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Man ordered to pay back £80,000 drug money

A man who supplied cannabis in North Walsham has been ordered to pay back £80,000 from the proceeds of his crimes.

Aiden Hyland, of Chapel Road, Paston, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on September 25, where he was sentenced to an 18-month community order and 150 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis at an earlier hearing.

Hyland, 25, was also ordered to pay £80,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard how Hyland was arrested on February 10, 2018, after officers executed a warrant at an address on Kings Arms Street in North Walsham and seized drug paraphernalia and cash.

A number of mobile phones were also found which contained various messages relating to the supply and sale of cannabis.

Sgt Toby Gosdon said: “I am pleased Hyland has been ordered to return the money he made through his criminality. This case demonstrates that crime does not pay, and officers will continue to ensure those engaged in illegal activity are stripped of the very thing that motivates them to commit their crimes.”

Woman fined £10,000 after covid protest in city centre

A woman involved in an illegal gathering in Norwich on Thursday has been given a £10,000 fixed penalty notice.

It follows a gathering on the Haymarket which started just after midday and involved more than 80 people protesting against the covid-19 prevention restrictions.

The 37-year-old, from the Norwich area, was arrested at the scene after refusing to provide her details to police. She was taken into custody at Wymondham and following enquiries later issued with the fixed penalty notice for contravening the ban on being involved in holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

In addition, a 25-year-old man from the Norwich area arrested at the scene on suspicion of common assault after allegedly coughing at a woman, has since been charged with the offence. He has been released on bail to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 23.

Three other people at the gathering were reported for the offence of organising or facilitating a gathering of more than 30 people, in breach of the Health Protection Regulations.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks, who has been leading the local police response to coronavirus, said: “As a police force, we fully appreciate how difficult the past six months have been for the county and I am pleased that the vast of majority of people have played and continue to play their part, following the guidance and legislation helping to protect Norfolk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“However, the infection rate is now rising rapidly across the country and while in Norfolk it is not increasing as significantly as other areas, we must carry on working together to keep everyone safe. Our focus will remain on our use of the 4Es – engaging, explaining, encouraging and then enforcing when required.

“The gathering yesterday was in breach of the Health Protection Regulations and we took action to disperse the group including making two arrests. We will all have a role to play in keeping our county safe going forward and we won’t hesitate to take action if needed.

“We police by consent and we need people and businesses to work with us on this. Our approach will remain the same: engaging with people first, explaining the guidance and law and encouraging people to do the right thing. However, we will not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce, we will do so to protect our communities.

“If members of the public are concerned that the law is being broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to us and we will consider the most appropriate response, targeting repeat and high-risk behaviour.  We all have a personal responsibility to reduce the spread of coronavirus and ensure that police enforcement is used only as a last resort.  Reports should be made through our online reporting wherever possible.”

Witnesses sought after racial abuse at theme park

Police are today appealing for witnesses to an incident at Bewilderwood in Hoveton.

A family were queuing for a boat ride at approximately 4.30pm on Tuesday 22 August, when a woman made some racially abusive comments towards them.

It’s believed a number of people were in the area at the time of the incident and officers are appealing for any witnesses to contact them.

Anyone with information should contact PC Keeley Smyth at North Walsham Police Station on 101 quoting reference number 36/58661/20.

Councillor announces split from his party

County councillor Ed Maxfield has resigned from the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, saying it broke his heart to do so.
He had already stood down as group leader because of disillusionment with his party’s “disastrous approach to Brexit and its 2019 General Election campaign”.
In an email to his party colleagues he said: “For a number of years, though, I have felt that the party has been shifting away from my values so that now it gives the impression that it is more concerned with appealing to the fringes of Twitter than listening to people who live in Trunch, Mundesley or Overstrand.”

His area includes Trunch, Antingham, Swafield, Knapton, Paston, Bacton, Mundesley, Gimingham, Trimingham, Sidestrand, Northrepps and Overstrand, and he added: “It breaks my heart to leave a party I have belonged to, and campaigned for, since I was 18.
“I know that around the country there are sensible, moderate Lib Dem councillors doing great work. The group on North Norfolk District Council, under the leadership of Sarah Butikofer, is making a real difference for the communities I represent. But when I received notification that my party membership was due for renewal, I knew I could not, in good conscience, stay as a party member.”
He added that he had asked to join the independent group on the council.

Christmas IS coming to the theatre

Norwich Theatre has announced a special season of festive shows for 2020, a Right Royal Christmas, which will see the Theatre Royal temporarily re-open to audiences during December.

The season will include three shows, Panto in a Pickle!, A Circus Carol and She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends, which will alternate.

After 19 years at the centre of Theatre Royal Christmases delighting family audiences, Norwich’s favourite pantomime Dame, Richard Gauntlett, will return once more and star in a brand new show for the whole family that captures lots of the traditional panto fun in a madcap adventure through six of your favourite stories, Panto in a Pickle.

Ricahrd Gauntlett is all set for Panto in a Pickle! Picture: Max Hilton.

Richard said: “The postponement of ‘Dick Whittington and his Cat’ this year was a huge disappointment for all involved and this opportunity to fill the ‘Panto-void’ with a new twist is an exciting and unexpected pleasure.  Be prepared for pantomime but not as we know it. And it does mean that I can do my Christmas shopping in Norwich!”

Following its sell-out success at Norwich Playhouse at Christmas 2019, Norwich Theatre’s critically acclaimed co-production with Lost in Translation Circus, A Circus Carol, will also be remounted specially for the Theatre Royal stage.

Lost in Translation Circus will be performing in A Christmas Carol. Picture: Max Hilton

Circus director Massimiliano Rossetti said: “The amazing opportunity to partner with Norwich Theatre to bring Interlude to life has been a great success. 

“The opportunity to perform in front of live audiences was a dream and I’m very honoured that we will have the opportunity to perform again – this time on the beautiful stage of the Theatre Royal with our co-production of ‘A Circus Carol’

“I’m very excited to be performing at Christmas, sharing smiles, amazement, joy and laughter with audiences during the festive season.”

Completing the season will be another new show from much-loved Norfolk comedian Karl Minns, with the return of one of his favourite Nimmo Twins comedy creations, She Go, alongside some other local characters.  She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends will be a festive look back at what a year 2020 has been here in our fair county of Norfolk.

Karl Minns favourite She Go will be looking back from under her Christmas tree. Picture: Max Hilton

Karl said: “Having performed at Interlude in the summer, I’m thrilled and privileged to have the chance to play in front of a Norfolk audience again. It’s even more exciting to be playing at the Theatre Royal.

“We’ve all missed being inside theatres and this is a huge honour and a big step forward in reclaiming our beloved spaces.  It’s been a tough year for everyone, so to end the year and go into Christmas with some joy and laughter is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Stephen Crocker, chief executive of Norwich Theatre, said: “Christmas is such a special and important time in the life of a theatre and I believe our audiences, for many of whom a festive trip to the theatre is a long-standing tradition, need a Christmas treat more than ever before this year.”

Whilst the full-scale re-opening of Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two will not be possible until social-distancing measures are further relaxed, this short season will be planned with current guidance in mind and both the shows and the covid-secure modifications to the Theatre Royal building have been made possible through grants and donations.

Tickets will go on sale from September 24.

Panto in a Pickle runs from December 16 to 24. Tickets are £10 to £13.50 or a family ticket is £50. 60 mins (no interval). Age 3+

A Circus Carol runs from December 16 to 23. Tickets are £10 to £17.50. Family ticket is £65. 70 mins (no interval). Age 10+

She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends runs from December 16 to 23 with tickets costing from £10 to £21.50. 80 minutes (no interval). Age 16+

Long-serving Gresham’s head dies at 98

Pupils and staff at Gresham’s School, rugby players and many others in Holt and further afield are mourning the passing of Logie Bruce-Lockhart, who has died at the age of 98.

LBL, as he was known, was headmaster of the school from 1955 to 1982. He died peacefully in hospital on September 7 after a short illness.

Current head Douglas Robb said: “It was my great pleasure to be welcomed by LBL to Gresham’s six years ago. Logie came to lunch at the aptly named Lockhart House just before my first term started and entertained everyone with great stories and good humour.

“I became the recipient of a large number of immaculate letters in tiny handwriting which seemed to have better insight into what was happening at school than I could gain from visiting the classrooms and houses! The warmth with which he held the school was obvious and I feel lucky to have met him.”

Mr Bruce-Lockhart, who had been a Scottish international rugby player, was the school’s longest serving headmaster of the modern era and really made his mark, with a real passion for young people.

Logie Bruce-Lockhart has died at the age of 98. Photo: Gresham’s School.

Brought up in a teaching family, he served with the Household Cavalry and was one of the first British soldiers to enter the Belsen concentration camp. Forthright, strong-willed, yet always kind and good-humoured, he was known for trusting and supporting his staff and pupils, often championing the individual and the unorthodox.

Mr Robb said he was a “soldier, sportsman, botanist, musician, linguist, author, but more than anything a schoolmaster, family man and friend”.

He loved the countryside, and enjoyed fishing, bird-watching and fungi-hunting.

He also loved classical music and watercolour painting and was probably best known outside the school as a raconteur.

Logie Bruce-Lockhart was well-known for his humour throughout his life. Photo: Gresham’s School.

His considerable sporting prowess won him five rugby caps for Scotland and he was the founding president of Holt Rugby Club, in 1961.

Current president Paul Williams said: “As headmaster of Gresham’s School, Logie enthusiastically supported the inauguration of our club in 1961, remaining steadfastly interested throughout the following 59 years. His smiling features, friendly advice, expert rugby knowledge and profoundly wise counsel were always a huge tonic for all at our club.

“Holt RFC has been immensely privileged to have had such a wonderful worldly character as our first president and long-term vice-president. He will be sorely missed.”

There will be a private funeral at St. Andrew’s, Holt, followed by interment in the churchyard, which is where Logie’s wife Jo and daughter Kirsty are buried.

Various celebrations of his life will be arranged later.

There will be more about one of Holt’s most popular and influential characters in the next edition of Just Holt.

Bus is back in the loop!

Residents in Sprowston are celebrating the return of the Linacre Loop bus service, which starts running today.

The First Bus 11A Pink Line had stops on Falcon Road West and Linacre Avenue for many years on the route to the Tesco Extra supermarket on Blue Boar Lane.

The route continued to the new housing development near Sprowston Manor, before returning along Wroxham Road, through the city centre and then on to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

But during the lockdown period, three stops on Linacre Avenue – known locally as the Linacre Loop – were removed from the service.

A petition by local councillor Natasha Harpley and representations from fellow councillors Judy Leggett and John Ward, as well as Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, stressed the importance of the service, and Konectbus is now operating a bus covering this route – the 11B.

Ms Harpley’s petition was signed by more than 600 people and she said: “I’m so pleased that my petition caught Konectbus’s eye and that they were able to put together a service so quickly. Huge thanks to them for that and for all the expressions of support from local residents. This is a great result for Sprowston and for community campaigning. I wish them every success with this new route.”

Sprowston mayor Mr Ward said: “The loss of this bus service was something local residents felt very strongly about. We are very pleased that Konectbus have risen to the challenge and hope residents will respond by making full use of the service”.

MP Chloe Smith on the new bus serving the Linacre Loop.

The service has been scheduled to synchronise with the service from the city centre to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Jeremy Cooper, managing director of Konectbus said: “We are delighted to support the residents of the Linacre Loop, with the launch of Konectbus route 11B.

“This route will provide a lifeline for many of the local residents – whether it be to visit the local supermarkets for their daily shopping needs or access into the city centre. It is wonderful to see that buses continue to receive local political support and we encourage as many people as possible to use route 11B to ensure it remains a viable service for us to run.”

Ms Smith added: “We spoke to lots of residents who were worried about the Linacre Loop ceasing, because they can’t walk all the way to Wroxham Road bus stops for the alternative service. I’m pleased that Konect has responded to elderly residents’ needs and will run the service from today.”

Linda’s a golden girl!

Linda Sewell, a sales assistant at Bakers & Larners of Holt, is celebrating a remarkable milestone, clocking up 50 years of service in retail.

Linda began her career as an office junior for Betty’s of Holt in 1970 – the year that saw The Beatles split and Concorde make its first supersonic flight at 700mph. 

CT Baker Group acquired Betty’s in 2004 and from filing and cash reconciliation and a stint in menswear, Linda moved to the linens department (now Bakers & Larners of Holt Furniture).  

During her 50-year tenure, Linda took on the role of office manager after working in both menswear and ladieswear. She then returned to menswear, and is still part of the menswear team today, albeit now located in Market Place rather than the High Street.

Linda with her nephew, Patrick, who also works in the store.

Linda, who lives in Holt, said: “I’ve seen many changes over the years, and the one thing I really love is the company of my colleagues and our customers.”  Asked if she intended to leave the group anytime soon, Linda responded with a very definite “no”! 

Jane Gurney-Read, managing director of CT Baker Group, said: “My team and I would like to congratulate Linda on reaching this remarkable milestone. What an achievement!  As a family-run business, the team is absolutely at the heart of everything we do, so I would also like to thank Linda for her commitment and loyalty.”

Although Linda is one of only two members of the team who have clocked up 50 years, long-service is not uncommon at the group, with more than 40 people having worked there for more than 25 years.

Colleagues, including Linda’s nephew, Patrick, who also works in the store, gathered in the menswear department to mark her golden anniversary, where Linda was presented with a silver Waterford photo frame by Jane Gurney-Read, with flowers, cake, balloons and a sash Linda has been wearing ever since…