Starbucks to open in Aylsham this weekend

The Aylsham Starbucks Drive Thru will be opening this Saturday, March 17.

To celebrate, the store will be handing vouchers for hot drinks to residents and businesses throughout the week. People will also be able to pick up vouchers on Saturday, when the team will be hosting a coffee tasting session. New for the spring menu are green tea lattes as well as the old favourites.

The store will be operated in partnership with Starbucks licensed partner, Euro Garages, and has meant 15 new part and full-time jobs for the town.

Mo Tayab, Starbucks brand manager at Euro Garages, said Starbucks had made a lot of investment in the site and was looking forward to meeting customers: “We are looking forward to welcoming them into our store,” he said.

He said there was a possibility the store would be able to take on more staff as it got busier and was planning fundraising for charity.

The store, on Burgh Road, will be open from 6am-8pm Monday to Friday, 7am-8pm Saturday and 8am-8pm Sunday. This Saturday, it will be open from 8am.

Still time to have say on housing proposals for Aylsham

Residents are being urged to have their say on proposals for thousands of new homes in the Greater Norwich area, which includes sites in Aylsham.

The sites are among hundreds being considered by local authorities, including Broadland District Council, as part of the emerging Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) which will cover the period up to 2036.

A series of roadshows is under way where members of the public can find out more and make their views known to help the authorities reach final decisions.

The public consultation period will last until 5pm on Thursday, March 15.

As well as new homes, the GNLP will also identify sites for jobs and infrastructure, setting out what’s going to be developed, where and how.

Sites for 83pc of roughly 42,900 homes needed for the period have already been identified, leaving a shortfall of about 7,200.

A Call for Sites was made in 2016 and 600 have been submitted for consideration.

Aylsham is identified as a main town in the JCS being the largest market town in Broadland, providing a focus for jobs, services and housing for the surrounding area.

There are currently four sites allocated for development in the town, with two sites for housing and community facilities – Bure Meadows and the Cawston Road development which includes the football club. Two other sites are allocated for employment uses.

Five additional sites have been put forward for consideration for future development through the GNLP.

They include land next to River Bure to the north-east of the town, for 300 homes, a neighbourhood centre to include community and retail uses, a primary school, public open spaces, play areas, a riverside country park and new footpath links. Because it is next to a current development, it is considered to be sympathetic to the character of the area.

Another proposal is for an undetermined number of homes on the south side of Burgh Road, a greenfield site slightly beyond the development boundary.

The third site is on Burgh Road, which would be likely to require some improvements, including the footway to the A140 and good walking and cycling links to town centre. There is also land north of Marriotts Way, where a site is proposed for 250 houses and public open space next to the built-up area to the west of the town.

The final plot is land at Norwich Road for 250 homes.

Depending on the amount of growth identified for Aylsham through the GNLP, there is a choice of sites with development potential, the report says.

However, waste water disposal issues have previously been identified as an issue to the growth at Aylsham because of its proximity to the Broads.

Recent work with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water in connection with planning permissions and allocations in Aylsham has shown that bespoke solutions for water management are suitable for the current amount of commitment, but growth could be limited.

Plans already submitted (number of homes in brackets) include land next to Woodgate Farm (110), land north of Sir William’s Lane (181), Aegel House, Burgh Road (22), The Old Mill, Dunkirk (6), Hungate Lodge, Hungate Street, (9).

The roadshow in Aylsham has already gone ahead but you can catch one at Wroxham Library on March 9 (2-8pm)

To find out more about the plan and contribute to the consultation or to register any preferences, visit the Greater Norwich Local Plan website:

Leah has Honduras in her sights

Former Aylsham High student Leah Colebrooke is busy fundraising for a gap year teaching project in Honduras.
She will going with Project Trust, which she heard about at a careers event at college.
She said: “A woman who had spent her gap year teaching underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic gave us a talk on just how much getting involved with Project Trust had changed her life, and the skills that she had gained from her 12 months abroad. From that moment, I was sure that Latin America was where I wanted to spend my year teaching the subject that I love –  music”
Leah said she had been unsure about university. “I knew I wanted to take a gap year to give myself time to think, but also knew I did not want to spend a year doing nothing.”
It took her a few months to pluck up the courage to apply, but once she did, everything started falling into place.
“The first step I took was taking a 13-hour journey up to the Isle of Coll, an island off the border of Scotland, a place I had never heard of before. An intense four-day trip consisted of various tasks and activities in which 28 of us were trying to prove that we had what it took to be selected for a placement abroad.”
Ten days after returning from what was her “extremely memorable trip”, she received an acceptance letter to Honduras.
Next came the most daunting part yet; beginning the fundraising.
“My first step was to set up a gofundme page. With £6,000 to raise, I knew it was not going to be an easy task. But with the help of many friends and family, I have made a promising start,” she said.
Her first big fundraising event is a coffee morning on the February 17 at Aylsham Parish Church.
Leah will also be providing much more information on the project and where the money that she raises will be going.
“Please come along if you are in the area, it would be great to have a good turnout and will make my fundraising journey all the more easier.”
She thanked the Liz Jones Memorial Fund for Young People , which has already donated a sum of money via the church toward her project.
See more at:

Delight as good causes benefit from successful Aylsham Show

Dozens of charities and other good causes have been given a share of £32,000 courtesy of the Aylsham Show.

Cheques ranging from £3,000 to £250 were handed out to 46 organisations during a presentation evening at Aylsham Football Club, on Tuesday January 23.

Many of the recipients are involved with the annual August bank holiday Aylsham Show at Blickling Park, helping with jobs such as parking, manning the gates and running attractions.

Last year’s 71st show was blessed by sunshine and attracted some 18,000 visitors who enjoyed a packed programme which included the ever-popular livestock classes and an arena performance by the Red Devils’ Parachute Regiment.

Aylsham Show chairman Simon Evans said: “We are delighted to be able to give £32,000 to mostly local deserving charitable causes. This satisfies one of the objectives of the Aylsham Show, along with the promotion and education of agriculture to the public, and support for the Aylsham Recreation Ground which was donated to the town by the Goulder family, and which is where the show began.” Cheques were presented by chairman Simon Evans in the absence of 2017 president John Wootton.

• The full list of beneficiaries is: £3,000: North Walsham Rugby Club; £2,750: Reepham and District Rotary Club for its charities; £2,000: Bloodwise; £1,500: Rotary Club of Aylsham for its charities, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices; £1,250: Aylsham Flower Club for the Dementia Research Trust; £1,000: Aylsham Boxing Club, Busy Beavers Playgroup; £750: Fresh Start – new beginnings; £500: Aylsham St Giles Cricket Club, Aylsham Tennis Club, Aylsham Bowling Club, Aylsham Community Sports (Youngs Park), Aylsham Football Club, Aylsham Older People’s Association, 1st Aylsham Scout Group, 3rd Aylsham Guides, Aylsham and District Care Trust, Aylsham Community Gym, The Market Surgery in Aylsham, Aylsham Parish Church Repton 200 Project, St Michael’s Association of School Helpers, Aylsham Youth Club, the Nancy Oldfield Trust, 2nd Reepham Scout Group, North Walsham Young Farmers, Norfolk Federation Young Farmers’ Clubs, Sainsbury’s North Walsham for the Alzheimer’s Society, Fakenham Citizens Advice, Happisburgh Owl Trust, Together For Short Lives, The Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal, Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk, North Norfolk Diabetes UK Group, Nelson’s Journey, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Norwich Riding for the Disabled, Fishing for Schools, YANA, Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, Countryside Alliance Countryside Classroom; £250: Cruse Bereavement Care Norwich and Central Norfolk, Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, Marsham Parochial Church Council Upwards for Marsham, St Mary’s Church in Stody, Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

• Nelson’s Journey, which supports bereaved children and young people in Norfolk, will be putting its £500 donation towards more books about bereavement for its new library, at the charity’s Smiles House headquarters in Little Plumstead.
“Some of the books are for children and families to borrow as long as they’re needed and others are for professionals working with children who have been bereaved,” said charity spokesman Gena Moore. “This donation will go a long way to boosting what we’ve got with loads of new books.”

• Fresh Start – new beginnings will use its £750 cheque to help children affected by sexual abuse. “This is wonderful,” said charity founder Diana Porter. “It will go towards therapy work with children in Norfolk referred to us by professionals such as the police and GPs.” Fresh Start carries out an assessment in the victim’s home and prepares a treatment plan based on each child’s needs. The Ipswich-based charity, which has hubs in Norwich, Dereham, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, also helps siblings and the protective parent.

• North Walsham Rugby Club, whose supporters helped with parking at the Aylsham Show, is delighted with its £3,000 donation. Spokesman Paul Morse said it would be put towards the club’s work with schools and a £70,000 project to install a lift and extend the clubhouse, making it more accessible for people with disabilities.
• The Neatishead-based Nancy Oldfield Trust will be spending its £500 on replacing some of its adult waterproof trousers and buying new waterproofs for children, according to centre manager Stephen Bradnock. For the past 34 years the trust has been providing water-based activities such as canoeing and sailing for people with disabilities and disadvantaged people.

• Aylsham Community Sports the parent company for Youngs Park (the home of Aylsham FC) received a donation of £500 towards the box to house a defibrillator. “This means we are now finally able to have this vital piece of lifesaving equipment outside of our building for everyone to use including the new housing estate adjacent to Youngs Park” said club volunteer Lucy Baker.

Plans are well in hand for this year’s Aylsham Show, on Monday August 27, and organisers expect to announce a major new attraction shortly.

Crowds flocked to the Aylsham Show in 2017

Primary school plans for St Michael’s School, Aylsham, approved

St Michael’s School in Aylsham has had its plans to take pupils until the age of 11 approved.
The transition to admit pupils from four up to the age of 11 years, will start from September 1, 2018, to become an all-through primary school. The first year’s admission number will be 20 pupils in Year 3, with a reduced intake in reception. The nursery provision will remain unchanged.
Head Catherine McMahon said: “At last our dream of being an all-through primary school has become a reality. In September 2018 we will take in our first Year 3s and begin the transformation of this wonderful school. The future looks bright for both the school and for Aylsham parents and children who deserve real educational choice.”
The decision was made by the executive director of children’s services on December 12.
Catherine added: “We are simply delighted and would like to extend our huge thanks to all who helped make this possible.”
The aim is that the school will grow gradually to give everyone time to get used to the changes. The new class will initially be housed in a temporary classroom while a new classbase is built and modifications are made to the dining hall and kitchen.
A traffic strategy is being put in place to encourage people to park in the town car parks when dropping off and walking their children to the school.
Office manager Fiona Tibbitt said the school was redoubling its efforts to encourage parents to walk their children to school, and pointed out that at present, many people feel they have to drive because they are rushing between two schools. The school day will also be extended when a breakfast and tea club are established and this should relieve congestion at busy times.
The school is currently advertising for an experienced and Key Stage 2 teacher. It currently takes up to 108 pupils, which will go up to 140 over the next four years.







Pupils making laterns for Christmas


Sickness bug strikes Aylsham school

Last Friday (December 1) 50 of John of Gaunt’s 120 pupils were off sick with the bug and the school’s Christmas fair was cancelled, according to head teacher Clare Toplis (pictured).
A cleaning team from Aylsham High School had given John of Gaunt “an extra clean” and the school was running normally, according to Mrs Toplis.
She said the school had remained open throughout. The fair has been rescheduled for next Friday, December 15, from 3pm-5pm.



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.