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Hellesdon Station to host open day

An open day to celebrate the restoration of the railway platform at Hellesdon Station will be held on Saturday June 30, from 10:30am-3:30pm.

The event is organised by Norfolk County Council’s Marriott’s Way Heritage Trail project.

Hellesdon Station can be found in the woods, just off Hellesdon Road, near the road bridge over the River Wensum.

Some car parking can be found at the Marlpit Arms and on Hellesdon Road. Follow this link to zoom to a Google map showing where the Open Day will be held.

There will be a range of activities for all ages, including:

  • Add the finishing touches to the restored platform. Organisers will be reinstalling an original concrete mile-marker, lovingly refurbished by Stuart McPherson of Norwich City Station Preservation Group/FONCS
  • To celebrate the launch of the new Norwich cycle map, join organisers for the first ride along one of Norwich’s new circular leisure cycle routes. They will be riding a 20 mile loop along Marriott’s Way to Attlebridge, returning back via Ringland and Costessey.
  • The ride starts at 11am from the main event at Hellesdon Station, and includes off-road and on-road surfaces. It would be suitable for any bike except road bikes.
  • Perfect for families, there will also be a short led ride along Marriott’s Way to the beautiful Gunton Lane Park with its woodland paths and shallow river – great for picnics and paddling. This will be at 2pm and will also be suitable for balance bikes.
  • There will be an area for balance bike training, led by Pushing Ahead, so bring along your little ones to get them confident on two wheels.
  • A Bioblitz will be running throughout the day with expert wildlife recorders to help you identify species you’ve spot. They’ll be creating a record of everything that’s been spotted.
  • The Marlpit Community Garden (Sustainable Living Initiative) will have a stall selling local produce and cakes, so remember your pennies.

.  Part of Marriott’s Way.

Hellesdon residents – do you want ‘western link’?

Hellesdon residents will be able to have their say about a possible “western link” to the new NDR route at a consultation event in the parish next month.

Norfolk County Council has begun a period of public consultation asking people whether they think a Norwich western link is necessary.

One of nine consultation events in the county will be held in Hellesdon Parish Office, near the community centre, on Tuesday June 26, from 10.30am-8pm. County council staff will be on hand to answer questions and there will be a chance to respond to the consultation in person.

Hellesdon Norfolk County Council representative Shelagh Gurney is encouraging local residents to visit the event.

“It is important that residents are able to participate in the consultation exercise and have their say,” she said. “There has been much favourable comment about the recently-opened NDR, Broadland Northway, with residents reporting the benefits of accessing the A47 when travelling to Great Yarmouth, Wroxham and north Norfolk in general.

“Now is the opportunity to decide whether or not the NDR traverses the Wensum Valley and joins up with the A47 at the Dereham Road end.  There will be a lot of research required and careful consideration of the environmental impact of such a road, but the benefits of reduced travelling times for emergency services, particularly ambulances wishing to access the Accident and Emergency services at the hospital, will mean that critical treatment can be accessed more expediently”.

The public consultation ends on July 3. You can find out more and respond to the consultation online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl

Wheelchair and poo bags in mega litter haul

It was a wet and wild day down at the River Wensum when Norwich RiverCare hardy volunteers turned up for their first litter pick of the year.

They focused on the area of public space beside Hellesdon Road.

“We managed to clear a whopping 20 bags of litter and some choice items including a fully functioning wheelchair and several bicycles,” said spokesman Stuart Stebbens.

“Unfortunately we also need to report we picked up a lot of dog poo bags left by thoughtless owners. We are as a group perplexed by the thought someone has gone to all the trouble of putting it into a bag but hasn’t binned it. It would be better for everyone and nicer for the environment – a poo in a bag lasts 10,000 years if not disposed of.”

Stuart also reported that an unscrupulous business had left a number of plastic drums and containers, some of which once contained hazardous chemicals. He urged the public to report any fly-tipping incidents to Broadland District Council.

The group’s next event is on Saturday May 19 from 10.30am-1pm, meeting at the Marlpit Community Centre, to remove Himalayan balsam, a prolific non-native plant that crowds out native plants growing on the river bank.

Stuart added: “Lots of volunteers will make light work of it. If anyone is interested they can find us on Facebook as Norwich RiverCare or contact stuart-norwichrivercare@outlook.com for more information.

Book honours Hellesdon man’s ‘royal’ life

While sifting through a lifetime’s photos Hellesdon granddad Derek Cate realised he had quite a few with a royal connection.

Derek, 78, his late wife Marjorie , his sister Sylvia and brother-in-law Peter shared a deep admiration for the Queen, and all-things royal have been an important part of their lives.

In a moment of inspiration, Derek decided to compile all his royal photos and memories into a folder and send a copy to Her Majesty, along with a separate folder containing a royal quiz he uses at a variety of functions.

And he was thrilled when he received a letter from Buckingham Palace, thanking him for his gift. Written by a Lady-in-Waiting, the letter said the Queen was glad to know of Derek’s happy memories of sharing events with his family and included the sentence: “I think you would like to know that the Queen was deeply moved by the time and trouble you have taken to create both these folders and very touched you have sent her this gift.”

Derek said: “Before I opened it I thought it was just going to be one of those standard letters but I shed a few tears when I read it. It was a lovely letter.” He has since made more than 20 copies of the folder and given them to recipients ranging from royal residences Sandringham, in Norfolk, and Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, to friends who take them along to share royal memories when visiting elderly people. “It’s good to think that they give so much pleasure,” said Derek, who vividly remembers standing in Trafalgar Square, aged 14, to watch the Queen’s coronation in June 1953, along with 35,000 others.

To mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, in 1977, Marjorie made copies of the coronation regalia. She died in 2009 but Derek decided to use the surviving crown from her collection and made it the centrepiece of his own recreation of the regalia, marking the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee, in 2012.

Among his pieces was the orb, made from a spray-painted football, and a golden eagle “ampulla”. Derek transformed a wooden duck statue into an eagle, using moulding clay.

His finished display, which included a lifesize cardboard cut-out of the Queen and two toy corgis bought from the gift shop at Sandringham, toured care homes and schools during jubilee year. On one occasion, during a family trip to Glamis Castle, a woman came towards the group as they were drinking tea in the grounds.

It was the Countess of Strathmore, whose home they had been visiting. She began chatting to the group and Derek has also sent her a folder, receiving a hand-written thank-you letter in reply.

Derek and his wife moved to Norfolk from Gillingham, Kent, in the 1960s after Derek’s National Service at RAF Watton. They had three children and Marjorie also worked as a childminder, Sunday School and playgroup leader.

The couple, committed Christians, also fostered or cared for several children over the years. A keen tennis player, Derek played in the Norwich City League for 30 years. He worked in sales in the hydraulic hoses industry.

He said: “The Queen always seems to be so gracious. She’s had sad times in her life but she’s always very strong and she has a strong faith, which impresses me. “I like the pomp and pageantry of royalty. It’s just magic to me. I don’t think any other country in the world can match us for the wonder of it.”


Derek with a cardboard cut-out of the Queen at one of his displays

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


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: www.shortaudition.com/Location-Location-Location

Hellesdon’s Inca is UK PAT Dog of the Year!

 

 

 
Much-loved Hellesdon pooch Inca is the country’s top Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog.

Inca, who has made a difference to scores of patients receiving care from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) was crowned national champ at Crufts Dog Show.

The eight-year-old Labrador/Staffy cross and owner Sheena Scrimgeour beat hundreds of other entrants from across the country – including 70 from the eastern region alone – to make the shortlist of six, and then faced a public vote before Inca was crowned Pets As Therapy ) Dog of the Year.

Many of those who voted were readers of Just Hellesdon following publicity about Inca in the magazine last year.

Sheena said: “I’m shocked but thrilled as well. We had an amazing time there and Inca was as good as gold.

“They started by announcing the runners-up and then suddenly Inca was named as 2018 Pat Dog of the Year – I couldn’t believe it! I’m still coming back down to earth.

“I’m so pleased, and so grateful to all the staff and service users at NSFT whose support got us into the shortlist, and to everyone who then voted for Inca to win the award.”

They found out they had won in the Good Citizen arena at Crufts at the NEC Birmingham on Friday, and were given a crystal trophy, rosette, sash, some dog goodies and £500.

Sheena and Inca have been volunteering with the Pets As Therapy charity for the past six years. They visit Hellesdon Hospital every Monday, The Julian Hospital on Tuesdays and the Norvic Clinic on Fridays, as well as fitting in regular visits to Hellesdon High School, a prison and the University of East Anglia.

She entered Inca after receiving fantastic feedback from NSFT staff, service users and relatives about the difference she has made to them – with some even crediting Ina as “saving their lives”.

“Inca has a lovely nature and just loves people, and seems to know she is doing something beneficial,” added Miss Scrimgeour. “She thoroughly enjoys the interaction and I can tell she gets pleasure from the visits.

“I’ve always wanted my dogs to have a rich and varied life so decided to volunteer with the charity after I retired. I’m also really interested in research which shows the benefits which animals can bring to people. They are great for mental and physical wellbeing, help people to manage stress and lower the pulse and blood pressure. All in all, they provide people with a real ‘feel good’ factor.”

Julie Cave, interim chief executive with NSFT, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Inca has won this national prize. Together with Sheena, she brings lots of smiles and joy to our wards, especially for patients who have had to leave their own pets at home while they are in our care.

“Inca and Sheena are inspirational in the voluntary work they do across our Trust.”

To support Pets As Therapy, visit http://petsastherapy.org

For more information about volunteering with NSFT, visit www.nsft.nhs.uk and click on the “get involved” link from the homepage.

Inca doing her stuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hellesdon eco-queen Nadia is world famous

A Hellesdon schoolgirl has defied bullies to make litter-picking cool – around the world.

Nadia Sparkes, 12, used to put up with bottles being thrown at her and sneering shouts of “Trash Girl” and “You’re weird” as she cycled to and from Hellesdon High School picking up rubbish dropped by other people.

But when her story hit the headlines, international praise poured in for her actions and the bullying stopped overnight.

Now Nadia’s “Trash Girl” image is celebrated in a cartoon and pop art drawing and she has a Team Trash Girl Facebook group with nearly 3,500 global members who encourage each other to pick up rubbish and post pictures of their efforts.

Nadia’s litter-picking began when she started at the high school last September and began to notice the amount of discarded rubbish along her route.

She would put it in her cycle basket and bring it home, sparking cruel taunts from some who saw her. Mum Paula Sparkes believes litter-picking has a stigma because rubbish is dirty and people feel embarrassed to bend and pick it up.

The bullying eventually reduced Nadia to a fit of sobbing one day after school. “I sat and talked to her and said what she was doing was admirable but it was up to her to decide whether she wanted to stop because of the bullying, or carry on and own the name ‘Trash Girl’. “She thought about it and said: ‘I’m going to carry on. They can call me ‘Trash Girl’ – but with respect.’

Her story first hit the headlines in Norfolk and then went national and international, with articles in The Daily Mail and Times, as well as in publications as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden and Malta.

“It just went  bonkers!” said Paula.  “She’s had people asking her about it in the street and adults and children all over the world saying ‘You were right and now I’m picking up litter too, because of you.’ I’m incredibly proud of her, and of her independent thinking.”

Nadia has an older sister and two younger brothers. A statement about Nadia from Tom Rolfe and Mike Earl, the principals of Hellesdon High School, a member of the Wensum Trust, said:  “Her determination and commitment to the cause is truly remarkable and we are hoping it will inspire other students to respect the environment with the same dedication.”


 

Nadia Sparkes. Picture: WIRELOOSE PIX PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We created this image for her to say ‘thank you’ and to offer our support for her fantastic work. Go Trash Girl! We think Trash Girl would make a great cartoon and would inspire more young people to do the same fantastic work,” Alex Jeffery, of Suffolk-based company Creative Nation.


“Nadia is doing some excellent work and when I heard that she was bullied, I just wanted to do something for her. I’ve worked with vulnerable young people and children for many years and have done lots of artwork for them. The picture itself was inspired by the artist Jamie Hewlett,” Lynsey Cole (Damsel Dragonfly Art).

 

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 www.gnlp.org.uk 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.