Charity box is stolen again

A charity donation box has been stolen from a Broads study centre’s Secret Garden – for the second time this year.

The black steel box was taken from How Hill, near Ludham, just months after a similar raid.

Police are investigating the latest theft and are appealing for public help in trying to find the culprits.

Back in April, a box was taken from the same spot near the entrance to the centre’s water gardens in woodlands near the house – an environmental study centre running education and activity courses for schoolchildren and adults.

The garden was shut for a few days in the wake of the theft and the box was replaced with a sturdier one mounted on a metal frame and set in concrete.

In the latest theft the offenders dug up the frame and foundations, dragged it into the trees and cut off the box – made from an ammunition store – probably using a hacksaw.

How Hill Trust director Simon Partridge said: “It is disappointing to have the donation box stolen from our charity. Donations are so important to us – raising £4,000 to £6,000 in a typical year to help fund our work.

“We are not sure how much money was inside, but it must have taken a lot of time and effort to commit the crime.”

Police are asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, has found the discarded box or has any information to contact PC Matt Pritty at

Legends before wicket

A decade or so ago they were fierce rivals, but now a combined village cricket team is celebrating winning a national award for its community spirit.

Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers Cricket Club was formed in 2012 when the Ashmanhaugh and Norwich Coltishall Wanderers set-ups pooled their resources to become one big happy family.

And they have never looked back.

This year they got through to the national stages of the Voneus Village Cup and are still in the running for a  place in the final at Lord’s in September.

“They’ve done so well,” said Jayne Everett, who nominated the club in the contest to find the competition’s Community Legends. “The cup is for teams from places with populations under 10,000, and we’re under 900! The award feels like a really good pat on the back.

“We knew things were going well, but for someone else to say ‘We like what you’re doing’ is really nice.”

The club will certainly have set the bar high for any subsequent winners as it embodies community spirit from top to bottom.

Run by volunteers, the club encourages the locals to join them on match days, and the clubhouse at Barton Turf is used by the parish council and the local bowls club. Joggers and dog walkers also make use of the outfield – a particularly popular facility during lockdown.

Everyone, including the players, mucks in with coaching the juniors, washing the kit, pulling pints in the bar, mowing the pitch… and the whole club has become a hub for two villages with very few other facilities.

And local businesses have taken the club to their hearts, with several sponsors and donors keen to help.

“One chap was at a game and asked how much balls cost. We told him and he said ‘I’d like to pay for those’ and just paid there and then. That’s the sort of support we are really lucky to have,” said Jayne.

The prize for winning the award was £500 to spend on a celebration so the club will be using it for a big do at the end of the season. And everyone is invited.

“We have so many people who come along for a drink on a Friday or Saturday evening or bring a chair and sit and watch the cricket,” said Jayne.

“I’ve no idea where they come from but they’re there every summer!”

Soprano takes centre stage

A Wroxham-based soprano will be taking centre stage at a special concert in Norwich at the weekend.

Katalin Prentice will be the soloist with the Pakefield singers when they present Glory and Grandeur, a concert for organs and choir, and featuring anthems including Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer and Buxtehude’s Toccata in F as well as works by Mozart and Mascagni.

“I feel honoured to be invited to sing the soprano solos with the Pakefield Singers under the direction of conductor Vetta Wise and to be a part of this truly magnificent musical project,” said Katalin, who is Hungarian and has lived in the UK for 11 years and in Wroxham since 2015.

A dentist by profession, she stopped working when pregnant with her first daughter – she now has two – and said classical music and singing has always been her passion.

“Shortly after I moved to the United Kingdom I started vocal training with Nan Christie in London, and soon after relocating to Norfolk I met my lovely singing teacher, Vetta Wise, who has been guiding me on my musical journey ever since,” she said. “With her help and support in 2017 I completed the one-year opera course at the Associated Studios Performing Arts Academy in London, gaining a diploma in opera singing. In 2019 I finished my Trinity College ATCL Performers diploma with distinction.”

Complications with both her pregnancies took their toll and she said it has taken her a while to retrain her voice, but she has now been chosen for this important role at St Peter Mancroft on Saturday night.

She also recently took part in two international competitions, winning an honourable mention at Odin International Music Competition and the Grand Prix at the Alpin Triglav 2021 International Music, Dance and Fine Art Competition.

“As a result of winning the competition in July 2022 I performed at the prize winners’ gala concert in one of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls, the Crystal Hall in Rogaška Slatina (Slovenia) representing the United Kingdom,” said Katalin.

The concert is at 7pm and tickets are £12.50, under-16s free. Tickets can be bought on the door or from

Mudlarks raise cash for charity

Getting muddy and having fun helped youngsters from Coltishall Primary to raise money to help fight cancer.

The Year 3 children from Hazel Class joined thousands of children for the Pretty Muddy Kids Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research – a 5km run negotiating muddy obstacles at the Norfolk Showground.

The youngsters, aged seven and eight, set off dressed in pink and navy outfits – but they didn’t stay clean for long!

Thanks to the heavy rain there was plenty of mud to go around – added to be hoses, water pistols and shovels filled with mud.

After a very cold and tough run, all the children were thrilled to cross the finish line and receive their medals, and were all so proud of the money that they had raised.

Over the past couple of years, members of staff at the school and a family in Hazel Class have been affected by a cancer diagnosis.

The children wanted to do something to show their support, and what better way than getting muddy with their classmates?

They set up a fundraising page with a target of £870, which was smashed, ending up with a total of £5,375,

Class teacher Sara Ward, who was at the event, said: “I am proud beyond words! Tears were shed. There was no better way to spend a Saturday morning – watching these absolute diamonds dig deep, in chilly conditions, all to help others in need.”

A parent of one of the children taking part added: “Seeing the children so passionate about fundraising has been inspirational. Every donation that came in made my child’s face light up and helped them see the importance of their efforts.

“The race was hard due to the cold weather and them being soaked through, but thinking of the sponsors and those the money would help spurred the children on.”

Enjoy a dog day afternoon

May 1 will be a BARK holiday this year as pooches will be going on parade at the Overstrand Fun Dog Show.

It’s time to dust off your best collar and put your best paw forward for the highlight of the north Norfolk canine calendar.

Each year more people and their dogs arrive at the Sea Marge Hotel for 12 classes including waggiest tail, look-alike, best rescue, and scruffiest/fluffiest. The Best Village Dog wins the Mickey Sewell Perpetual Cup, named after the show’s original organiser.

Contestants from last year’s show.

There’s also an agility course, stalls, a raffle and cakes and the hotel bar and restaurant will be open.

Dog show regular and helper Paul Cullen said: “It’s a fabulous day out for both dogs and their owners. It’s not Crufts but the competition is fierce. Last year, there were more than 170 dogs and the event raised £1,100 for the village.

“Everyone is welcome to attend: mutts, mongrels, pups, hounds, and pedigrees. You can also bring your dog.”

Classes include a lookalike competition.

The show was started in 2015 by villager Mickey Sewell in collaboration with Overstrand Together, which helps organise events and activities in the village.

Registration starts at 1pm, with the first class at 2pm. General admission is free and each class costs £1 to enter.

Event organiser Bruce Stratton said: “This is great day out for all the family and lots of fun for everyone. All money raised goes back into the Overstrand Together village fund. We hope to see lots of wonderful dogs and their owners here for the Bank Holiday.”

Free admission will help families get out and about

The Museum of the Broads has reopened for the 2023 season and has a special family offer.

We can’t wait to welcome visitors again, and all children aged 12 and under will be able to visit for free.

And teenagers aged from 13 to 18 will pay only £3.

This is a new offer from the museum and is our way of recognising the pressure families are under at the moment and helping them to have a great day out.

We will run this offer for the whole season, to the end of October.

In addition, all tickets are valid for one year  – you have to pay only once and you can visit as many times as you like in the next 12 months!

Thanks to the Red House Youth Trust for supporting us in this initiative.

As well as new displays showing a marshman’s cottage and a riverside bungalow, there are new family activities – and our old favourites (our trip boats) will be running again as well.

We are also introducing a new combined museum and boat ticket when booked in advance online.

The Museum of the Broads opened in 1996 and has been at the historic Stalham Staithe since 2000.

Opening from Easter until the end of October and staffed mainly by volunteers, with a paid curator and administrator, it welcomes around 7,000 visitors each year.

It aims to bring the stories of the Broads alive through interesting and engaging experiences, including offering river trips on a Victorian steamboat and an accessible Edwardian-style electric boat.

Families and dogs are very welcome.

For further details visit oremail                                      Nicola Hems

New guide shows accessible days out

A new video guide from the Broads Authority has been launched to show what is available for people who may need a little extra help to get out and about in the park.

The video highlights facilities which are accessible to wheelchairs users, suitable for people with limited mobility or can cater for those who are visually impaired.

The authority says that well-managed public access is vital to ensuring the Broads remains a spectacular place for everyone to enjoy.

Accessible Days Out in the Broads was launched in Neatishead at the Nancy Oldfield Trust charity, which provides sailing, canoeing, motor cruising and accommodation for disabled and disadvantaged people.

The guide includes boat trips, such as the wheelchair-accessible Ra Solar Boat Trip at Hoveton, accessible sailing and canoe trips with the Nancy Oldfield Trust, and accessible boat trips at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham.

Other ideas include tandem bicycles at Broadland Cycle Hire at Horning and accessible boardwalks and viewing platforms at Barton Broad.

The guide also includes suggestions of where to eat.

The authority’s waterways and recreation officer Andrew Walters said: “There are many opportunities for accessible days out in the Broads. We hope that having a wealth of information readily available on both our website and in Broadcaster magazine will inspire visitors to discover their ideal days out.”

You can watch the video at and

Will’s offering a treat that money can’t buy

A day at a motor-racing event is on a lot of people’s wishlists, although tickets can be well out of the range of a lot of fans.

But Wroxham racing driver Will MacIntyre is aiming to treat some lucky fans to a VIP day at the races, meeting British Touring Car drivers, F4 drivers and Porsche drivers and seeing behind the scenes.

“They can go on pit lane walks and paddock tours with me. It’s time to give back,” said Will, who is gaining success in F4 driving.

Will is holding a competition which will help increase his profile and to give anyone buying a £5 ticket the chance to get two passes to an experience of a lifetime.

With 60 tickets up for grabs, spread over 10 weekends including meetings at Snetterton, Donington and Silverstone, he hopes the winners will be people who deserve a treat.

“Who do you know that wouldn’t get this opportunity to get close to the action and even sit in and be photographed in the cars?” he said. “Who do you know who, due to financial reasons or illness, wouldn’t ordinarily be able to attend a VIP day out?

“Perhaps you have a mate who always helps others, maybe a friend who’s struggling?”

Anyone buying a ticket can nominate someone to receive the prize and say why they deserve to be chosen.

Days at the track can cost £180 or more, but a tour with Will, meeting other drivers, sitting in the racing cars and getting access that’s normally reserved for drivers and their crews is something money can’t buy.

Will is back from training in the UAE where he finished fourth, sixth and seventh out of 40 drivers.

His attention is now turned to training this month in preparation for the start of the season in April. And he hopes to be taking fans with him to some of those races.