Archives

Temporary mortuary brought into use

The temporary mortuary at the former RAF Coltishall base, at Scottow, is being used for the first time since April.
Originally set up during the first lockdown, the facility was not needed then but is now being used as part of what have been called “business continuity plans”.
Dr Richard Goodwin, of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “Our priority is to always ensure that the deceased are treated with respect and dignity, and therefore we work with our partners to ensure every year we can use additional mortuary space, if needed.”
The mortuary has been called in to use partly to help with seasonal pressures and partly to allow the installation of new equipment at the N&N mortuary, which is still in use.
The hospital publishes daily figures on covid-related deaths on its website.
Yesterday it announced the deaths of 13 patients who had tested positive between January 12 and 13.

Popular beach car park is closed

Horsey’s coastal car park and access road has been closed in a bid to deter visitors.

In the last week, five people from Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Essex, have been fined for being in breach of lockdown regulations for visiting the beauty spot to see the seals, which come ashore to breed each year.

The road to the car park which has been closed to stop people flocking to the coast.
A seal and her pup at Horsey. Thousands of people usually flock to see them but the car park at Horsey Gap has been closed to deter people from gathering unsafely. Photo: Mike Harmer

Following discussions with local officers and the environmental health team at North Norfolk District Council, Horsey Estate, which operates the car park, has agreed to close it.

Robin Buxton, from the Horsey Estate, said: “We all have a part to play in keeping people safe and following discussion with the police and council, we’re happy to close the car park to deter people from visiting.”

Local Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Toby Gosden said: “People are required to stay at home and only leave for a reasonable excuse under the current lockdown measures. This area has attracted a number of visitors, including local residents and people who live outside the county. Following discussion with the owners and our council partners, all parties reached the collective decision this was the right course of action to take to deter visitors and to protect the people of Norfolk.”

A spokesman from North Norfolk District Council said: “The council supports the joint decision to close the car park at Horsey Gap. Government guidance is that during this period of lockdown, travelling is strictly limited to essential purposes and all exercise should be taken within your locality. Following reports of visitors travelling from counties outside the district and with rates of covid-19 rising in North Norfolk, the council supports the action to help keep residents safe.”

Civil parking enforcement officers will be monitoring the area.

Body found in hunt for missing man

A body of a man was found in Great Snoring, near Fakenham, this morning.

Police were called to Thursford Road shortly before 8.45am after a member of the public reported finding an elderly man unresponsive on the ground.

Emergency services attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

While formal identification is yet to take place, the family of Robert Taylor, a 93-year-old man who was reported missing from Little Snoring last night, have been informed.

The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner in due course.

National Express services cancelled

Anyone planning to travel from Norfolk by coach in the next few days will need to make new plans as National Express will fully suspend its national network of scheduled coach services with effect from 11.59pm on Sunday, January 10.

Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach, said: “We have been providing an important service for essential travel needs. However, with tighter restrictions and passenger numbers falling, it is no longer appropriate to do this.”

All journeys before Monday, January 11, will be completed to ensure any passengers making essential journeys are not stranded and all customers whose travel has been cancelled will be contacted and offered a free amendment or full refund.

“As the vaccination programme is rolled out and government guidance changes, we will regularly review when we can restart services,” said Mr Hardy. “We plan to be back on the road as soon as the time is right and have put a provisional restart date of Monday, March 1, in place (subject to change).

“The whole team at National Express worked incredibly hard throughout 2020 and I want to thank them for their efforts as we pause our services. We will now make sure we are ready to get back behind the wheel as soon as the nation needs us again.” 

Regular updates will be provided through the National Express website – www.nationalexpress.com – social media channels and customer emails.

Fines after police break up New Year’s Eve event

Twenty-four people have been fined after police shut down an illegal New Year’s Eve gathering in Ludham.

The fixed penalty notices were issued for breach of gathering and mixing desks and a generator were seized.

Police learned of the event shortly after 9.30pm after receiving reports of a rave on Hall Road in the village.

Officers discovered approximately 60 people at what appeared to be the early stages of an unlicensed music event being set up at around 9.45pm.

Roads were blocked to prevent access to the site and two people were also reported for possession of drugs.

Supt Terry Lordan said: “With so many people in Norfolk abiding by the Tier 4 regulations put in place to keep us all safe, it is very disappointing to then have a minority behave in this way. These events are not only illegal and, with the threat of coronavirus, extremely unsafe, they also cause unnecessary damage and disruption.

“Across Norfolk, the large majority of our residents spent a peaceful evening welcoming in the New Year, for which I am grateful. This small group of individuals who looked to attend this event however, learned that, where we can, we will prevent, disrupt or stop a rave or unlicensed musical event from taking place and we won’t hesitate to use covid enforcement action where we need to.”

Some Christmas Eve magic…

Christmas eve is the perfect time to settle down with a story – especially if the little ones are too excited to go to bed…

During the first lockdown, Just Regional reader Robert Smith kept us amused with his father’s tales about the bunnies who live near his Sprowston home.

And this Christmas he has recorded a special tail about the Bobtail family and how the magic of Christmas was revealed.

So grab a mince pie, cuddle up, and enjoy a festive bunny “tail”.

Click on this link and follow the instructions – the story lasts around 30 minutes.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtJCub4Veq6il2-CxVQCGtcHjx5p

Traffic issues spoil Christmas fun for families

The organisers of the Santa Drive-Thru Grotto event have asked visitors to adjust their routes to the event to avoid the traffic delays which marred the opening night for many families.

Some reported queueing for more than two hours to get into the event, at Taverham Hall, while others simply gave up and turned round to go home, leaving children disappointed and frustrated.

Police were telling drivers to avoid the area and commuters and residents were also unhappy that they were unable to get home.

The combination of the grotto and the Wensum Wonderland at the nearby Wensum Valley Hotel meant hundreds of people were heading to the area, causing jams and confusion.

Now grotto organisers are asking all their patrons to attend via Sandy Lane, entering via the hall’s St Edmunds Church entrance

Ollie George, who is producing the Santa’s Drive-Thru Grotto for We Make Events, said: “A lot is happening in Taverham in the run-up to Christmas and we are delighted so many people are visiting. Equally we want to avoid traffic issues and so we are asking everyone who visits from Saturday, December 19, onwards to take our preferred route.

“This will help speed up entry to the attraction and ensure you can enjoy the festive drive-thru experience with minimal delay while also easing traffic flows around the area.”

The attraction had mixed reviews on social media including those who were angry and frustrated that they were unable to meet Santa and see the illuminations because of the traffic, and some who were not impressed with the attraction as a whole.

It’s not the end, say Friends of Holt Hall

The Friends of Holt Hall have expressed their disappointment in the decision to close and sell centre, which has been enjoyed for more than 70 years but say the fight to save it is far from over.

At its meeting on December 7, Norfolk County Council Cabinet made the decision FOHH had been dreading, ceasing its activities with immediate effect and putting the hall and its 75 acres of outdoor space and woodland up for sale.

But the group, which has campaigned to keep Holt Hall open, says it is not the end of the road and is looking into the possibility that the hall could become an Asset of Community Value when it does go on the market.

Trustee and treasurer Nic Hopkins said: “To say we are disappointed is an understatement, but this is not the time to list these emotions. It is time to explain why we think it is not the end.”

Holt Hall is to be closed and sold, but campaigners hope they might be able to buy it and continue its activities.

In a statement, FOHH says it is cheered by the supportive letters and the number of people signing its petition at www.change.org/SaveHoltHall – 5,800 have signed so far and are still signing after the council’s decision.

“It is a massive demonstration to show people see the public interest in Saving Holt Hall,” said Nic. “This is not just sentimentality. It is about values. You never know, events might even lead to a change of policy in the administration at County Hall, and public opinion may prove to be a powerful influence on county councillors.”

In October, the council announced it was no longer able to afford the facility, saying it would rather enable outdoor learning than provide it. And this month it was decided to close it completely.

Fearing the worst, the Friends have applied to North Norfolk District Council to have it made an asset of community value, meaning that they could bid for it themselves.

Greg Peck, cabinet member for property, urged them to “honestly appraise their business case and to really consider the viability of operating the site as an outdoor education facility” and Nic said the Friends would be heeding this advice.

“We shall take his advice and further develop a robust business plan, but we are going to do this in consultation with the individuals and organisations who have expressed interest already in partnership ways to take forward an alternative future for Outdoor Learning at Holt Hall.

“We are doing our homework, researching and talking, listening and planning, with possible partners, other Outdoor Learning centres of expertise, users and private individuals and, we hope, Norfolk County Council.”

The decision on the ACV should be made in January and the Friends are hopeful of a positive outcome.