Eaton’s woodland wonder workers

It began with a hugely-successful community effort to reclaim a neglected ancient hedge.

Six years later, it’s led to the formation of a Friends group which is nurturing a much-loved woodland.

And the hard work of the Friends of Danby Wood was recognised when the group was awarded a silver gilt certificate and hand-turned wooden trophy for Best Woodland in the Anglia in Bloom competition, announced this autumn.

Although the Friends group was only formed last year, its 30-odd volunteers have already carried out a lot of clearance work and litter-picking in the wood, as well as planting hundreds of native trees, thousands of bluebells, putting up bat boxes and improving access with two sets of steps.

And on Saturday November 25, at 10am, everyone is invited to meet in the Marston Lane car park and join other volunteers planting 450 more young trees in the 4.5ha wood.

The Friends are guided by Matt Davies, project officer with Norwich Fringe, which manages the wood on behalf of its owner, Norwich City Council.

Kathleen Rowlands, a committee member of Eaton Rise Residents’ Association (ERRA) and co-ordinator of the Friends of Danby Wood, said the project had brought the community together. Volunteers aged from 10 to people in their 80s, worked side by side, with jobs allocated according to abilities. Clearance work usually ended with a big bonfire and a tea break with homemade flapjacks.

ERRA and Kathleen were the driving forces behind the earlier Ipswich Road Ancient Hedge project which saw volunteers improve the soil, and plant fruit-bearing trees along part of the line of the hedge, which had been damaged in a 2003 storm.

The project caught the imagination of local people and thousands of pounds were donated to a Hedge Fund. Supporters also managed to get grants, donations of trees and other help from businesses, the city council and charities.

Kathleen said the soil was now vastly improved and the trees bore berries which attracted birds, butterflies and other insects.

She added: “As with the hedge we aim to improve the biodiversity of the wood and create a peaceful environment for wildlife and visitor alike. “

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  



Police plea after Eaton road crash

Police are appealing for witnesses to a road traffic collision which happened in Eaton last week.

A maroon car and a white moped were involved in a collision at approximately 4.37pm on Friday  September 22 at the junction of Colman Road and Jessop Road.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision should contact PC Jason Ellis at Wymondham Roads Policing on 101 quoting ref 350 of 22 September 2017.

Business as usual after fire at Eaton pub

Two fast-acting bread delivery drivers have averted a fire disaster at Eaton’s historic Cellar House pub.

The grade two-listed building, which also houses Eaton Post Office, was open for business as usual today after a blaze broke out in an upstairs office shortly before 3am this morning.

Pye Baker drivers Paul Goodwin and Jamie Hamilton were delivering bread to the 19th-century pub in the early hours when they heard an alarm sounding.

Matt Cowling, Pye Baker manager, took up the story: “When they went towards the door they could hear that it was an inside smoke alarm. They looked around a bit and smelled what they thought was burning so they called the fire brigade and waited ’til they arrived”.

Crews from Earlham and Carrow raced to the scene and put out the blaze, which is believed to have started in a tumble dryer, and damage was contained within one room, according to pub manager Ben Topping.

A pub spokesman said they sent their heartfelt thanks to both Pye Baker and the fire service, adding: “You were guys were brilliant.”

Pub landlady Victoria MacDonald phoned the bakery later in the day to thank the two delivery men.

Photo of fire engines at the scene:  The Cellar House


Boy’s jaw broken in Eaton Park attack

A boy needed hospital treatment for a broken jaw, damage to his hearing and a cut head after he was attacked by a group of people in Eaton Park.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the assault which happened at approximately 9pm on Monday September 18 in Eaton Park, South Park Avenue.

The 14-year-old was approached by the group, some of whom were known to him.

He is now at home recovering from his injuries.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the assault.

Anyone with information should contact PC Emma Gray from Norwich CID on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Suspicious man seen at time of Eaton burglary

Police are keen to find a man wearing dark clothing who was acting suspiciously at the time of a burglary in Eaton.

A watch was stolen from an address in Hardwick Close at around 10pm on Monday  September 4.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have any information and in particular, anyone who may have seen the man.

Anyone with information should contact DC Hayley Jennings at Norwich CID on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


Lights! Camera! Action! for Eaton pupils

Sixty Year 6 students from Eaton Primary School hosted a special screening at Cinema City on Wednesday, June 21, that featured a series of the children’s adverts, music videos and short films made in conjunction with City College Norwich’s creative media department.

The 10- and 11-year-olds invited their parents to watch the work that was produced during a week-long project with 30 Level 3 creative media production students from City College Norwich. After a pre-production day at Eaton Primary School, the young pupils spent three days working with the students in the college’s virtual television studio and media editing suites to put together their final projects.

The aim of the project was to give the Eaton Primary School children a taste of media production and to also open their eyes to the opportunities open to them beyond school.

Eaton Primary School pupil Poppy Dawson, 11,said: “We’ve learnt how to use cameras, how to act and how all the technology works. My favourite bit was filming all the different types of shots with the cameras. Our film was about ninjas kidnapping the Queen and I was very excited to see the final product at Cinema City. Having our film shown on the big screen felt really weird because I was the one filming it so it made me feel kind of important.”

City College Norwich media production student Mia Dann, 18, said: “I’ve enjoyed seeing how enthusiastic the children are about the project and it’s been great to see how passionate they are about something that I’m passionate about too. Having our work shown at Cinema City has been really good and it was really nice to actually see our project being played on a bigger screen.”

Cara MacDonald, creative media production lecturer at the college said: “We’ve been doing this project for a few years now and have found that both sets of students get so much out of the experience. The children from Eaton Primary School have been so creative throughout the project and have produced some excellent quality work. I’m really impressed with the work that they have produced and was so proud to see their final edits on the big screen at Cinema City.”



Can you walk like a Jedi?

A Jedi Walk at Eaton Park must be up there with the best ways to spend a Sunday for many boys and girls. It certainly would have been for Finnbar Cork!
The fundraising event will take place on Sunday, May 21 and is being organised by Finnbar’s mum and dad, Tristan and Claire, to raise awareness and hopefully a bit of money for the charity they have set up in his memory.
Sadly, Finnbar died, aged five, last August – less than 10 months after the first symptoms of what was ultimately diagnosed as a terminal brain tumour.
His family are determined to do everything they can to do something good in Finnbar’s name and memory.
“Finnbar loved Star Wars,” explained Tristan. “From about the age of three he liked nothing more than dressing up in his Stormtrooper and Darth Vader outfits.
“By the time Force Awakens came out he was so excited. We took him to the cinema to see it in November 2015, which was when he first started getting dizzy spells.
“That Christmas, all he wanted was Star Wars stuff. We must have watched Force Awakens 100 times when it came out on DVD – it was a big part of our last few months with him.
“We were looking for a name for the charity, and we knew that we wanted to do some Star Wars themed events, and the idea for Finnbar’s Force popped up.
“We hope that we can use his force to make things better for other families that find themselves going through similar, heartbreaking situations, and ultimately to bring about an end to childhood brain tumours.”
Since Finnbar passed away the family has received more than £12,000 in donations, and Tristan and Claire have put a lot of thought into what Finnbar would have liked when coming up with ideas for events.
Even his funeral was Star Wars themed, with his dad and other family members flying him into the church in a special X-Wing coffin to the Star Wars music.
“We want to create fun events for children in return for donations and think the Jedi Walk at Eaton Park will really ignite the kids’ imaginations,” said Tristan, who grew up close to the park and, despite now living in Hethersett, also spent a lot of time there with Finnbar.
“We have such a connection with the park; I spent a lot of my childhood there, it was the last place Finnbar rode his scooter, and I think it’s the best park in Norwich.”
Everyone is invited to come along anytime between 10.30am-1.30pm and complete the hunt for Star Wars characters. Don’t forget to dress up and bring a picnic (and your lightsaber). The start point is opposite the children’s play area and the suggested donation is £2/3 per child/adult.
The family are holding various activities throughout the year, including a family activity day at Eaton Vale on September 10.
For full details visit the charity Facebook page

Finnbar enjoying the play equipment at Eaton Park.

Finnbar Cork with mum and dad, Claire and Tristan, and his sister, Nell.

Finnbar in his Darth Vader costume.