Location, Location, Location looking for buyers

TV property experts Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer (pictured) are looking for homes in the Norwich area for a new season of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. The presenters will be helping people find their dream home this spring. Chain-free buyers struggling to find the right property are welcome to apply.  Programme chiefs will be talking to potential buyers over the next few weeks. A spokesman said: “Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, buying your first property or hoping to find your ideal forever home, you could have two top property experts on your side. Whatever the budget and however tricky the search – we would love to hear from everyone! Phil and Kirstie may be just the helping hand you need! The online application form can be found via:

Drayton bench remembers a much-loved lady

Regular visitors to Drayton’s Bellomonte Crescent may notice that a wooden bench has appeared there recently.

A plaque on the seat remembers much-loved wife, mum, grandma and great grandma Dorothy Pain.

Dorothy, who died last year, had lived in the road for more than 50 years and the bench has been placed there by her family.

The Pains moved to Norfolk from Berkshire in 1965 in search of countryside, a newly-built home with central heating, a nearby school and the coast a short ride away.

Dorothy was born in Surrey in 1930 and much of her childhood and early teens were spent coping with the difficulties of wartime.

Her first job was in a small grocer’s shop where her tasks included removing mould from the top of jars of jam, placing a fresh greaseproof circle on top and replacing the lid – a luxury like jam couldn’t possibly be thrown away!

Wartime lessons of thrift and gratitude for everything guided Dorothy throughout her life.

At just 15 she first met her future husband, John, who was one of two sailors walking past a bench on which she and a friend were sitting while on holiday in Plymouth.

The couple got engaged on Coronation Day in 1953 and married the following year. They went on to have three children – daughter Christine and sons Norman and Stephen.

Dorothy stayed at home in Norfolk, bringing up the children while John worked at the former Bonds, in Norwich, now John Lewis.

Realising they needed more income to raise and support their family, the couple opened their own company, J.H. & D.I. Pain, Upholsterers.  With John’s help, Dorothy learned to make curtains and did the business accounts.

After her children left home, Dorothy became a successful Avon rep and a caretaker at the new Drayton First School. She also knitted for good causes, making some 200 items for premature and sick babies.

Her family say Dorothy was always selfless and wanting to help.

Dorothy Pain





Do you know him? Wanted after Drayton pharmacy thefts

Police are appealing for help to identify a man following a number of thefts in Drayton.

The offences happened on Saturday January 27 when a man visited Lloyds Pharmacy, in School Road, on four occasions and stole a number of boxes of medication.

Officers have released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.

Anyone who recognises him, or anyone with information, should contact PC Pauline Gray at Aylsham Police Station on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Plea over plans for many new Hellesdon homes

Residents are being urged to have their say on proposals for large numbers of new homes which local chiefs fear would be bad news for Hellesdon.

Greater Norwich – which includes Hellesdon – has to find sites for nearly 43,000 new homes between now and 2036.

Some 30,000 have already been identified but a further 7,200 have still to be found. Public consultation is under way on the Greater Norwich Local Plan, which details the proposals.

Up to 1,000 homes are already due to be built in Hellesdon, on the former Royal Norwich Golf Club site.

A parish council spokesman said: “In Hellesdon the grassed area close to Arden Grove Primary School, now known as Cottingham’s Park, together with part of our allotments, accessed from Bush Road, feature as development sites in the plan which is not good news as it will take away valuable recreational space which is already in short supply in the parish.

“Looking across the parish boundary into Horsford, which starts just beyond the medical practice, The Greater Norwich Local Plan has earmarked all the land up the Reepham Road to the NDR roundabout on the south side of Horsford and bounded on the eastern side by the A140.

“Housing built here will of necessity put additional loading onto both of these roads and the local infrastructure, having a direct impact on the local schools, shops and medical facilities together with the invisible infrastructure of the water, drainage and sewage systems, already subject to some overloading. Some smaller site proposals in the parish of Drayton adjoining Hellesdon will also have a similar impact.”

The parish council also fears that Hellesdon would lose out financially if homes were built in this Horsford block as future residents would be likely to use Hellesdon’s schools, doctors and other services, which would be nearer for them.

But, because their homes would not actually be built within Hellesdon’s boundaries, other parish councils would receive “CIL” money levied from developers – used for community benefits – and from the new home owners via the parish precept element of the council tax.

The spokesman added: “Hellesdon Parish Council needs all the support it can muster from its residents to ensure Cottingham’s Park and allotments are not lost and that any development within Horsford’s block of land is kept to an absolute minimum.”

* Residents will have the chance to learn more during the week beginning Monday February 19 at the parish council’s Diamond Jubilee Lodge office between 10am and 3.30pm.

The office will also reopen on Wednesday  February 21 between 6pm and 8pm.

Every resident is also urged to make an individual response to the consultation which runs until March 15.  Visit or collect a response booklet from the parish council office.

* Broadland District Council officers will be holding a roadshow on the proposals in Hellesdon Community Centre on February 28 from 2pm-8pm.

Pictured: Cottingham’s Park looking towards the allotments.

Drayton homes all lit up for Christmas

Children from Drayton Junior School’s School Council will be deciding on January 10 which is their favourite illuminated home in the parish from these nominations, photographed by Les Martire, of Wireloose Pix.

The contest is the second organised by Drayton Parish Council  and once again Taverham Nursery Centre is sponsoring the event.

Enjoy this feast of festive fairylights!


Drayton’s 12 Days of Christmas video hit

A Drayton estate agent’s inspired Christmas idea has helped promote local businesses – and given hundreds of people a good laugh.

Wil Barber, owner of William’s Way Estate Agent’s, has put together a 12 Days of Christmas video featuring a dozen local businesses.

Each firm uses their “day” to give their particular service a musical plug, while dressed in Christmas gear.

The finished song had more than 850 views on Youtube within a day of its release and had become a talking point in the village, according to Wil, who grew up in Drayton.

“We’re always looking for fun things to do to get the community involved,” said Wil. “I’m a local kid so I’ve got a lot more emotional attachment to the area. We were thinking ‘what can we do to help the community?’ I also wanted to do something to show the community that we are a community – and we knew that it would be hilarious!”

Wil said they had no trouble filling the 12 appearance slots. “In the end we were fighting people off and since its release people have been saying ‘why didn’t you ask me to be in it?’ Estate agents have a bad reputation for being pushy and salesy. I wanted to do something to show that we’re not like that.

“There have been loads of lovely comments on the community Facebook page. Now we’re thinking about next Christmas. We’ve had a joke about doing a Christmas calendar, featuring all the old blokes!”

To watch the video go to:

Pictured are a few stills from the video featuring Drayton businesses

They did it! Swim pool fundraising success

Things looked pretty bleak two years ago when the air filtration system at Drayton Junior School’s 44-year-old swimming pool packed up.

The pool, used by hundreds of children in the area, had to close and £25,000 was needed for repairs.

But not only did the community rally round to find that sum, supporters went on to raise a total of more than £60,000, safeguarding the pool’s future for another 40 years.

Fund-raising events included quizzes, a 40th-birthday skydive by mum Melanie Coleman who has a son and a daughter at the school, Taverham Lions’ cycle ride and barn dances, Longdale Park Fete, a swimming gala at Riverside Leisure Centre, and proceeds from Taverham High School’s rag week.

The school held a tea party and ribbon-cutting ceremony last month to celebrate a fantastic community effort and to thank two fund-raising mums from the school’s Friends group, who went above and beyond to raise the cash.

Jane Dennis and Cathryn Heseltine were presented with bouquets by grateful head teacher David Oldham for the many hours they spent applying for grants and co-ordinating fund-raising.

Both women had children at the school when the appeal was first launched but carried on helping after their youngsters moved on.

Amazingly, the first £25,000 was raised within 10 months, allowing the pool to re-open.

But a decision was taken to press on and raise more cash to replace the worn-out roof of the pool which was letting in water, said teacher Michael Silvester, who learned to swim there when he was a pupil at the school.

About half the total was raised by the community and half came from grants.

Pupils from many local schools, including those in the Nebula Partnership, use the pool, together with other members of the community, from toddlers to pensioners.

“It’s a community pool that’s based in the school and the reason for the success of this appeal is that so many people use it,” said the head.

“Jane and Cathryn have been fantastic. They have never once given up because they could see it was for the good of the community and now we have a pool that should last another 40-odd years.”

Pictured: Head teacher David Oldham and pupils prepare to cut the ribbon. Bottom: Cathryn Heseltine (left) and Jane Dennis with pupils.



Drayton Post Office moves round corner

Drayton Post Office has been saved and is open for business.
But new postmaster Neal Gurney is concerned that some villagers aren’t aware of its new location, especially as it’s currently hidden by vehicles belonging to builders working on the new Domino’s pizza outlet which is due to open in the Post Office’s former site.
The village Post Office had been inside Drayton Stores, on Fakenham Road, for many years but when owners John Gallant and Mark Curson decided to retire, its future looked under threat.
But the pair, backed by Drayton Parish Council, were keen to keep a Post Office as a community service and approached Neal, 33, who already ran four other Post Offices in Norfolk.
He recognised the potential of the business and now, while the front of the old Drayton Stores building is being taken over by Domino’s, a partition has been built and the Post Office has moved into the back, with its own entrance at the side.
It is a main Post Office, open from 9am-5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, offering all services, including foreign currency and passport checking, and customers with most high street banks can deposit and withdraw cash and cheques there.
The hole-in-the-wall machine has moved round the corner with the Post Office which also sells greetings cards, gifts and some sweets.
Back in 2005 Neal, then aged 20, became one of the youngest postmasters in the country when he took over Thorpe St Andrew Post Office after his father went into semi-retirement.
In 2014 he took on Acle Post Office as well and, since then, he has also acquired Post Offices in Harleston and Framingham Earl.
Despite fierce competition in the mail and parcels business nowadays, Neal said it was still possible for Post Offices to thrive.
“They can sustain themselves providing we can make people aware we’re still here and we’re still doing things people find useful,” he said.
The Domino’s workforce is due to finish any day and Neal hopes their departure will make the Post Office more visible, and open up its car park.
The six staff who had worked at the old Post Office are all employed at the new business which is also the hub for 14 postmen and women who deliver mail to more than 5,000 local homes.
It’s been a very busy summer and autumn for Neal who took over at Drayton in August and became the proud dad of baby daughter Darcie on September 8. He and his wife Charlotte, who does the accounts, already have a two-year-old son, Dylan.

Pictured: Neal Gurney with assistant manager Nicky Day.