Bouquet of praise for Aylsham from judges

Anglia in Bloom judges visited Aylsham on Friday July 20, and were delighted with the town’s efforts in the annual regional competition.

The pair, Chris Durham and Nolan Mills, toured Aylsham in bright sunshine to view its many displays, sustainable planting and other projects.

“It’s all very, very good indeed – I’m very impressed with how you’ve kept the centre of town so clean and tidy,” said Mr Mills.

And his colleague added: “Community spirit and enthusiasm were on show right through our route – the schools, traders making an extra effort to make it look so attractive around the Market Place – so much drive and pride everywhere, it’s such an achievement.”

Their judging route included Marriott’s Way – where Aylsham High School pupils have helped clear brambles to allow wild flowers to grow – the new Bure Meadows pill box memorial garden, the allotments, Humphry Repton’s grave in Aylsham churchyard, and ended with lunch in Aylsham Heritage Centre.

Wendy Sadler, chairman of Aylsham in Bloom, is crossing her green fingers that the town has done enough to earn more recognition in the strongly-fought contest. Aylsham’s first entry, in 2016, saw it take home a prestigious Silver Gilt award.

“We thought we’d have another go at getting top marks this year as so much has been going on, especially with the Repton Festival,” she said.

Aylsham had played a key role in celebrations to mark the bicentenary of the death of Repton, the famous landscape gardener, and the judges had taken away a festival guide packed with events.

“Keeping everything watered when we haven’t had rain for so long has been a struggle,” she added. “We’ve had as many people involved as possible doing extra.”

The judges said they would be making allowances for all entrants’ drought-hit outside areas such as parks.

Aylsham will have to wait until September 12, when the regional results will be announced at Bury St Edmunds’ Apex Theatre, to find out whether it’s won another award in the Small Towns category.

Pictured: Wendy Sadler, chairman of Aylsham in Bloom, with Anglia in Bloom judges Nolan Mills (left) and Chris Durham. Also pictured: a post box and flower display outside Aylsham Town Hall.















Just Aylsham helps track down bible’s ‘family’

An old bible has been given to modern-day members of the family named on its frontispiece more than 250 years ago, thanks to Just Aylsham.

The bible had been handed in to the Aylsham Heritage Centre by an anonymous donor where it was seen by Aylsham resident Sheila Merriman during the September 2017 Heritage Open Days.

She was asked to pass it to any interested member of the Gidney family because it bears the inscription: Jeremiah Gidney.This Book be Given by Ann Flegg in the year of our Lord1762 For The Reverend Mr Thos. Browne Aylsham In Norfolk

An article in Just Aylsham didn’t attract a response and neither did Sheila’s efforts to phone all the Gidneys listed in the telephone directory.

Just as Sheila was thinking of passing the book back to the heritage centre Alan Gidney got in touch.

He and his wife June had visited the Westfield Mission in Brundall where an elder of the church gave them the copy of Just Aylsham containing the article about the bible.

Alan and June have done considerable research on their branch of the family. It’s an unusual surname, probably originating from the village of Gedney in Lincolnshire, which has been the meeting point of Gidneys, and Gedneys, from around the world.

Alan and June are now looking forward to finding out how Jeremiah Gidney, who features frequently in the annotations in the bible, fits into their ancestry.

Pictured: June and Alan Gidney





The writing on the frontispiece