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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.

Travel agents launch fifth annual gift appeal in aid of Break charity

Hays Travel, in Aylsham and Sheringham, has launched its fifth annual Santa’s Sleigh appeal to spread cheer and change the lives of vulnerable children and young people this Christmas.

The team is asking people to pop into either branch and donate new, unwrapped items such as toys, gift sets, toiletries, household goods, stationery items or books in aid of the children and families that Norfolk-based charity Break supports throughout East Anglia.

Break supports young people in care, children with disabilities and families who need support, helping them through difficult times and securing a brighter future.

Branch manager of Hays Travel Aylsham (former CAS Travel) and initiator of the appeal Jo Dobbie said: “I like to be involved with the local community and there is nothing better than supporting a local charity especially in the festive season. I absolutely love Break’s ethos and this is a great opportunity for us to show support.

“I initially started Santa’s Sleigh at the Aylsham branch, and then got Sheringham on board with it too. It created bigger awareness for ourselves and for the appeal and we’re pleased to say they will be joining us again this year.”

Danielle Gravestock, senior fundraising officer for Break, said: “We can’t thank Hays Travel enough for the support they give us each year by organising their Santa’s Sleigh appeal.  We are very grateful to all their staff for organising the appeal and everyone who is contributing goods to support it. These gifts really do make a difference to the children and young people we support.”

Santa’s Sleigh started on Saturday and will run for four consecutive weeks until December 9.

Pictured are branch manager Jo Dobbie, Sam Antoniades-Cork, Mark Heffer and Karen Ashford.

 

Aylsham to host national Repton celebrations

Aylsham will host the official launch of Repton 200 – a year of nationwide celebrations coordinated by the Gardens Trust marking the bicentenary of the death of Humphry Repton, who succeeded Capability Brown as Britain’s greatest landscape gardener.

Norfolk is where Repton first worked as a landscape gardener, at Catton Park and Sheringham Park, and where he was buried, at Aylsham Parish Church, in March 1818.

To mark the bicentenary of his death, a programme of events celebrating his life and work have been planned in Norfolk and around the country.

Humphry Repton, whose works include Tatton Park and Woburn Abbey, was the successor to Capability Brown and the first to coin the term ‘landscape gardening’.

Born in Bury St Edmunds in April 1752, he attended Norwich Grammar School and trained to work in the textile business but was not successful in the industry.

After trying his hand at a number of careers, including dramatist, artist, journalist and secretary, Repton set himself up as a landscape gardener, and gained work through his social contacts.

He knew Sheringham well, having lived in Sustead, three miles away, for 12 years.

Repton went on to work on estates across the country, producing his famous Red Books which showed his clients ‘before’ and ‘after’ views of how he would improve their land.

The Gardens Trust are co-ordinating the national celebrations, which start in March 2018, and include the Repton Season organised by Aylsham and District Team Ministry, Aylsham Town Council, community groups and Broadland District Council.

Events in Norfolk include a history workshop with Dr Tom Williamson, professor of landscape history and archaeology at the University of East Anglia, a Repton 200 Memorial Choral Evensong, a Humphry Repton Memorial Lecture with Professor Stephen Daniels of the University of Nottingham and a Red Book competition involving pupils from local schools.

Councillor Karen Vincent, member champion for heritage at Broadland District Council, said: “We are lucky as a district to have links to such an important and fascinating figure.

“Repton’s work remains on show throughout the country, with his first work being here in Broadland at Catton Park.  “We would encourage anyone interested in one of the country’s most important landscape gardeners to come and help us celebrate his achievements in the spring.”

Dr James Bartos, chairman of the Gardens Trust, said: “Humphry Repton designed around 400 landscapes across the country, many of which remain much-loved historic gardens.

“His picturesque designs featured terraces, gravel walks and flower beds around the house, as well as themed flower gardens.

“Next year will see a host of events celebrating his enduring influence, and drawing attention to gardens which need help to survive.”

To find out more about events in Norfolk for the Repton Season, visit www.humphryrepton.org.uk or follow #Repton200 on Twitter.

Picture: Humphry Repton’s tomb at Aylsham Parish Church

Aylsham auction house announces investment after bumper year

East Anglia’s leading regional auction house has announced a programme of investment at its four acre Norfolk saleroom site to enable further expansion after the most successful year in its history.

Keys Fine Art Auctioneers, which was established in 1953 and is based in the Norfolk market town of Aylsham, is expanding its salerooms for the second time in three years, reflecting the auction house’s growing reputation in the region, nationally and internationally.

The firm says that embracing the opportunities presented by the internet is enabling it to compete with larger national auction houses.

The expansion plans, which will be completed in time for the 2018 auction calendar, include:
• moving the Fine Art auctions to a larger, refurbished saleroom
• creating a bespoke saleroom for the firm’s Antiques and Interiors sales, which will take place fortnightly from January 2018
• the Antiques and Interiors sales will now be on alternate weeks, separate from the popular and growing General Sales, which will be expanded and enhanced to take place fortnightly from January 2018
• the creation of a sizeable bespoke saleroom for the firm’s Books & Ephemera department, which is recognised as one of the leading centres of excellence in the UK
• building a new reception and administration area, to include a new valuation room, a consultation room, and a photographic studio
• further investment in technology to ensure that the firm remains at the cutting edge of online auctions

Kevin Lines, general manager and head of fine art at Keys, said, “The past two years have been the busiest we have ever had at Keys, and we are making this significant investment now to ensure that we have the capacity to continue meeting growing demand for our services.

“The Antique and Interiors sales which have been running alongside our General Sales have now grown to such an extent that we are creating a bespoke saleroom for them, and separating them from the General Sales. Bigger, bespoke salerooms for our Fine Art and Books & Ephemera departments reflect our growing stature in these areas.

“Our Fine Sales, Book & Ephemera Sales, Fine Art Sales and specialist sales have all seen considerable growth over the past two years, as we attract more vendors and buyers from within East Anglia and from further afield, encouraged by our embracing of the latest online auction technology.

“We are now winning sales from established national players, such as the Royal Society of Marine Artists Diploma Sale next year, which we won against competition from all of the major London houses.

“This investment programme will cement our position as the leading East Anglian auction house, as well as positioning Keys as a player on the national stage.”

Kevin Lines, general manager and head of fine art.

Munnings Portrait studies of Yvonne Adams, sold for £15,000.

Starbucks confirmed for Aylsham

Euro garages, one of the UK’s largest privately owned forecourt operators, has confirmed a Starbucks will be opening in Aylsham before the end of the year.

The new drive though and cafe will open next to the new garage on land currently being levelled and prepared for the premises. The company is currently advertising for a supervisor/team leader for the business and, in total, 15-20 local jobs will be created.

 

Road Safety set to be top priority at PCC-led meeting in Aylsham

Members of the public will be able to see first-hand the inner workings of a police speed van during a special Q and A session with Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Chief Constable tomorrow.

PCC Lorne Green will be taking his regular Police Accountability Forum meeting on the road to Broadland and area residents are invited to attend.

The meeting is scheduled for 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 12 September) at Aylsham Town Hall, Market Place, Aylsham, NR11 6EL. The meeting will be followed by a public question and answer session at 7pm.

Road safety will be a key aspect of the meeting and Lorne has invited members of Community Speed Watch (CSW) and Community Enforcement Officers from Norfolk Constabulary to explain their roles and demonstrate their speed enforcement equipment – including the van.

The meeting will hear there currently are 758 CSW volunteers in the county – an increase of nearly 15% on last year.

“Road safety is a big concern for many of Norfolk’s residents, with excessive speed being one of the Fatal 4 factors which put our road users at risk, which is why I have invested in a number of schemes to tackle speeding on our county’s roads,” said Lorne. “Enforcement of the law, alongside sustained education and awareness, will help keep our county’s roads safer for all who use them, and speed cameras have an important role to play in that. This is an ideal opportunity for members of the community to see first-hand how our committed speeding enforcement teams operate throughout the county.”

The meeting will come just a week after Lorne chaired a special meeting in Cromer dedicated to the police response to recent events in the town and surrounding area.

More than 100 people attended the event and, at the Aylsham meeting, Lorne will be asking Chief Constable Simon Bailey for an update on the review of policing in the Cromer area over the weekend of August 18-20.

Other matters to be discussed will include policing performance in the district and an update on rural crime including the introduction of 24 members of the Special Constabulary to the Constabulary’s Rural Crime Force.

The meeting will then be followed by an opportunity for people to put their policing and crime questions to the PCC and Chief Constable.

Lorne added: “This will be the sixth time we have taken our meetings on tour. We’ve had an excellent cross-section of the community in Dereham, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Norwich and Cromer and we will be heading to south Norfolk in November. All kinds of questions have been put to the Chief Constable and me on issues which clearly matter to local people.

“When I became Police and Crime Commissioner my pledge was to be visible, accessible and accountable and that is exactly what I continue to be. I look forward to speaking with a good number of people at the meeting in Aylsham next week.”