Tots learn proper science in Eaton & Cringleford

Children’s brains are like sponges – soaking up information – and every child is a natural scientist, with an enquiring mind.

So says Dr Lucy Catto, known as Professor Lucy to the very young scientists who flock to her Mini-Professor sessions in Eaton and Cringleford.

In fact the two monthly Saturday sessions in Eaton have proved so popular that Lucy is introducing a third class for 2018.

Dressed in miniature laboratory coats and wearing protective goggles, children aged from two to five take part in real experiments, using proper equipment, and learn about everything from blood to polymers, chromatography, engineering, chemical reactions, bones and engineering.

“We don’t dumb down at all. If a child can say ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’ they can say any scientific word we can give them,” said Lucy.

Experiments are conducted, with parents’ help, using chemicals and instruments such as pipettes, digital microscopes and stethoscopes. “A key part are the hands-on experiments.

“They are measuring, pouring – it’s brilliant for manual dexterity and fine motor skills,” said Lucy, who has a PhD in biochemistry and a background in research science.

“They learn socialisation and confidence, and it extends their powers of concentration which is excellent preparation for nursery.”

She is also aware that, as a female scientist, she is a positive role model for girls who accept from a very early age that science is not just a boys’ subject.

The national Mini Professors concept was developed by two scientist mums in Winchester who couldn’t find any science-based activities for their young children.

The 40-minute sessions must be pre-booked and are held in Eaton Park Community Centre on one Saturday a month at 9.45am, 10.45am and 11.50am – each aimed at a different age group.

They also take place in Cringleford Pavilion on Wednesdays at 11.30am and 1pm, and in Hayman Lodge, Old Catton, on Fridays at 10.30am and 11.30am.

For more information email Lucy at or ring 07793 817355 or visit



Cadets transform care home’s garden

Residents at a Cringleford care home are enjoying a transformed garden, thanks to the efforts of a group of police cadets.

Cavell Court, on Dragonfly Lane, now boasts newly-painted garden tables and chairs, an improved sensory space and plenty of handmade enclosures to attract local wildlife.  Panola pansies, begonias, bellis reds and dwarf conifers have also been planted, adding to the existing displays.

The cadets and their leaders joined residents as part of a community project which also aimed to encourage friendship between different generations.

Youngsters helped residents make fat balls for the birds and create colourful decorations such as pinwheels to brighten up the outside space.  A total of 40 handmade birdboxes have also been added to the garden, with all of the timber donated by a local Jewson’s branch.

Afterwards, the police cadets joined residents, their relatives and the Care UK team for a well-deserved buffet and firework display. Richard Lawson, home manager at Cavell Court, said: “We’re so grateful to the police cadets who helped spruce up our garden,  the project proved to be a real success and you could see from the residents’ faces just how much they enjoyed spending time with the cadets. “Intergenerational relationships have been proven to be beneficial to older people, and it was clear that the residents at Cavell Court really enjoyed the afternoon.

“The outdoors has many therapeutic benefits for older people, not least because it’s given them the opportunity to get back to nature, but it can also improve mood, concentration and relieve stress. We hope the garden will bring much joy to residents and visitors over the coming years.”

Cavell Court is an 80-bed care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care.

Picture: Lucy Taylor Photography


Eaton dementia marketplace event a big success

Visitors to a Marketplace event organised by Eaton Dementia Friends were able to take part in exercise sessions, bowling, enjoy free tea and cakes, and browse a large number of information stalls on a huge range of topics.

One outcome of the event is the launch this month of CAMEO, an initiative to organise social activities for people living with dementia, and their carers.

Councillor Caroline Ackroyd, the driving force behind the Marketplace, said: “It was brilliant to watch so many conversations going on and to see people bowling with Sportspark and exercising with Tracey from Extend – I believe that the oldest participant was 96!”

She thanked everyone who had helped make the event a success, including stallholders and the church, which provided the venue for free.

Another marketplace is planned for the spring.

CAMEO (Come and Meet Everyone), a programme of get-togethers events for those who are lonely, isolated or getting increasingly forgetful, has launched in Eaton this month.

Committee members of the Eaton Village Residents’ Association (EVRA), in collaboration with St Andrew’s Church, Eaton, have worked hard over the summer to organise the project.

“We know that keeping our social contacts alive, getting out and learning something new, are all ways to keep mentally fit into old age,” said spokesman Naomi Godding.

“There has been immense goodwill shown to this project already, with contributions of time, expertise and resources from individuals and organisations such as Reality estate agents who have kindly paid for our advert in this month’s Just Eaton and Cringleford.

“We shall be seeking enough funds to ensure that, once the project gets off the ground, it remains airborne.”

  • The Eaton CAMEO project held its first session in St Andrew’s Church Hall, Eaton, on October 25 and the next will be on November 22, from 2.30pm to 4pm, and then on the fourth Wednesday of the month from January 24 2018. Contact the organisers at Tel: 01603 464937  



Cringleford man charged with East Harling murder

A man from Cringleford  will appear before a judge tomorrow, Tuesday August 15, after being charged with the murder of Peter Wrighton (pictured).

23-year-old Alexander Palmer, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, was charged early this morning and later appeared in front of magistrates in Norwich.

The charge came after 83- year-old Mr Wrighton, from Banham, received fatal stab wounds in woodland near East Harling last Saturday morning, August 5th.

The Street, in East Harling, remains closed while the investigation continues and officers are still working in the area, providing reassurance, speaking with witnesses and conducting house to house and CCTV enquiries.

Detectives are also searching and forensically examining a number of locations which are linked to the  investigation.

Reunion: CNS class of ‘79

The 1970s are back… at least for the CNS class of 1979, with former Eaton CNS students heading back from half-way across the world for a reunion on May 28.
Who remembers the ‘S’ year production of Oliver, lunch in the Barn, making the Jubilee mosaic or Mr Wilkinson’s purple crimplene trousers?
The Class of ’79 and those who carried on into sixth form, leaving in 1980 or 81, will gather at the Unthank Arms and the organisers are keen to spread the word to anyone from their year.
The reunion has been organised by former students, brought together by Donna Jayne Leverett, who now lives in Australia but set up a Facebook group last year. “I come back to Norwich regularly, and I’m still best friends with people from my class at CNS,” said Donna. “Many have stayed in Norwich, but others have gone as far afield as Dubai, Canada and The States.
“Catching up has been quite surprising at times, but we’ve all found we have more in common than we expected.”
Nick South, from Norwich, is one of the people helping to organise the night and will be running the disco, replete with hits from the days when many attendees had a little more hair and a little less waistline. “We’ll be meeting at the Unthank Arms from around 6pm onwards and everyone’s welcome – including families and children,” said Nick.
“It’s been a long time and not everyone from our year photo is still with us, so we want to make the most of meeting up now. We can guarantee we’re a friendly group and we’d love to see everyone!”
Anyone who’d like to find out more is welcome to check out the Facebook group: CNS – the Class of ’79. Tickets for the evening are £18.50, which includes a barbecue and disco.
For PayPal payment details, please email and Andy Langran will send you the paying details. For those without PayPal, please email Andy or Nick South ( directly, and chat through other means of payment.

Organiser Kathy Fricker (nee Potter) middle row, third from left, Gordon Chambers top row, third from left, will be coming over from Canada and several others in this photo are planning on attending the reunion.

Front row, fourth from left is Donna Jayne Leverett, with Dawn Coleman (nee Metcalf) to her left, who are responsible for coming up with the idea of a reunion. Jayne Boyden (nee Middleton) is on Donna’s right, Andy Langran (back row, third from right) although living in Wales, is another major organiser for the reunion, just in front of him is Radhika Holstrom, who has been helping with organising, and to the right of her is Nick South, who will be the DJ on the night. Centre of the middle row is Jenny Bartlett, who is currently living in Dubai but will hopefully attend the reunion.

GET-TOGETHER: A group of former CNS students are organising a reunion, (left to right) Rebecca Calcutt-Saunders (nee Bartram), Nick South, Kathy Fricker (nee Potter), Donna Jayne Leverett, Debbie Calver (nee Heyhoe), Jayne Boyden (nee Middleton) and Les Rix.

Cringleford tenor Ben is in harmony with busker star Hayley

Singer Ben Lake has played God – but he is now teamed up with a street soprano in a divine duo.
The 38-year-old tenor from Cringleford has graced the stages of London’s West End, and sung at major sporting events and concerts around the world.
But for the past year he has also been working with Hayley Moss, whose vocal talents were spotted as she busked on the streets of Norwich and launched her on an amazing journey – singing in front of 27,000 people at Norwich City football matches, then on prime time TV at the London Palladium.
Ben’s link-up with 31-year-old Hayley from Woodbastwick came about through an agent and the pair hit it off immediately.
“We just clicked as a duo,” said Ben. “I have worked with lots of people but we struck up a realty good relationship – something really natural. We are in synch.”
Ben’s duetting with Hayley is just part of his mix of work – which ranges from concert and corporate gigs to singing telegrams and busking in the streets of Norwich.
He also has a range of cabaret acts singing music based on blues, Bond and Broadway – and even finds time to run a stage school, Bliss, based at Cringleford’s Willow Centre with partner Abi. The pair have lived in Cringleford for eight years, with children Lottie, six, who goes to Eaton primary and Ted, nine, who is home educated.
“I love the variety of it” said Ben who was also seen by millions of TV viewers in a series of the TV talent show The Voice.
“The busking with Hayley is great. We love the feedback, try out new songs, and get a lot of work from it too,” he explained. The pair are often found on Thursday and Friday near the Jarrold store.
Ben studied at Trinity College of Music in his native London and in 1999 immediately got a big break singing “On with the Motley” from Pagliacci on ITV prime time show My Kind of Music hosted by Michael Barrymore.
He was spotted by the producer of the international Spirit of the Dance show and whisked off to open a new show in Reno Nevada. Ben has also sung at sporting events in the United States and Europe including the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham.
His stage roles have included playing God in Jerry Springer the Opera, where he won a Best West End Newcomer of the Year award. Ben also spent a year playing Piangi in the Phantom of the Opera.
He and Hayley have recorded an album together, Duets, featuring , April 1 at 7.30pm. For tickets and more information contact the box office on 01263 822347, or
For more information about Ben visit
See his audition for The Voice – and Jessie J call his voice “amazing” – at

Ben Lake and Hayley Moss
PICTURE: Richard Batson

Voters redirected after downpour floods polling station

Cringleford voters in the EU referendum on June 23 were subject to a change of venue after the Willow Centre was flooded following a downpour.

Water started to leak into the building at 7.30pm, resulting in the decison to move the polling station to the Patterson Club on Newmarket Road at about 8.30pm.

A South Norfolk Council spokesperson said: “The Willow Centre was closed at 8.30pm and paperwork and the ballot box were quickly transferred to the new venue, which was already being used as a polling station.

“A polling clerk was left at the Wilow Centre to divert voters to the Patterson Club, and the names of anyone who arrived close to the 10pm deadline were called through to the presiding officer, so that they were allowed to make their vote at the Patterson Club if they arrived after 10pm.

“No one failed to have their vote.”

Malcolm Wagstaff, chairman of Cringleford Parish Council said that the flooding was caused by water pouring off the large roof into gutters and drainpipes which couldn’t cope with the volume of the downpour.

“It was a tremendous downpour,” he said. “There was water coming in both the front and side doors, the caretaker said it was eight inches high near the front door at one point. Voters were taking off their shoes and socks and wading in to make their vote!”

There was also water running in off the playingfield. There is a soakaway but it was identified as being inadequate a few months ago following a downpour and developers were made aware by the parish council but failed to improve it.

At the time of going to print the Willow Centre is closed and regular hirers have been informed. It is unknown how long the centre will be shut until an insurance assessor comes to see the damage, but it is thought that it will be closed for some time.

“All the electricity has been turned off for safety as the centre has underfloor heating,” said Malcolm. “The sprung floor is beginning to lift and crinkle so it’s likely it will need a new floor.

“It will certainly have an impact on the income of the centre and we risk loosing some hirers.”

Anyone who uses the Willow Centre is advised to call ahead to check if it is open on 01603 457222.


Willow Centre flooding 1 Willow Centre flooding 2 Willow Centre flooding 3 Willow Centre flooding 4

Joe sets sights on British Ironman record

Cringleford Ironman competitor joe skipper is at the top of his game, with a fantastic year of results behind him despite a big injury. But that’s not enough, now he wants the British record!

How did you get into Ironman?

I got into Ironman whilst at university in Manchester. It was back in 2010 and at the time I was just cycling and fancied a new challenge. The Ironman always appealed to me as it just seemed like such a crazy challenge swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles, and running a marathon.

I competed in half Ironman races throughout 2011 and my first Ironman in 2012 at challenge Barcelona, where I came fifth overall and recorded the seventh fastest time ever by a British athlete.

What’s been the highlight of your Ironman Career so far?

I’ve had lots of big highlights over the last year as it really has been a massive breakthrough period. The following results really stick out.

I came second at the North American Championships in Texas where I led the race until late in the marathon against some of the best athletes in the world. I also managed to get third place in the World Long Distance Championships in Sweden. It was a great experience to represent my country at a world championships and to come away with a medal.

More recently, I took second place in Ironman New Zealand in March. This was a huge result for me as I managed to record a time of eight hours nine minutes, which was the third fastest time ever by a British athlete over the distance.

Nine weeks before the race I had a big crash on my bike while out training which resulted in me breaking my collarbone. At the time this race was in doubt and I didn’t actually think I would make it to the start line, so to be able to do a good performance really was a massive highlight and it showed me that anything is possible if you really want it to be!

What’s coming up Next?

I am targeting Challenge Roth in Germany on July 17, where I aim to break the British record and become the first British athlete to go under eight hours.

Next up is Challenge Fuerteventura on April 23, then I’ll race challenge Salou on May 29, Staffordshire 70.3 on June 12, and Challenge Galway on June 26.

As well as these races I’ll also be doing local running and cycling races to tune up.

What’s your biggest motivation?

My biggest motivation is to break the British Ironman record in July, which I am sure I can do if I can keep my training consistent and get onto the start line fit and healthy.

Looking further ahead I want to win the world championships in Kona, it’s where Ironman all began and I want to stand on the top step of the podium!

Any Low Points?

The lowest points for me have been financial ones when I have really struggled to keep afloat and have had to be bailed out by my parents.

At times I have definitely questioned whether to keep going or to stop and get a “proper job”. I think a lot of people go through this stage as it gets to a point where you’re on the fringes of making it, but not quite there.

I think it comes down to a few things, what support you have in place and whether or not you believe in yourself. Luckily for me my parents always encouraged me and never doubted me and I believed in myself as well. I always knew I could compete with the best in the world.

The other low point was breaking my collarbone at the end of December as it didn’t look good at first and there was the possibility of me missing most of the season due to surgery. When I saw the doctor two weeks post surgery he said he had never seen anyone recover so quickly from an injury of that extent, and he would have been pleased with the amount of mobility I had three months post surgery, let alone two weeks after the crash!

Do you train around Cringleford and, if so, where?

I do a lot of my training around Cringleford. For swimming I swim at the UEA a lot. For my cycle training I will ride further a field as I wouldn’t fancy riding laps of Cringleford for 60-100 miles. Sometimes I ride to the north Norfolk coast; that’s probably my favourite place to ride to, with a coffee stop at Byfords in Holt.

I do a lot of running around Cringleford. My steady runs will generally be around the university grounds as it’s off road so better for your joints and it makes it harder work, plus the scenery is stunning.

For harder sessions I do them either at Eaton Park, or I have a little loop which is 2.1 miles which I use. It starts at the car park at the end of Colney Lane/Roundhouse Way, you then head down Roundhouse Way, up Dragonfly Lane, then towards the A11 where you run along the slip road and back up Colney Lane, finishing at the ballads at the start of the car park.

My best time round the loop is 10 minutes 10 seconds if you fancy giving it a go!

How did it feel to be on the cover of 220 Triathlon Magazine last year?

It was great to be on the front cover of 220 as it was a magazine I used to read as a child. Seeing all the top athletes in the magazine used to really inspire me to want to do well, so to be able to get the opportunity was great and shows that I am being recognised for my consistent good results.

Any advice for those thinking of getting into Triathlons?

Definitely get stuck in and give it a go, there’s a great atmosphere at all the events with everyone being friendly and encouraging!

In Norwich there’s a triathlon club called Tri Anglia which is a good club to get in contact with if you are interested.

Visit Joe’s website at You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

 Picture: 220 Triathlon/Remy Whiting

Picture: 220 Triathlon/Remy Whiting

Jo Skipper 1 Jo Skipper 5