporters of the concessions scheme are Nathan and Adele Boon (pictured), who signed a three-year deal last season on a pitch in Overstrand for their business, The Bucket List, which sells buckets of chips with homemade toppings.

Adele said: “It had been an idea we had wanted to pursue for a while but we needed the location to be just right. The concession at Overstrand gave us a very well-kept position overlooking the beautiful North Norfolk coast. Having the site has given us a fantastic concept and created the ability to grow our business fast.

“We promote the area and use it at the forefront of advertising through social media, and it has certainly worked. We couldn’t be happier with our pitch.”

North Norfolk’s concession businesses have traditionally operated between April and December but NNDC is looking to bring the 2018 start date forward to March, so that businesses can make the most of Easter.

To apply for a concession pitch, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/concessions. Applications must be submitted by early January.

Youngsters take on new show for latest performance

Talented youngsters will be taking on a new show when Norfolk Youth Music Theatre stages its latest production.
Director Adrian ConnelI was recently tipped off about a show, The Battle of the Boat, that had just been written and was yet unpublished. It had some performances by the National YMT at the Rose Theatre in London to trial it.
He said: “After contacting Ethan Maltby, the composer, to discuss performing the show I realised we had both gone to the same school and Ethan grew up three miles from where I did. It also turned out that I had been his chaperone in Edinburgh in the 1980s when he was a 16-year-old percussionist in the National YMT playing for Whistle Down the Wind. I knew his mother and a trombonist who regularly plays for the Norfolk YMT had played for the Rose Theatre production of The Battle of Boat.”
(The cast includes Aylsham High student Eleanor Diss, from Briggate, Isobel Holroyd, from Aldborough, Megan Howlett, from North Walsham and Mabel White, Aylsham.)
The Battle of Boat is a courageous tale of a group of children trying to find their place in a world at war in 1916. Frustrated by their inability to join the soldiers in battle, the children decide to do whatever it takes to help in the war effort.
However, they soon have to tackle their own conflict in the form of a local gang of bullies who will stop at nothing to see every plan they form fail.
Adrian said: “It’s heartwarming, funny, emotional and exciting and a true celebration of the steadfast British spirit that shone through during WW1.”
The script uses the language and emotions that young children use, particularly from the wartime era. It’s deliberately simple and littered with the nonsense youngsters get up to. Despite its innocence the music is extremely difficult.
Maltby and co-writer Jenna Donnelly began their writing partnership in 2010 with a commissioned piece for the opening of the Kent Youth Games. They went on to write the percussion-musical DrumChasers in 2011, narrated by Stephen Fry.
The show will run November 1-4 at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, 7.30pm nightly, with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are £12, concessions available.
Norfolk YMT is taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018.

Aylsham to host national Repton celebrations

Aylsham will host the official launch of Repton 200 – a year of nationwide celebrations coordinated by the Gardens Trust marking the bicentenary of the death of Humphry Repton, who succeeded Capability Brown as Britain’s greatest landscape gardener.

Norfolk is where Repton first worked as a landscape gardener, at Catton Park and Sheringham Park, and where he was buried, at Aylsham Parish Church, in March 1818.

To mark the bicentenary of his death, a programme of events celebrating his life and work have been planned in Norfolk and around the country.

Humphry Repton, whose works include Tatton Park and Woburn Abbey, was the successor to Capability Brown and the first to coin the term ‘landscape gardening’.

Born in Bury St Edmunds in April 1752, he attended Norwich Grammar School and trained to work in the textile business but was not successful in the industry.

After trying his hand at a number of careers, including dramatist, artist, journalist and secretary, Repton set himself up as a landscape gardener, and gained work through his social contacts.

He knew Sheringham well, having lived in Sustead, three miles away, for 12 years.

Repton went on to work on estates across the country, producing his famous Red Books which showed his clients ‘before’ and ‘after’ views of how he would improve their land.

The Gardens Trust are co-ordinating the national celebrations, which start in March 2018, and include the Repton Season organised by Aylsham and District Team Ministry, Aylsham Town Council, community groups and Broadland District Council.

Events in Norfolk include a history workshop with Dr Tom Williamson, professor of landscape history and archaeology at the University of East Anglia, a Repton 200 Memorial Choral Evensong, a Humphry Repton Memorial Lecture with Professor Stephen Daniels of the University of Nottingham and a Red Book competition involving pupils from local schools.

Councillor Karen Vincent, member champion for heritage at Broadland District Council, said: “We are lucky as a district to have links to such an important and fascinating figure.

“Repton’s work remains on show throughout the country, with his first work being here in Broadland at Catton Park.  “We would encourage anyone interested in one of the country’s most important landscape gardeners to come and help us celebrate his achievements in the spring.”

Dr James Bartos, chairman of the Gardens Trust, said: “Humphry Repton designed around 400 landscapes across the country, many of which remain much-loved historic gardens.

“His picturesque designs featured terraces, gravel walks and flower beds around the house, as well as themed flower gardens.

“Next year will see a host of events celebrating his enduring influence, and drawing attention to gardens which need help to survive.”

To find out more about events in Norfolk for the Repton Season, visit www.humphryrepton.org.uk or follow #Repton200 on Twitter.

Picture: Humphry Repton’s tomb at Aylsham Parish Church

Can you sing for Big C this Christmas?

This November and December, Norfolk’s cancer charity, Big C, is calling for local community choirs and musical groups to raise money for the charity at their Christmas performances.

Clive Evans, director of income generation and communications for Big C, said: “Singing and playing music together is good for the soul and a wonderfully festive way to end the year. We would love to hear from anyone who belongs to a singing group, school or church choir, musical group or performing arts centre and is keen to join in with Big C’s Christmas Carols and raise money at their seasonal concerts for local people living with cancer. Every penny raised will go directly to help those affected by cancer in Norfolk and Waveney.”

Last year’s Big C Christmas Carols raised more than £10,000. Performances included Norwich High School for Girls Junior Choir, Simply Sing King’s Lynn Community Choir, Ellingham and Great Dunham schools, Wymondham College, and the children’s ILUVUKE band, as well as staff from the Institute of Food Research, Wymondham’s D’Capo, the Keswick Hall Choir, Big Heart and Soul Choir from Castle Acre and the Fakenham Town Band.

Big C was founded in 1980, when two young men from Norfolk found themselves with cancer and having to travel to London or Cambridge for treatment, often finding this journey harder than the treatment itself. They vowed the people of Norfolk and Waveney would have access to the best treatment and support in their local areas.

Today Big C funds ground-breaking cancer research at the Norwich Research Park and state of the art surgical and diagnostic equipment. The charity also has four drop-in support and information centres across Norfolk and Waveney that are used by thousands of people every year affected by cancer.

If you are interested in holding a Christmas Carol event for Big C, contact Claire Feek, fundraising administrator on 01603 964501 or Claire.feek@big-c.co.uk

www.big-c.co.uk

Chance for Norfolk artists to display with Banksy

Applications to take part in the Eastern region’s largest and liveliest contemporary art event are now open, and artists from Norfolk are invited to apply to exhibit their work alongside London galleries and internationally renowned artists like Banksy.

Founded and curated by practising artists Will Teather and Brian Korteling, Art Fair East showcases contemporary work from the UK and abroad. Acknowledged as one of the country’s leading fairs outside London, and now in its third year, Art Fair East features individual artists, galleries and dealers.

As successful artists themselves, the organisers are passionate about getting more people interested in original contemporary art and helping artists to make a living from their work.

Will and Brian are inviting artists, galleries and art dealers to apply to exhibit in this year’s fair which takes place at St. Andrews Hall, Norwich from  November 30 to  December 3. They want to hear from potential exhibitors wishing to display contemporary art including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video art, installation, performance and original limited edition prints. All artworks must be one-off or limited edition.

Will Teather said: “Art Fair East is now becoming well established as a high-quality art fair here in the East of England, in London and further afield. Because we select the exhibitors we can make sure there is a good variety of work that will appeal to different people and give an assurance of quality.”

The fair features an international range of exhibitors with dealers in traditional and contemporary fine art, modern art, urban and street art, photography and sculpture. The 2016 event featured the work of over 100 artists and attracted in excess of 3,500 visitors, many going home happy with a new piece of original artwork.

Artist James Kerwin, sold 22 of his prints and other exhibitors made major sales. A portrait of David Bowie by pop artist Nick Dillon sold for £7,500 to a private collector. It is also believed to be the first time that signed editions by Banksy and other world famous artists were available in the region.

Last year’s exhibitors included the Underdog Art Gallery from London Bridge. Director Sammy Forway said: “Art Fair East is a wonderful exhibition opportunity. The fair was a great way for us to create interest in our gallery and artists outside London, the organisers were very helpful, the whole event was very well put together enjoyed and we working with them. We made several substantial sales and have actually had visitors, and made sales at our gallery in London, from people who saw our stand at the Norwich event.

“We met a lot of talented artists at the fair and have worked with a couple of them on exhibitions since. All in all, the Fair is a great way to break into the world of art fairs for galleries or individual artists. That it is run by artists for artists is a big bonus!”

Will Teather and Brian Korteling will also both be exhibiting. Will still holds the sales record for the prestigious Other Art Fair in London. His spherical painting of Norwich’s Elm Hill Bookshop achieved the highest sale price ever recorded, becoming the first work to reach a five-figure sum in the fair’s history. Artists, dealers and galleries wishing to apply can find details and an appication form at www.artfaireast.com/apply-to-take-part

 

Growing local stage talent … and a killer plant in Sheringham

An alien plant living in a flower shop has an appetite for a frightening fertiliser – human blood.

But the story combining horror with horticulture is helping young acting talent grow too.

Little Shop of Horrors runs at Sheringham Little Theatre from September 27-29, using a cast of 11 youngsters drawn from the venue’s youth drama group.

Co-director Harry Williams, 23, from North Walsham, said the young cast had enjoyed rehearsing the show during the summer because it was “silly with lots of jokes and space for wacky characters.”

He has been performing with the group since he was eight and has appeared in the venue’s summer drama season pantomime. Now Harry is making his debut at directing – while also playing one of the three versions of the hungry plant. Jess Chamberlin shares the directing and choreography.

The other cast members in the show, set in America, are; Charlie Randall as timid flower shop worker Seymour, Lucy Connor as his co-worker and love interest Audrey, Sam Thompson as shop owner Mr Mushnik, Jack Jarvis as Orin the dentist, plus Emily Sidnell, Pippa Randall and Emily Reiner as a trio of urchins.

Mr Williams said the cast had a mixture of experience and it was great to see the newcomers learning from the regulars who had previously taken leading roles.

The team, in their teens and 20s, has also had to make three versions of the plant, Audrey II, to map its alarming growth.

The show is also brimming with 1960s music, and has a three-piece “orchestra pit.”

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The show is done completely by the youth group – giving them great experience of the stage, management and creating props and scenery, which is a brilliant opportunity for them.”

The show is on at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from the box office on 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Picture: Matt Coomber                                      Charlie Randall who plays flower shop worker Seymour in the Little Shop of Horrors at Sheringham Little Theatre.