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All systems go for Aylsham Food Festival!

Music and magic are on the menu at this year’s Aylsham Food Festival, presented by Slow Food Aylsham.

The ever-popular event returns this week with a packed weekend of old favourites and family entertainment.

Alongside regular features like the Country Market, Farmers’ Market and Slow Brunch will be the walkabout musical act Banana Ukulele Band and magician and children’s entertainer, Robbie James.

Organised by Slow Food Aylsham (SFA), the festival will be in its customary early October slot, from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th.

SFA chairman Patrick Prekopp said: “While the focus of the festival will, of course, be on food and particularly local produce, we want to make people think differently about food. It should be fun, and we hope to sprinkle a bit of magic and stardust around too.”

The programme kicks off a week earlier with a “fringe taster”, Rosie With Cider, on Friday, September 28, at the Town Hall. Rosie Warren and her dad David, from Aylsham, will demonstrate the art of cider-making using a cider press – accompanied by Aylsham folk musician, singer and cartoonist, Tony Hall on melodeon. Bring your own apples and sample fresh apple juice, or David’s home-made scrumpy, or buy from the barrel. It starts at 6.30pm and tickets are £1 at the door.

The festival proper starts on Friday morning (October 5) with the weekly Country Market in the town hall where you can sample a wide range of home-baked, home-grown and home-made products.

Later, it’s An Evening with Richard Hughes at Aylsham High School (6.30 for 7pm). Celebrated Norfolk chef Richard will talk about his 40 years in the business – from pot-washer to proprietor of the Lavender House Restaurant, Norwich Assembly House and his renowned cookery school. This will be followed by a beef and ale pie supper prepared by the Slow Food group. Cost is £15 per person.

On Saturday morning, come and say “Yellow!” to the Banana Ukulele Band who will entertain visitors to the monthly Farmers’ Market, where there will also be a variety of attractions for adults and children. On hand, too, will be the popular local jazz band, One Foot in the Groove, making sure there are no gaps in the entertainment.

Saturday evening is devoted to wine tasting. Led by Brian Sullivan, from Harper Wells, wine merchants of Eaton, there will be a selection of wines and cheeses in the Heritage Centre at 7pm. Tickets are £17 per head from the Heritage Centre.

The Big Brunch on Sunday not only features the famous fry-up and the all-you-can-eat continental buffet, but table magician Robbie James as well. Catered and served by members of Slow Food Aylsham at the Town Hall, this family event usually sells out fast. Tickets are £7 per person.

All tickets available at Barnwells Newsagents in the Market Place or phone 07519 361812. Watch for updates on www.slowfoodaylsham.org.uk or search on Facebook and Twitter.

The Banana Ukulele Band who you can see Saturday morning in the marker place.

Richard Hughes who will be giving a talk on Friday evening.

REVIEW: Habeas Corpus, Maddermarket

Norwich Players gave the audience a lot of laughs as they performed Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus at The Maddermarket Theatre.

The play is set in the middle-class, respectable seaside town of Hove in the late 1960s. The action takes place in and around the home of Arthur Wicksteed, a general practitioner played by Trevor Burton, and his wife Murie,l played by Gill Tichborne. The couple have a son Dennis, a sexually repressed hypochondriac, played by Laurence Grunbaum. The sexual revolution of the 1960s has passed the Wicksteeds by, but a hint of what they perceive as the permissive society is drifting in to the folk in and around the family. The doctor has a mental battle with what he sees as his professional life and his natural randy instincts. The result is a romp through the hang-ups of respectable people losing their dignity and also their trousers in the style of a good farce.

The audience enjoyed and applauded the bumbling celibate cleric, the flat-chested spinster, the pompous Sir Percy, the sales representative of false breast enlargements and the old colonial lady and her attractive young daughter. Linking all the characters together is Mrs Swabb, played by Jude Wyatt, who knows all their secrets and weaknesses.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

Fascinating photos from Hellesdon past

Fascinating glimpses into Hellesdon’s past can be seen in these photographs from Tony Adams’ family album.

Tony, of Reepham Road, a Broadland District Councillor for Hellesdon South East and a member of Norfolk County Council, has lived in the parish since moving as a little boy with his family from Exeter in 1947.

Many of the places he was familiar with during his childhood are now lost under housing estates.

CORONATION TEA: This party scene was taken in June 1953 at a children’s tea celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The venue was the old Firs Stadium, famed for its speedway racing. It’s been replaced by homes on Meadow Way and Meadow Close. Do you recognise any of the faces?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOUNDARY STADIUM: In the following photo, Tony and his older brother Geoffrey are pictured behind their home on City View Road with the Boundary Greyhound Stadium in the background.

Tony remembers that there was a football pitch in the stadium where he used to go and watch Norwich City’s B team play.

The area behind his home was completely open space where children would throw down a couple of coats to mark goal and play their own football matches.

That open land is now Coronation Road, Coronation Close and Sceptre Close.

 

 

 

 

 

CITY VIEW ROAD: City View Road pictured in the early 1960s:

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIRMEN’S BARRACKS: Once airmen’s barracks for men stationed at RAF Horsham St Faith, these Fifers Lane buildings were used from the 1960s onwards as accommodation for UEA students. They’ve since been redeveloped with housing.

  • If you’ve got old photos and/or memories of Hellesdon and don’t mind sharing them with fellow residents, please email them to news@justregional.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aylsham is ready to light up

Aylsham is gearing up for its festive lights switch on this Friday.

The fun starts at 5.30pm when a procession will leave leave St Michael’s School and choral group Vocalites will perform in the Market Place. The main event is at 6pm, when the lights will add sparkle to the town centre, followed by a performance at 6.05pm by Sutton School of Dance. Santa will be in Eclipse hair studio from around 6.15pm and the Bure Valley School Choir will be performing in the Market Place at 6.20pm, followed by a second show by Sutton School of Dance. There’s then the chance to hear local band Agent Orange from 7pm.

There will be the Christmas Tree Festival in the church with the Town Band playing and stalls plus refreshments by the WI and a children’s workshop in the Town Hall. There will also be stalls plus the Salvation Army Band in Red Lion Street, plus the shops will be open late. The Market Place will also have fairground rides and stalls.

There’s food in the Market Place including Coxfords barbecue, Broadside Pizza, The Almond Kitchen, Raj from the Farmers Market with Indian food, Whites barbecue, hot chocolate/coffee and the Black Boys and the Unicorn will be open, as will Piggy’s and the Old Tea Rooms.

All timings are approximate.

Vote for Hellesdon’s Inca as top PAT dog

 

A Hellesdon woman’s gentle, much-loved pet has made it to the finals of a national competition to find the nation’s top therapy dog – and needs your vote to win the crown.

Eight-year-old Inca and her owner Sheena Scrimgeor have been making a positive difference to the lives of scores of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust  patients from across both counties for the past six years.

Inca, a Labrador-Staffie cross, is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, visiting people in hospitals, and is in the final six of the charity’s PAT Dog of the Year contest.

She and Sheena beat hundreds of other entrants from across the country – including 70 from the eastern region alone – to make the shortlist and now need the public’s support to help them lift the title.

The pair will find out whether they have won on live TV at next year’s Crufts Dog Show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham in March. Sheena said she was “blown away” to find out Inca had been shortlisted.

“I’m very pleased for the patients as they made a great effort to write lovely statements to support Inca’s entry in the competition,” she added. “The only sad thing is that my mother won’t be able to watch. She thought the world of Inca and loved Crufts and watched it every year, but died in March at the grand old age of 101.

“She would have loved to see Inca up on stage in the arena in front of crowds of people being recognised for the work she does. “If Inca wins, I will dedicate the award to her. I’m sure she would have been proud of us both.”

Staff and patients have been sending messages of support for Sheena and Inca. They include this, from Veronica Rackham, of Thurne Ward, Hellesdon Hospital: “Inca is a beautiful dog with a lovely calming nature. She is gentle and loving and will happily sit and be stroked by everyone. I believed she has a very positive impact on all she meets and I know that her visits are very eagerly awaited and enjoyed by many.”

Sheena and Inca visit Hellesdon Hospital every Monday, The Julian Hospital on Tuesdays and the Norvic Clinic on Fridays, as well as fitting in regular visits to Hellesdon High School, a prison and the University of East Anglia. * Vote for Inca by filling in the form in the current edition of Yours magazine or by visiting www.yours.co.uk/PATDogs. Voting closes on December 31.

 

Spooky talk and musical at haunted seaside theatre

A theatre which has a resident ghost is hosting a spooky “fight night” on Halloween.

Reports of a mystery figure in the auditorium at Sheringham Little Theatre stretch back decades.

And on Tuesday, October 31, local actor, storyteller, writer and ghost walk host Steve Banks will be exploring local spooky stories, myths, mysteries and legends.

Steve, who also works in the theatre box office, said: “The show will explore our fascination with the paranormal, all things ghostly and things that go bump in the night.

“We’ll be looking at famous unexplained mysteries, famous encounters with the spirit world as well as some local stories that people may not have heard before.  It’s going to be great fun, but don’t get too comfortable…there could be a sting in the tail.”

The show is suitable for those aged 14 and over and is not for the faint-hearted.

Young people can also create and star in their own spooky show through a Halloween Musical Theatre Course the previous week.

The venue’s regular panto choreographer Vicky Feetham is running an intensive three-day course for eight to 18 year olds running from tomorrow (October 25) to Friday (October 27), culminating in a show at 6pm on the Friday.

For tickets and more information contact the Sheringham Little Theatre box office on 01263 822347 or www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Steve Banks

 

Greenbuild 2017 in call for exhibitors

Are you a business which deals in renewable technology, green energy, environmentally friendly crafts or any other type of green activity?

Or perhaps you run a farmers’ market stall, selling cakes, jams, chutneys and other tasty goods?

Then Greenbuild – Celebrating Norfolk, North Norfolk District Council’s free-to-enter annual celebration of all things sustainable, may well be right up your street.

Greenbuild’s 13th outing will be at Felbrigg Hall, on September 9 and 10. It is designed to show people how to lead a greener lifestyle in an affordable and practical way.

Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “This is a leading event of its type for the region and mixes entertainment for the family with crucial, accessible information about leading a greener lifestyle.

“We are on the lookout for more exhibitors from the region to join those already registered for this year’s weekend, be they returning businesses or people who have never been before.

“It’s a fantastic event and a brilliant chance to find out more, whether you are exhibiting or wanting to find out more about leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle.”

There is always plenty of entertainment for the whole family, including talks and one-to-one advice from knowledgeable experts on topics ranging from retro-fitting to eco-friendly heating, food and drink stalls and children’s activities.

And the annual favourite of three bags of compost for £3, delivered to your car when you leave, will be back.

Please note all catering spaces have been booked and there is no availability.

Parking and entry to Greenbuild are free. Opening times are 10.30am-4.30pm on the 9th and 10.30am-4pm on the 10th.

For further information visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/greenbuild or contact Jeanette Wilson on jeanette.wilson@north-norfolk.gov.uk or 01263 513811.

Sheringham Little Theatre celebrates a year of success

A community theatre has shone the spotlight on success both on the stage and on the balance sheet.

Sheringham Little Theatre produced a modest operating profit for the second year running thanks to people visiting its drama, music and cinema mix.

The venue was £8000 in the black in 2016 the annual meeting heard at the weekend.

Chairman Richard Ellis said the figures came despite a fall in public sector grant funding which has dropped by 40pc over the past five years.

There was still strong support from North Norfolk District Council as well as town and county councils without which the theatre could not run, and for which it was very grateful.

But the venue had increased income from other areas, including through corporate sponsors, an improved cinema offering, and its increasingly popular Hub coffee bar which had gone from strength to strength, doubling its income over five years.

Mr Ellis and president Lord Walpole praised the efforts of the theatre’s army of 86 volunteers who were vital to its success. Efforts are ongoing to recruit even more, especially with skills including DIY and fundraising.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said 2017 looked like being equally exciting. It included a community production of Oliver in tribute to theatre supporter Mike Thame who died during the year.

The theatre’s summer drama season would be based on traditional classical repertory productions, including some Noel Coward, and the panto would be the Wizard of Oz.

Ideas were also being sought for fundraising events, helping towards the A Little Bit Bigger appeal for an extension on the flat roof.

Before the meeting a celebration was held to mark the theatre’s success in this year’s Norfolk Arts Awards where it won the EDP People’s Choice accolade for small attractions, against competition from two major Norwich venues the Maddermarket and Arts Centre.

Theatre chairman Richard Ellis, president Lord Walpole and director Debbie Thompson with volunteers and supporters celebrating its Norfolk Arts Award before the annual meeting.  PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON.

Theatre chairman Richard Ellis, president Lord Walpole and director Debbie Thompson with volunteers and supporters celebrating its Norfolk Arts Award before the annual meeting.
PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON.