Winner of Aylsham by-election announced

Liberal Democrat candidate Sue Catchpole (pictured) has won a seat on Broadland District Council to represent Aylsham.

She gained 1,018 votes in yesterday’s (May 24) by-election in the town. Conservative Hal Turkmen came second with 865 votes and Labour’s Peter Harwood was third, with 328 votes.

The turnout was 34.13pc and there were six spoilt votes.

Sue and her husband Richard have lived in Burgh Road, Aylsham, for four years, moving from Hellesdon where she was a parish councillor.

She has two adult sons and used to run a village shop and Post Office servining Bradfield and Antingham. Since then she has started a business in machine manufacturing (Samplex, now Tekpro, in North Walsham).

More recently Sue has had a small tourism business arranging and managing coach tours to France.

She volunteers part-time with a local advice agency.


Traffic fears over extra car boot sales

Fears over traffic problems and safety have been raised after the town’s car boot sale was granted permission to open on a second day.

The sales, on Burgh Road, near the junction with the A140, are already held on Saturdays but will now be held on Mondays also – and residents and town councillors are concerned that it will lead to problems with traffic, parking and general safety.

But the organiser said he believed the fears are unfounded and that it would be nowhere near as busy as the Saturday events.

The application had been turned down by Broadland District Council but has now been approved after an appeal. Sales will be held on Mondays from the end of April.

Residents have taken to social media to vent their concerns and a statement from Aylsham Town Council said that members had looked at the application in detail and still believed it should have been refused.

The boot sale site is near to the high school and, as vendors could set up from 7am, the council feared that they could be arriving around the same time as children were being dropped off at school. There were also worries over commuters on the main and busy road between Cromer and Norwich.

“Although a car boot sale is held on this site on a Saturday, the pressure on the roads at the weekend is not as great nor is there the same level of time urgency for arrival at work,” said town clerk Sue Lake.

The petrol station and drive-through coffee shop is also accessed by the same junction via the new roundabout and Sue added: “This application was made prior to their opening and, again, we do not have full details of the impact on traffic flow these will have.”

Parking for the sales had previously caused problems and the new application says there is parking for more than 600 cars, which has raised fears of roads being blocked and residents being inconvenienced.

But organiser Dave Penrose, who has run the sales for many years, believes that the Monday sales will attract fewer people than the Saturday events and will not cause the problems people are predicting.

“There will be no more traffic than for the Aylsham sale,” he said. “And it won’t be as busy as Saturday.”

He said previous parking problems had now been curtailed thanks to better signs around the site.

The Highways Authority had said that peak times for the car boot sale would be from 11am when buyers arrive, but the town council says this is “naïve”.

“Buyers arrive far earlier than this to try and obtain bargains. Also the larger traffic, ie the sellers in vans, will be arriving and leaving at peak time which will coincide with both the start and finish of the school day.

“The Town Council have looked at this application in detail and still retain the view that the application should be refused. The main reason is related to the highway issues,” said Sue.

Police aware of Aylsham travellers’ encampment

Norfolk Police are working towards serving a civil notice on travellers who have set up camp at Aylsham Lodge Hotel.
A spokesman said police were aware of a traveller encampment and were working with partners, the landowner and their representatives.
Officers will continue to monitor the situation, but are satisfied that no criminal activity has taken place at this stage.
About five vehicles, including caravans, were reported in the car park of the hotel, which closed late last year.
A spokesman from Broadland District Council said they were making efforts to contact the owners of the site because it is private property.

Aylsham councillor steps down after a decade

Aylsham will be looking for a new member on Broadland District Council as councillor Ian Graham (pictured) steps down after more than 10 years representing the ward.

Mr Graham has decided to dedicate more time to a charity he has been supporting for many years following the sad loss of his wife last summer.

In his resignation letter Mr Graham said how much he had enjoyed his work representing Aylsham and on the committees at Broadland but felt he couldn’t continue to support constituents in Aylsham as he would like alongside his charity work.

Councillor Andrew Proctor, leader of Broadland District Council said: “Ian was a dedicated member of the council with a great commitment to Aylsham and its residents.

“I know that he was most proud of his leading role in the development of Forward Court, staffed by the Benjamin Foundation, which provides a safe space for homeless youngsters to gain the life skills they need for a new start in life.”

Mr Graham will continue to develop his work supporting children with special needs through Mnarani Aid in Kenya and through Rotary International which is helping to provide secondary education to needy children in the country.

An election for a replacement will be held on May 24, with nomination papers due at Broadland District Council between April 19 and 26, by 4pm.

Beer and gin on the menu this month!

It’s that time again, when Aylsham Round Table is well under way with planning for its next annual charity beer festival.

Last year, the event raised more than £6,000 for local good causes and proved to be one of the best ever, attracting visitors from all over north Norfolk and the county.

Now organisers are hoping to beat that amount with this year’s event, which includes a new attraction . . . gin.

Tabler James Marks said: “Along with the 35 ales and 15 ciders we are also introducing some fantastic gins.

“We had feedback from the public last year asking us for a gin theme at the festival. So, we will be introducing our new gin palace, sponsored by Just Regional, which will stock more than 20 different varieties.”

The Round Table is again asking for local businesses to support the festival and help it become an even greater success.

“This is our 13th year and If you feel you would like to be involved in sponsoring a barrel please contact us through the website,” said James.

The festival opens on Friday, April 27, at 6pm, with the last beer being served on the afternoon of Sunday, April 29.

Find out more at

Food heroes to launch in market place

The search for the crème de la crème among Norfolk’s food and farming industry will begin at a new launch event in Aylsham town centre on Saturday 7th April.

Organisers of The Aylsham Agricultural Show Association’s 12th annual Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards ask the public for nominations for the premier individuals and businesses in four categories (last year’s winners in brackets):

The Overall Championship Sponsors are Lovewell Blake – Accounts, Business Advisers and Financial Planners, and the Association is very grateful for their continued support. They will be represented by Chris Solt, who, with Michael Baker (winner of the 2017 Individual Food or Drink Hero award), will judge the overall winner of the four Categories below.

1. Best specialist food or drink supplier, sponsored by Barclays. The supplier may only sell products using ingredients mainly grown or farmed by them (Yare Valley Oils, Surlingham).

2. Best use of Norfolk produce on menu, sponsored by Gressingham Foods. The owner, chef and staff need to demonstrate the use of, and enthusiasm for, Norfolk produce (The Duck Inn, Stanhoe and winners of the Overall Championship).

3. Best food or drink retailer, sponsored by Dewing Grain. The retailer needs to promote and sell a large range of Norfolk produce (Nortons Dairy, Frettenham).

4. Best new food or drink venture, sponsored by Spire Solicitors. This new venture must have started trading in 2016/2017. The owner needs to demonstrate the future potential of the business, and the use or promotion of Norfolk produce (Vanvino, Wymondham).

As usual, the Individual Food or Drink Hero – who will be chosen by Aylsham Show president for 2018, Michael Gamble – will be presented with the President’s Tankard at this summer’s Aylsham Show.

And the winner of the Overall Championship, who will receive the Ken Dye Memorial Salver, will also be revealed at the action-packed show, which takes place at the Blickling Estate on bank holiday Monday, August 27.

In one of several new departures this year, the 2017 category award winners will judge, along with the sponsors, the 2018 victors.

And in another “first”, the awards will be launched at Aylsham Farmers’ Market, in the town’s Market Place, on Saturday April 7, from 9am-1pm.

Forms and help will be available for visitors wanting to make nominations and last year’s winners will be showcasing their products – with plenty of free tastings on offer.

Alex Haswell has taken over from Jacinth Rogers as head steward for the awards. A former chartered surveyor who loves the countryside, Alex, from Lammas, near Coltishall, now works as a fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Norfolk and Suffolk.

She said: “We believe it is important to recognise the hard work that many individuals and businesses invest and are delighted that the 2017 winners will be judging this year’s categories with the sponsors, to acknowledge their contribution.”

The Duck Inn Stanhoe,
Overall Championship
Winners and Category
Winner for Best Use of
Norfolk Produce on Menu.
Presented with the Ken
Dye Memorial Salver.

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.