Open gardens near Holt raises over £2000 for local charity

Hard-working volunteers for a Norfolk charity raised over £2,300 in just two days – by providing tea and cakes to visitors to one of the county’s most stunning open gardens.

Fundraisers for the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind put on an amazing display of baking at the Stody Lodge Gardens near Holt, with visitors to the gardens tucking into a range of cakes, scones, flapjacks and biscuits worthy of the Great British Bake Off.

NNAB fundraiser Donna Minto, who organised the teams of volunteers across the two days, said, “We were blessed with two sunny afternoons, which brought lots of visitors to the stunning gardens at Stody Lodge. Catering for so many people all in search of a traditional English tea was a big challenge for a team of volunteers, but they rose to it magnificently.

“We want to thank the Stody Estate for allowing us to provide the refreshments and raise money in this way – their generosity has seen so many Norfolk charities benefit over the years. We hope our teas were worthy of one of the most stunning gardens in the county.”

Visitors to Stody Lodge gardens enjoying afternoon tea provided by the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind.


More than 80 tractors take a tour of Holt to raise money for prostate cancer

A tractor run to raise money for prostate cancer care will take place through the streets of Holt on Sunday 11th June.

The event, which will involve more than 80 vintage and modern vehicles, will start at Briston Recreation Ground at 10am. The tractor run will travel through Holt and the surrounding areas before returning to the recreation ground at around 12.30pm to continue the celebrations at a vintage fayre.

A display of steam engines and stationary engines will also feature at the event which is set to delight anyone with an interest in moving machines.

The man responsible for organising this exciting event is 80 year-old Brian Cottrell from Holt, who has organised a variety of events to raise funds for prostate cancer at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. This is a cause close to Brian’s heart as he has family members who have experienced prostate cancer.

Other entertainment on offer throughout the day, which will run until 4pm, includes performances from the Holt Ridge Morris Dancers and Highland Pipers. A variety of refreshments will also be available, including fresh doughnuts, candy floss and a licensed bar.

Louise Cook, NNUH Fundraising Manager, said: “We’re so grateful to Brian for organising this fantastic event to raise funds for our hospital. With such a huge variety of attractions on offer on the day, there’s something for all the family and it would be great if people in the local area wanted to come out and show their support.”

Emma McKay, Director of Nursing at NNUH, added: “We continue to be delighted by the imaginative things our fundraisers organise and take part in to raise money for NNUH. I’d like to thank Brian for his amazing efforts in pulling this unique event together and for his ongoing support for the hospital charity.”

Brian Cottrell can be contacted on 01263 711096 for more information on the event. Please note that only invited tractors and engines are able to participate in the tractor run.

Sheringham theatre’s tribute to movie legend Sir John Hurt

The acting talent of the late legend Sir John Hurt is being celebrated on the community theatre screen which he launched.

Sir John officially opened the digital projection system at Sheringham Little Theatre four years ago.

The actor, who died aged 77 in January lived in North Norfolk and was a supporter of the venue’s film and stage drama work.

During a week starting on Friday (May 26) the theatre will show a short season of some of his best work including an early role in the Tudor classic A Man for All Seasons, and leads in the poignant Elephant Man and spy drama Scandal.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “Sir John was a great supporter of our theatre, and we miss him very much, so we wanted to remember him through screening some of his best films at a place we know he was fond of.”

Sir John visited the venue regularly to chat to the actors appearing in the summer repertory drama season and during a launch event for the local-filmed movie In Love with Alma Cogan, in which he played a theatre manager.

He also played a “part” as the pre-recorded voice of the Magic Mirror in its Snow White pantomime in 2013.

Debbie added: “We are also hoping to display photographs of Sir John during his visits here – and would invite any members of the public who have memories or anecdotes involving Sir John to share them with us in a memory book we have in the foyer.”

Send any pictures or memories to: Sir John Hurt Memories, Sheringham Little Theatre, 2 Station Road, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8RE or email (The theatre cannot return original photographic prints, so please send copies – or scan and email them as 1 to 2MB jpegs).

Tickets for each film are £5 through the box office on 01263 822347, or visit

Sir John Hurt showing old and new technology when he launched Sheringham Little Theatre’s new digital projection equipment in May 2013.



Half-term fun outside and in

A host of children’s activities will be on offer at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham community sports centres over the forthcoming May half-term.

The sessions offer youngsters aged between four and 12 the chance to take part in football fun days, shooting, skating and street-dancing, as well as summer sports days and multi-sports events.

The events will take place between Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 2, at the North Norfolk District Council-managed centres.

As well as these activities, there are countryside events taking place in Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, North Walsham. The fun on offer includes shelter-building, a look at amphibians, reptiles and lizards and the chance to build and launch a water rocket.

All-day activities are priced at £10 while shorter sessions are priced between £2 and £3.50. To make things easier for parents, there is the added option of arranging early drop-offs and late pick-ups for just £2 at some of the events.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure, health and wellbeing, said: “These sessions offer great fun for children while keeping them busy and healthy.”

To download a brochure with more details, visit

To book the sports-centre events, visit Booking is not required for the countryside events at Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For further details of these activities, email or call 07920 576634.

Council takes steps to keep tax down in North Norfolk

Potential development at sites in Holt and Cromer will be part of a wider strategy announced by North Norfolk District Council to keep the district’s element of council tax frozen.
Budget proposals to maintain a zero council tax rise for the seventh year in a row at £138.87 for a Band D property will be considered by the council’s cabinet when it meets on Monday (February 6). Any decision will then be referred to full council.
On the agenda cabinet members will consider two key budget reports – the 2017/18 Budget Report and the Strategic Property Development Partner and Work Programme.
These two papers set out how the council could operate with no council tax increase in 2017/18 at a time when other authorities are planning to increase their charge.
The strategy looks to take a more commercial approach to council-owned assets and considers developing four key sites in the district.
These include a residential development at Grove Lane in Holt and a commercial development at Cadogan Road in Cromer.
The Holt site is a former council depot, more recently leased to Norfolk County Council for office use, a two-storey office building, two workshop or storage buildings and a yard area. The property has been vacant for two years.
The site would require significant investment to be re-let for business use and would have a greater value through accommodating a residential development, subject to planning approval, the council said.
Two proposals have been examined, one for five houses to be sold and the other for eight houses to be rented.
The Cromer site is a central car and coach park facility with public toilet block, set back from the seafront.
The site has been identified to accommodate a development, subject to planning approval, by a national hotel chain, while allowing some continued public parking. There has been interest by two hotel operators in recent years – Premier Inn and Travelodge. Both operators are understood to be seeking to develop an 80 room hotel in the town.
Any development of the car park to accommodate a hotel would require alternative coach parking and it has been suggested alternative facilities could be provided on the surfaced area of the nearby Runton Road car park.
Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “North Norfolk is a well-run, financially sound authority that delivers excellent services: by continually working to ensure that we are innovative, efficient and effective across all our operations, we are able to bring forward budget proposals that would freeze our council tax rate for the seventh year in a row.”
The council is in a strong financial position for 2017/18 and 2018/19 but Government funding to the council is reducing and there is a forecast deficit of £700,000 in 2019/20 and £1.3m in 2020/21. This figure already includes the council raising income or identifying savings totalling £3 million pounds.

Dance school hip hops into theatre festival date

A North Norfolk hip hop crew has been selected to be part of a major international festival coming to Norwich.

Parallel Dance Studios have been chosen to perform at the Breakin’ Convention hip hop event being held at Norwich Theatre Royal on May 13, alongside Legacy and Fly No Filter.

They were among seven different crews who applied to star in the show, which is one of the most highly anticipated events in the British dance calendar. The groups took part in an audition in front of the Breakin’ Convention team and had to perform a piece they had created themselves.

Now the successful groups are looking forward to taking to the stage alongside some of the biggest names in hip hop including the South Korean super crew of poppers and b-boys Just Dance, Canadian urban contemporary duo Tentacle Tribe and South Africa’s renowned Soweto Skeleton Movers.

Parallel Dance Studios was set up by North Norfolk sisters Lucy and Emma Cook and is based in Holt and Reepham. They set it up to bring the fun and benefit of dance for all, and teach a wide range of different styles and techniques at classes around the county. They compete in a number of national and regional competitions in all styles and have also appeared on Sky 1’s Got To Dance. They aim to be creative and choreograph in an interesting and entertaining way while working in a strong family atmosphere.

Emma Kuiiri (Cook) said: “There were seven acts that auditioned for only three spots on stage and our P Diddys group were one of the three successful groups. The youngsters, aged from eight to 11, worked very hard to achieve this and now have lots more work ahead to prepare for the grand performance. The children are so excited and really can’t wait to perform. Their piece is themed around video games featuring Pokemon, Street Fighter and Mario. This is a massive achievement for a small dance school.”

As well as the performance itself, the theatre will be transformed into a hip-hop zone during May 13 with a host of activities planned including graffiti walls, DJ workshops and dance battles, with full details of these additional events being announced in the weeks ahead.

Victoria Jenkins, Norwich Theatre Royal’s education manager (projects), said: “We are so excited to have some of the region’s hottest hip hop talent sharing the stage with some top international acts. The hard work starts now to prepare for this exciting day of performance and creativity which everyone can enjoy.”

Parallel also had success in the UK Street Dance Championshps in London, competing against people from the UK and Europe. The team came home with a second place in the under nine duos with Tianna Kuiiri and Skyela Barden.

Breakin’ Convention, Saturday 13 May at 7.30pm. Tickets £7-£24. Discounts for Friends. Band A-D tickets half price if paid for by the end of February. To book, call the box office on 01603 630000 or log onto









Pop stardom for Holt schoolgirls

A group of girls from Greshams School in Holt have released a single to raise money for young people with mental health issues.

Gresham’s Girls is a band formed by pupils, Molly Sankey, Clementine Chapple, Amelia Fox, Rhianna Campbell-Cann, Henrietta Hovenden and Alice Dale.

The girls came together with a desire to raise awareness of mental health in young people.  They decided on producing a single, something that could be sold with money raised going to the school’s charity of the year, Young Minds, which is committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people.

There was something about the lyrics of Sit Down, folk-pop band, James’ breakthrough track, that resonated with the girls.

There is a certain vulnerability that is reflected and much is made of the highs and lows of life and yet there is an overwhelming sense of optimism, hope and support. The track was produced by Chris Cooper and Justin Myers, teaching staff from Gresham’s music department.

The track can be downloaded and purchased at

L-R: Rhianna Campbell-Cann, Alice Dale, Clementine Chapple, Henrietta Hoveden, Amelia Fox and Molly Sankey.

L-R: Rhianna Campbell-Cann, Alice Dale, Clementine Chapple, Henrietta Hoveden, Amelia Fox and Molly Sankey.

Artist Lucy signs up for Holt shopping night

Renowned local artist Lucy Loveheart will be autographing her exclusively designed Christmas cards as part of Holt town late night shopping.

Norfolk-based Lucy, whose work is recognised internationally, penned two card designs for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) to raise valuable funds for the charity this festive season.

On Thursday, December 8, 6-8pm at the EACH shop in Station Road, Lucy will be in store signing her cards for lucky customers. She will be asking for a £1 donation in return for her signature.

The Christmas card designs depict an angel flying in harmony with butterflies and a snow-filled scene of joy in Lucy’s distinctive style, focusing on childhood memories and the world of make-believe.

Jill Gould, EACH Holt shop manager, said: “We are thrilled that Lucy Loveheart will be joining us to sign cards as we open for late night shopping. Our EACH Christmas cards have been hugely popular with customers, particularly Lucy’s designs, so it’s great she’s able to join us for the evening. If you are out for late night shopping please do pop in to see us. We have sell quality items, ideal if you’re doing Christmas on a budget.”

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across the region and is a lifeline to so many families at an unimaginably difficult time. Retail income is a very lucrative income stream for the charity.

For more information on the card signing event please contact Jill Gould, EACH Holt Shop Manager on 01263 713864 or to buy EACH Christmas cards online visit