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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.

Group has sights set on Christmas number one

A local group is making an audacious bid to get the top slot on the UK charts this December as Christmas number one.

Local church Proclaimers, which holds services at The Space on Roundtree Way, are the organisers behind this campaign, but they are not looking to do it on their own however, and are looking to involve the people of Norwich in helping them reach this goal.

Project co-ordinator Dr Phil Temple said: “Can you remember the last time there was a Christmas number one that was actually about Christmas? It was 2004 with Band Aid 20’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’. That was 12 years ago, and the last Christmas song before that was in 1990 with Cliff Richard’s ‘Saviour’s Day’.

“We think it’s time to have a Christmas number one song that is actually about Christmas and that celebrates all the great things everyone loves about the festive season!”

The group are aiming to write a feel-good Christmas song with input from people in Norwich for every element, from contributing suggestions for the melody, writing lyrics, video and graphics production, to performing in the song itself.

They are going to be working with local high schools and choirs on the project, but are open to suggestions from people across the city. They will be canvassing for lyrics in the city centre and will be holding auditions for those wanting to sing on the final release as well.

Once the song is released next month, profits from sales will be donated to local Norwich charities.

“We are hoping that if we can get the people of Norwich, Norfolk and then beyond to get on board via social media, we can create enough groundswell of interest and support that it will get the attention of the wider media, which may well just snowball to us being able to get Norwich the Christmas number one slot in the UK charts this year,” said Phil.

“We know local business groups like Norwich Business Improvement District are hoping to make Norwich the UK Christmas Capital, so what better than a Christmas song from the Christmas capital of the UK!”

If people are interested in supporting this campaign the group are using the hashtag #TheGreatest and can be found on facebook at @proclaimersnorwich on twitter and instagram. To be a part of the project, or to find out more, email christmassong@proclaimers.com.

Proclaimers Christmas Team

Redwings is after Young Fundraiser of the Year

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launcheda new competition to find its Young Fundraiser of the Year.

This accolade is available to anyone under the age of 16 who has raised money for Redwings in 2016; whether fundraising through a sponsored walk or ride, cake sale, or something weird and wonderful like a horsey dress-up day – the charity wants to hear from you.

There will be two awards, one for Most Money Raised and one for Most Original Idea. The winners will feature in the Spring 2017 issue of the charity’s magazine for young supporters – Young Redwings – and will receive a special certificate plus a year’s sponsorship of the Redwings Adoption Star horse or donkey of their choice.

Redwings’ Head of Fundraising Gemma Walpole said: “Our young supporters are an inspiring bunch who always have loads of brilliant ideas to raise money for our rescued horses and ponies. These awards are our way of shouting about the great fundraising our young supporters do, and saying a big thank you for all their help and support!”

Redwings is home to 1,500 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules at its sites across the UK, with 500 more living out on loan in Guardian homes through the charity’s rehoming scheme. The charity receives no Government funding and is 100% reliant on donations from the public to continue its work of rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming horses.

To download a fundraising pack and entry form from www.redwings.org.uk/young-fundraiser. Entries must be received by December 16. Watch Redwings’ “Our Story” video on their YouTube channel here – www.youtube.com/watch?v=47gl4I1OSeY

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SONY DSC

New exhibition inspired by farming heritage

A bold new exhibition Back to the Barn by local artist Catherine Hall is currently running at North Norfolk District Council’s public art gallery.

The exhibition runs until July 12 and reflects Catherine’s upbringing on her family’s Norfolk livestock farm surrounded by animals, woodland and fields. Her accessible and warm representation of farm animals against bright block-colour backgrounds brings modernity to a traditional subject.

Catherine, from Aylmerton, said: “Back to the Barn is extremely meaningful to me in so many ways – looking back on where I’ve come from and taking in all the beauty we’ve taken for granted around us and bringing it out on canvas. I love watching the characters emerge and recreating their personalities.”

NNDC offers free opportunities to local artists to display their work in the first-floor gallery in the council’s Holt Road offices in Cromer. Currently six exhibitions are held annually.

The NNDC Gallery is open to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8.30am-5pm; Wednesday 10am-5pm and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

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