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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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR7m-UXYPYk&feature=youtu.be

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.

 

Drayton martial arts pair are world champions

A martial arts instructor and a schoolboy from Drayton have returned from a world championship competition with a clutch of gold medals.

Wayne Baker and Callum Green earned the honours representing Great Britain at the World Martial Arts Games in Orlando, Florida.

Callum, 12, a pupil at Taverham High School, gained four world champion gold medals – in kumite, continuous sparring, team kumite and team points – and three bronze medals.

Wayne, master instructor of the South Eastern School of Martial Arts (SESMA), based in Drayton, competed in five categories and was successful in four, winning silver in Korean Forms, Team Forms, Team Kumite and becoming world champion in the Individual Kumite.

He narrowly missed being placed in Japanese Kata by 0.25 of a point. Callum began his martial arts career aged four at SESMA and, after a break, returned to the discipline as a student with the Black Belt Academy in Norwich.

More than 30 countries were invited to compete at the Orlando games which had to be condensed from three to two days because Hurricane Irma was expected.

Callum’s grandmother, Jackie Green, said competitors had to observe a 48-hour curfew, not leaving the hotel complex where the competition was held, in case Hurricane Irma caused problems.

It had been windy, with trees down and cars damaged, but Orlando had escaped comparatively lightly compared to some parts of  Florida, said Mrs Green.

Since his triumphant return from America, Wayne has competed in two further tournaments, the East of England Championships and the Peterborough Grand Prix Series, winning both the competitions in the Kata/Forms categories.

He will be representing Great Britain again in the European Championships next year in Schaan, Liechtenstein. He has also been asked by the British director of the World Martial Arts Games Commission to be a GB coach and train the British Kumite team.

 

Arrest over Marriott’s Way attempted kidnap
Detectives are questioning a man this morning in connection with the attempted kidnap of a woman in Norwich.

It follows an incident yesterday, Sunday October 8 between 5pm and 5.15pm, on Marriott’s Way, on a section of footpath next to Barker Street.

The victim, aged in her 20s, was walking towards the city centre near Halfords when she was approached from behind and grabbed.

Following a short struggle the victim managed to escape while the suspect fled the scene, running towards Drayton.

As a result of enquiries, a man in his 30s was arrested in connection with the incident at an address in Norwich shortly after 6pm.

The man remains in custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre where he will be questioned. The area where the incident happened has been sealed off while enquiries continued.

Drayton family’s amazing tale of giving life

A Drayton family is celebrating a second chance at life, thanks to the determination to go to the other side of the world to make miracles happen – and a selfless woman who just wanted to keep her sister and nephew alive.

When David and Patsy Blyth’s son, Nathan, was 19, he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease – a condition in which cysts form on the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure.

Ten years later, in 2007, Patsy was also diagnosed with the same disease – and was told she would need a transplant within five years.

“This knocked us for six,” said David.

With two members of the family suffering from the condition, the whole family was tested and they were all given the all-clear – and Patsy’s sister, Tracey Harwood, immediately offered to donate one of her kidneys.

“I didn’t even really think about it,” she said. “I just said I’d do it.”

Tests proved that although she was not a perfect match, Tracey was able to donate, and work began to prepare the sisters for the operation, which was pencilled in for the summer of 2012.

Tracey needed to lose weight before the operation and while she stuck religiously to her task, Patsy was put on the deceased donor list – and in July, David received the call from Addenbrooke’s Hospital that a possible kidney had been found.

“I called her on her mobile to tell her the news. I was in tears, she was in tears… I called Tracey to tell her and to see if she was OK with this after all the hard work she had gone through to give Patsy a new lease of life. I think I remember her crying, too,” said David.

Tracey and her husband, Gary, raced to their house from their home in Taverham and they all drove to the hospital together.

“Patsy received her kidney in the early hours of July 25, 2012 – a date we will never forget,” said David. “She is now leading a normal healthy life and Tracey was able to keep both her kidneys.”

Meanwhile, Nathan had moved to Australia to start a new life, was in a relationship and had two young children. But his kidneys were failing, he was told he needed an operation on his spine, his relationship had collapsed and he was told that, like his mum before him, he would need a transplant.

While he was waiting, he met a new partner, Cheryl, who, David says, played an enormous part in helping Nathan through his treatment and recovery, which included taking part in pioneering dialysis trials and treatment at home.

Back in England, David underwent tests at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to see if he was a suitable donor, but learned that although he was the perfect match, his own kidneys were not in a good enough condition to transplant to his son.

“Once again, in steps Tracey,” said David. “She was determined to get rid of one of her kidneys!”

Although now a grandmother, Tracey said the decision was immediately obvious.

“I just felt there was a chance of a better life for Nathan if he had this operation, and if I could help I would. It turned out I was a better match for Nathan than I was for Patsy.”

David said everyone cried when the tests revealed the operation was possible – but there were still hurdles to clear.

“How on earth were we going to be able to pull this off?” he said. “Nathan was in Australia and was too ill to travel, and Tracey and all of us were here in England – 12,000 miles apart.”

So the family swung into action – David, Patsy, Tracey, Gary and their daughter Abbie planning flights and time off work and liaising between the “fantastic” renal team at the N&N – who David says played a vital role in bringing the whole project together – and the hospital in Melbourne.

“This trip was going to last three months providing everything went to plan,” said David. “All their employers were brilliant.”

On arrival in Melbourne there were more tests for Tracey, and the transplant was carried out on February 13 this year.

Tracey was discharged after four days and Nathan soon began to recover – so much so that he was able to fly back to Norwich last month to visit his grandfather, Wally, in hospital before he died.

“Without this fantastic gift of a new kidney he would not have been able to do this,” said David, who hopes his family’s story will raise awareness of the disease and also of altruistic kidney donation.

David says he is grateful every day for those who helped his wife and son get this second chance, and Tracey says she feels even closer to her nephew now than she did before.

“We were always close but it does feel strange being in the same room, thinking my kidney is inside him,” she said.

Pictured: Family group which includes: David (far left), Patsy (second left), Tracey (denim skirt)  Cheryl (blue dress) and Nathan (jeans).


 

 

Road closure will put pressure on roads in Hellesdon, Drayton and Horsford

Extra long-term pressures on roads through Hellesdon, Drayton and on Church Street, Horsford, are expected following the permanent closure of the B1149 Holt Road, south of Horsford.

The closure has been brought forward to Wednesday August 9 after BT Openreach announced earlier dates for moving their fibre optic cables. The closure had been put back until late August after BT said diversion of the cables would not begin until after the World Athletics Championships (August 4-13). However, that work has been rescheduled by BT to start on July 31. This will allow more of the complex final phase in constructing the major A140 Cromer Road/A1270 Northern Distributor Road (NDR) junction to be carried out in the school summer holidays. Altogether, it is expected to take around three months to complete the junction. Following the B1149 closure, traffic will be diverted via New Drayton Lane – which has recently opened – on to Reepham Road. This diversion will remain in place until traffic can use the NDR dual carriageway and A140 junction, or part of it, to restore access to the A140. Norfolk County Council and Balfour Beatty has apologised for the unavoidable disruption to normal travel.

 

Watch out for the bears…

If you go down to Drayton, Taverham or Thorpe Marriott in August, you’re in for a big surprise…
The latest Fun Hunt will feature paper teddy bears displayed in windows around the area to give youngsters something fun – and free – to do during the summer holidays.
Organiser Sophie Garrod said: “Lots of people, including businesses, create a teddy bear, decorate it however they want to, put it in their front window and children go around and try to spot them.”
She is putting together an online map of where all the bears will be between August 1 and 15 so the hunters can follow it.
“The idea is for the children to find as many as they can and then their parents can reward them any way they like – maybe a treat for spotting 10… It’s just something fun for them to do and, most importantly, it’s free!” said Sophie, who has three young sons  – George, Harry and Alfie.
She said she already has 46 people who will have bears on display, but more are welcome.
“There’s a template which people can use – just let me know through our Facebook page,” she said. “It’s great fun and it doesn’t take long. We had an Easter egg hunt at Easter and it was lovely getting all the photos afterwards.”
She said she also planned to do a snowman hunt at Christmas.
Anyone wanting to decorate a teddy or look at the map should get in touch by searching for Teddy Bear Hunt – Taverham, Drayton and Thorpe Marriott on Facebook.