Do you know everything that’s on offer in Aylsham?

A Community Expo is being held in Aylsham on Saturday, March 4, aimed at anyone who lives or works in and around the town and who wants to find out what is on offer in the area.

Hosted by Aylsham Town Council at the Town Hall, the event will include stalls from voluntary and community sector organisations and will give old and new residents an opportunity to come together to discover the variety of what goes on in the town.

Doors open at 9am and refreshments will be available.

The event coincides with the 15th anniversary of the farmers market, so there will also be a special market with regular stallholders alongside past stallholders.

There will be a colouring competition for younger residents, held through the Town Council Information Stand on the day.

Aylsham Town Hall where the Aylsham Expo will be held next Saturday.

Cat dies after being caught in trap

A cat has had to be put to sleep after he got his face stuck in a trap in Burgh.

The RSPCA was called after the tabby male was seen by a passing motorist crossing the road in Wood Lane on Saturday (February 11) with a fenn trap caught on his head.

Two of the charity’s officers spent more than 40 minutes searching the surrounding gardens and hedges, and eventually found the adult cat in the corner of a wood store in clear distress. He was taken straight to a vet, where he was nicknamed Curiosity, and was taken into intensive care because of the extensive damage caused.

Sadly, his injury was so severe and he was suffering so much the vet made the difficult decision to put him to sleep.

Curiosity did not have a microchip and it is not known who had owned him. The RSPCA is appealing for information about where he may have come from as well as any information about who may have left this trap.

RSPCA inspector Dean Astillberry said: “This poor cat had somehow got his head completely stuck, face-down, in this lethal trap. We don’t know how long he would have been wandering about like that. His face was swollen out of all proportion. He could not open his eyes at all, and his mouth just a small distance.

“His claws were completely worn away from trying to escape – it must have been so distressing and painful for him to be trapped in this painful way.”

A fenn trap is a spring trap commonly used for trapping wildlife such as grey squirrels, stoats, rats and mice. Killing or injuring a domestic, non-target animal with a fenn trap is an offence and the RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares and any trap which causes suffering.

Llewelyn Lowen, scientific officer for the RSPCA, added: “There are strict legal conditions on setting these types of traps and not setting them in the right way can mean that you are committing an offence. These traps should be set in such a way to prevent them killing or injuring a domestic animal and so we urge people to think carefully before using them.

“In theory, cats should not get caught in fenn traps if they are being set properly. Those using the traps should be fully aware of the legislation regulating their use and of codes of practice that should be followed to ensure that non-target species are not captured.

“Legally, these traps need be set inside real or artificial tunnels so as to avoid catching any non-target species.”

Anyone who has any further information about the owner of the trap or if you think you might be the owner of the trap, please contact the RSPCA on the inspector appeal line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018.

The RSPCA can only investigate cases like these with your help. To donate please visit: or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

Frustration as town wakes up to no water supply

Frustrated residents in Aylsham woke up this morning to discover that they had low water pressure or no water at all due to a burst water main on Red Lion Street.

The problem was being repaired by Anglian Water in the early hours of the morning and was fixed, with water returning to the affected homes and businesses by 11am.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “The cold weather at the moment means we have a lot of bursts and leaks to deal with. The temperature shift from the very cold nights to the comparatively warm days is causing the ground beneath our feet to expand and contract much more than usual. This puts stress and strain on our pipes, which means we’re dealing with more leaks than usual.

“We’ve sent extra leakage repair specialists out so we can handle this – they’ll be there for as long as the cold weather lasts. We’re also prioritising our work so that we get to the bursts that waste the most water first.

“We’re grateful for everyone’s patience.”

The biggest impact for the town was the closure of three of the schools: Aylsham High, Bure Valley and John of Gaunt. St Michael’s was unaffected.

Whilst Red Lion Street is closed buses will be picking up from Bure Valley Railway.

Red Lion Street today

Aylsham Show distribute over £30,000 to good causes

The organisers of the Aylsham Show handed out an impressive £31,500 to a range of charities on January 17.

After a lean couple of years on the back of awful weather at the August bank holiday event in 2014 and 2015, last summer’s event was a huge success and created a healthy surplus.

The Aylsham Agricultural Show Association held its distribution of cheques at Aylsham Lodge, with representatives of 36 groups invited to attend, pick up their money and give their thanks.

Chairman and outgoing president Simon Evans said he was handing out the cheques on behalf of two former presidents Tony Bambridge and Phillida Hurn, who had not had the opportunity to make such presentations in their years because of the inclement conditions.

“I am delighted to be giving cheques out this year, it is hugely rewarding to those who work so hard to put the show on that we can start this annual tradition again,” added Mr Evans.

“We all look forward to the 2017 show and hope to be back here in a year handing out more charity cheques.”
Cheques of various amounts were given to a range of charities.

Reepham Rotary Club received £2,500; Norfolk Army Cadets £2,000 and Rotary Club of Aylsham and East Anglian Children’s Hospice £1,500.

£1,000 each went to Aylsham and District Flower Club, Aylsham Boxing Club, Aylsham Youth Club, Norwich and District Group RDA, Alzheimer’s Society, Farming Community Network, Marie Curie, Diabetes UK North Norfolk Group, Aylsham and District Care Trust, the YANA Project, RABI, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Blood Wise, Norfolk Heart Trust, Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind and Nelson’s Journey.

£500 each went to Aylsham Football Club, Sainsbury’s North Walsham Fundraising, 3rd Aylsham Guides, North Walsham Young Farmers’ Club, the Market Surgery, Aylsham Recreation Ground, Aylsham Community Partnership, Benjamin Foundation, Fishing 4 Schools, Happisburgh Owl Trust, Multiple Sclerosis, Thornage Hall, SSAFA, Blickling Church, 1st Aylsham Scout Group and Banningham Crown Defibrillator.

Among those saying thankyou for the cheques was Alisdair Ryding of Norfolk Heart Trust, who explained the money would be used to create videos to help educate patients.

Rob Wright of Aylsham Boxing Club, which helps with the perimeter fencing security during the show, said the money would go towards a planned extension.

Jenny Manser of Aylsham and District Care Trust said: “The many hundreds of people we support on a daily basis are extremely grateful for this contribution.”

Gemma Strange of 3rd Aylsham Guides said the money would help continue their work towards encouraging the independence and self-esteem of their young members.

Will De-Feyter of North Walsham YFC said: “We do enjoy parking the horse boxes at the show, whatever the weather! And we look forward to helping in the future.”

And Peter Dawes, of 1st Aylsham Scout Group, said the donation would help install external floodlights.

After the handout the annual general meeting was held. Retiring show secretaries Chris and Ann Self were awarded life vice presidencies in recognition of their 40 years of service to the event.

And with Mr Evans finishing his year as president, John Wootten was elected president for the next year.

Outgoing Show Secretaries Chis and Ann Self with their Life Vice President awards.

Simon Evans (left) hands over the presidency to John Wootton.

Around 40 charities, clubs and good causes received donations from Aylsham Show President Simon Evans.

Work to start tomorrow on new Aylsham roundabout

Work is due to start tomorrow on the new roundabout at the A140/Burgh Road junction in Aylsham.

The work will mean more road closures and delays for motorists but residents and businesses of Burgh Road have been assured that the end of the road near the A140 will not be closed until the National Grid gas repairs at the junction of Burgh Road and Oakfield Road are completed by January 25 and those roads reopened.

Martin Dixon, Norfolk County Council area network co-ordinator – north, said: “Work to the roundabout commences on January 11, but we have stipulated that the town side section of Burgh Road must not be closed until NGG have completed. There will however, be closure of Burgh Road on the other side of the bypass, and roundabout works will commence there. Expect to see traffic signals in place on the bypass as well.”

He said the gritting teams, the depot of which is near the work area, and bus co-ordinators will be kept up to date with latest situation.

The work is expected to take three months and is be paving the way for town’s new filling station and pop-in Marks and Spencer store.

The £575,000 project, which is being funded by David Wilson Homes, will be carried out by Norfolk County Council’s Community and Environmental Services Department and their contractors.

Diversion signs and “business as usual” notices will be in place and there will be traffic control.

The Lindum Group is also expected to start work on developing the former Aylsham Bathroom and Kitchen Centre site into the filling station and associated buildings.

Local councillor Ian Graham was positive about the plans, saying: “I am so pleased that at last two major improvements to the town are due to start shortly – firstly the development of the new petrol station, a boon to those of us who do not travel too far, secondly the roundabout at the junction of the bypass and Burgh Road.

“Although for some while it will mean a good deal of disruption, I believe it will be well worth it. I am certain that it will not only be safer for those using that junction but hopefully it will mean traffic being slower, and consequently safer, at the Buxton Road junction.”


Youngs Park and Aylsham FC scoop £5,000 Aviva prize

Youngs Park and Aylsham FC were delighted this morning to learn that they were one of the successful applicants for a slice of the Aviva Community Fund.

The club had applied for £5,000 and relied on more than 2,500 votes from the public to push them through to the judging stages.

The 2016 Aviva Community Fund offers a helping hand to local communities across the UK by providing support and funding for local causes.

Now in its second year, the competition invites members of the local community to submit an idea that will make a difference to their local group or charity, with the chance to secure funding ranging from up to £1,000 – £25,000.

Youngs Park and Aylsham FC was one of only two projects that were awarded a £5,000 prize in the sport in the community category (UK wide).

Youngs Park Trustee and Aylsham Football Club chairman Ian Potter was delighted. He said: “It’s great that Youngs Park has been recognised by the UK’s largest insurer. A massive thank you to everyone who voted. This is just the latest step in ensuring Youngs Park and our club continue to develop and become a hub for the whole community. As always I must stress that it isn’t just me, there is a whole network of committee members, volunteers, coaches and parents that all give up their time to make our club and this facility what it is.

“This money means that we can now buy a new container to store equipment, but more importantly it means we can afford a second-hand, ride-on lawnmower which will significantly reduce our annual costs. Every penny saved can be reinvested in the Youngs Park facility”

Youngs Park and Aylsham Football Club will celebrate this success with all of its sponsors and advertisers at an event this Saturday before Aylsham FC take on Dersingham at 2pm.

Ian Potter who this morning accepted £5000 from the Aviva Community Fund.

Ian Potter who this morning accepted £5000 from the Aviva Community Fund.

Wish Judy well for retirement

A special event is being held in Aylsham to mark the retirement of a well-known nurse from Market Place Surgery.

Judy Broomfield will be celebrating the occasion with an event at Aylsham Town Hall from 10.30am-1pm thjis Saturday, January 7, and all are invited along to wish her well on her way.

Judy has worked for the surgery for 40 years and is looking forward to seeing people she was worked with over the years and former and current patients.

A few years ago, writer Arlene Todd spoke to Judy about her life and work. Here we print a few extracts from that article:

Judy’s nursing career began after seeing a trailer to a film, showing a recruitment advert for Army nurses.
Being impressed with the army uniform, Judy decided to join up. Little did she realise that one day, she too would appear on recruitment videos, magazines and on TV.

Her initial army training was at Aldershot and her nurses training was carried out at the Royal Stanley Herbert Hospital in Woolwich, London and the Queen Alexandra Hospital where she became qualified as an army nurse and SRN.

It was during these early days that she met her husband, Harry. Harry was a charge nurse working on the same long Army ward as Judy.

After they married in Oxfordshire, they were posted to Berlin.

Their first daughter Sarah was born in Berlin. Her daily outing in her pram was rather a novel one, as it was alongside the Berlin wall, under the steadied stare of the many guards.

They were both then posted to Cyprus and embroiled in Cypriot unrest due to the attempted assassination of the President and the subsequent invasion by the Turks from the north of the island to the south. Although Cyprus had become independent by then, Britain still retained by agreement, some bases.

They faced hard times. All the service people who were living outside in civilian areas were brought onto the base for safety and two families had to share every house. A Ghurkha regiment arrived to protect the base and more medical staff too. After his normal hours of work, Harry was put to work in the laundry.

As the NAAFI closed and all deliveries of milk, bread and fresh produce etc stopped, everyone was forced to live on the troop rations which included tinned toilet paper.

When the danger subsided, Judy decided that she did not want her daughter to be brought up in this manner, or in the nomadic way she had been, Harry agreed and they both left the Army. The birth of her second daughter Melissa in West Runton helped to convince her that she was doing the right thing.

The family lived in Jannys Close and Judy began work in Aylsham as a staff nurse at the Cottage Hospital but when she was offered a job at the old surgery at 18 Market Place as a receptionist/nurse she took it.
Since those early days in 1977, the practice has moved into a purpose-built surgery on the Norwich Road, with Judy as practice nurse for the past 40 years.

Like the surgery, the role of a practice nurse changed and grew over the years encompassing new skills and treatments for the increasing benefits of its patients and Judy has been proud, happy and honoured to be a member of this growing team.

She, along with a colleague, took part in a two-year research project for asthma under the auspices of a Dr Ian Charlton which was published in the British Medical Journal.

Harry died suddenly at the age of 52, leaving Judy bereft at the age of just 48.

But her advice when this story was first published and still is to “live life to the full as you never know what the future may have in store”.

Judy Broomfield

Roadworks misery continues until next year

Drivers, residents and shop owners in Aylsham are facing a Christmas and new year of roadworks as work continues in Burgh Road.

Work there was due to finish late November after starting in the summer but road closures are still in place and due to stay until well into January.

Martin Dixon, area network co-ordinator for Norfolk County Council highways said: “The work is currently programmed to complete in mid-January, and Norfolk County Council are in daily contact with the site to monitor progress.”

He said the ongoing work and associated road closure at the junction of Burgh Road and Oakfield Road was due to National Grid Gas attending a badly leaking main.

“This work has been hampered by the quantity and location of other services apparatus in the highway, not least of which is the old Victorian town drain. Currently, progress is awaiting Anglian Water work to divert part of their main, to enable the subsequent installation of new gas pipe,” he said.

National Grid are able continue to work on other sections of this pipe to reinforce and improve the supply, he added.

Antony Quarrell, regional press officer for National Grid said: “Work has had to be put on hold until the water pipe diversion is completed. Currently we hope to be able to resume work in early January 2017 and we hope that we have it completed by the end of January.”

Sarah Dobson, from Anglian Water, said National Grid had contacted them when they started work and realised that the water main was in close proximity.

“We were working to direct the water main and that has now finished,” she said.

The work has caused problems from businesses and residents in the area, including Heatcraft owners Trudi Bradley and Andrew Westwood.

“People find it difficult to find us anyway and this has made it even harder for customers. We have had a lot of complaints and have definitely lost business through it,” said Trudi.

“Personally it’s been a problem too for both of us as we live in that area and have to spend 10 minutes round diversions every time we want to get into town.”

She was also concerned about work starting on a new roundabout at the former bathroom and kitchen site and a road closure that end too.

But Town Clerk Sue Lake said: “That work is scheduled to start on January 3 but road closures will not happen until the other end is open.”

She added: “There have been lots of complaints to the council about Burgh Road but most people are very reasonable about and realise this needs to be done and sometimes you are inconvenienced.”

Resident Shaun Allen, who lives on the corner of Burgh Road and Oakfield Road, echoed her comments, saying: “It has cause us some difficulties getting access to the house and with parking but the team working on the road have been fantastic and kept us up to date with what’s going on.”

Burgh Road

Burgh Road

Burgh Road