Bouquet of praise for Aylsham from judges

Anglia in Bloom judges visited Aylsham on Friday July 20, and were delighted with the town’s efforts in the annual regional competition.

The pair, Chris Durham and Nolan Mills, toured Aylsham in bright sunshine to view its many displays, sustainable planting and other projects.

“It’s all very, very good indeed – I’m very impressed with how you’ve kept the centre of town so clean and tidy,” said Mr Mills.

And his colleague added: “Community spirit and enthusiasm were on show right through our route – the schools, traders making an extra effort to make it look so attractive around the Market Place – so much drive and pride everywhere, it’s such an achievement.”

Their judging route included Marriott’s Way – where Aylsham High School pupils have helped clear brambles to allow wild flowers to grow – the new Bure Meadows pill box memorial garden, the allotments, Humphry Repton’s grave in Aylsham churchyard, and ended with lunch in Aylsham Heritage Centre.

Wendy Sadler, chairman of Aylsham in Bloom, is crossing her green fingers that the town has done enough to earn more recognition in the strongly-fought contest. Aylsham’s first entry, in 2016, saw it take home a prestigious Silver Gilt award.

“We thought we’d have another go at getting top marks this year as so much has been going on, especially with the Repton Festival,” she said.

Aylsham had played a key role in celebrations to mark the bicentenary of the death of Repton, the famous landscape gardener, and the judges had taken away a festival guide packed with events.

“Keeping everything watered when we haven’t had rain for so long has been a struggle,” she added. “We’ve had as many people involved as possible doing extra.”

The judges said they would be making allowances for all entrants’ drought-hit outside areas such as parks.

Aylsham will have to wait until September 12, when the regional results will be announced at Bury St Edmunds’ Apex Theatre, to find out whether it’s won another award in the Small Towns category.

Pictured: Wendy Sadler, chairman of Aylsham in Bloom, with Anglia in Bloom judges Nolan Mills (left) and Chris Durham. Also pictured: a post box and flower display outside Aylsham Town Hall.















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.

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.

Join in Marriott’s Way cycling celebration

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, a Whitwell-to-Norwich cycle rally is taking place on the Marriott’s Way Norfolk Trail on Sunday September 10 between 11am and 4pm. People are being urged to bring along their bikes both new and old to the event organised by Norfolk County Council, as part of the Marriott’s Way Heritage Trail Project, and Pushing Ahead.

The ride is set to stretch the 11 miles between the former Marlpit Arms pub, in Lower Hellesdon, and Whitwell Station near Reepham, and there will be refreshments and activities at each end of the rally route throughout the day. Everyone is welcome to go along and for those without their own bike it’ll be easy to take to two wheels on the day as free bicycle loan will be available at Whitwell, subject to availability, with a minibus back to Whitwell from the Marlpit Arms for those cyclists who need it. Martin Wilby, chairman of the environment, transport and development committee, said: “Over 100,000 cyclists, walkers and horse riders already use the Marriott’s Way every year which is hardly surprising as this accessible attractive traffic-free route links Aylsham, Reepham, Lenwade, Drayton, and Costessey with the heart of the city. “Do come along to see the rally and don’t forget you’re welcome to bring your bike to ride the trail and explore the fascinating history of this former railway line. You never know you may even find that the Marriott’s Way could be a new healthy route for your daily commute or somewhere from which to explore the beautiful Wensum valley countryside.” At Whitwell and Reepham Station the cycle rally will be setting off from 11am with people encouraged to dress in 1940s theme to match the train rides, restored station and mini-museum displays there on the day. During the day there will also be heritage railway displays, and the café at Whitwell station will be open from 8am for breakfast. At the Marlpit Arms end of the route there will be a host of events, activities and refreshments. The first set of riders along the rally route will be arriving from about midday after their ride down from Whitwell with prizes being awarded for best dressed adult, child and bike. Visitors will be able to get involved in cycling activities including balance bikes for children and adults, a bicycle obstacle course and there will be the chance to have a go at using the “smoothie” bike to create your own drink and a paint spinning bike to make a unique piece of art to take home. Live music will come from local folk music group The Marlpit Collective at 3.30pm and local artists will be displaying their work alongside an exhibition of vintage bikes and furniture and a look at the history of the Marlpit Arms pub and plans for its future. Locally-produced food will be available including a vegan curry alongside a hog roast, cakes and scones and real ales. And inbetween 11am and 6pm visitors will be able to meet lambs, sheep, a pony and small mammals with Angelica’s Rainbow, and even watch lamb racing. For younger cyclists and anyone wanting a shorter ride there will also be the opportunity to join the route at Drayton, riding just half the course.







Volunteers tidy up Aylsham

On Saturday, March 12 a group of volunteers took their litter pickers and cleaned Marriott’s Way from Norwich Road to Cawston Road.

In this short stretch they managed to fill eight rubbish bags and 12 recycling bags. They also managed to find many presents from dogs despite the dog waste bins provided along the route!

The event was organised by the Cittaslow Committe, and the town council would like to thank the volunteers for the work undertaken.

This is the third litter pick organised by the committee, two on Marriott’s Way and one on Weavers’ Way. If anyone would like to help with the next one please contact the town council or 01263 733354 for details.